Gaggia Cadorna Prestige vs Accademia vs Babila Comparison
This 2020 Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Review & Comparison is the second part of our Cadorna Buyers Guide. In part one we introduced the Cadorna line and it’s four models. These are the Cadorna Prestige, Cadorna Milk, Cadorna Plus and Cadorna Style.
Cadorna Prestige vs the Accademia vs the Babila
Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Review
Gaggia has put a lot into the Cadorna line of automatic espresso machines and it has some impressive updates. All four models support up to four users who can each customize their settings.
All four Cadorna models include a beautiful full color thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display (TFT LCD).
This is best looking digital screen of any Gaggia home automatic espresso maker. They all share very good brewing technology too.
The Prestige is the premier model among the four models in the Cadorna line. We have not seen pricing for the US yet so we need to speculate on the pricing. It is hard to use UK pricing as an absolute measure because Gaggia has started to discount the Accademia and the Babila there.
This suggests that we could see greater discounts in the US on the Accademia and the Babila after the Cadorna Prestige is released.
- Cadorna Prestige RI9604 (not available yet)
- Accademia 1003380 which can be bought here.
- The Babila SUP046DG which is available with free shipping.
We speculate that the Cadorna Prestige will be offered around $1300 to $1500. Overall it appears that the Cadorna Prestige could be priced a few hundred dollars cheaper than the Accademia and the perhaps $600 or $700 less than the Babila.
Since a lot of the core brewing technologies are in the Cadorna espresso machines, this could signal that Gaggia is planning to use the line to be more price competitive against manufacturing.
The Cadorna looks both more modern but less luxurious in design and materials the Accademia and the Babila.
My impression is that they are shifting the cost savings into technology while maintaining high standards of brewing technology. We can’t tell yet if this means anything for the durability and lifespan of the Cadornas but we tend not to worry about it at this point.
Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Review: Brewing Features
This is a Cadorna Prestige Review only. To read how it compares to the other Cadorna models: the Milk, Style and Plus then see part one of this buying guide.
Read our full Gaggia Accademia Review for more details.
Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Review Award:
Considering that the Cadorna Prestige is likely to be priced below the Accademia and the Babila it offers a lot of value for the money in terms of features and brewing technology for the price point.
Cadorna Wins on Drink Options: 14 Drink Programs
The Cadorna Prestige offers a lot of built in drink options. It has preset programs for 14 beverages compared to 8 for the Accademia and 11 and Babila. This is all ok compared to other brands of automatic espresso machines.
The Prestige adds presets for Ristretto and for Flat White which the Accademia doesn’t. Cadorna is the only one of the three that makes Americanos, Café Au Lait, Cortado, Cappuccino XL, Latte and Macchiato XL.
Brewing Technology: Good Value Tradeoffs
All three share some important brewing features. They will simultaneously brew two cups and all have 15 bar pump pressures. You can select between 6.5 – 11.5 grams of coffee to be ground per brew. The coffee strength settings and tri level coffee temperature settings are comparable.
Both the Cadorna and Accademia have pre-brewing and the Babila has three levels. The Optiaroma system in the Cadorna Prestige and the Babila both have 5 levels vs only three for the Accademia.
Single vs Double Boiler Machines
Cadorna Prestige has a single Stainless Steel boiler while the other models both have dual independent boiler systems. This is a massive difference and is the single best reason to go with the Accademia or the Babila over the Cadorna Prestige.
Espresso machines use the boiler to heat the water for brewing espresso and for steaming and frothing milk. So, when you use a double boiler or heat exchanger you can brew espresso and immediately express another coffee or prepare the milk. With a single boiler machine you have to wait for the boiler to heat back up to make a second coffee or prepare the milk.
Overall Cadorna Prestige has brewing pros and cons vs the other models but overall we consider them comparable and the Cadorna Prestige seems to be a good value as long as the Prestige comes in cheaper than the Accademia and the Babila.
Grinding: Small Benefit to the Babila
So as far as grinding goes there is no compeling reason to select one model over the others. All three have ceramic grinders.
The Cadorna Prestige has 10 settings which is two more than the Accademia but five less than the Babila. All utilize the Gaggia Adapting System which has five fineness settings to adjust the grinding process adjust to the blend.
Milk & Microfoam: Babila Does It Best
Milk is where there are some larger difference. All have comparable milk capacity.
Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Milk: The Prestige has an integrated milk system with a attached milk carafe. This is on par with what we expect to see with a product of its level and pricing. Our Gaggia Cadorna Prestige review deemed this adequate for most coffee lovers.
Accademia Milk: For each program you can customize and store any one of 4 optional frothing options. This ranges from hot milk to a velvety foam.
Babila Milk: The integrated milk system froths the milk twice. This is supposed to remove large bubbles and any impurities.
Automatic Espresso Machine Considerations
With a lot of coffee manufacturers their models will share at least some brewing technology. This makes the brewing very similar.
So other things like milk foaming, capacity, ease of use, maintenance and cleaning and price can be determining factors. Oue 2020 Cadorna Prestige Review reveals this is the case with Gaggia. All three models share excellent brewing and some differences are in keeping with their respective cost levels. But because the best overall experience comes with the higher level features, the Babila really shines and is strongly recommended.
Espresso Machine Maintenance & Cleaning
The Accademia has a slightly larger water tank and slightly more bean storage capacity than the Cadorna Prestige or the Babila and the Babila holds slightly more milk.
The Cadorna Prestige only holds 10 pucks and the Babila 11 and the Accademia about 15. This means you will need to empty grounds from a Prestige about 50% more frequently than an Accademia with similar usage. Our Gaggia Cadorna Prestige review deducts for this.
All have automatic coffee system rinsing, milk system cleaning and descaling cycles.
Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Pricing
As of this writing Gaggia has not began selling the Cadorna line in the US or Canada. As a result, we do not yet know what the Cadorna Prestige will cost. But, to give come to a rough estimate we have included the current pricing in British Pounds for the Cadorna Prestige RI9604, the Gaggia Accademia 1003380 and the Babila SUP046DG.
When Gaggia releases the products or pricing information for the US and Canada we will update that information here with links to where you can buy all the Cadorna models.
- Cadorna Prestige Pricing: 899 GBP which converts to about $1150 USD
- Accademia 1003380: 1195 GBP. It is available on Amazon for about $1650
- Babila RI9700/64: 995 GBP. It is available on Amazon for $1899
Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Review Recommendation
All three of these Gaggia models are great choices. The new Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is the best value but the Bablia has the most important features. So if you are willing to upgrade then consider it.