Looking to invest in an espresso machine that offers quality, customization, and convenience? The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige may have caught your eye.

However, with all of the espresso machines out there, deciding whether this brewer is the right fit for your needs can take time and effort.

As a well-seasoned barista, I have tested various machines to see how each performs in different settings. One of the most recent ones I've tried is the Cardona Prestige.

In this review, I will take you through my experience with the Cadorna Prestige, so you can see if it's the right machine for you.

Brew Quality

4.0

Build Quality

4.5

Ease Of Use

5.0


Overall Rating

4.5

Overall, I'd rate the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige a 4.5 out of 5 for its remarkable user-friendly features and advanced customization, making it an excellent choice for novice and experienced coffee enthusiasts. Here's why:

  • Pre-Programmed Beverages
  • Automatic Milk Frother
  • TFT Display
  • Integrated Grinder

Pros

  • Fast Heat-Up Time
  • Advanced Personalization
  • Ease of Cleaning
  • Use of Water Filter
  • Up to 4 User Profiles

Cons

  • Lack of Temperature Control
  • Plastic Exterior

Who Should Buy The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige?

The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is an excellent choice for those who want variety and customization in their home coffee experience.

With 14 beverage choices and the option to create four personalized user profiles, it's ideal for households with diverse coffee preferences.

As a fully automatic coffee machine, the Cardona Prestige is the best brewing device for coffee lovers who want cafe-quality drinks at home without learning the intricate process of espresso brewing.


Why I Decided To Review The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Espresso Machine

Since I tried the Delonghi Dinamica Plus, I've fallen in love with super-automatic espresso machines. The convenience it offers is just exceptional.

When I heard about the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige super-automatic espresso machine, I wanted to see if there was anything else this type of espresso machine could offer.

On top of that, I found myself having more time in the morning because of the convenience that comes with fully automatic coffee machines.

Testing Conditions

Days Tested

30

Cups Brewed Per Day

4

Level Of Experience Needed

Beginner

Reviewer Background

Home brewing hobbyist who started with a basic drip coffee machine and gradually upgraded to espresso machines. My current machine is a Breville Barista Pro.

Environment Tested

Home

Money Saved Per Year

Around $526 in the first year and around $1825 in the succeeding years once the machine is paid for.

Favorite Drink To Brew

Café Cortado and Cafe au lait

What's It Like To Live With The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige

Living with the Gaggia Cardona Prestige espresso machine is like having a barista who knows your order every time.

Of course, this impressive machine isn't just all about customization and convenience.

It truly embodies the Italian passion for espresso, delivering a coffee experience that never fails to impress.

Curious to know more? Well, let me break it down for you bit by bit in this Gaggia Cardona Prestige review.

What's In The Box?

Whenever I review espresso machines, I always judge the brewer by how it is delivered to me. Is it packaged well? Is the box secured and the machine well-cushioned?

Does it come with all the accessories I need to make an espresso?

After all, espresso machines are quite an investment, and you don't want to flush your money down the drain just because your package wasn't handled properly.

With the Gaggia Cadorna espresso machine, I can say that they have handled the delivery and packaging excellently.

From the get-go, you'll know that this comes from a brand that values its product.

Here's what you'll find in the box:

  • Complete Cadorna Prestige Barista Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine
  • Milk carafe
  • Dosing scoop
  • Grind adjustment tool
  • Water test kit
  • Intenza+ water filter
  • User manual

Compared to other espresso machines I've tried, the Cardona Prestige has fewer accessories--not that it makes it a lesser-performing machine.

However, unlike the Dinamica Plus, another super-automatic espresso machine, it lacks a descaler.

While that's not really required in the brewing process, I think it's a nice touch, especially since it'll save you some cash.

Pulling My First Espresso Shot

With fully automatic espresso machines, you don't actually do any pulling.

The machine does that for you, which is why it's perfect for people on the go or who don't have the patience to learn how to pull an espresso.

However, there are a couple of things that you need to do when you own a machine like this:

Setting Up

This step can be divided into two parts: setting up the machine depending on your water's hardness level and customizing the coffee setting based on your preference.

The latter doesn't need to be set immediately, so if you don't have preferred settings for your coffee, don't worry about it.

However, your water setting should be set right when you install the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige espresso machine.

This will allow your brewer to perform depending on your water hardness level, such as when to descale it and replace the filter.

This process is straightforward.

Once you're ready to operate your machine, all you have to do is dip the water hardness measuring strip in a glass of water for 1 second and wait a minute for the result.

Then, you have to input this result on your machine, and voila! Your machine is now ready.

This step is very crucial and suggests that you should not skip it at all.

If you're not aware, the water hardness level can affect how frequently you need to clean your machine and the quality of your espresso.[1]

You also need to prep your water filter before you install it in the machine, and the process can be found in the instructions booklet that comes in the box.

Overall, the setup process was a breeze and took me about 10 minutes tops--one of the many advantages of super-automatic machines.

Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Espresso Machine Assembly

Grinding The Beans

One of the standout features of the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is its ceramic flat burr grinder.

This high-quality material prevents overheating and burning, ensuring optimal extraction of the coffee beans' flavor. 

While most coffee grinders are noisy, this one isn't. The burr grinder is quiet, allowing me to make coffee even at 3 in the morning.

The grinder presents you with 10 different grind settings, offering a remarkable range from super fine to coarse, allowing you to customize your brew to your preference.

Because the Cadorna Prestige is a super-automatic machine, the coffee grounds are delivered directly into the brew group, bypassing manual handling—no need to clean your counter space for spilled ground coffee.

The impact of the grind size on the resulting brew is significant. Fine grind yields a potent, full-bodied espresso, while coarser grinds produce a milder, less intense cup.

With the Cadorna Prestige, you have full reign to tweak the grind size and discover your perfect coffee strength. For my palate, the mid-range level 5 setting hit the perfect balance.

Should you prefer to use pre-ground coffee (or a decaffeinated option), the Cadorna Prestige accommodates this choice without difficulty.

Simply bypass the grinder and add your pre-ground coffee directly into the brew group. This flexibility makes the Cadorna Prestige a joy to live with, catering to all your coffee needs.

Note that while the grinder has impressive performance, you still need to use fresh coffee beans.

Oily coffee beans not only produce low-quality espresso shots but can clog up your machine's grinder.

Grinding Coffee Beans With The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige

Pulling The Actual Shot

So, let's talk about what it's like to actually "pull a shot" with the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige.

It's more of a gentle nudge than a pull. This beauty is a super-automatic espresso machine that does everything for you.

This coffee maker continues beyond grinding the beans to the right size. It also pre-infuses them to really bring out their flavor and starts the extraction process on its own.

All that's left for you to do is sit back and watch the show. The best part? It does all this while maintaining the right pressure to extract all the goodness from your coffee beans.

For those new to the world of coffee science, pre-infusion is gently soaking your coffee at a low temperature and pressure before the machine applies the full pressure, enabling an even extraction.

Speaking of pressure, you've got five levels of coffee strength to choose from. If you're the type that likes to ease into your day with a milder brew, levels 1 or 2 might be more your speed.

But if you're after something that'll kick you into gear, crank it up to a 3 or 4, or go all out with a 5.

Personally, I enjoy level 4 strength. Paired with a mid-level grind setting, it hits the spot for me.

However, everyone's taste is unique, so don't be shy about tinkering around to find your sweet spot.

The first espresso shot I pulled was impressive and had crema, which is rare for a super-automatic machine, especially with your first shot.

Most of the time, you won't really get this result on the first try, but I guess I have played around with fully automatic coffee machines before, so I kind of have an idea of what I'm doing.

On top of my own experience, the Gaggia Cardona Prestige has a Quick Heat boiler that ensures your shot comes out piping hot from the first serving.

It also has an espresso tray that preserves the crema, which is an extra score for me. In short, being your own barista with the Cadorna Prestige is a total breeze. 

Yes, you'll need to figure out your perfect coffee settings, but once you've got that nailed down, it's smooth sailing or, should I say, smooth espresso-ing!

Pulling Espresso Shot On The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige

First Time Frothing Milk

Listen, I'm a sucker for good milk-based drinks, and the Gaggia Cadorna milk system made my love for them even stronger.

I was a bit wary initially; I've always steamed my milk the old-fashioned way, but let me tell you, the Cadorna Prestige's automatic milk frother is a total game-changer.

It's like having a personal barista tucked inside your machine–all you do is fill up the integrated milk carafe and let it work its magic.

I love that I can store the milk jug in the fridge to keep the milk cool and ready for the next time I need to froth milk.

So, there's no awkward milk transferring–just smooth sailing straight from the fridge to the machine.

Here's where it gets even better: once the milk carafe is attached, the milk frother swings over your cup like a doting barista ready to whip up an irresistible milk beverage like a latte macchiato or cappuccino.

No extra steps or hassle, just perfectly frothed milk at the touch of a button. The resulting milk froth? Truly exceptional. The frothed milk can compete with coffee shops!

Get this: once the frothing is done, the machine initiates an automatic cleaning cycle for the integrated milk carafe.

It's a dream come true for someone like me who isn't exactly fond of cleaning milk foam and milk residue from the hoses and pipes.

It's like the Cadorna Prestige has thought of every little thing to make your coffee experience hassle-free and enjoyable.

If you accidentally break the integrated milk carafe, don’t worry. You can easily buy a carafe replacement online.

So, if you're anything like me and love your milk coffees, trust me, you'll want to give this feature a whirl. I promise you'll be whipping up your favorite beverages like a pro barista in no time.

The only downside is that you can't adjust the milk temperature, which means you won't be able to customize it depending on the kind of milk that you're using.

Frothing Milk With The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige

How Much Control Do You Have Over The Coffee Experience?

When it comes to control over the coffee experience, you're the boss with Gaggia Cadorna Prestige.

Want to adjust the strength of your coffee?

The Cadorna Prestige's Opti Aroma feature lets you choose from five levels of aroma intensity, effectively letting you control how much coffee grounds go into your espresso.

Combine this with adjustments for water volume, ideal brew temperature, and grind size, and you'll get a tailor-made coffee experience in your home.

As if that's not enough, the Cadorna Prestige also allows you to alter the volume of coffee or milk, select the perfect temperature for your coffee (from three options), and determine the coffee strength (from five levels).

So, it's all in your hands whether you want your drink hotter, taller, or stronger.

Wait, there's more. If you have a house full of coffee connoisseurs, each with their unique coffee preferences, this is no problem.

It has four user profiles that let each person save their favorite drink settings—no more disputes over tampered settings or a mistaken cappuccino for an espresso macchiato.

Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Espresso Machine Coffee Setting

How Does It Handle Different Roasts?

The Gaggia Cardona Prestige offers flexibility when handling different types of roasts.

Its precision grinder and customizable coffee temperature give it the unique ability to accommodate a wide range of coffee bean roasts.

From the more delicate light roasts to the balanced medium and all the way to the bold dark roasts, this machine takes it all in stride, thanks to its customizable capabilities.

This allows you to create your favorite drinks easily.

Coffee Beans In A Bowl Close-up View

Look, Feel, and Size Of The Machine

There's no denying that Gaggia has put some serious thought into the Cadorna Prestige.

I love how the water tank slides out effortlessly from the front, snapping right back into the machine without a hitch. The practical and elegant design makes it stand out on any countertop.

As for dimensions, it measures 26 x 38 x 44 cm and weighs a manageable 22 lbs.

The bodywork features black ABS, a spray-painted anthracite front, and a drip tray made of black ABS and stainless steel. It's a machine that not only performs impressively but also looks the part.

Just remember to ensure you've got enough counter space for it, and the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige will reward you with top-notch coffee every time.

Look, Feel, and Size Of The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige

What Drinks Can It Make?

With the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige, you can enjoy an excitingly diverse range of 14 beverages, all within the comfort of your home.

As if having your personal barista, the machine offers the following at the push of a button:

  • Ristretto
  • Espresso
  • Espresso Lungo: An elongated espresso shot for a slightly milder taste
  • Coffee
  • Americano
  • Cappuccino
  • Cappuccino XL A larger version of the beloved cappuccino
  • Café au lait
  • Café Cortado
  • Latte Macchiato
  • Latte Macchiato XL: A bigger serving of your favorite latte macchiato
  • Flat White
  • Frothed Milk: Can be used for hot cocoa
  • Hot Water: Great for tea lovers or diluting your strong coffee

My favorite? The machine remembers your selections, making your daily brew quick, easy, and consistently delightful.

Choosing Coffee Recipe With The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige

How Easy Is It To Use?

The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is remarkably easy to use, even for those new to super-automatic espresso machines.

The large TFT color display and backlit buttons allow you to easily navigate the machine's menu system. This intuitive user interface ensures that everything you need is always at your fingertips.

Every time you select your drink, the display presents you with the current settings.

Adjusting these settings is quite intuitive, making the process of brewing and personalizing your drinks a breeze.

On top of that, an alert system notifies you when it's time to add more water or coffee or when you need to empty the coffee bin.

There's also a pop-up indicator when the drip tray needs emptying, so you don't have to guess when to perform these tasks.

As for the brewing process, it's straightforward. Pour your beans into the bean hopper and fill the water reservoir at the front.

Choose your beverage on the display, press the "start" button, and the machine takes care of the rest.

If you fancy a milk-based drink, attach the integrated milk carafe, select your beverage, and the machine will brew it for you.

Troubleshooting the machine is also easy. All you have to do is refer to the user manual and you can fix any of its most common issues.[2]

Using The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige

How Long Does It Take? (From Heat Up To First Sip)

The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is incredibly efficient, heating up from being turned on to being ready to brew in less than a minute.

This rapid pre-heating feature means that you can get your coffee fix without delay. Once ready, it brews your selected drink in the blink of an eye, ensuring you can instantly enjoy your coffee.

So, from switching on the machine to taking your first delicious sip, it usually takes less than two minutes.

This makes the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige a fantastic choice for those who need their morning coffee quickly or are always in a hurry.

Does It Have A Water Filtration System?

Yes, the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige does have a water filtration system. It comes with an Intenza+ water filter when you purchase this machine.

The water filter is a valuable feature that significantly improves the quality of your coffee by removing impurities and any off-tastes or odors from the water.[3]

Remember to replace the water filter every two months, or according to the manufacturer's instructions, to keep your coffee tasting great and your machine in optimal condition.

Adding Water To The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige

How Hard Is It To Clean and Descale?

Cleaning and descaling the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is quite simple. The machine is designed to allow for easy and hygienic cleaning and maintenance.

Daily cleaning tasks are minimal and straightforward. It comes with a removable brew group so you can rinse it after the end of each day.

The drip tray, used grounds container, and water reservoir should also be rinsed with warm water. However, they are not dishwasher safe, so they need to be cleaned by hand.

The used coffee grounds can hold up to ten coffee pucks, meaning you can make up to 10 coffee shop quality specialty drinks. This also means that you won't have to empty it often.

For a deeper clean, clean the milk carafe using a milk circuit cleaner and the brew group with coffee cleaning tablets approximately once a month.

Descaling is also essential to maintenance, but the machine will alert you when it's time to run a descaling cycle.

Gaggia recommends using its own descaling solution to ensure the best results and avoid any potential damage to the machine.

If you're using the Intenza+ water filter, descaling will be needed less frequently, another benefit of using the filter.

Cleaning The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige

My Favorite Parts About The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Coffee Maker

The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige offers convenience and much more. Here are my top favorite things about this affordable automatic espresso machine:

  • Fast Heat-Up Time: The ability to have the machine reach its ideal temperature within a minute of turning it is amazing.
  • Advanced Personalization: I love the option to create customized drinks. The machine offers 14 pre-programmed beverages that can be customized: brew strength settings, temperature control, and adjustable coffee length.
  • Ease of Cleaning: The machine has a straightforward cleaning and maintenance process.
  • Use of Water Filter: The ability to use an Intenza+ water filter in the water reservoir not only improves the quality of the coffee but also reduces limescale build-up, maintaining the machine's longevity.
  • Up to 4 User Profiles: Each user profile can have multiple custom drinks saved, ensuring all family members or users can have their personalized coffee experience at the touch of a button.
Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Espresso Machine On Kitchen Counter

My Least Favorite Parts About The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige

While the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is certainly an impressive machine with a lot to offer, no coffee machine is perfect. Here are a few aspects that I wish were different:

  • Lack of Temperature Control: One of my minor gripes with the Cadorna Prestige is the lack of precise temperature control. While it offers three temperature settings, it doesn't provide the same degree of control as other high-end models.
  • Plastic Exterior: While the machine is sturdy, I'm not the biggest fan of the plastic exterior. It doesn't detract from the machine's performance, but it doesn't have the same high-end feel as other machines with stainless steel or metal finishes.

Despite these, this Gaggia coffee machine is still an excellent espresso brewer, suitable for coffee enthusiasts of all barista skill levels.


Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Vs Similar Machines

Gaggia Cardona Prestige Vs Babila

Gaggia offers two super-automatic espresso machines: the Cadorna Prestige and the Babila. Both machines deliver quality espresso with convenient automation but have key differences.

The Cadorna Prestige boasts a wider range of pre-programmed drinks and user profiles for personalized coffee experiences.

The Babila, however, has the upper hand with its 15-grind settings and two independent boilers. It's also more expensive, over $1700, while the Cardona Prestige is priced at around $1300.

Gaggia Cardona Prestige Vs Babila

Gaggia Cardona Prestige Vs Delonghi Dinamica Plus

When comparing the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige to the Delonghi Dinamica Plus, you'll find differences in customization and ease of use.

The Dinamica Plus excels with its Coffee Link app, allowing remote control and customization of coffee drinks.

Meanwhile, the Cadorna Prestige doesn't offer app connectivity but compensates with a wide array of pre-programmed drinks and user profiles.

Both are the best machines if you value convenience.

However,  you might prefer the Dinamica Plus if you want a high-tech machine. The Cadorna Prestige is a great choice if a wider range of pre-set options suits you.

Gaggia Cardona Prestige Vs Delonghi Dinamica Plus

Gaggia Cardona Prestige Vs Jura E8

The Cadorna Prestige and the Jura E8 are super-automatic espresso machines, each appealing to different coffee lovers. However, Jura machines tend to be more expensive than Gaggia.

The Cadorna Prestige stands out with its 14 pre-programmed beverages and user profile features, providing a highly personalized coffee experience.

However, the Jura E8 shines with its PEP (Pulse Extraction Process) technology, perfect for espresso aficionados who appreciate a rich and nuanced flavor profile.

Also, the Jura E8's Aroma G3 grinder offers faster, quieter, and more efficient grinding.

Your choice between these two will depend on your preferences for flavor extraction versus customizable user experiences. Oh, and your wallet since Jura E8 is currently priced at over $2,300.

Gaggia Cardona Prestige Vs Jura E8

FAQs

Why does Gaggia Cardona Prestige have 15 bars?

The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige has a 15-bar pump to produce the optimal pressure for the perfect espresso extraction. The standard for espresso machines is typically between 9 and 15 bars.

How long is Gaggia's warranty?

Gaggia generally offers a warranty period of 1 year for parts and labor on all of its machines, which can sometimes vary depending on the model and where you purchase it.

Where are Gaggia coffee machines made?

Gaggia coffee machines are made in Italy, the birthplace of espresso.

What is the price of a Gaggia Cadorna Prestige machine?

The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige machine typically sells for around $1300.

Conclusion - Is The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Worth Your Money?

After a comprehensive review of the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige, I can say that it's indeed worth your investment if you value advanced customization and seamless automatic operation in your coffee-making process.

This machine stands out with its variety of pre-programmed beverages and user profile features, allowing coffee lovers of all skill levels to craft their perfect cup with ease and precision.

However, if you seek a more hands-on coffee brewing experience and would like to take a jab at a manual steam wand, a semi-automatic machine like the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II is a better choice.

Alternatively, for those seeking sophisticated flavor extraction, you may wish to consider the Jura E8. Although it comes with a higher price point, its innovative technology is worth the extra cost.

Gaggia Cadorna Prestige

Brew Quality

4.0

Build Quality

4.5

Ease Of Use

5.0


Overall Rating

4.5

References: 

1.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322828281_The_influence_of_brewing_water_characteristic_on_sensory_perception_of_pour-over_local_coffee
2. https://www.gaggia.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/4219-450-06541-MAN.-GAG.-CAD.-PRESTIGE-OTC-EN-NL-PL-Rev-01.pdf
3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/229981591_The_effect_of_water_on_the_flavour_of_brewed_coffee

Kim Fernandez

Author

Kim Fernandez
Kim offers a unique perspective on coffee culture and trends. Kim's writing is personal and experiential, providing readers with firsthand advice on the latest in coffee. Beyond her writing, Kim is an avid explorer of new coffee trends and spots, always seeking to share the most genuine advice and latest trends. True to her love for coffee, you'll often find her in a café, immersed in a book with a freshly brewed cup of joe.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... A freshly brewed cup of joe

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