Gaggia Naviglio Black Review 2020 ( RI8749/47)
Our Gaggia Naviglio review rates it a “Strong Buy.” The RI8749/47 model Naviglio Black is a rare opportunity to own a full featured Gaggia automatic espresso maker for about $600 (includes free shipping). The Gaggia Naviglio blows the other espresso makers in this price range away. It delivers Gaggia quality styling, espresso brewing, milk steaming, and coffee bean grinding. It also has fantastic maintenance and cleaning for a $600 espresso maker. We dive into the Gaggia Naviglio RI8749/47 and see what makes it such a great deal.
Gaggia Naviglio Brewing and Coffee Grinding
What really makes the Gaggia Naviglio a great deal is that you the quality of the core bean grinding, espresso brewing, and milk frothing and steaming in a value priced machine. Gaggia is one of the best designers and manufacturers of espresso makers on earth. They won nine of the 20 slots on our best super automatic espresso makers list of 2020. More then twice any other company.
The Gaggia Naviglio RI8749/47 model has many of the most important of Gaggia’s espresso brewing features. It has a quick heat, stainless steel boiler, Pre-Brewing infusion and a 15-bar pump. It has an adjustable coffee length and a memo system to remember your customization preferences.
Real espresso fans know that great coffee starts with great grounds. The Gaggia Naviglio Black has ceramic grinders, the Gaggia Adapting System and Optiaroma with 3 adjustable levels. Scroll down for a picture of the control panel, the knob controls the Optiaroma level.
Gaggia Naviglio vs Gaggia Anima Prestige
For just a few hundred dollars more, you could get a Gaggia Anima Prestige, a super automatic with a lot more than the Gaggia Naviglio.
Milk Frothing and Steaming
The main thing that separates the Gaggia Naviglio Black from a $2000 Gaggia super automatic starts with the milk handling. This model comes with a black, plastic Pannarello Wand. They also added their Capp in Cup frother. So, it will semi-automatically froth milk for a cappuccino.
There are several tradeoffs to having a Pannarello Wand instead of a fully automatic milk system. For starters, it is really hard to make perfect microfoam. Pannarello Wands are capable of fantastic milk, but maybe you aren’t. Manual steaming and frothing it prone to error and doing it before you morning coffee isn’t any easier. Most baristas make perfect microfoam and most who can froth, and steam perfectly can’t do it perfectly every time.
Also, an espresso maker with an automatic milk system can have one-touch programs for a lot more drinks. So, if you are mainly an espresso person and your standards for cappuccinos and lattes are high but not perfection, then the Gaggia Naviglio is probably a great choice. But, if you want real, Italian quality cappuccino, then buy a cappuccino machine. A great one will have a lot more drink programs and you can get push-button, perfect cappuccinos. Take a look at the Gaggia Babila or the JURA Z8 or the excellent Gaggia Accademia, for some examples of machines that will.
Gaggia Naviglio Controls, Customization and Programming
The Gaggia Naviglio grinds really well and it brews excellent espresso. The controls are a combination of buttons and a knob to control the Optiaroma setting. It has three levels of different amounts of coffee grounds used for a shot of espresso and this controls how strong your shot is.
The controls are simple and easy to learn and use. The whole thing is well designed but noticeable less quality than a more expensive super automatic like the Gaggia Anima Prestige. Even though the Gaggia Naviglio is a new model, the control panel is not as modern looking as the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige.
Comparing the Gaggia Naviglio To a Super Automatic
Gaggia is the winningest maker of super automatic espresso makers on our 2020 best of list. However, this is an automatic, not a super automatic. A full featured Gaggia super automatic costs $1000 – $2000 and it is worth every penny. So, it is important to know what you don’t get with the Gaggia Naviglio Black at this price compared to its super automatic cousins.
The main difference here is that the super automatics are push button for everything, including milk frothing and steaming and the Naviglio has a Pannarello wand for you to prepare the milk. This Gaggia comes with a Capp in the Capp in Cup milk frother, it will even automatically froth milk for a cappuccino.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Our Gaggia Naviglio review found that the Naviglio has very easy cleaning, a removable brew group, drip tray and Pannarello. Also, the drip tray and Pannarello are dishwasher safe. The water tank is easy to clean and the coffee puck (spent coffee) bin is easy to reach and clean. Gaggia designs its machines well, it is an advantage over choosing a brand. Contrast this with the Breville vs DeLonghi for example.
Gaggia Naviglio Review
Our Gaggia Naviglio review rates the Gaggia Naviglio Black a “Strong Buy” IF you are committed to this price range and ok with the tradeoffs of an automatic vs a super automatic. The Gaggia Naviglio is designed and made in Italy, has amazing brewing and grinding, a dishwasher safe Pannarello, ceramic grinders with three levels of Optiaroma coffee grounds and some basic programmability.
If you or people in your life value convenience or like cappuccinos or lattes, then consider upgrading. In addition to the other models mentioned above, look at our Miele Coffee Machine review or the superior Gaggia RI8762 Anima Prestige.
The Gaggia Naviglio comes with their limited, one-year manufacturer’s warranty. Gaggia’s are designed and made in Italy and they are all very high quality. There are lots of disposable $600 espresso makers out there. Bit the Naviglio is not one of them. Gaggia also has a strong network service centers in the US and Canada so you could get this serviced if you even need to.
Gaggia Naviglio Black Specifications
- Model number RI8749/47
- User Interface Buttons and an LED
- Type of Graphic User Interface Buttons and a nice Display
- Beverage Programs: Espresso, Espresso Lungo, Hot Water, Steam for Milk-Based Recipes
- Three One-Touch Beverages: Espresso, Espresso Lungo / Caffè Lungo, Steam
- Simultaneously Brewing Of 2 Coffee Cups
- Boiler: single stainless steel, Quick Heat Boiler
- Pump Pressure 15 Bar
- Adjustable Coffee Length
- Coffee Spouts Adjustable from 70 – 110 mm or 2.75” to 4.3”
- Cup Plate
- Milk/Steam Solution: Classic Black Plastic Pannarello
- Ceramic Grinders
- Gaggia Adapting System
- Optiaroma 3 adjustable with 3 levels
- Adjustable Grinder Setting 5 Selections
- Water Tank Capacity 1.5 L
- Coffee Beans Container 300 G or 10.6 oz
- Coffee Pucks Container 10 Coffee Pucks
- Removable Components: Classic Pannarello: Frontal; Water Tank: Frontal; Coffee Pucks Container: Frontal; Drip Tray: Frontal; Brewing Unit: Side
- Water Filter Intenza+
- Rinsing Cycle Automatic
- Manual Descaling Cycle with Warning
- Includes Grease Tube, Grinder Adjustment Key
- Product Dimensions (L X H X D) 25.6 X 34 X 44 CM
- Product Weight 9 Kg
- Body Casing Black ABS
- Front Plate Black Abs
- Drip Tray ABS, stainless steel
- Power Supply 230v 50hz 1850w
- Energy Consumption Stand-By < 1w