If you are one of the people who can’t function without a nice cup of coffee to start your day, you probably need a super-automatic espresso machine on your countertop. In this article, we will help you choose between Gaggia Brera vs Saeco Intelia, two super-automatic espresso machines with impressive feature sets – and a huge price gap between them.
Read on below to learn further about:
– The design and dimensions of each espresso machine here
– Which model that is easier to use and maintain
– The grind settings available on Gaggia Brera and Saeco Intelia
– The water reservoir capacity on each model
– The performance of Gaggia Brera vs Saeco Intelia
– Which super-automatic espresso machine that is better
Design and Dimensions
In terms of design, Gaggia Brera and Saeco Intelia indeed look notably different. Well, they both have metallic housings that are very rugged and durable. However, Gaggia Brera looks simple and professional, while Saeco Intelia looks classy and elegant. See also: Nespresso Citiz vs Pixie.
Gaggia Brera has flat surfaces on all sides, with some edges being rounded for a sleek look. The stainless steel front panel makes it an attractive appliance that will fit perfectly in any professional environment. Although it is not completely made of steel (some sides and the main control knob are plastic), it still looks very cool.
Gaggia Brera measures 12.4 inches x 10 inches x 17.5 inches. This unit is fairly bulky, so make sure that your countertop has enough space for the coffee machine. It is available in two color options, black and silver. The difference between these two variants is just the color of the side panels, as they both still have stainless steel front panels. On the front, you can find an integrated Pannarello frothing wand for making lattes and cappuccinos.
Saeco Intelia is more about being classy and elegant. It is only available in one color option. It has a stainless steel front panel with a brushed finish. The side panels are black. The front panel is slightly curved. Well, this model can also fit into a professional setting if necessary.
Saeco Intelia has a similar overall size, with just marginal differences. It is just slightly shorter. It measures 12.4 inches x 10.1 inches x 16.3 inches. This super-automatic espresso machine is also quite bulky, so you need to prepare some space on your countertop for it. Just like the previously discussed model, Saeco Intelia also has an integrated frothing wand for making lattes and cappuccinos.
Before we proceed further, there is an interesting fact that you need to know. Gaggia, the historical coffee machine brand, is actually owned by Saeco. Meanwhile, Saeco itself is now owned by Philips. So, it is not surprising that the coffee machines from Gaggia and Saeco often share lots of similarities. However, Gaggia models tend to be more affordable and budget-friendly, whereas Saeco models usually come with premium prices.
Despite the different looks and the huge price gap between Gaggia Brera vs Saeco Intelia, they actually have many similar features. Hence, some people believe that Gaggia Brera has a slightly lower build quality than Saeco Intelia.
Indeed, there are some small differences in their internal components. But most of the internal workings are similar. Users who have used both Gaggia Brera and Saeco Intelia say that both units are virtually bulletproof and highly durable. Both models seem to be able to hold up well for multiple years. That said, there are also some users who say that Gaggia Brera tends to break sooner – sometimes within the first year – than Saeco Intelia.
Both Gaggia Brera vs Saeco Intelia are equipped with high-quality ceramic burr grinders. So, if you want to enjoy the fullest flavor of fresh coffee beans, both models are highly recommended. Their ceramic burr grinders won’t heat up too quickly, so they can preserve the richness and quality of the ground coffee.
Each model here has a total of 10 grind settings to suit different types of coffee, and the coffee bean capacity is about 250 grams. So, you can get the ideal grind level that suits your preference, whether you like it fine or coarse. The multiple grind settings also make Gaggia Brera and Saeco Intelia suitable for large households, offices, and even coffee shops, as they can easily accommodate different kinds of coffee.
Each model here is also equipped with a bypass doser. It has a small compartment that can contain some pre-ground coffee. So, with either model, you can also brew your caffeine shots from pre-ground coffee without having to grind first. This is quicker and more practical when you don’t have much time. This also allows you to use the pre-ground coffee of your favorite house blend. You can choose to use whole beans or pre-ground coffee by toggling a switch.
Water Reservoir and Dreg Box
Again, these two models share very close similarities here. Both Gaggia Brera vs Saeco Intelia have detachable water tanks for easy refilling. With either model, you remove the water tank from the front side. Detaching and reattaching the water tank is easy and straightforward.
Both models have a similar water reservoir capacity. Each water tank can hold up to 1.2 liters (40.5 US fl. oz.) of water. This is not very big, but it should be sufficient for several cups of espresso before you need to refill.
Both models have 15-bar pressure pumps. They both have stainless steel water boilers. Gaggia Brera works with a 1300W heating system, while Saeco Intelia works with a 1400W heating system. So, Saeco Intelia may work a bit faster.
Both models also have a detachable dreg box. In every brew, the used dreg is filtered and then disposed into the dreg box. You access the dreg box from the front side. It is right next to the water reservoir.
Ease of Use and Maintenance
Gaggia Brera is quite easy and simple to use. On the grinder, you can find a knob for adjusting the grind level of the coffee. Then, you can customize the coffee that you want to brew through the buttons and display screen on the front. There are 3 option of espresso strength which you can choose from. You can also choose between espresso and long coffee.
Gaggia Brera also has an option for double shots. This option is very nice because, unlike most other coffee machines which simply force more water to go through the used ground coffee, Gaggia Brera actually grinds and brews a second load of coffee. As the effect, the taste and aroma of the double shots are very rich. Furthermore, you can adjust the coffee dispenser’s height to avoid spilling and to improve the crema.
For maintenance, Gaggia Brera has a built-in rinse cycle, which is nice for keeping the machine’s performance stable and consistent. Note that the rinse cycle is automatically started after you turn on the machine, so don’t forget to put a mug under the spout to catch the rinsing water. You still need to clean the internal components manually every once in a while, but those components are easy to remove. The machine will give a notification when it requires descaling.
Saeco Intelia is pretty much similar. Since it is a fully automated espresso machine, all of its functions only require a touch of a button. This model has larger buttons, which are somehow a little bit more difficult to dial in. Nevertheless, the overall operation is just as simple as Gaggia Brera.
There are several buttons for making adjustments and selections. At first, they may seem to be confusing. However, once you understand the function of each button, the machine is quite easy to use. You start by selecting the suitable grind level (or, if you want to use pre-ground coffee, don’t forget to switch the operation mode). Then, you can choose the brew strength.
Saeco Intelia is also fairly easy to maintain. The exterior can be wiped clean with a cloth. The machine also has a rinse cycle for keeping the internal components clean. The unit will also give a pop-up message when it is the time for descaling. Meanwhile, the brew group needs to be cleaned at least once a week and lubricated every five hundred brews. Don’t forget to clean the milk carafe, as the milk residue will build-up at the bottom.
Gaggia Brera comes with a 1-year warranty. This hassle-free warranty is handled directly by Gaggia. If you encounter any problem or defect in the coffee machine while still in the warranty period, you can send the unit back to the company, which will repair or replace the unit for you. However, this warranty does not cover the shipping cost.
Saeco Intelia also has a 1-year warranty. It covers the main unit as well as the coffee bean grinder. However, it also does not cover the shipping cost.
Gaggia Brera vs Saeco Intelia
Between these two models, Gaggia Brera is more recommended. It gives the best value for the money. It is significantly more affordable, while having mostly similar features and performance. This model allows you to adjust the grind setting and brew strength, and it delivers high-quality coffee consistently.