Gaggia Velasca Prestige vs Babila: Ultimate Comparison For Espresso Lovers

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Bean-to-cup espresso makers like the Gaggia Velasca Prestige vs Babila are unique and convenient. They cater to just the right things one needs to brew coffee at home. My pick for the winner is the Babila.

Babila offers consistent espresso pulls and more variable grinder settings. But the features that convince me the most is the dual boilers and the steam systems, which offer us the chance to work with a milk carafe or a steam wand. I wouldn’t miss this model if I were you.

Gaggia Velasca Prestige boasts of a consistent and powerful coffee grinder. The milk carafe steams and froths milk automatically so users don’t have to work the jug. However, it doesn’t offer as many one-touch drinks and grind settings as Babila.

Gaggia Velasca Prestige vs Babila: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Gaggia Babila RI9700/64 espresso Machine, Stainless Steel
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Gaggia Velasca Prestige Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel
Model
Gaggia Babila
Gaggia Velasca Prestige
Dimensions
16.53 x 9.64 x 14.17 Inches
13.5 x 10.25 x 17 Inches
Material
Stainless steel, metal, plastic
Stainless steel, plastic
Capacity
1.5 Liters
1.5 Liters
Color
Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel
Weight
28.7 Pounds
19.62 Pounds
Beverages Variety
11 (5 one-touch)
6 (4 one-touch)
Pump Pressure
15 bars
15 bars
Ceramic burr Grinder
Grinder Settings
15 selections
10 selections
Adjustable Coffee Spout
Stand-by Mode
Dual Boiler
Automatic cleaning
Frother
Carafe and steam wand
Carafe
Cofee Pucks Container Capacity
11
10
What I Like
Price
$1,757.98
$799.00
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Gaggia Babila RI9700/64 espresso Machine, Stainless Steel
Model
Gaggia Babila
Dimensions
16.53 x 9.64 x 14.17 Inches
Material
Stainless steel, metal, plastic
Capacity
1.5 Liters
Color
Stainless Steel
Weight
28.7 Pounds
Beverages Variety
11 (5 one-touch)
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Ceramic burr Grinder
Grinder Settings
15 selections
Adjustable Coffee Spout
Stand-by Mode
Dual Boiler
Automatic cleaning
Frother
Carafe and steam wand
Cofee Pucks Container Capacity
11
What I Like
More Info
Price
$1,757.98
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Gaggia Velasca Prestige Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel
Model
Gaggia Velasca Prestige
Dimensions
13.5 x 10.25 x 17 Inches
Material
Stainless steel, plastic
Capacity
1.5 Liters
Color
Stainless Steel
Weight
19.62 Pounds
Beverages Variety
6 (4 one-touch)
Pump Pressure
15 bars
Ceramic burr Grinder
Grinder Settings
10 selections
Adjustable Coffee Spout
Stand-by Mode
Dual Boiler
Automatic cleaning
Frother
Carafe
Cofee Pucks Container Capacity
10
What I Like
More Info
Price
$799.00

Last update on 2022-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gaggia Velasca Prestige vs Babila: Differences

Babila wins 3 – 1 against Gaggia Velasca Prestige thanks to its rich coffee flavor, versatile milk system, and ergonomic design that allows easy access to the water tank and bypass doser. Check out for more details below.

Coffee Flavor: VELASCA PRESTIGE

First of all, I want to emphasize that the espresso/coffee flavor of the Babila line is very rich and aromatic. But there are some unique features on the Velasca Prestige model make this machine deliver slightly better flavor.

  • Grinder

Firstly, both machines boast of a conical burr grinder that doesn’t alter the original taste of the coffee beans that you use. I have tested both grinders, and they do a decent job. The grounds are smooth and even, I don’t find any lumpy bit in them. Nevertheless, like any coffee grinder on the market, they will sometimes get clogged if you grind oily beans.

Both Gaggia Velasca Prestige and Babila are equipped with a conical burr grinder
Both Gaggia Velasca Prestige and Babila are equipped with a conical burr grinder

Babila offers more grind settings than Velasca Prestige. You can adjust according to the type of beans that you use, and there are 15 levels for you to choose from. With the Velasca Prestige, we have 10 selections only. So in this aspect, Babila wins without any doubt.

If you worry about the noise, here is my experience with these models: Gaggia Velasca Prestige grinds silently while Babila tends to make a bit of noise. But both machines brew smoothly.

  • Dosing + tamping

Since both are integrated with bean hoppers and grinders, you can sit back and enjoy a superautomatic brewing process, which means that the machines will handle the dosing and tamping for you.

But, if you want the coffee strength to be higher or lower, you have to adjust it using the control panel. This will affect the coffee dose that these espresso makers use when brewing.

  • Heating system

Babila boasts of a set of dual boilers, one for steaming, and one for brewing. Thus, you can expect this product line to control the water and steam temperature better. Also, with dual boilers, the pressure of the steam wand will be much more stable as well.

On the other hand, Velasca Prestige is the one that can heat up quickly and require minimum preparation. This model takes 10 seconds to heat up, while Babila takes about 2 minutes. If you need a quick cup of coffee every morning before going to work, Velasca will help you brew faster. Even though I believe that 2 minutes aren’t much either.

Velasca Prestige heats up in 10 seconds
Velasca Prestige heats up in 10 seconds
  • Brewing technique

Both machines come with a set of one-touch beverage options that automatically brew cappuccino, espresso, lungo, etc. Babila offers 5 one-touch options while Velasca Prestige offers 4, and the extra one is latte macchiato.

It is possible to adjust these presets as well, you can change the coffee strength, aroma, texture, etc. The crema’s thickness varies accordingly as well.

Additional features: babila

If you want an espresso machine that can accommodate variable cup height, Babila and Velasca Prestige will help you with that.

But after trying to lift and lower the spout, i find Babila to be the better option since it can handle cups around 6 inches tall. Velasca prestige doesn’t accomodate such tall cups, even though its dispenser’s height is also adjustable.

Also, Babila has 2 drip trays, one internal and one external. So you can expect minimal drip with this one.

Milk system: Babila

I wouldn’t say that Babila‘s milk system is “better” than Velasca Prestige, I simply enjoy the fact that you can froth milk in different styles with it. Babila is equipped with one steam wand and one milk carafe. This feature is very exciting for me since I like to switch things up now and then, I can froth manually with a milk jug when I want to, and when I feel lazy, I opt for the carafe.

Thanks to its separate boiler, the steam pressure is very consistent and the milk temperature is not too hot either. You can expect to froth thick foam with this model as well, so it is excellent for cappuccinos, and macchiato.

Babila boasts of a set of dual boilers
Babila boasts of a set of dual boilers

As for the Velasca Prestige, it is equipped with a convenient milk carafe. I never have to work hard for a cup of latte with this model. The milk system seems to be designed for latte because I always get the proper steamed milk and foam ratio. The steaming and frothing process is almost noiseless as well.

However, keep in mind that the Velasca Prestige tends to make quite hot steamed milk. You will get at least 140F milk. If you enjoy sipping your coffee with patience, I don’t see any problem. But if you want to drink quickly, there are other models more suitable for your need.

Cleaning & Maintainance: tie

On the control panel of both models, we can find the cleaning button that works with the milk carafe. It will purge the milk path quickly and easily. Before the machines shut themselves off, they perform an automatic cleaning cycle and run hot water out through and out of the dispenser.

It is recommended to clean them once per week (or more if you really care about the lifespan of your espresso machine).

Design & Material: Babila

I prefer the design of Babila and this could totally be subjective. But why?

Firstly, I prefer the top-loaded water tank of Babila. Velasca Prestige boasts of a front-loaded water reservoir, but I find it more complicated having to clear the cups and alls to pull it out and refill it with water. With the Babila, I just open the cover on top of the machine, then I pour water in it directly. There is no pulling and lifting involved, which is a nice change.

Gaggia Babila has a very convenient top-loaded water tank
Gaggia Babila has a very convenient top-loaded water tank

Secondly, I like the size of the bypass doser on Babila more cause it’s bigger. It is placed right in the middle on top of the machine, so when there are a bit of fallout coffee grounds, I can push them back in the bypass doser right away. The one on Velasca Prestige is very small and overall, I find it a tad inconvenient.

Gaggia Velasca Prestige vs Babila: Similarities

Even though there are many significant differences, I find the standby mode and the water tank capacity of both devices equally good. Check out why.

Standby mode

It still baffles me that there are espresso machines that don’t have a standby mode. Luckily, Gaggia Velasca Prestige and Babila don’t fall in the same category. These machines will put themselves to sleep after a while without being used.

The best thing is that you can adjust the idle time before the machine enters standby mode. The options are 15, 30, 60, and 180 minutes.

Water Tank capacity

With their 1.5L capacity, the water tanks of these two can satisfy the daily use of homeowners. I wouldn’t recommend them to buyers who need an espresso machine for their office because 1.5L is very standard, so it’s not enough to serve, let’s just say 20 users, efficiently.

Gaggia Velasca Prestige comes with a standard 1.5L water tank
Gaggia Velasca Prestige comes with a standard 1.5L water tank

Quick Rundown of Gaggia Babila

Sale
Gaggia Babila RI9700/64 espresso Machine, Stainless Steel
  • One touch brewing and frothing: bean-to-cup feature. Milk carafe includes automatic milk frothing for cappuccinos, and milk froth. Manual steam wand doubles as a hot water dispenser
  • ACCESSORIES INCLUDED: 1 bottle of Gaggia Descaler, 1 AquaClean Water Filter, 1 Water Hardness Test Strip, 1 Tube of Brew Group Lubricant, 1 Brew Group Brush, 1 Coffee Scoop/Grinder Key
  • PROGRAMMABLE: 8 Programmable brewing options for espressos, espresso lungos, coffee, ristrettos, lattes, cappuccinos, macchiato, flat whites and milk foam
  • Easy access to water reservoir: features a top Loading removable 50.7oz water reservoir; Brew Boiler Wattage: 1400

Last update on 2022-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Accessible and user-friendly parts with cleaning accessories
  • You can make espresso and drip coffee with a touch of a button
  • Top-loaded water tank that saves space
  • Big bypass doser to avoid spilling coffee grounds
  • Potent dual boilers for better temperature and pressure control
Cons
  • The bean hopper is difficult to clean
  • It makes noise when grinding coffee beans

Quick Rundown of Gaggia Velasca Prestige

Sale
Gaggia Velasca Prestige Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel
  • One touch brewing and frothing: bean-to-cup feature with automatic milk frothing for cappuccinos, baby cappuccinos, and milk froth
  • Programmable: programmable brewing options for Espresso and Espresso Lungo, cappuccino, and milk froth, with 3 different temperature settings
  • Ceramic burr grinder and brew unit: ceramic burr grinder with 10 fineness settings, 5 brew strength settings, and bean hopper with 10.5oz capacity
  • Front loaded water reservoir: features a 54oz capacity and pulls out from the front of the machine, ideal for low hanging cabinets

Last update on 2022-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Sliding water reservoir is sturdy and accessible
  • Great-tasting espresso shots with creamy frothed milk
  • Quick heat-up in 10 seconds
  • The used pucks container is easy to remove
Cons
  • The pre-ground basket is tricky to use

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