A lot of features or world-class quality? Programmability or commercial components? It’s the Gaggia Classic vs Breville the Infuser, and we’re here to help you choose the better espresso machine of the two. Enjoy!
Gaggia Classic Pro
- Commercial portafilter
- Commercial steam wand
- Commercial 3-way solenoid valve
- Three rocker buttons
- Steam dial
- Stainless steel housing
- Cup warmer
- 15-Bar pump
- 71-ounce water reservoir
- Made in Italy
Elegantly simple and intuitive
Makes barista-grade specialties with the help of its commercial components and the 15-Bar pump
The most popular in-class Italian espresso machine, trusted by customers and loved by newbies
Affordable, in spite of its quality
A reinvented version of the beloved Gaggia Classic, with cosmetic, quality, and functionality improvements
Mind your cups, because you cannot fit cups that are taller than 3.5″ underneath the Gaggia Classic Pro
Breville the Infuser
- Stainless steel casing under which is plastic
- Programmable volume of drinks
- 3-way solenoid valve
- Hot water spout
- Traditional steam wand
- 15-Bar pump
- Adjustable temperature settings
- Pressure gauge
- Cup warmer
Affordable, but packed with so many features that bring convenience and flexibility to the user
Customization of coffees with the help of the programmable coffee volume and temperature
Nice technologies for coffee preparation that process the coffee the right way at each stage of the coffee-making process— a 15-Bar pump for optimal extraction and pre-infusion for blooming
Keeps the user informed about the pressure inside the boiler so that the user can change something about the coffee preparation if the pressure is too high or too low
The hot water spout means teas and hot cocoas on demand
Our pick: The Gaggia Classic Pro
We love Breville the Infuser, don’t get us wrong, but the little Italian Gaggia Classic Pro is a true refreshment for machines in this price category, coming with a commercial 3-way solenoid valve, portafilter, and steam wand. We have to appreciate this level of quality of an entry-level espresso machine, and we also have to appreciate Gaggia’s efforts to improve the machine’s design and performance.
About the Gaggia Classic Pro
The Gaggia Classic Pro is a classy redefinition of its predecessor, the Gaggia Classic. That said, Gaggia made a sturdier, easier to use, and compact commercial espresso machine. Yes, the Gaggia Classic Pro has three commercial elements that are rarely found as commercial on machines in its class: the portafilter, the steam wand, and the 3-way solenoid valve.
But, what does it mean for components to be commercial and how important is that for home-use espresso machines? Well, it means that the Pro is a serious alternative to the more expensive Rancilio Silvia! Really, it is important if you want a machine that can produce near barista-quality espresso shots, lattes, and cappuccinos; it is a fancy addition to the 15-Bar pump and the durable stainless steel housing of the machine.
The commercial quality of the Gaggia Classic Pro is, furthermore, reinforced by the simple-to-use control panel of the machine. With just three rocker buttons, all of them with their own indicator lights, giving commands to the Classic Pro is truly easy, whether you want to tell the machine to make an espresso or steam milk. Also, the 71-ounce water reservoir is visible from the front of the machine, making it easy for you to track the water level.
It is as easy to prepare your espresso as it is to steam milk with the Gaggia Classic Pro because the machine has dual heating elements for the boiler, and also because of the handy portafilter and the articulated steam wand. If the first feature lets you have espresso in minutes, the second one lets you create your cappuccinos and lattes with freedom in motion. Perfect if you are on a budget, but want to have the best in-class espresso machine— this is the Gaggia Classic Pro.
About Breville the Infuser
The Infuser by Breville is programmable and rich in features, which really adds more options to your espresso experience. The machine lets you make espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos easily, or, if you so wish, with a pinch of programmability through the adjustable coffee volume and temperature.
While espresso is extracted by the Infuser with the help of a 15-Bar pump, steaming milk is the job of the one-hole traditional steam wand. The wand has a nice holder that lets you steam milk without getting your fingers burnt. Steaming is a bit slow, but this is good for inexperienced espresso lovers as it promotes the growth of their milk texturing skills.
The Infuser comes with a 3-way solenoid valve that dries the coffee pucks by absorbing the water in them and dripping it in the drip tray. Speaking of the tray, things get fun and easy with the tray’s ’empty me’ message popping up every time you need to empty it.
What we love about Breville the Infuser is its beautiful accessories that make coffee preparation fun and wholesome. There’s a built-in tamper, a razor, a scoop, and a brush to take proper care of your coffee grounds before and after you make the espresso—very generous of the Infuser. More than that, the machine comes with four filter baskets, two non-pressurized and two pressurized, to give both beginners and intermediate espresso lovers the pleasure of good espresso.
It is also very cool that you can store all of the accessories underneath the drip tray of the machine; you won’t have to look for a separate place where to store them at. All these things, plus the auto purge and the auto off make the Infuser a good option for people who like trendy and versatile espresso machines.
Similarities between the Gaggia Classic Pro and Breville the Infuser
Overall, these are two quality entry-level espresso machines. Both of them have nice steam wands and stainless steel casings, with the only difference that the Infuser is plastic underneath. The two of them have nice boilers, with the boiler of the Gaggia Pro being more equipped for steaming. Little details, like the cup warmer and the button markings, are present on both of the machines, making the user experience intuitive and simple. They also work with a 15-bar pump and have a 3-way solenoid valve for drier coffee pucks.
What is also nice is that there are both pressurized and non-pressurized filter baskets included with both the Gaggia Classic Pro and Breville the Infuser, meaning that both of the machines are good for beginners and intermediates. Hot water is an option on both machines, but there is a difference in the way the machines deliver it. While you can get it from the hot water spout on the Infuser, on the Classic Pro you’ll have to press the brew and steam buttons at the same time to get the machine dispensing the water.
Differences between the Gaggia Classic Pro and Breville the Infuser
While the Gaggia Classic Pro brings the classic Italian espresso experience to you, the Infuser has a more digital feel to it. Still, the Pro is more affordable and with commercial components, which we love. We think that preparing your espresso with the 58mm commercial portafilter of the Classic Pro is a bit different than making it with the 54mm portafilter of the Infuser; it makes for better coffee extraction.
Since the steam wand of the Classic Pro is commercial as well, the machine will help you steam or froth your milk freely and texture it on time for the espresso shot; there’s a velvety touch to the foam as well. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the traditional wand of the Infuser won’t froth the milk well, but it is slower, and, if you are not a beginner, this is a bit inconvenient.
With the Classic Pro, you get a 71-ounce water tank located at the front of the machine for a visible water level. The reservoir of the Infuser, on the other hand, is at the back of the machine, so you might want to better plan where to put the machine because of accessibility concerns. The perk of this tank, however, is that it does use a water filter, which is, unfortunately, not the case with the Classic Pro.
Many useful accessories come to you with the Infuser, but the ones that come with the Pro are very useful as well. We love the built-in accessory compartment of the Infuser, which is something the Classic Pro doesn’t have. What the Pro does have, however, is a boiler with two heating elements for very efficient brewing and steaming. The Infuser, on the other hand, gives you a nice brewing and steaming efficiency with its thermocoil boiler.
Which one should you go with?
We absolutely think that you should go with the Gaggia Classic Pro if you’re motivated by great quality of coffee and Italian espresso machine quality. Breville the Infuser has two programmable options, but neither that nor its many accessories could convince us that it is a better option than the Gaggia Classic Pro. You can buy a separate razor, a cleaning brush, and a scoop, but you can never recreate the out-of-class coffee quality of the Gaggia compared to machines in its class. Breville the Infuser is still a great choice if you want to have nice coffee drinks and try out some programmability, however, so if this is what inspires you, you should go with the Infuser.