The Gaggia Anima Prestige Super-Automatic Espresso Machine: An In-Depth Review

Note: Although the Gaggia Anima Prestige name is only available in the United States, the Philips 5000 LatteGo and Saeco Incanto are identical machines, for all intents and purposes, as this machine is sold under different names worldwide. The Philips allegedly has some minor improvements, but none that would define it as “different” or set it apart from the Gaggia or Saeco machines.

Note: Although the Gaggia Anima Prestige name is only available in the United States, the Philips 5000 LatteGo and Saeco Incanto are identical machines, for all intents and purposes, as this machine is sold under different names worldwide. The Philips allegedly has some minor improvements, but none that would define it as “different” or set it apart from the Gaggia or Saeco machines.

Here’s the gist: the Gaggia Anima Prestige offers a lot of value for $1,099. It’s very well-made and looks sturdy but also has a petite elegance about it. Plus, there’s more stainless steel used in the casing of this machine than most alternatives on the market.

Overall, the Gaggia Anima Prestige’s design is very well-thought-out. It’s nice and slim, and its milk frothing system, which features a carafe that inserts directly into it, makes it one of the most space-saving coffee machines I’ve tested so far.

Note: This video is in the German language.

Cleaning the Gaggia Anima Prestige is quick and easy, with the exception of the milk carafe, which needs to be disassembled periodically. Doing so is a bit more involved than with other super-automatic espresso machines.

The Gaggia Anima Prestige has a removable brew group that simplifies cleaning or the replacement of any parts and a large display that makes the machine more user-friendly.

Then there’s the milk froth. Users who tend to evaluate super-automatic espresso machines based on the quality of the milk froth that can be created will find that they get an excellent froth with the Gaggia Anima Prestige. That’s true whether it’s for Latte Macchiatos, Espresso Macchiatos, Caffè Lattes and Cappuccinos.

I consider the Gaggia Anima Prestige to be one of the best super-automatic espresso machines available in its price range. 

Lots of Stainless Steel.

Gaggia Anima Prestige

Good small fully automatic coffee machine with lots of stainless steel and little frills.

Lots of stainless steel used for the casing

Narrow and space-saving -- especially the milk frothing system

The espresso settings can be adjusted, allowing you control over the outcome

Very involved cleaning of the milk frothing system

The Gaggia Anima vs the Gaggia Anima Prestige

The Gaggia Anima Prestige RI8762 is the model I tested for this review. In Germany, we call it the Saeco Incanto HD8917/01.

The Gaggia Anima Prestige super-automatic espresso machine.

You should also know about its sibling, the Gaggia Anima RI8760 (the Saeco Incanto HD8914/01 in Germany), is pretty much identical to the Gaggia Anima Prestige RI8762 super-automatic espresso machine. The only difference is the milk frothing system. Since both machines are practically identical, I only tested one.

Interestingly, with the Gaggia Anima RI8760, you get a steam wand instead of a carafe. The advantage being that you don’t have to worry about cleaning the carafe.

The downside to having a steam wand, though, is that you’ll have the extra steps of frothing the milk and combining it with your espresso. This will excite the inner barista in some of you, as it should! You’ll also still have to clean the vessel you use to froth the milk and the steam wand itself.

The Tech Specs of the Gaggia Anima Prestige

CategoryEntry
ManufacturerPhilips (Saeco)
NameIncanto
TypeSuper-Automatic Espresso Machines
Removable brew groupYes
Casing MaterialStainless steel
Milk frothing systemAutomatic
DisplayYes
AppNo
User profilesYes (1 profile)
Water tank capacity60 Oz
Maximum discharge height16 In
GrinderCone grinder ceramic
Bean container capacity0.55 lb
Two bean compartmentsNo
GrindingEspresso, Espresso Lungo, Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato
Coffee grounds trayJa
JugNo
Coffee drinks prepared at the touch of a buttonEspresso, Espresso Lungo, Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato
Adjustable coffee temperatureYes (3 levels)
Milk (foam) temperature adjustableNo
2-cup functionYes (no milk drinks)
Hot water functionYes
Hot milk functionYes
Obtain milk foam onlyYes
Water filterYes
Weight15.8 lb
Dimensions (height x width x depth)16.9 x 8.7 x 13.3 In

Here are the Gaggia Anima Prestige user manual and the Gaggia Anima user manual if you’d like to take a look at them.

Setting Up the Gaggia Anima Prestige

The Gaggia Anima Prestige has a nice-sized display that makes it easy to use. Not only will it let you know if the brew group or one of the drip trays is removed, but it also makes it super easy to set the strength of the coffee-based drink you plan to brew.

Before using the Gaggia Anima Prestige for the first time, you’ll want to thoroughly wash out the water reservoir and milk carafe. If you use dish soap, make sure it’s mild to avoid any soapy flavor in your coffees.

You’ll also want to be sure to soak the water filter prior to inserting it — more about that later.

Lastly, the degree of water hardness must be set on the device. Later, I’ll tell you how to determine the hardness of your water. 

Overall, the Gaggia Anima Prestige is very user-friendly. 

What Comes in the Box?

Milk Froth From the Gaggia Anima Prestige Super-Automatic Espresso Machine

As mentioned earlier, the Gaggia Anima Prestige is a super-automatic espresso machine that uses a milk carafe. The carafe attaches to the machine to save space and can be easily removed and placed in the refrigerator.

The Gaggia Anima Prestige super-automatic espresso machine milk carafe.

If you’re facing the machine, the milk carafe gets inserted on the left side of the unit. It just clicks into place. Next, the milk spout still needs to be slid out over your cup. That way, the milk can flow directly into your cup when it’s ready. This design is very practical, as you don’t have to move your cup when making a Cappuccino or Latte Macchiato.

When the milk first starts to come out, a few drops of water may come out with it. Immediately after, frothed milk that’s at a nice temperature will begin to flow. However, keep in mind that the temperature of the froth will be influenced by the starting temperature of the milk.

Milk froth from the Gaggia Anima Prestige.

What I find especially good about the design of the automatic milk frothing system on this machine is that it saves a lot of space. The Gaggia Anima Prestige has a small footprint, leaving you with lots of room on your counters. Some of the other models of super-automatic espresso machines on the market require you to place the milk carafe next to the machine, which of course, eats up tons of counter space. A clear example of this is the Melitta Caffeo CI.

The Melitta Caffeo CI is also a great super-automatic espresso machine. The quality of the frothed milk is good, and the froth is nice and creamy — in spite of it producing some large bubbles on top of the drink.

Espresso Brewed From the Gaggia Anima Prestige Super-Automatic Espresso Machine

When brewing espresso, I like to set the coffee strength to maximum. With the Gaggia Anima Prestige, that means that I make sure all five coffee beans are highlighted on the display.

Arne enjoying the aroma of an espresso made on the Gaggia Anima Prestige.

I also set the grind level as fine as possible, though the quantity of espresso to be brewed can be adjusted on the Gaggia Anima Prestige, too. You can make this adjustment by just pressing the espresso button for a longer time. When the “MEMO” function is displayed, release the button. The machine will now start brewing your espresso.

Once your desired amount of espresso has been brewed, hit the “OK” button to save the espresso. I would simply place the espresso cup on a scale, so I’d know when I’ve achieved 0.7-0.85 ounces.

See page 15 in the instruction manual for details on this simple procedure.

Espresso brewed from the Gaggia Anima Prestige super-automatic espresso machine

The shots of espresso I brewed from the Gaggia Anima Prestige had a nice even cream and managed to glimmer with some dark tones — that’s not a given for a shot from a super-automatic espresso machine. It also had a strong flavor. Of the super-automatic espresso makers I’ve tested, the espresso from the Gaggia Anima Prestige is above average in comparison.

How to Customize Preprogrammed Drinks on the Gaggia Anima Prestige

There is an option to adjust the amount of coffee grinds used with the Gaggia Anima Prestige called “aroma intensity.” The whole thing is illustrated in the Gaggia way — with 0-5 coffee beans illuminated on the display.

  • Extra mild aroma = 1 coffee bean
  • Mild aroma = 2 coffee beans
  • Medium aroma = 3 coffee beans
  • Strong aroma = 4 coffee beans
  • Extra strong aroma = 5 coffee beans

I’ve already pointed out that I prepared the espresso with the finest grind level possible and by using the “extra strong aroma” setting. I also explained how the brew amount can be easily adjusted.

You’ll also be happy to know that the brewing temperature can be adjusted, too, depending on your preferences. To suit my personal tastes, I kept the machine set to its default settings, but for the many Americans who prefer hotter temperatures with their espresso, they can adjust it in three simple steps.

Arne happy with French Press

When I’m in the mood for black coffee at home, I tend to use a hand filter or French press. For those who would like to brew a black coffee at the touch of a button with the Gaggia Anima Prestige, I recommend they brew a Caffè Americano.

You simply draw 2-4 espressos and then top them off with hot water. You can do so directly with the hot water function on the Gaggia Anima Prestige or by using water from a kettle. I recommend the latter approach because I find the results much better than with a “coffee” from a super-automatic coffee and espresso machine. By the way, this has nothing to do with the Gaggia Anima Prestige. It’s simply a recommendation that I make for all super-automatic coffee machines.

Using the Hot Water Function on the Gaggia Anima Prestige

To prepare tea with the Gaggia Anima Prestige, switch to the hot water function by just unplugging the milk container and plugging in the hot water nozzle. It will click into place and can be removed just as easily — by pressing on the side. Hot water can then be drawn to steep your tea. I often don’t use this function myself because I prefer to use a kettle, but some tea lovers will definitely find this to be a valuable feature.

The whole process is also quick and practical since the hot water nozzle doesn’t come into contact with the milk at any time. That means, you don’t have to worry about the taste of dairy tainting your clean water. Do note that drawing hot water requires a quick setting change in the menu, where you can choose between milk and hot water.

Adjusting the Coarseness of the Grind

The Gaggia Anima Prestige comes with a nice and quiet ceramic grinder that will appeal to many, though the coarseness of the grind can only be adjusted during operation — which is common with super-automatic espresso machines. This is done in classic IKEA-style by using an Allen wrench in the bean compartment. Keep in mind that you must only do so with a supplied key located on the underside of the coffee spoon). I found that the adjustment is not as simple as with most other super-automatic coffee machines, making it a bit impractical.

The Gaggia Anima Prestige coffee bean hopper.

I should add that, with a little patience, the adjustment works well — as it’s important to make adjustments in small increments. That said, my recommendation to you is to adjust only one grind level at a time. Again, remember to only adjust the grind settings when the grinder is working. Also keep in mind that the change in grind levels will not be apparent immediately. You’ll only get to experience the results after 1-3 brews.

Oh, and please don’t judge me: I like to use low-quality beans when making adjustments to the grind levels. That way, I don’t waste good beans on test cups.

The Ground Coffee Compartment

Following trends in the coffee industry, the Gaggia Anima Prestige includes a compartment that will accept pre-ground coffee beans. Overall, I’m not a fan of this feature from any manufacturer. All of their compartments seem to have the same problem — the coffee grinds get stuck because of the humidity in the machine.

You can also see the condensation in the photo. On top of that, the brewing groups don’t always get along with all kinds of coffee grinds, and sometimes they refuse to accept finer coffee grinds altogether. It’s easy to see why this happens, though: each machine is designed to grind coffee to the specifications suitable for that particular espresso machine.

Ground coffee for the Gaggia Anima Prestige.

In case of an emergency — like realizing you’re out of coffee beans on a Monday morning — yeah, you can make do with pre-ground coffee. Again, my disdain for pre-ground coffee has nothing to do with the Gaggia Anima Prestige. It is, after all, one of the great advantages of a super-automatic coffee machine to be able to grind fresh beans at the exact moment you’re brewing.

Oh, and if your family members or roommates want to use two different varieties of beans at the same time, check out my review of the Melitta Caffeo CI super-automatic espresso machine. It has two bean hoppers that can be used simultaneously.

The Spout Height of the Gaggia Anima Prestige

The maximum height of the spout is 6 inches and has a minimum height of about 3.15 inches. My cups and glasses all fit under it with no problem.

Cleaning the Gaggia Anima Prestige

The ease of cleaning is of great importance for any super-automatic coffee machine, and I find the Gaggia Anima Prestige very good, overall. Its only drawback is a slightly more complex cleaning process for the milk frothing system. Otherwise, the cleaning process is on par with similar super-automatic espresso machines available. That said, the fact that the brew group is removable gives the Gaggia Anima Prestige a decisive advantage.

The Nozzle and Hose on the Milk Frothing System

Check out this picture of the milk frothing system. While it has an extreme space advantage, it’s a bit more complicated to clean, like I’ve mentioned previously. As you can see, the milk carafe can be disassembled into several parts, and all of the parts can be rinsed off under running water.

The Gaggia Anima Prestige milk froth assembly.

There’s also an automatic cleaning program for the milk carafe that uses water and the Gaggia Milk Circuit Cleaner. According to the manufacturer, this should be done every month.

I highly recommend that you clean your Gaggia Anima Prestige by hand. Also, I would always fill up the carafe and clean it thoroughly once it’s empty. Don’t just keep adding milk — that would be unhygienic. Besides, cleaning only takes about five minutes and ensures that you don’t have any old milk residue in the system.

The Gaggia Anima Prestige Water Reservoir

The water reservoir has a standard size of 60 ounces but is a bit more compact than the ones on other super-automatic coffee machines. This makes the water reservoir of the Gaggia Anima Prestige easy to hold, though it can also be carried by its built-in handle.

The above images will show you how the water reservoir is a bit shorter and wider. You can also see where the Saeco MAVEA Intenza+ Water Filter Cartridge Replacement can be inserted. This filter has a more compact shape than competitors’ filters, which tend to look a bit like fat cigars. My point: the price of the filter should be taken into account when calculating the operating costs of the machine.

Make sure you thoroughly wash your water filter prior to installation, as this will remove small particles and activate the cartridge. You’ll also need to adjust the filter settings to match the hardness of the water you’ll use. These are the three options:

  • A for areas with soft water
  • B for areas with medium water hardness — this is also the factory setting
  • C for areas with hard water

To brew the perfect cup, you’ll definitely need to determine how hard your water is, as the amount of lime in water influences its hardness. This can be checked rather easily with a test strip, though. Lucky for you, Gaggia has thought of everything. Your new Gaggia Anima Prestige will include several complementary test strips. You can also check the hardness of the water in your region online or by contacting your utility company. Using a water filter has two main advantages:

  1. The taste of the coffee is better with filtered water.
  2. The machine needs to be descaled less often with filtered water, which will save you time and money.

As a general rule of thumb: the hardest water in the United States is found in the Midwest.

The Removable Brew Group of the Gaggia Anima Prestige

The Gaggia Anima Prestige comes with a removable brew group. Now, it’s not quite as easy to remove as I would have preferred, but with a little practice, you’ll be able to do it in your sleep. The brew group is also easy to clean — simply rinse it under running water.

Above is a picture of the brew group that comes with the Gaggia Anima Prestige. It gets seated conveniently over a coffee residue collection drawer, which can be easily removed. Underneath the brew group and residue drawer rests a drip tray. This well-designed combination allows for easy cleaning of the machine.

The method used to reseat the collection drawer holds some importance as well — if you fail to do so correctly, the brew group can jam. So, make sure the yellow and black tabs are positioned properly, else once jammed, you won’t be able to remove the brew group that easily.

Improper positioning of the yellow and black tabs is the most common cause of jams on the Gaggia Anima Prestige.

In the picture below you can see a side-by-side comparison of the Gaggia Anima Prestige brew group (left) compared to a brew group used in Melitta, Miele, Siemens and Bosch machines (right).

In terms of weight and stability, the brew groups are rather similar. However, the Gaggia design is somewhat more compact.

The Gaggia Anima Prestige brew group beside the Melitta brew group.

I should mention that the brew groups can also be ordered as spare parts. This is another advantage of these systems. Ergo in the event of a factory defect, most any module can be replaced without loosening a single screw.

The Gaggia Anima Prestige Drip Tray & Coffee Grounds Drawer

The front end of the Gaggia Anima Prestige is easily removable as well. When you do, the brew group will be visible on the back-right. The grill of the drip tray also has a red float that indicates when there’s standing water that needs to be discarded.

The Gaggia Anima Prestige espresso cup holder.

Page eight of the Gaggia Anima Prestige instruction manual offers a great diagram of what the machine looks like when the front end is removed. There, you’ll see that the coffee grounds drawer gets inserted into the drip tray. The container, in turn, can be easily removed for cleaning. I would simply rinse both the drip tray and the leftover grounds container under running water. That alone is sufficient.

During cleaning, if you find that parts of the machine are stained, a sponge and mild dishwashing liquid can help. It’s not really necessary to put the parts in the dishwasher, especially since doing so can also be detrimental to the components. However, the brew group itself should never have soap used on it.

The Final Verdict on the Gaggia Anima Prestige

Overall, the Gaggia Anima Prestige offers an excellent price-performance ratio. You won’t find this much stainless steel used on any other super-automatic espresso machine in this price range.

Lots of Stainless Steel.

Gaggia Anima Prestige

Good small fully automatic coffee machine with lots of stainless steel and little frills.

Lots of stainless steel used for the casing

Narrow and space-saving -- especially the milk frothing system

The espresso settings can be adjusted, allowing you control over the outcome

Very involved cleaning of the milk frothing system

I particularly like the compact design of the Gaggia Anima Prestige. The amount of stainless steel used and space-saving milk frothing system stand out beside Gaggia’s clunky competitors. Heads in the room definitely turned and nodded in appreciation when I first unboxed the machine. The beverage settings also worked wonderfully.

When it came to the espresso: I was also very satisfied with the results, especially since the strength can be adjusted continuously. With other devices, 1 ounce is usually the minimum amount that can be brewed, but not the Gaggia Anima Prestige. I was able to increase that to 1.35 ounces.

I was also able to achieve great results when I adjusted the coarseness of the grind, though I certainly wish it wasn’t as cumbersome to carry out. Thankfully, how quiet the grinder is when operating definitely outweighs the trouble you’ll go through when making said adjustments.

The milk frothing system saves a lot of space, though it is a bit of a hassle to clean. It’s also nice that the milk carafe can be easily removed and placed in the refrigerator. Just be sure to remember that the starting temperature of the milk needs to be considered when choosing your settings. The milk froth itself is good but not outstanding. 

Lastly, I found the Gaggia Anima Prestige is easy to use. I only had to take a peek at the instructions when selecting the settings for espresso.

Despite a few minor shortcomings, I’m impressed with the Gaggia Anima Prestige. So, it gets my recommendation, for sure. The price-performance ratio is balanced, and the design and functionality are really exceptional for a super-automatic espresso machine priced at $1,099. You can check the current price here on Amazon.com.

Got any questions or additional suggestions? Leave me your comments below! Thanks for reading!

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R. Carboni
R. Carboni
1 year ago

I bought the Prestige back in March of 2017. In 2.5 years, the thermostat has broken 3 times (E15 code). It is a difficult part to fix and shipping to repair is expensive. I would not recommend this machine unless you can get an extended warranty that covers shipping. Not worth the expense for this kind of risk.

Team Coffeeness
Editor
Team Coffeeness
1 year ago
Reply to  R. Carboni

Hello,

thanks for sharing your experience. That sounds horrible…

StevenP
StevenP
1 year ago

Hi, The Anima Prestige (a great machine!) has ZERO stainless steel on the exterior.It is merely chrome-plated plastic. Slide out the drip tray and it’s easy to see. Chrome is often used to plate plastic parts (e.g. for car trim), and the Anima uses the same type of chrome-covered plastic. Saying it is “stainless steel” is inaccurate/misleading. The drip tray cover is the only real metal part on the exterior, and I’m not sure that is even SS.

Mark Delgrosso
Mark Delgrosso
3 months ago
Reply to  StevenP

That is true but real stainless steel is a pain in the you know what to keep clean and scratch free. I know it feels cheap because it’s so lightweight but it’s more durable in the long run. I am meticulous and I have a stainless coffee maker. It looked like crap after a year.

Shelley
Shelley
2 years ago

Hi, I’m in Australia and recently my Bosch automatic coffee machine died 🙁
I’m now trying to make the decision of what machine to buy to replace it.
I think I have narrowed it down to the Melitta Caffeo CI or the Gaggia Anima Prestige. I’ve read your excellent reviews…I’m wondering if it were up to you, which machine would you choose?

Many thanks
Shelley

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