Gaggia Velasca Prestige Review 2022: The Price Is Right!

After working as a professional barista for many years, Arne Preuss founded Coffeeness.

My ongoing exploration of Gaggia super automatic espresso machines has left me impressed by the range on offer, from solid entry level coffee makers to high end espresso machines. This Gaggia Velasca Prestige review will appeal to those of you who want a high quality machine that's loaded with features but won't max out your credit card. 

My ongoing exploration of Gaggia super automatic espresso machines has left me impressed by the range on offer, from solid entry level coffee makers to high end espresso machines. This Gaggia Velasca Prestige review will appeal to those of you who want a high quality machine that’s loaded with features but won’t max out your credit card. 

At $849.00 on Amazon, the Velasca Prestige has an approachable price tag, yet definitely punches above its weight in terms of functionality. 

Seeing as this is a Gaggia machine, you can be sure you’ll get top notch espresso from the thing, too. Let’s get this show on the road by taking a closer look at what the Gaggia Velasca Prestige can do!

Gaggia Velasca Prestige

Loaded With Great Features!

Fantastic value for the money

Superb espresso and milk froth

Lots of stainless steel

Easy to use

Ceramic burr grinder

Outdated user interface

Limited headroom for taller cups

Gaggia Velasca Prestige Overview

Let’s face it, while the Gaggia Velasca Prestige is far from an ugly duckling, it’s hardly going to win any modern design awards. Not unless you invent a time machine and transport it back to 2017 when it was first released.

While the Velasca Prestige might not be able to compete with DeLonghi and Jura in the design department, what’s striking is how well this machine is made.

It’s not often I come across an automatic espresso machine at this price point that uses so much stainless steel in its construction; although I’m not necessarily surprised. After all, Gaggia machines have a reputation for being rugged and durable.

As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m way more concerned with the quality of what a coffee machine can deliver than how it looks. I must say I have high hopes for the Gaggia Velasca Prestige in this regard.

Gaggia Velasca Prestige Milk Carafe.

Not only does the Gaggia come equipped with a sophisticated ceramic burr grinder, it also features the manufacturer’s awesome integrated milk carafe – an automatic frother that you’ll see on many of the Gaggia’s more expensive machines. From what I’ve seen, this milk frother produces some of the best milk foam you’ll see anywhere.

In terms of espresso quality, Gaggia always gives you plenty of options to get the very best out of your coffee beans. In my experience, the amount of control you’ll have over grind, dose and temperature means you’ll get excellent results from this machine.

Gaggia Velasca Prestige Features

As I mentioned at the beginning of this Gaggia Velasca Prestige review, this machine is loaded with cool features that really set it apart from the competition. 

Bearing in mind this is what I’d consider to be a budget super automatic, the Velasca Prestige is looking like an extremely good value for the money. Let’s take a closer look at the Gaggia’s most notable features.

User Interface

Gaggia Velasca Prestige User Interface.

Okay, so I have to say that the Gaggia’s user interface is one of the features that betrays its age. We’re talking about an almost retro-style LED screen surrounded by buttons. The screen’s text is pixelated, giving it the look of an 80s arcade machine and the buttons don’t even pretend to be modern.

Here’s the thing, though: the user interface is simple, intuitive and effective. I believe anyone could approach this machine without feeling intimidated or confused. There’s a lesson in there somewhere!

Ceramic Grinder

Gaggia Velasca Prestige Burr Grinder.

As with all the other Gaggia machines I’ve reviewed so far, the Velasca Prestige is equipped with a ceramic burr grinder. I love ceramic burrs for their longevity and low noise, but most of all for their grind consistency. Plus, ceramic cuts down on heat transfer during grinding, which helps preserve the aroma of your coffee beans.

Seeing as a good coffee grinder is one of the most important factors in brewing superb espresso, the Velasca Prestige is definitely on the right track here. What’s more, you can choose from 10 grinder settings, which gives you an impressive amount of control over your espresso extraction.

Milk Froth

Gaggia Velasca Prestige Milk Foam.

If you’ve read my reviews of the Gaggia Babila or Cadorna Prestige, you’ll already know how much I love the manufacturer’s integrated milk carafe. Instead of annoying (and hard to clean) pipes and hoses with an external milk container, Gaggia’s dedicated milk carafe clips onto the machine’s hot water spout.

You can make one-touch milk based drinks, thanks to the movable dispensing spout, then easily clean the milk circuit. This elegant automatic system froths the milk twice, producing excellent results, especially if you’re making a cappuccino.

Specialty Drinks

If you’re looking for an automatic espresso machine that’ll make dozens of specialty drinks at the touch of a button, you might be a little disappointed. I don’t want any sad faces, so check out some of the other options in my super automatic espresso machine guide 2022 if you need endless variety.

The Gaggia Velasca Prestige keeps things simple, offering espresso, espresso lungo, cappuccino and milk froth at the touch of a button. Never fear, though, all these drinks can be customized.

That’s why I’m interested to see the “baby cappuccino” option in the menu – it seems a little redundant to offer a drink that can already easily be prepared on the fly without having to press a Specialty Drink button.

Memo Function

Although the Velasca Prestige doesn’t offer user profiles, the machine does allow you to save customized espresso and milk foam settings using the Memo function.

Simply hold down the button until Memo flashes on the screen, then press the button again once you’re satisfied with the volume of your drink. What could be easier than that?

Aroma Intensity

The Gaggia Velasca Prestige provides you with several ways to dial in your espresso, including pre infusion time, shot volume and temperature. Plus, let’s not forget that ceramic burr grinder with 10 adjustment levels!

The machine’s Aroma Intensity setting is the cherry on top in terms of control over your extraction. This feature determines how much ground coffee will be used during espresso preparation, and you can select from a remarkable five options. There’s no doubt about it, this amount of control over espresso preparation is almost unheard of in machines costing less than $1,000.

Brew Group

Gaggia Velasca Prestige Brew Group.

If you’re new to the wonderful world of fully automatic coffee machines, you may be wondering how on Earth these things work. After all, don’t you have to be a trained barista to make good espresso? 

Open the Velasca Prestige’s side door and all will become clear; it’s in here that you’ll find the machine’s brew group aka “Secret Barista.”

The brew group is the heart and soul of your machine, so take care of the thing. It can be removed for easy and hygienic cleaning, and you’ll want to add a little brew group lubricant here and there. Treat your brew group with respect and it’ll keep treating you to delicious espresso!

Boiler

The Gaggia Velasca Prestige won’t leave you hanging in the morning – it’s fitted with an impressive stainless steel lined aluminum boiler that’ll come up to brewing temperature in around a minute. As I’ve come to learn, this kind of design feature is par for the course with a Gaggia machine.

Cup Height

As with most super automatics, the Velasca Prestige features an adjustable coffee dispensing spout that can be moved up or down. 

When you’re making espresso with this machine, you’ll be able to minimize splashes and preserve the crema by moving the dispensing spout all the way down. 

Unfortunately, you won’t have much headroom when it comes to brewing into taller glasses or insulated coffee mugs – the Gaggia’s maximum spout height is a measly 4.5 inches.

How to Use the Gaggia Velasca Prestige

Super automatic espresso machines have been designed with ease of use in mind. After all, having the ability to press a button and have the coffee maker do all the hard work is kind of the point.

The Gaggia Velasca Prestige is certainly no exception, and you’ll most likely be able to start making drinks without looking at the user manual.

First things first, you’ll need to set up the machine by adding coffee beans to the bean container and filling the water reservoir. Incidentally, the water tank slides right out from the front of the machine, making this step as easy as pie. 

Before making coffee you’ll need to input your water hardness by using the included water test strip. You should also seriously consider installing a Mavea Intenza Water Filter; you won’t need to descale the Gaggia as often and your coffee will taste way better. 

Now you’ll need to prime the automatic circuit before performing a manual rinse cycle. You’ll find instructions on how to do this in the user manual.

Drink Preparation

By now you’ll likely be ready for a caffeine boost, so it’s time to start preparing drinks. As I already mentioned, the user interface is about as intuitive as they come, so you’ll have no problems getting good coffee right off the bat. 

Depending on the coffee beans you’re using, you’ll need to experiment with grinder settings, water temperature and aroma intensity levels. As a general rule, I’d recommend starting with a fine grind and the highest aroma intensity level for espresso. 

At this point I should mention that there’s a bypass doser for pre ground coffee up top, for those of you who enjoy the occasional decaf. I won’t judge as long as it’s just the occasional decaf.

What’s incredibly cool is the Gaggia Adapting System, which uses an algorithm to keep track of your preferences and adapt grinding times accordingly. This is a pretty advanced feature that’ll only enhance your coffee taste.

Gaggia Velasca Prestige Cleaning

Gaggia Velasca Prestige Cleaning.

Regular Coffeeness readers will know that I’m a big believer in regular cleaning and maintenance of coffee equipment. I guess I’ve just seen one too many examples of bacteria and mold accumulating inside a coffee maker that hasn’t been cleaned properly. Trust me, all that nasty stuff won’t do your coffee any favors!

Anyway, the manufacturer might tell you to clean the removable brew unit once a week, but I’d strongly recommend rinsing it at the end of each day. While it’s drying, empty the used coffee pucks container and drip tray. Why not give them a good rinse, too. 

By the way, nothing about your automatic coffee machine is dishwasher safe. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. The last thing you want is dishwasher detergent infiltrating your espresso machine, for obvious reasons.

The automatic milk carafe has a self rinsing function, but you’ll want to take the whole thing apart and clean it on a regular basis. The manufacturer recommends deep cleaning the milk system using Philips Milk Circuit Cleaner once a month.

Speaking of deep cleaning, the Velasca Prestige will let you know when it’s time to perform a descaling cycle via the LCD screen. 

You’ll need to use Gaggia Descaler Solution for this, or else your machine will explode and the world will end. At least that’s what the manufacturer would have you believe. I’ll leave it up to you as to whether you want to roll the dice and use a cheaper brand.

Gaggia Velasca Prestige Specifications

 Gaggia Velasca Prestige
ManufacturerGaggia
NameVelasca Prestige
Casing materialStainless steel
TypeSuper-Automatic Espresso Machine
Removable brew groupYes
Milk frothing systemAutomatic / steam wand
DisplayLCD display with buttons
AppNo
User profilesNo
Water reservoir capacity50.7 oz / 1.5 l
Minimum cup height2.75 in / 7.0 cm
Maximum cup height4.5 in / 11.4 cm
GrinderCeramic burr grinder
Bean container capacity10.6 oz / 300 g
Grounds container capacityApproximately 10 servings
Coffee drinks prepared at the touch of a button6 (4 one-touch)
Adjustable coffee temperatureYes
Adjustable milk foam temperatureNo
2-cup functionYes
Hot water functionYes
Hot milk functionYes
Milk foam only optionYes
Water filterYes
Weight10.7 lb / 9.4 kg
Dimensions (H x W x D) 13.4 x 10.1 x 17.3 in / 34 x 25.6 x 44 cm
Current price on Amazon$823.46

Gaggia Velasca Prestige vs Others

So far, this Gaggia Velasca review makes me think it’d be hard to find another machine in this category that matches what we’ve seen in terms of espresso and milk froth preparation. Still, just for good measure, let’s see how the Velasca Prestige stands up to a handful of its brand siblings. 

Gaggia Velasca Prestige vs Velasca

Gaggia Velasca vs Velasca Prestige.

The Gaggia Velasca is almost identical to its counterpart with a handful of key differences. Firstly, the Velasca is boxier and made from black plastic instead of stainless steel. Secondly, you’ll have to rely on a manual steam wand for preparing milk froth. 

The ability to control pre infusion time is also missing from the Velasca, which is a glaring espresso brewing omission in my book. That said, the Velasca’s astonishingly reasonable $649.00 price tag might make you forget the Velasca Prestige altogether.

Gaggia Velasca Prestige vs Accademia

Gaggia Accademia vs Velasca Prestige.

Costing $1,399.00 on Amazon, the is a pretty serious step up in price from the Velasca Prestige. However, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that the Accademia takes things much further in terms of quality and functionality. 

With its large color screen and aroma intensity dial, the Accademia’s user interface is absolutely fantastic. You can also choose between an automatic milk system and a manual steam wand, making the Accademia a really versatile espresso machine.

See Also: Gaggia Accademia Review 2022

Gaggia Velasca Prestige vs Anima Prestige

Gaggia Anima Prestige vs Velasca Prestige.

Sometimes it seems like manufacturers of fully automatic machines are in needless competition with themselves. DeLonghi is a culprit here, but it’s looking like Gaggia is guilty, too. Costing just fifty bucks more than the Velasca Prestige, the Gaggia Anima Prestige offers very little to distinguish it from its sibling. 

Aside from being slightly larger and more streamlined, there isn’t much to set the Anima Prestige apart other than the fact that it only offers half as many grinder settings. Don’t get me wrong, the Anima Prestige is a great espresso machine. Still, if someone can explain why both of these Gaggias exist simultaneously I’d like to hear about it!

See Also: Gaggia Anima Prestige Hands On Review 2022

Gaggia Velasca Prestige vs Others Comparison Chart

 Gaggia Velasca PrestigeGaggia VelascaGaggia AccademiaGaggia Anima Prestige
ManufacturerGaggiaGaggiaGaggiaGaggia
NameVelasca PrestigeVelascaAccademiaAnima Prestige
Casing materialStainless steelPlasticStainless steelStainless steel
TypeSuper-Automatic Espresso MachineSuper-Automatic Espresso MachineSuper-Automatic Espresso MachineSuper-Automatic Espresso Machine
Removable brew groupYesYesYesYes
Milk frothing systemAutomatic / steam wandSteam wandAutomatic / steam wandAutomatic
DisplayLCD display with buttonsLCD display with buttonsColor LCD display with buttonsLCD display with buttons
AppNoNoNoNo
User profilesNoNoNoNo
Water reservoir capacity50.7 oz / 1.5 l50.7 oz / 1.5 l54.1 oz / 1.6 l60.9 oz / 1.8 l
Minimum cup height2.75 in / 7.0 cm2.75 in / 7.0 cm3 in / 7.6 cm4.3 in / 10.9 cm
Maximum cup height4.5 in / 11.4 cm4.5 in / 11.4 cm6.5 in / 16.5 cm5.9 in / 15 cm
GrinderCeramic burr grinderCeramic burr grinderCeramic burr grinderCeramic burr grinder
Bean container capacity10.6 oz / 300 g10.6 oz / 300 g12 oz / 340 g8.8 oz / 250 g
Grounds container capacityApproximately 10 servingsApproximately 10 servingsApproximately 15 servingsApproximately 15 servings
Coffee drinks prepared at the touch of a button6 (4 one-touch)3 (3 one-touch)64
Adjustable coffee temperatureYesYesYesYes
Adjustable milk foam temperatureNoNoYesNo
2-cup functionYesYesYesYes
Hot water functionYesYesYesYes
Hot milk functionYesYesYesYes
Milk foam only optionYesYesYesYes
Water filterYesYesYesYes
Weight10.7 lb / 9.4 kg19 lb / 8.6 kg37.5 lb / 17 kg16.5 lb / 7.5 kg
Dimensions (H x W x D) 13.4 x 10.1 x 17.3 in / 34 x 25.6 x 44 cm13.4 x 10.1 x 17.3 in / 34 x 25.6 x 44 cm15.2 x 11.1 x 16.8 in / 38.5 x 28.2 x 42.8 cm16.9 x 8.7 x 13.3 in / 43 x 22 x 33.7 cm
Current price on Amazon$823.46$649.00$1,399.00$899.00

Verdict: Gaggia Velasca Prestige Review

The Gaggia Velasca Prestige is far from the most striking super automatic machine out there. However, I remain convinced that this machine will satisfy even the most demanding of coffee connoisseurs.

Gaggia Velasca Prestige

Loaded With Great Features!

Fantastic value for the money

Superb espresso and milk froth

Lots of stainless steel

Easy to use

Ceramic burr grinder

Outdated user interface

Limited headroom for taller cups

Gaggia has sacrificed none of its high standards here – the Velasca Prestige is sturdy, reliable and user friendly. Not only that, the quality of espresso and frothed milk we’ve come to expect from the Italian manufacturer is on full display. Plus, you just can’t beat the affordable price tag.

The Velasca Prestige isn’t perfect but its high quality performance definitely makes up for any shortcomings. I’d say we’ve got another Gaggia winner on our hands!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Gaggia Velasca Prestige review. Can you think of another machine to match the Gaggia at this price point? I look forward to your comments!

Gaggia Velasca Prestige FAQ

To set up the Gaggia Velasca Prestige, start by adding coffee beans to the hopper and filling the water reservoir. Plug in the machine, then enter your water hardness before priming the machine and performing a manual rinse cycle.

Clean the outside of the Gaggia Velasca Prestige super automatic espresso machine using a clean, damp cloth. But, don’t use any kind of cleaner as this could damage the stainless steel housing.

The Gaggia Velasca Prestige will let you know when it’s time to descale by flashing a reminder on the LCD screen.

Though the Gaggia Velasca Prestige only has one boiler, it’s more than enough to ensure the machine delivers piping hot espresso.

The Gaggia Velasca Prestige doesn’t have a latte function, but you can make a delicious and foamy cappuccino using the automatic milk carafe. Alternatively, you can pull one to two shots of espresso and steam milk with the Panarello wand to create a latte on your own.

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