Our Gaggia Anima Prestige Review update for 2020 is our chance to revisit the product. The Anima Prestige RI8762 is a few years old. So, we look at whether it holds up to the competition in 2020. We also recently published an updated, 2020 review of the Gaggia Anima.
Gaggia is an Italian company and patented a steam-driven expressing device in 1938 that was the forebearer of our modern espresso machine. It has one of the best histories of innovation and design excellence of any automatic espresso machine manufacturer. It is currently owned by the espresso machine division of Philips, the Dutch multinational.
Gaggia Anima Prestige Review
Updated Look at the RI8762 for 2020
So, for well under $1000 you get excellent core brewing, grinding and milk handling systems. For a single boiler machine, it is a good choice. However, we strongly suggest against buying any single boiler machine which we will explain.
Gaggia’s strength is design. That shows up in the big things but also in lots of small decisions that you may not notice right away. For example, Gaggia put baffles in the drip tray to reduce water spilling that can happen when you empty the tray. Also, they added a lip on the metal tray cover to reduce coffee that spills on the top of the cover from spilling over the front edge of the machine.
The Prestige is beautiful and has a timeless design and top-quality engineering and finish for a machine at its price level.
The Anima Prestige is a great choice if you are determined to keep the price below $1000. Here is why that probably is a mistake.
Why a sub-$1000 machine may be a mistake
It is easier to make many small purchases than to make a single larger purchase. This is why a $4 Starbucks coffee every day for 2 years will cost over $2900 but many people balk at investing $2000 on an automatic espresso machine that could last for decades.
What separates a $500 or $1000 espresso machine from a $2000 or $4000 one? One of the big questions in automated espresso makers is what features are worth paying for and which are not. To me the answer comes down to two things. Quality and ease of use.
Buy a Double Boiler Super Automatic
The Anima and the Anima Prestige do most things right. But they are single, stainless-steel boiler machines. Making a double shot of espresso is one cycle. Steaming and frothing milk is also one cycle.
So, if you are going to make a milk drink, or if you want to make back to back double espresso drinks then you must wait for the Prestige’s single boiler to heat back up. It does have a quick heat boiler but rushing it means the temperature will be off just a little. While you wait, your patience counts down and your first drink cools.
Read our Gaggia Babila vs Accademia comparison for more details.
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The most expensive espresso maker is one you don’t use. Every day you will wake up and decide if you are going to use your espresso machine or drive through Starbucks. Manual machines make drinks more inconsistently and less conveniently than (a good) barista. Sometimes they even make them better. With a top super automatic espresso machine you get better quality, consistency and convenience.
A great, double boiler, super automatic espresso machine allows you to press a button and have a perfect espresso, cappuccino or latte in seconds. No grinding or tamping or tinkering with pressure of twisting your arm to try to make perfect foam (you won’t). It does everything well and that will keep you out of coffee shops. That will save you a lot of money and waiting in lines.
Anima Prestige Brewing Features
Like other Gaggia’s, the Anima Prestige RI8762 brews excellent espresso. It is a bean-to-cup espresso machine with automatic milk frothing for cappuccinos, macchiatos and lattes. Its pre-infusion system works well.
The Anima Prestige is a big upgrade on the Gaggia Anima or a Miele CM6350. It has six physical buttons on the outside which includes one-touch, presets dedicated to espresso, espresso lungo, cappuccino and latte macchiato.
Its user profiles will remember each person’s preference. And your drinks are customizable with 5 espresso strengths and dosing range of 6.5 to 11.5 grams of ground coffee per batch. This is a good range for coffee strength. You can adjust it using one of the physical buttons on the front of the machine.
Most higher end machines will have more coffee temperature settings. This is not just for your drink preference. Each type of espresso drink and type of bean can have a different optimal temperature. The 3 different temperature settings in the Anima Prestige are 177.5 F, 182.9 F and 184.5.
Gaggia Anima Prestige Grinding
The Anima Prestige RI8762 has a flat ceramic burr grinder with five settings. This is excellent and all most people would need.
Many people would argue that more grinder settings would allow you to optimize to your brew better but for a machine of this class. Generally, that is true. However, our Gaggia Anima Prestige Review concludes that most people would have trouble programming that level of incremental benefits anyway.
Like all Gaggia’s the Anima Prestige handles milk really well. The milk carafe is nicely designed. The RI8762 produces fantastic microfoam. This is one area where you do not want to skimp. Believe me, you will notice the difference. We covered this briefly in our Miele CM6350 review. Many people cannot tell a good espresso from an amazing one but everyone knows velvety foam when they taste it.
Maintenance & Cleaning
The Gaggia the Anima Prestige has good capacities and was designed to be very easy to clean and maintain. The RI8762 has good prompts for its automatic milk cleaning cycle, also.
The Prestige has a removable 60 oz water reservoir, which is fine. The water tank is accessed from top, left of the machine. It is better to have it more easily removed from the side.
It stores 8.8 ounces of coffee beans. This is OK. A better machine will have more than 10 ounces. The Anima Prestige holds 15 pucks which is unexpectedly high and excellent.
It does have very easy maintenance. The brew unit is easily accessible from the side for weekly rinsing. Gaggia designed it for easy access to water reservoir and bean hopper.
Gaggia Anima Prestige Review 2020
Before you buy look at our listing of the 20 best super automatic espresso machines. As mentioned earlier we do not believe anyone should buy a sub-$1000, single boiler machine in 2020.
The most expensive espresso machine is one you don’t use. So invest more to get high amounts of automation, quality and consistency. Consider upgrading unless you know you are never going to make milk-based drinks or more than one double espresso batch in the same session.
For less than a year’s worth of Starbucks visits you can buy a JURA J90 IMPRESSA. A Gaggia Accademia is only about $700 more. Both are objectively better machines with a long list of advantages and a better value. Read our J90 review and our Accademia comparison reviews for more.
For those who decide a single boiler is fine for them or can’t increase their budget, our Gaggia Anima Prestige Review update concludes with another strong ‘buy’ for the RI876. However, you may also want to look at Gaggia’s new Cadorna line which we reviewed recently. Even though those are newer models, the Anima Prestige is likely to be a strong seller as long as it is offered.
Should I buy a Gaggia Anima Prestige
The Anima Prestige earned #10 spot on our 20 Best Espresso Makers of 2020 list. While it offers excellent brewing, grinding and milk handling we have several dual boiler offerings that we recommend instead. It was outscored by three other Gaggia models as well.
Does the Gaggia Anima Prestige brew great espresso?
The Gaggia Anima Prestige does most things excellent but does rate lower than several other espresso makers including several other Gaggia models. It has excellent brewing, grinding and milk frothing and steaming.
Is the Gaggia Anima Prestige easy to clean and maintain?
Gaggia designs some of the best espresso makers available. Even though the Anima Prestige isn’t their best rates, all Gaggia machines are easy to clean and maintain. YOu can easily access the brew unit, removable pieces are dishwasher safe, and the water reservoir and bean hopper can be easily cleaned.
Does the Gaggia Anima Prestige steam and froth milk well?
Like all Gaggia’s the Anima Prestige produces fantastic microfoam. Their one touch systems will steam and froth perfect milk every time.
What are the Gaggia Anima Prestige Specifications?
Full specs are below. The Anima has a single, stainless steel quick heat boiler, 1.8 L water tank, 0.5 L milk carafe and holds 15 pucks of used coffee grounds
Is the Gaggia Anima Prestige programmable?
All Gaggia machines are highly programmable. It comes with 6 preprogrammed drinks (including 4 on the physical buttons). It will make customizable espresso, espresso lungo, cappuccino, latte macchiato, milk froth and hot water. It has a 5 level Optiaroma system, 5 level grinder, 5 levels of coffees strength, 3 levels of coffee temperature and adjustable milk length.
Gaggia Anima Prestige Review: Specifications
- LCD Display plus 6 buttons
- 2 color display
- Milk Carafe
- 6 preprogrammed drinks with 4 on the physical buttons
- Programs for espresso, espresso lungo, cappuccino, latte macchiato, milk froth and hot water
- No cup warmer
- 15 bar pump’
- 5 level Optiaroma system
- 5 level grinder setting
- Ceramic burr grinder
- Gaggia Adapting System
- 5 levels of coffees strength
- 3 levels of coffee temperature
- adjustable milk length
- Single, stainless steel boiler
- Quick heat boiler
- 1.8 L water tank
- 0.5 L milk carafe
- 15 puck, spent grounds capacity