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Gaggia Gran Prestige review

David Ludlow
16 Dec 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
150
inc VAT

Good coffee and great build quality, but you can get the identical Philips Saeco Poemia for less

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From the outside, the Gaggia Gran Prestige looks like the company's old Baby machine, only a little bit smaller. On closer inspection you realise that it's the same machine as the Saeco Poemia, a result of that company buying Gaggia.

While they may have the same components, the Gaggia Gran Prestige is the better made of the two. While the Poemia is made of plastic, the Gran Prestige is encased in metal, while the plastic dial has been replaced with three simple push-buttons. It's much nicer looking, although it's a toss-up if the better build quality is worth almost £40 more.

Inside, you get the same neat features. Lift off the back section and you get access to the 1L water tank, which you can fill in place or simply remove using its handle. There's also space for the measuring spoon and spare filter (the Gran Prestige comes with filters for ground coffee and ESE espresso pods).

Operation of the machine is easy. Just hit the power button on the front to turn it on and have it warm up to operating temperature. When it's ready a light turns on. While the machine is warming up, you can use the warmer on top to heat your cups before you pour an espresso.

The manual doesn't say to tamp the coffee, but we found we got the best results by tamping using the flat bottom of the measuring cup. The group handle has a pressurised diaphragm, which is designed to help produce better crema. The design is a little strange, as the handle is slightly sprung, so it moves to the left when you let go of it. That makes it hard to line up the spouts if you want to make two cups.

There's just 75mm of clearance underneath the group handle, so we couldn't fit our regular test mug under. You'll need to buy some smaller mugs or espresso cups and decant the coffee into a large mug if you want to make longer drinks, such as an Americano.

Gaggia Gran Prestige

There's plenty of crema, but it's a little on the foamy side

When you're ready to pour, you just hit the hot water button to engage the pump. The crema device certainly does its jobs, creating a thick foamy layer on top of the espresso. On close inspection it's a little bit too white and a bit too foamy, lacking the reddish-brown colour and smooth, oily top that espresso should have.

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