Frothing milk is a tricky business. Much like brewing espresso, there are a number of factors and techniques to consider when trying to create the perfect microfoam. While we've made tutorials and videos outlining the steps to making a good cappuccino or latte, we've never really addressed the subject of frothing with different kinds of milk... until now.Today was an exciting day as we assembled participants for an event that came to be dubbed the "Froth Off." Assembling five identical Gaggia Brera espresso machines and five different kinds of milk (Soy, Skim, 1%, 2%, and Whole) we made a cappuccino with each one to see what differences we could find. But, before moving on to our findings, here's a little chart we threw together outlining the calorie information for the milk we used. Calories per 1/2 cup: Soy: 45 (2x the calcium of dairy milk) Skim: 45 1%: 55 2%: 65 Whole: 75 As you can see, the results of our little experiment were rather varied. The separation of layers in the Soy and Skim milk was surprisingly more pronounced than the other varieties. In terms of what I'll call “foam longevity” the Skim milk held its foam for quite a while, whereas the foam on the Soy milk fell rather quickly. The foam on the 1%, 2%, and Whole milks was pretty consistent, although it seemed a bit creamier on the whole milk. The coolest thing I found about all this was that no matter what kind of milk you enjoy, you can still steam and froth it for your favorite drinks. General Frothing Tips Purge your wand first! Before frothing, always make sure to purge any that might have condensed in your steam wand before frothing. Keep things cold! Cold milk and a cold pitcher will give you a little more time to work with your milk. When frothing, always keep the temperature of the milk below 160 degrees. Using a frothing thermometer is a good way to keep an eye on how hot your milk is getting. To stop frothing, cover the air intake hole! When frothing with a pannarello wand, if you simply want to heat the milk as opposed to frothing it, submerge the air intake hole on the side of the wand in your milk. Watch our video of the "Milk Froth-off".
OverviewBack to Top
Further proof that good things come in small packages, the Gaggia Brera is a fully equipped super-automatic espresso machine with a compact footprint that will leave you with plenty of counter space.
The Italian-made Brera has been thoughtfully designed to maximize user convenience. The dregs drawer, drip tray, and water tank all within reach, accessible from the front of the machine for quick and easy cleaning and maintenance. Gaggia has even simplified machine programming and beverage selection with the Brera. Push-button controls and an LED display with illuminated icons make it easy to navigate through your options, which are plenty with this Gaggia super automatic. Coffee aroma, strength, and volume are all customizable; additionally, the ceramic grinder takes advantage of the Gaggia Adapting System to adjust the rpm and guarantee the correct quantity of coffee grounds.
The Brera is an aesthetically pleasing machine with a contemporary stainless-steel front panel and chrome-plated accents; the side panels are available in black or silver to complement your décor. Functionally, the Gaggia Brera is great for entertaining as it can accommodate a wide variety of user preferences. If you prefer to serve guests pre-ground decaf coffee, or specialty coffee you can do so with the bypass doser. For special treats, macchiatos, cappuccinos, and lattes can be made easily and quickly, since the Brera comes equipped with a stainless steel Panarello wand and Rapid Steam Technology. Consider the Gaggia Brera if you’re a little short on space but don’t want to compromise on convenience and espresso quality. This model comes with a two-year limited warranty.
FeaturesBack to Top
An airtight, UV-proof 8.8oz hopper lets you safely store coffee beans. When you’re ready to grind, the Brera comes with a ceramic grinder to ensure grind consistency and reduce heat transfer—resulting in flavorful and aromatic coffee. For your convenience, the Gaggia Adapting System automatically adjusts grind time and rpm to deliver the desired coffee quantity, regardless of whether you’re using light, medium, or dark beans.
This Gaggia model comes outfitted with a bypass doser, allowing you to skip the grinding process and brew with pre-ground coffee. The bypass doser is a great option for decaf or flavored coffee drinkers.
The Gaggia Brera has a 15-bar pump and a stainless steel boiler to ensure temperature-appropriate, great tasting beverages. The unit has a telescopic coffee dispenser, allowing you to adjust the height to accommodate your cups and mugs. Simply select the desired drink and it will be brewed directly into your cup!
An Optidose function allows you to customize the aroma of your coffee; choose from light, medium, and strong brews. You can also make- an espresso or café lungo with the push of a button; beverage volume is programmable and the Gaggia Brera will “remember” your preferences for future use.
Water Tank and Filter
The Brera has a 1.2-liter water reservoir. A Mavea Intenza water filter (not included), with a four-stage filtration system, removes impurities and prevents scale buildup, to prolong the lifespan of your machine.
Steaming and Frothing
The Gaggia Brera has a metal Pannarello steam wand to create creamy froth and steamed milk for your favorite specialty beverages. The steam wand can be swiveled, left to right, to accommodate a variety of cup or steaming pitcher sizes.
Rapid Steam Technology
This machine is equipped with Rapid Steam technology, which translates to quick heat up times and robust brewing and steaming operations. You’ll be able to steam and brew back-to-back with ease, thanks to the Rapid Steam feature.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The easy-to-maintain Gaggia Brera has a self-rinse cycle that activates when the machine is switched on and off and enters or exits standby mode. This rinse cycle will help to preserve machine performance and keep the unit in brew-ready shape. An icon will appear on the display screen to alert you, should the Brera need to be descaled.
10"W x 12.4"H x 17.5"D
Silver and Black
I read that there are two versions of this machine: one that descales and has "Gaggia" printed below "Brera" and the earlier version that obviously doesn't do auto descaling and has "Brera" printed above "Gaggia". Can you please confirm which version is being sold at the $399 sale price? Thanks!!!
To the best of our knowledge, all current inventory is the variant featuring an automatic descaling cycle. However, this is not something that can be completely confirm, as there was no formal change in the model's production code or designation.
My gaggia Brera will not grind. I have cleaned every part and reassembled. I also took off the plastic guard in the hopper to see if that would help. The steam arm works and it will work in the ground coffee cycle, but when I try to make coffee in bean cycle, it starts to grind but sounds jammed. Then it immediately flashes ALL warning icons. It does this everytime. Help? If I have to have service, who does that? I am in 33435 zip code.
I fixed it! I followed other advice here and vaccuumed out the hopper area where the beans grind. There was one stuck. I dug it out with a screwdriver, praying I wasn;t making it worse, and bam! It grinds now. Thanks community!
New Brera (about 2 weeks old). When I push the "long coffee" button twice, it grinds the beans twice and makes coffee. However, fresh grinds appear in the bypass doser and there is only 1 watery puck in the dregs drawer. I do not understand how or why fresh grounds are appearing in bypass doser at all. I have never put coffee in the bypass doser and never use it. Any advice appreciated. This is my 3rd Brera and I find they work great right up until they don't. Historically I've gotten about 24 months of use, but once a problem manifests itself, it's over. Will be really disappointed if I only got 2 weeks use out of this one.
With the Gaggia Brera, the grinder dispenses its freshly ground coffee directly into the bypass doser chute, rather than having an independent circuit for that purpose alone. If you're finding that your brera is clogging in/around this chute, it's probable that the trap-door that prevents moisture from accumulating within the grinder is breaking down or broken.
Where can I get my Gaggia Brera repaired in northern California? I have tried unsuccessfully all the ideas your forum and technicians have come up with and am ready to just take the darn thing in for repair! Please advise. I've asked your technicial support group but they didn't answer me.
You guys no longer have a list of Gaggia certified repair places? Several years ago, Whole Latte Love was able to provide me a place to take my Gaggia but I cannot seem to locate them any more. I have already done a google search to no avail. I was really hoping you'd be able to assist.
Well, I'm not sure where you would go to get the machine serviced in Northern California. You can send it in here for repairs but if you wanted to go elsewhere I would suggest doing a Google search for small appliance repairs
I descaled the machine according to specs and pressed the scoop button for 7 seconds but the descale icon is still lit. How do I get the icon light to turn off so I'll know when to descale again?
The Gaggia Brera (manufactured mid-2013 onward) now features an automatic descaling cycle. While the instructions in the manual may ask you to clear the descaling signal by holding and pressing the aroma setting button once you have completed the descaling cycle, this won't work on the current models. This new process takes about an hour to complete and is outlined below. You will need to be with the machine throughout this process, so keep it nearby. The new process is as follows:
1.Empty the drip tray and dreg drawer, and then put a large cup under both the brew spout and the steam spout.
2.From Stand-By mode (with the red light flashing): press and hold the small and large coffee sizes at the same time. This will flash the triangle symbol, and then the one bean light will be solid on while the descaling light will flash, indicating phase 1.
3.A small amount of water will dispense from the group head. It will sit for a full minute, and then dispense more. It does drip during the process. It will repeat until the tank is approximately half empty
4.Once the signals on the screen change to the hot water symbol and the flashing triangle, turn the selector dial to the hot water function (to the right). The water dispensing process will continue.
5.The screen will change to having the two bean symbol display solidly on the screen (indicating phase 2), two cups (small and large) and the descaling symbol flashing. The water tank symbol will display-refill the water tank with clean, fresh water. Empty the vessels under the steam arm and brew spouts, and then replace them.
6.The priming symbol (triangle and small cup symbol) will appear-prime the machine, then close it as normal for the priming process once the symbols change to two cups. Water will then dispense rapidly from the group head.
7.Halfway through the rinse phase, the machine will display the hot water symbol on the screen-turn the selector dial to the hot water function. It may ask you to refill during this phase-just close the knob, refill the tank, and then proceed.
8.Once the rinse phase is completed, the descaling symbol will disappear, and the machine will return to stand-by mode.
Hi, when I use the bypass doser my machine dumps the dry grounds without making a shot. Have cleaned, decalcified, tried various dose amounts, prayed to the coffee gods and cursed like a sailor (which I am). Any other ideas? Works fine when whole beans are ground, but my flavored coffee clogs the hopper so I need to bypass with already ground coffee.
You need to make sure you use the scoop and only put in 7 Grams of coffee. If you put in more it will not work. Also if coffee is to coarsley ground it will not brew . If to finely ground it wont let coffee through. I hope this helps. And really flavored coffee is not the best for your machine it will clog it up. Try using a syrup after you brew regular coffee to flavor it .
I have had my Brera for about 3 years. I am pretty good abut cleaning it at least evey two weeks - remove the brew unit and so forth. Lately it has started to grinf the beans (hopper can be full or not) an then give the error code that there are not enough beans - and I waste a lot of beans I roast myself - yikes!
Any ideas why it would suddenly start doing this?
Are the beans you're roasting in any way oily, or more oily than they were before? The shallow bean hopper of the Brera (along with most Super Automatics) can allow for beans with an oily coating to bind to the bean hopper and "bridge" with one another; While some may fall into the grinder, the majority will stay bound together until stirred up.
You can attempt to troubleshoot the cause first by examining your beans; You may be able to adjust for the oil content (if it is indeed a factor) by changing your roast profile to keep the beans as dry as possible.
Second, you can try wiping down the bean hopper to evenly spread the oils that have likely accumulated (even with dry beans) and remove the inevitable excess.
Third, you can try removing the finger guard from the bean hopper itself. This is the clear-ish round-ish dome at the lowest point of the hopper. It has a single Philips-head screw in the center. Loosen the screw to the point where the entire guard can be lifted out as a single piece (it should consist of the plastic shroud, a brass bearing, and the screw), and stow it in a ziplock baggie or something similar. Its absence shouldn't cause any problems, but may allow your beans a less obstructed path into the burrs.
Finally, if all else fails, the grinder may be clogged and could require service. If this is the case, I would suggest contacting Technical Support to discuss sending it in for service.
Machine is three years old, love it.
Used grinds are not coming out in solid disk. Very watery.
Any ideas what's wrong?
I would ask you to please contact our technical support department at 1-888-411-5282 option 3
I fixed it. Took the side part out, gave it a good cleaning and manually had it working.
Put it back in and am enjoying the brew once again.
Water in coffee ground drawer, HELP.
This is our second Gaggia Brera machine. We are surprised this machine always drops water in the coffee ground drawer after brewing, the coffee grounds in the drawer are wet and do not form a dry cylinder like the previous machine. We are afraid this is a sign of a disaster waiting to happen. We love this machine and would like it to last for a very long time.
Hi Whole Latte Lover Community, anyone has an answer to my question regarding the water in the coffee ground drawer?
Hi Whole Latte Lover Community, anyone has an answer to my question regarding the water in the coffee ground drawer?
This morning my machine decided not to dispense water for my espresso. I tried cycling off and back on, i removed the filter in my water dispenser, just in case... Any thoughts on next test step? Thanks.
Thank you for your post. Are you able to run water through the steam wand? Is your brew unit clean? Are you getting a lot of water in your dreg box for the spent coffee? If you try using pre-ground mode (press the bean/spoon button until just the spoon is on the screen, then press the brew button-no need to put coffee in, just try without), are you able to get water through? If that is the case, you may need to adjust your grind setting back a notch or two, as the coffee may be keeping the water from flowing through. If that does not clear it up, you will want to contact our Technical Support team to set up a repair. Technical Support is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., EST, at 1-888-411-5282, option 3.
What is the longest recommended time the Gaggia Brera should be left in standby mode. If I skip a day or two of brewing espresso, I can't help but feel anxious seeing that flashing button....
Much like other modern machines with built-in power saving modes, the Brera can be left plugged in and switched on (at the rear switch, that is) for extended periods of time without issue. We typically suggest turning it off at the main switch if you expect to be away from the machine for more than one day at a time, as this disconnects it from the main power and reduces the risk of damage due to power surges or other electrical gremlins during your absence. If the blinking light is a source of anxiety, you can feel safe switching it off after use without any risk of harm or damage.
We have had our Gaggia Brera for over 2 years and loved it until now. When we turn on the espresso machine, it runs normally until we press one of the buttons to brew coffee. It sounds like it is grinding the beans, then the red warning light comes on saying the bean hopper is empty and the process stops. We can brew pre-ground coffee just fine, the steamer works and we can get hot water. We have cleaned the brew group quite well and lubricate it as suggested. Any ideas what to do? We miss our machine!!!
With the symptoms you've reported, I suspect there is either a clog in/around the grinder, or that the beans are simply unable to make their way into the grinder from the hopper. At the most basic level, I'd suggest removing all of the beans from the hopper, removing the plastic finger guard "dome" from the center (it's held in by a single philips head screw), and then vacuuming out the center (easily done using a small hand attachment for a vacuum, or simply a bare nozzle pressed flush against the center). This would help clear out anything that might have accumulated there. From there, you can try wiping down the hopper in a two-step pass to remove excess oils and spread the remaining around evenly--use a damp cloth (not soaking wet) and wipe across the entire hopper, then dry it with a dry cloth/towel.
For re-assembly, you don't even necessarily need to reinstall the plastic dome, as it may be catching on the beans you're using and holding them back, depending on how sticky or oily they are. If you choose to leave it out, place it in a plastic sandwich bag and try to avoid poking fingers into the running grinder for largely obvious reasons.
You can try putting beans into the hopper again once everything is completely dry.. Repair is your next step if the problem persists.
HI Sanfam ~
We had already tried what you suggested and it didn't help. Something I neglected to originally mention was this is an intermittent problem. It'll work for a week or so and then after the beans are ground, the red warning light comes on telling us the bean hopper is empty and the process stops. I don't know if this makes a difference or not but thought I ought to mention it.
So any other thoughts? If not and repair is the only other answer, where do we find a Gaggia repair person?
I use distilled water in my Gaggia Brera-do I need a filter and also do I need to descale?
The filter would not be necessary, although you would still want to descale the machine every 4-6 months (depending on usage) for the best performance of the machine.
hello we have had our brera for a little over 2 years now. today we had our first problem and I was wondering if you have any ideas. when I turn on the machine everything cycles as normal. but when I hit the button to make espresso. all of the upper red warning lights come on and nothing happens. the lights stay on until I shut the unit off. any ideas.
There are a couple of things it could be-does it only happen when you press a brew button, or does it happen if you try to steam or get hot water? Will it function properly if you use pre-ground mode? You may have something in the grinder keeping it from moving, or it may be a more serious issue. Please call us at 1-888-411-5282, option 3, when you are able to be with the machine, and we will be happy to do some troubleshooting.
hello I was wondering if you might know whats going on with my brera machine. we have had the machine now for two years with no problems. but today when we turned on the machine it ran through its normal cycle. all the lights came on like normal. but when i pressed the espresso button all 4 of the upper warning lights came on and stay on but nothing happens. the only thing that I can do is power the machine off. I tried it a couple of times but always the same thing. any ideas. my wife loves the machine and is loosing her mind. any ideas?
There are a couple of things it could be-please give our technical support staff a call at 1-888-411-5282, option 3.
On a Gaggia Brera Machine, I was wondering what the remedy might be for peeling and flaking of the Panorello Arm just where it exits the top of the machine. The underlying plastic is unsightly. Any suggestions?
There really isn't a remedy for it other than replacing the piece. Please call us at 1-888-411-5282, option 3, and we will be happy to assist you.
We have been using our Gaggia Brera for about 6 months. I noticed a few times now that there is a leak - water pours from the bottom out the side. I've been very careful when I refill the water tank not to spill it as I put it back in. Our kitchen counter has a layer of water on it from the machine. Any ideas?
Alison - I would recommend sending the machine in for a repair. Call technical support at 888-411-5282, option 3. We can set up a repair order and have the machine come in while its still under the warranty.
My Gaggia Brera brews great coffee, but in the past month or two, about 20% o the time after the grinding cycle, the out of beans indicator light turns on and she dumps the unbrewed coffee grounds into the dispenser. I wash the brew group once per week, which includes cleaning the area above the brew group with a dry toothbrush. If I look down the bypass doser hole during grinding, I can't see any obstructions or issues that would cause the machine to dump the unbrewed coffee grounds. Any thoughts?
Is the coffee you are using a dark roast or oily? Oily coffees tend to stick together and not fall into the grinding burrs. The machine will then act like it is out of coffee.
SpecsBack to Top
|Dimension - Width (Inches):||10|
|Dimension - Height (Inches):||12.4|
|Dimension - Depth (Inches):||17.5|
|Housing Materials:||Stainless Steel/Plastic|
|Bean Hopper Material:||Plastic|
|Drip Tray Material:||Plastic|
|Drip Tray Cover Material:||Stainless Steel|
|Drip Tray Capacity (Oz):||28|
|Ground Coffee Container Material:||Plastic|
|Drain Line Adaptable:||No|
|Spent Coffee Capacity (Dregs Drawer):||8|
|Easy To Rotate:||No|
|Power Cord Length (Inches):||37|
|One Touch cappuccino|
|One Touch Cappuccino:||No|
|Adjustable Froth Quality:||No|
|Steam Wand Style:||Pannarello|
|Wand Movement:||Pivot Side to Side|
|Usable Length (Inches):||2.5|
|Height Off Counter (Inches):||5|
|Number Of Holes:||1|
|No Burn Wand:||Yes|
|Optional Steam Tips Or Wands:||No|
|Reservoir Or Plumbed:||Reservoir|
|Water Filter Type:||Mavea|
|Reservoir Capacity (Oz):||40|
|Water Level Visible:||No|
|Adjustable Coffee Strength:||Yes|
|Number Of Grind Settings:||10|
|Type Of Controls:||Push Button|
|Display Type:||Indicator Lights|
|Adjustable Coffee Dosage:||Yes|
|Clock / Timer:||Yes|
|Coffee Dosage Quantity:||7-10.5|
|Cup Volume Control:||Yes|
|Aroma / Flow Control:||No|
|Auto Shut Off:||Yes|
|Low Water Warning:||Yes|
|Decalcification Warning Indicator:||Yes|
|Brew Temperature Display:||No|
|Passive / Active:||Passive|
|Number Of Boilers:||1|
|Brew And Steam Simultaneously:||No|
|Brew Boiler Data|
|Brew Boiler Type:||Thermoblock|
|Brew Boiler Watts:||1300|
|Brew boiler Volume (Oz):||Low|
|Brew Boiler Material:||Stainless Steel Lined Aluminum|
|Steam Boiler Data|
|Steam Boiler Volume (Oz):||Low|
|Steam Boiler Heater Location:||External|
|Maximum Pressure (Bar):||15|
|Self Priming Pump:||Yes|
|Number Of Grind Settings:||5|
|Hopper Capacity (Oz):||8|
|Initial Heat Up (Seconds):||47|
|Recommended Heat Up Time (Seconds):||47|
|Brew Temp (F) (2 Oz Shot In Paper Cup):||164|
|Brew Time for 2 Oz:||18|
|Brew Temp (F) (8 Oz Shot In Paper Cup):||168|
|Time To Produce Steam (Seconds):||70|
|Time To Steam 8 Oz Milk (Seconds):||83|
|Hot Water Temp 8 Oz (F):||183|
|Hot Water Time 8 Oz (Seconds):||69|
|Hot Water Recovery Time (Seconds):||0|
|Sound Level - Brewing (Db):||63|
|Sound Level - Grinding (Db):||72|
|Descaler Used:||Gaggia Descaler|
|Country Of Manufacture:||Italy|
|Repairs By:||Whole Latte Love|
Working in a company like Whole Latte Love that encourages you to test the products it sells is a wonderful experience. Especially if you like using the products! Customers get great information and opinions from actual hands on testing, and I get to enjoy some of the finest coffee drinks anyone can make for free! I really like and crave coffee, so being able to try all kinds of brewing equipment is a wonderful perk. One machine that has steadily gained my favor is the Super Automatic Gaggia Brera. I use it about 5 times a day. Several co-workers have blogged about its features and the technical aspects of its boiler, grinder adjustability, brew group, etc. I am not going to blast you with more of the same; however, I do want to make a few points about the usability and performance of the Brera. The Gaggia Brera is very compact and has easy access to the water reservoir and the dredge drawer from the front of the machine. But, when push comes to shove, does any of that really matter when you wake up in the morning craving a great cup of coffee? I personally am only thinking “I want my cup of coffee and I want it now!!!!” The Brera helps me to get that first cup easily. I can set my cup under the brew spout, push a button and walk away knowing when I come back the brewed coffee will be the same quality as the cup I had earlier or the day before. Typically the first three trips to the Brera are for a normal cup of black coffee (Café Crema). Later I will usually make two cappuccinos using the Brera to brew the shots of espresso. Now with all the different espresso machines I have access to you might ask why I am using a super-automatic. It comes down to one simple explanation. It is one of the easiest espresso machines to use. So if you’re looking for a machine that is easy to use, produces great espresso coffee consistently, get a Gaggia Brera. I am confident you won’t be disappointed. Stay tuned! I will continue to write honest opinions about the machines I test. If I don’t like it you will know!
In this video, I talk about what a removable brew group is and show you how easy it is to clean. I also explain that some machines come with them while others don't. Hope you enjoy the video. Happy brewing!