Gaggia Velasca Vs Brera: Which Enty-Level Gaggia Coffee Machine Is Better?

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Who says a super-automatic espresso machine has to drain your wallet? There are plenty of options out there for beginners or the budget-conscious, like the Gaggia Velasca vs Brera. Sure, you’ll find a few compromises here and there, but it’s all about getting that espresso fix without breaking the bank!

To compare, the Gaggia Velasca edges out as the slightly better pick for those who love to tweak and customize. It boasts 10 grind settings, 5 coffee strength options, and 3 brewing temperatures. Still, I’m a little annoyed about it being mostly made of plastic. See, there are always trade-offs.

The Gaggia Brera, on the other hand, has only 5 grind settings and 3 aroma strength settings. But where it shines is in its lighter weight and larger water reservoir. Additionally, there is more metal in its construction.

Gaggia Velasca Vs Brera: Specs & Features Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Gaggia Velasca Espresso Machine,54 ounces Black
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Gaggia Brera Super-Automatic Espresso Machine, Small, Black, 40 fl oz
Model
Gaggia Velasca
Gaggia Brera
Dimensions/Weight
17.6 x 10 × 12.4 inches/18.7 lbs
17.6 x 10 × 12.4 inches/18.7 lbs
Interface
Non-touch Display
Non-touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
3
3
Built-in Grinder
Ceramic Flat Burr Grinder
Ceramic Flat Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
10
5
Heating System
Single Thermoblock
Single Thermoblock
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Pannarello Steam Wand
Pannarello Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/3.5-4.5 inches
Dual/2.8-4.5 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.2 L/0.25 Kg
1.5 L/0.25 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$599.00
$449.00
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Gaggia Velasca Espresso Machine,54 ounces Black
Model
Gaggia Velasca
Dimensions/Weight
17.6 x 10 × 12.4 inches/18.7 lbs
Interface
Non-touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
3
Built-in Grinder
Ceramic Flat Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
10
Heating System
Single Thermoblock
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Pannarello Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/3.5-4.5 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.2 L/0.25 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$599.00
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Gaggia Brera Super-Automatic Espresso Machine, Small, Black, 40 fl oz
Model
Gaggia Brera
Dimensions/Weight
17.6 x 10 × 12.4 inches/18.7 lbs
Interface
Non-touch Display
One Touch Drink Options
3
Built-in Grinder
Ceramic Flat Burr Grinder
Grinding Settings
5
Heating System
Single Thermoblock
Pump Pressure
15 Bars
Pre-Infusion
Milk Frothing System
Pannarello Steam Wand
Spigot Type/Cup Clearance
Dual/2.8-4.5 inches
Water Reservoir/Bean Hopper
1.5 L/0.25 Kg
Filter
Yes (Optional)
Compatible With Pre-ground Coffee
App Connectivity
User Profile
What I Like
Price
$449.00
More Info

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gaggia Velasca Vs Brera: Differences

The Velasca won the Brera by a score of 3-2. Let’s take a moment to explore the unique features and shared qualities of these two espresso machines

Coffee Flavor & Brewing System

Winner: Gaggia Velasca

Built-in Grinder 

Like the other Gaggia machines I’ve reviewed so far, except for those without grinders, of course, both the Velasca and Brera rock a ceramic burr grinder. Gaggia is definitely nailing it with this feature.

I love ceramic burrs since they last a long time and are super quiet. But most of all, they minimize heat transfer while grinding, keeping the original aroma of your coffee beans intact. 

The Brera has 5 total grind size settings. Meanwhile, the Velasca goes all out with 10 settings, doubling the control for finessing your espresso extraction. And for those days when you’re feeling a pre-ground coffee vibe (no judgment here – we all have our decaf moments), both models come equipped with a bypass doser.

Heating System

Both the Velasca and Brera are single-boiler machines but don’t think for a second that they’ll slow down your morning coffee ritual. They are fitted with thermoblock technology, which comes up to temperature quickly in under one minute. You’ve got to give it up for Gaggia for making our mornings effortlessly caffeinated with this rapid prep time.

Brewing System

Both the Velasca and Brera come with an automatic pre-infusion feature. Now, if there’s one thing we espresso enthusiasts can agree on, it’s that pre-infusion is crucial for consistent, better-tasting espresso. So I’m glad that the good people at Gaggia are on the same page. Both also use a 15-bar pump for proper extraction.

Design & Convenience

Winner: Gaggia Brera

Dimensions & User Interface

Gaggia BreraGaggia Velasca
Dimensions17 x 10.25 x 13.5 inches17.6 x 10 × 12.4 inches
Weight20.7 lbs18.7 lbs

The Velasca and Brera are among the most compact bean-to-cup machines I’ve tested. Sure, size isn’t everything, but having an espresso machine that is a space saver and can fit snugly anywhere is always a big win.

The Velasca features a black plastic body instead of stainless steel, which slightly reduces both the overall weight and price tag but comes with a bit of a compromise on the build quality. As for the Brera, its side panels are plastic and while its front panel is supposed to be stainless steel, I did the old magnet test and there was no cling – maybe Gaggia’s using some super low-grade metal or something?

the gaggia velasca's control panel
The Gaggia Velasca’s control panel

They sport text screens that give off major retro vibes, just like an old-school video game, and some buttons they’re not even trying to look like they’re from this decade. But the thing is that while their control panels might not be as high-tech as you see on some of Gaggia’s fancier models, they’re super straightforward. I’m betting anyone could walk up to these machines and use them without breaking a sweat or scratching their heads in confusion.

the gaggia brera's control panel
The Gaggia Brera’s control panel

Spout Type & Cup Clearance

Gaggia BreraGaggia Velasca
Spout TypeDualDual
Cup Clearance2.8-4.5 inches3.5-4.5 inches

Just like most super automatics, they have adjustable coffee dispensing spouts that can move up or down. So when you’re brewing up an espresso, slide that spout all the way down to cut down on splashes and keep that gorgeous crema intact. 

But even when their spouts go all the way up, trying to fit a taller glass or your favorite insulated coffee mug under there can feel a bit awkward. You may need to brew coffee into your small cup first and then pour it into the larger one.

Water Reservoir & Bean Hopper

Gaggia BreraGaggia Velasca
Water Reservoir1,5 liter1,2 liter
Bean Hopper0.25 kilogram0.25 kilogram

These machines come with tanks that are on the smaller side so they will probably need to be refilled quite often. But that is child’s play since these tanks are right up front, not hidden in the back like others.

You can add water filters to these bad boys to soften your water, but that is part of the Velasca’s package, while the Brera requires a separate purchase. Why bother with a filter? Well, it means less descaling for the machine and a serious upgrade in your coffee’s taste.

By the way, their brew groups are removable. You can take this part apart for a deep clean or swap it out if it’s broken. This is great because the brew unit is like the heart and soul of the whole operation, and it’s good that you can literally keep an eye on it at all times.

Milk Frothing System 

Winner: Tie

When you decide on either the Velasca or Brera, you’re getting a standard Pannarello milk frother, which is decent but not the star of the show. But I’ve got to be real with you – the  wands feel a bit flimsy, and since they aren’t on a ball joint, flexibility isn’t their strong suit.

pannarello steam wands
Pannarello steam wands

Now, let’s talk about the foam game. These steam wands struggle to whip up that silky, creamy microfoam you’d like to see in a masterpiece latte, but the resulting cappuccino is still convincing, and I definitely wouldn’t say no to it.

What’s more, you’ll need to buy a trusty stainless steel milk pitcher to go with either of these machines. It seems like Gaggia might’ve had a bit of a memory lapse on the pitcher, but I didn’t.

Drink Options & Programmability

Winner: Gaggia Velasca

Drink Options

Gaggia VelascaGaggia Brera
Espresso
Espresso lungo
Hot water
Espresso
Espresso lungo
Hot water

These machines are not something that will make dozens of one-touch specialty coffee drinks. What you’ve got here are the classics – a good old shot of espresso and a lungo shot.

With the steam wand and hot water spout, you’re pretty much set to play barista and whip up all cafe favorites yourself right in your own kitchen. Of course, if you’re dreaming of a machine that dishes out every fancy drink with just a tap, you might need to give your budget a little pep talk!

Programmability

Adjustable SettingsGaggia BreraGaggia Velasca
Coffee StrengthYesYes
Coffee TemperatureNoYes
Milk Foam TemperatureNoNo
Milk Foam TextureNoNo

Alright, let’s talk customization. The Brera allows you to adjust the aroma strength in 3 levels, while the Velasca offers 5 levels, which correspond to how many coffee beans show up on the display. And that’s the only thing you can tweak on the Brera (except grind size). 

The Velasca also allows you to adjust the brew temperature at three levels and the standby interval anywhere from 15 to 180 minutes before it goes off. Meanwhile, the Brera turns off after a fixed 60 minutes of idle time.

you can adjust the standby time on the gaggia velasca
You can adjust the standby time on the Gaggia Velasca

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Velasca

Gaggia Velasca Espresso Machine,54 ounces Black
  • Manual frothing for milk-based drinks: Pannarello steam wand for frothing milk
  • Programmable: programmable brewing options for Espresso and Espresso Lungo 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 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Affordable price.
  • Ceramic grinder with 10 settings.
  • Thermoblock fast-heating system.
  • Great size.
  • Easy to use.
Cons
  • Plastic construction.
  • One boiler.

Quick Rundown Of Gaggia Brera

Gaggia Brera Super-Automatic Espresso Machine, Small, Black, 40 fl oz
  • Please refer to user guide or user manual or user guide (provided below in PDF) before first use

Last update on 2024-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Inexpensive.
  • Quick heat up system.
  • Ceramic grinder doesn’t generate heat.
  • Ease to use and clean.
  • Compact footprint.
Cons
  • Limited grinder settings.
  • No adjustable brewing temperature.

Product Videos

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References

5/5 - (5 votes)