Semi-automatic Espresso Machines

Gaggia Classic Pro Comparisons vs. Rancilio Silvia, Breville Bambino Plus, Infuser and more

If you’re familiar with Gaggia’s Classic espresso machine, you know it’s one of the best entry-level espresso machines out there. It has commercial style qualities, but it’s made with the home user in mind, so it’s user friendly even for a beginner.

The Gaggia Classic Pro builds on the great quality of the Classic model, but comes with many improvements to take your experience even further.

Features of Gaggia Classic Pro

Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro Espresso Machine, Solid, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Rugged Brushed Stainless Steel housing
  • Commercial three-way solenoid valve. Capacity water tank - 2,1 liter
  • Commercial-style 58mm chrome-plated brass portability and brew group
  • Commercial steam wand. Rotating steam want movement type
  • Easy-to-use rocker switch controls

The Gaggia Classic Pro has a full stainless steel housing, which is the first indicator of a high quality espresso machine. It has very simple control panel with three switches: on/off, espresso switch and steam switch. Remember, this is a manual espresso machine, so there are no pre-sets. You’ll extract and time your espresso shot manually.

The machine comes with a commercial style 58mm chrome plated portafilter. It also has a commercial style steam wand, which is able to create creamy micro foam that you can use to make beautiful latte art.

Gaggia Classic Pro is one of few espresso machines made in Italy. It is available in several colors.

Gaggia Classic vs Classic Pro, What’s Changed?

So, what has changed since the last Classic mode?

  • The design is slightly different. The rocker switches have been changed and placed individually in the control panel.
  • The frother is now commercial style and fully stainless steel. Where with the Classic model, it was a pannarello plastic covered wand. The new frother wand makes a better quality microfoam, where the pannarello made more of a dense foam texture.
  • Updated and improved pump for quieter espresso extraction.

Gaggia Classic Pro Compared to Other Espresso Machines

Gaggia Classic Pro vs. Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine with Iron Frame and Stainless Steel Side Panels, 11.4 by 13.4-Inch
  • Ergonomic porta filter handle same as the proven design of Rancilio commercial machines
  • Commercial grade group head for superb heat stability and extraction quality
  • Articulating steam wand offers complete range of motion and professional steaming knob precisely controls steaming pressure
  • Classic linear design fits most decors
  • Optional pod and capsule adaptor kit available

Another respectable Italian brand, Rancilio and its famous Silvia model is quite comparable to Gaggia’s Classic Pro. This machine is also made in Italy, has a sturdy full stainless steel housing, commercial style portafilter and a professional stainless steel steam wand.

On the control panel, you’ll find rocker switches: on/off button, extraction/brew button, hot water button and steam button. The Gaggia Classic can dispense hot water as well, but it does not have a dedicated button for it.

The portafilter of the Rancilio Silvia comes with two filter baskets, one single shot and another double shot basket. Additional pod basket can be purchased separately. The machine also includes a professional wood-handle tamper.

Like the Gaggia Classic Pro, the Silvia has a single stainless steel boiler, so there’s bit of a wait between each task.

If countertop space is an issue for you, the Gaggia Classic Pro is more compact with dimensions LxWxH 9.5 x 8 x 14.2 inch. On the other hand, the Silvia is 13 x 14 x 16 inches.

Budget wise, the Gaggia Classic Pro makes a less expensive option without giving up on quality. The build and quality of these two machines are quite comparable, not to mention both are made in Italy.

Gaggia Classic Pro vs Breville Bambino Plus

Breville BES500BSS Bambino Plus Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • The Breville Bambino Plus delivers third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula and is part of the Bambino Series that offers the faster way to professional results at home in a compact footprint: serious espresso, serious value
  • DOSE CONTROL GRINDING: Achieve a consistent and balanced espresso using the right amount of ground coffee; The 54mm porta-filter with 19 grams is the key for full flavor and cafe quality coffee
  • OPTIMAL WATER PRESSURE: Low pressure pre-infusion gradually increases pressure at the start and helps ensure all the flavors are drawn out evenly during the extraction for a balanced tasting cup
  • FASTER HEAT UP TIME: Innovative ThermoJet heating system achieves the optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds
  • PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction

Bambino Plus is a compact automatic espresso machine by Breville that is quite user friendly and easy to operate for a beginner.

The machine has pre-sets for single and double shots. But here’s the best part about it: it has an automatic steam wand that makes milk texturing a breeze, even if it’s your first time using a steam wand. It offers temperature and foam selections to customize your milk, and you’re guaranteed to get creamy micro foam milk texture every time. When using an espresso machine for the first time, most people struggle with milk texturing, so the Bambino Plus definitely takes care of that for you.

The Bambino Plus is an easier machine to use. If you’re looking for an espresso machine that does not require a lot of practice and learning to get things right, this is a great choice. Using a machine like Gaggia’s Classic Pro means you’re doing everything on your own, from dosing to measuring and timing the shot, and then there’s milk texturing. If you want this learning experience, and want a machine that’s more on the commercial side, the Gaggia Classic is for you. If you want something simpler to use, then go for the Bambino Plus.

Gaggia Classic Pro vs Breville Barista Express

Sale
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • The Breville Barista Express delivers third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula and is part of the Barista Series that offers all in one espresso machines with integrated grinder to go from beans to espresso in under one minute
  • DOSE CONTROL GRINDING: Integrated precision conical burr grinder grinds on demand to deliver the right amount of freshly ground coffee directly into the portafilter for your preferred taste with any roast of bean
  • OPTIMAL WATER PRESSURE: Low pressure pre-infusion gradually increases pressure at the start and helps ensure all the flavors are drawn out evenly during the extraction for a balanced tasting cup
  • PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso extraction
  • MANUAL MICROFOAM MILK TEXTURING: The powerful steam wand performance allows you to hand texture microfoam milk that enhances flavor and enables creation of latte art

The Barista Express is a popular choice for anyone who wants an all in one solution for their espresso needs. It’s usually the first choice for anyone looking for an espresso machine with a built-in grinder.

Unlike the Gaggia Classic and the Rancilio Silvia, the Barista Express is easier to operate for a beginner since it’s an automatic espresso machine. It can automatically grind and dose your shot, there are pre-sets for a single or double shot. But also, there’s room for experimentation since it has a manual override as well. You can adjust your shots volume and the grind settings to customize your coffee even further.

The control panel on the Barista Express has many press buttons as well as a gauge that displays pressure level, this allows you to understand the temperature of the machine and when it’s ready to perform, either extraction or steaming.

The Barista Express also has a nice brushed stainless steel housing. The steam wand is stainless steel, too. It has a hot water on demand function with a dedicated spout, which is a nice feature.

How does it compare to the Gaggia Classic Pro then? they definitely fulfill different needs. The Gaggia Classic Pro is more on the commercial side, and it requires more of a learning curve that the Barista Express… which is a great choice if you want a budget-friendly all in one machine. With the Gaggia Classic or Rancilio Silvia for that matter, you’ll want to include a conical burr grinder in your budget. The Barista Express you’re paying for a machine and a grinder all in one, although its built-in grinder isn’t the best, it works perfectly well and does give good results.

Gaggia Classic Pro vs. Breville Infuser

Sale
Breville BES840XL Infuser Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • The Breville Infuser delivers optimal flavor in every cup creating third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula, ensuring the right dose of beans, optimal water pressure, precise temperature control and microfoam milk for latte art
  • VOLUMETRIC AND SHOT CONTROL: Control the volume of each pour at the touch of a button and choose 1 shot, 2 shot or manually control over how much espresso ends up in your cup for the perfect dose every time
  • OPTIMAL WATER PRESSURE: Low pressure pre-infusion gradually increases pressure at the start and helps ensure all the flavors are drawn out evenly during the extraction for a balanced tasting cup
  • PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Maximize flavor potential with low pressure pre-infusion, digital PID temperature control, adjustable in 4 ⁰F increments complete with pressure gauge that guides you to the right extraction every time
  • MANUAL MICROFOAM MILK TEXTURING: High power 1650W element for high pressure steam wand and faster heat-up to create the microfoam necessary for a third wave specialty taste and essential for creating latte art at home

If you want everything that the Breville Barista Express has, minus the built-in grinder, then the Infuser is it.

Breville Infuser is another automatic espresso machine WITHOUT the built-in grinder, which is a great choice for anyone who isn’t a fan of built-in grinders. You can get the Infuser and pair it with a grinder of your choice.

There are many benefits to having a separate grinder, one of the most important reasons would be that you’ll be able to adjust the grinder and use it for any brewing method you might want to use. Unlike having a built-in grinder, which restricts you to espresso grind only.

And like the Barista Express, the Infuser doesn’t have the commercial-like qualities that the Gaggia Classic or Rancilio Silvia have.

Which Espresso Machine Do You Pick?

Of all the espresso machines above, I can separate them into two categories:

  • Commercial-style machines for the home, and these would be the Gaggia Classic Pro and the Rancilio Silvia.
  • Espresso machines for home, and those would be all the Breville machines listed above.

The Gaggia and Rancilio, although considered to be entry-level, they are higher end machines that are durable and made to last. Using these machines takes some practice and time to get things right. Also, you will need to include the price of a grinder in your budget.

As for Breville’s machines, they’re not as commercial, they’re easier to use and perfect for anyone who does not want to invest a lot of time practicing their coffee making skills.

Out of all of these machines, the Barista Express would be the most budget-friendly since it has a built-in grinder. I believe that’s the reason it’s such a popular choice. For the rest of the machines, you’ll need to include a grinder in your budget, and you’ll want a high quality conical burr grinder to get the best results.