The Gaggia Brera is a great budget super automatic espresso machine that not only has a small form factor, but it’s also very well designed and looks great on any kitchen countertop. When thinking about it, the first thing that comes to the mind of those that already use it is convenience. For example, the water tank, drop tray and the dregs drawer are all within reach and can be easily accessed from the machine for simple, swift maintenance and regular cleaning.
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Not trouble free, as they all seem to jam periodically, but easily fixed. Per J-C, the problem is using very oily beans, which we do as we love very dark, heavily roasted Starbucks beans. The part that jams is the press mechanism. When it expresses the puck, it clogs and won't go back up. This seems to be a criticism for many of its machines, but it's hardly a deal breaker.
There’s no steam wand for heating and foaming milk, but the Dolce Gusto system has its own way of doing that: drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes are made with two pods: one coffee pod and one special milk pod, used in the amounts specified on the pod lid. Drinking milk expelled from a pod isn’t as appetising as fresh cow juice, we think you’ll agree – but it’s less effort and less mess.
I am a die-hard espresso fan. I love every form of the drink from straight espresso shots to lattes and cappuccinos. I currently use a Breville BES870XL Barista, it is an awesome machine. BUT, my dream machine is definitely an Italian Quickmill Andreja. Those bad boys make badass espresso. I love answering your questions, leave a comment or question below!
I love this machine. I also have a krupps super automatic as well and I prefer this one. One complaint though is that the spout height is slightly low and so I cannot fit certain mugs in there. Not a deal breaker but it is an inconvenience. The thing I like about the jura is the ability to bypass the whole bean grinder and use preground coffee. Since with any super automatic, you need to be very careful about the oiliness of the bean, this is a great feature when you still want flavored coffee. The interface isn't very difficult to learn and it is quite the beauty sitting on the counter.
For those who tend to like their java a bit more robust and flavorful, this espresso machine offers a coffee and steam wand that you can use to adjust the potency of your coffee. If you prefer a bit less vigor to your morning espresso, simply move the wand to the steam side to add a bit more water. This will allow you to share your espresso maker with those around you who prefer a stronger or milder taste you do and still keep everyone happy.