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Gaggia vs DeLonghi:
Do you Want More Choice or Better Coffee?

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By Matt Woodburn-Simmonds

This is a showdown between two Northern Italian coffee giants: Gaggia vs DeLonghi. It’s a fierce rivalry as the only thing Italians hate more than non-Italians is each other. So we’re pitting Milan against Treviso to see where the crown of “Espresso Machine King” should be.

Gaggia and DeLonghi have different approaches to espresso machines. Gaggia caters more to espresso lovers, prioritizing quality over quantity of features. DeLonghi aims to provide maximum value for money, packing in as many features as possible. They might not be as polished but are a dream for more casual coffee enthusiasts.

Depending on your coffee preferences and budget, you may find either a Gaggia or DeLonghi machine to be the better fit. Here, we dig deep into the machines on offer from both for your perfect Italian Job.

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TL;DR Overview

Close-up of the Gaggia Classic logo - an old-school classic & one of the best Gaggia espresso machines

Choose a Gaggia if you want:

Better quality coffee

To be able to customize your coffee

Want to spend between $300 and $2000

A machine that’s built to last and can be easily repaired

A 1-year warranty

Close-up of the DeLonghi logo on the Dedica Arte

Choose a DeLonghi if you want:

Good (but not mind-blowing) coffee

Limited customization but more features

Want to spend between $120 and $1800

A machine that’s harder to repair when out of warranty (will more likely need to be replaced)

A 2-year warranty on semi-automatics, and 3-year warranty on automatics (with product registration)

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Key Differences: Gaggia vs DeLonghi

Let’s get into the biggest differences separating these two manufacturers across their whole ranges.

Coffee Quality

Gaggia puts more of a focus on coffee quality than DeLonghi.

This is evident from their use of flat burr ceramic grinders in all their super-automatic espresso machines. Many also have dual boilers (one for coffee and one for milk foam), and both a manual steam wand and automatic milk to help you get perfect microfoam.

DeLonghi espresso machines will still make a damn nice coffee. But the focus is on having as many options and features in a great value package which causes the overall quality of coffee to drop.

When it comes to the semi-automatic offerings, the gap narrows significantly between Gaggia vs DeLonghi. With these, it’s much more about what you do, than what the machine does.

For example, the Gaggia Classic is a long-time favorite of espresso nerds worldwide. It gained and has maintained this reputation for a reason. If you want no-fuss, high-quality shots without spending a fortune, it’s a brilliant machine. (And you can mod it with even better tech if that’s your thing.)

Holding up a freshly made espresso in front of the Gaggia Classic
Espresso from the Gaggia Classic
Espresso with crema from the DeLonghi Dedica EC685 (Dedica Deluxe)
Espresso from the DeLonghi Dedica Deluxe


DeLonghi machines have more one-touch coffee recipes and they’ve added an “Over Ice” feature to most of the super-automatic range.

With these drinks, the machine prepares the coffee at a lower temperature and prompts you to add ice to make iced coffee. It works very well and isn’t something other espresso machines offer, outside the very expensive Jura Z10.

Gaggia’s features are more focused on customizing your coffee. The Espresso Plus dial on its high-end machines helps get perfectly extracted espresso or longer shots by adjusting the speed at which water flows through the coffee puck.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But both manufacturers have some striking machines and some pretty uninteresting ones too.

The Gaggia Accademia is possibly the prettiest espresso machine you can buy. In fact, all of the newer Gaggia machines are beautiful with minimalist looks and red accents.

At the other end of the spectrum is the Gaggia Classic which is a fairly ugly espresso box. But this is part of the machine’s charm and I’m pretty sure there will be a riot if they ever change it.

DeLonghi machines are a little more functional than beautiful. But it would be harsh to say they’re ugly. Many still have a lot of buttons and look dated in the modern era of touchscreens.

The overall design just won’t set your heart on fire.

Except maybe the the La Specialista Maestro which looks like someone crossed a classic espresso machine with a 50s Cadillac. And the result is glorious.

Comparing Gaggia vs DeLonghi espresso machines on looks
Clockwise from top-left: Gaggia Classic Pro, DeLonghi Dinamica, DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro, and Gaggia Accademia


Gaggia and DeLonghi both cater to most budgets. DeLonghi has some very good value options at the lower end of the scale with the DeLonghi Dedica range. Gaggia doesn’t enter the picture until you’re spending around $500.

They both offer machines at basically every pricepoint between $500 and $2500 though. So once we’re in the range of super-automatic machines in general, you’ll find DeLonghi and Gaggia options that will be within your budget.

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A Quick Intro


In the 1950s, Giovanni Achille Gaggia created the modern espresso machine and founded the Gaggia company. So you’d kind of expect them to focus on great-quality espresso.

Which they do.

Their machines are still made in the same factory near Milan. And every single one maintains that focus on the quality of the espresso shot being pulled.

Gaggia isn’t afraid of adding features for those who are willing to put in some effort for their coffee. You’ll find manual milk wands on many of their automatic machines and the wonderful Espresso Plus dial on their top-of-the-range offerings for fine-tuning extraction.

The very high-quality ceramic flat burr grinder on their bean-to-cup machines also shows a commitment to the lazier among us too. They want you to drink exclusively great coffee, no matter how much effort you put in.

Front view of the Gaggia Accademia whilst turned on
The Gaggia Accademia is our favorite machine in their current range
Read our Accademia Review or Check the Price


A family-run manufacturer, DeLonghi started making espresso machines in the early 90s. They initially focused on very budget-friendly, semi-automatic machines that delivered well beyond their price. This makes sense to anyone who’s seen how small most Italian apartments are.

Recently they’ve moved in a different direction and released a string of super-automatic machines that still focus on value for money.

Packing in features while keeping the machines competitively priced is still DeLonghi’s strategy. So you’ll find some machines offering more coffee options or unique features compared to similarly priced Gaggia’s.

The downside to this strategy is the pure espresso quality from DeLonghi just isn’t as good. Since this is the building block of most coffee drinks, it kinda matters. It’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination, just not as good. This is the trade-off with buying a DeLonghi machine over a Gaggia, a Jura, or a Breville.

Psst… You may be interested in our DeLonghi vs Breville comparison too.

Side view of the DeLonghi Dinamica Plus
The Dinamica Plus is currently our favorite DeLonghi machine
Read our Dinamica Plus Review or Check the Price
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Is Gaggia or DeLonghi Right For You?

As with most things, that really depends on what you want from your coffee machine.

It’s not necessarily as simple as choosing Gaggia as they generally make better espresso. Although, if espresso quality is your only priority, then your decision is much easier.

For everyone else, it depends on what features you’re getting for your money and if these are things you actually want from your espresso maker. We’re big believers in not paying extra for stuff you won’t use.

To help make that decision easier, we’ve compared some similarly priced machines head-to-head so you can pick out the DeLonghi or Gaggia for you and your budget. Let’s get to it:

Best Gaggia or DeLonghi for Every Budget

Under $300Gaggia Carezza Deluxe front view with portafilter fitted
Gaggia Carezza Deluxe
DeLonghi Dedica Arte espresso machine sitting on a wooden table
DeLonghi Dedica Arte
$301 – 600Gaggia Classic Evo Pro on wooden table with filter baskets sitting on the drip tray
Gaggia Classic Evo Pro

DeLonghi Dedica Maestro Plus
$601 – 1200Front view of the Gaggia Cadorna Prestige in front of a tiled wall
Gaggia Cadorna Prestige
DeLonghi Dinamica with LatteCrema
DeLonghi Dinamica with LatteCrema
$1201 – 2000Front view of the Gaggia Accademia whilst turned on
Gaggia Accademia
DeLonghi Eletta Explore
DeLonghi Eletta Explore

Psst… Want to do a sideways comparison of these two coffee giants against another top-dog of the coffee machine world: Jura? Check out the two guides below:

DeLonghi vs Jura | Gaggia vs Jura

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Entry Level: Gaggia Classic Evo Pro vs DeLonghi Dinamica Maestro Plus

First up, we’re comparing one of the darlings of the espresso world, the Gaggic Classic Evo Pro against a relatively new release from DeLonghi, the Dedica Maestro Plus. They’re both semi-automatic espresso machines at nearly the same price.

Gaggia Classic Evo Pro

Front view of the Gaggia Classic Evo Pro on a wooden table
  • 8 x 9.5 x 14.2 inches (W x D x H)
  • Manual milk wand
  • 58mm portafilter, 18g capacity
  • Simple switches
  • 1 year warranty

DeLonghi Dedica Maestro Plus

DeLonghi Dedica Maestro Plus with a freshly made shot of espresso on the drip tray
  • 8.2 x 13.6 x 12.9 inches (W x D x H)
  • Automatic milk system
  • 51mm portafilter, 20g capacity
  • Buttons for adjusting settings
  • 1 year warranty (+1 extra year when registered with DeLonghi)

Prefer to Shop Direct? Buy Here

There couldn’t be a more perfect display of how different these two espresso machine manufacturers are than comparing the Gaggia Classic Evo Pro vs DeLonghi Dedica Maestro Plus. At a very similar price, you get two very different approaches to making espresso and espresso drinks.

Gaggia Classic Evo Pro

The Gaggia Classic Evo Pro delivers commercial espresso machine quality at home.

The 58mm portafilter is commercial-sized, the steam wand is commercial quality, and the 15 bar pump delivers exceptionally consistent 9 bar pressure to your coffee puck (the minimum pressure needed for espresso).

However, whilst it’s possible to pull as good espresso as any pro-barista, you do need to have the right beans, a good espresso grinder, and skills.

The Classic Evo Pro takes off the training wheels, offering zero help beyond coming with a double-walled (pressurized) filter basket. (It also has a non-pressurized basket once you’re ready to take your skills and espresso quality to the next level.) This means you need to manually start and stop your espresso shots, foam the milk, and get your dose, grind, and tamp perfect for those superb shots.

But being able to do all this and get such incredible shots from a machine under $500 is amazing… even if it looks a little industrial.

DeLonghi Dedica Maestro Plus

The DeLonghi Dedica Maestro Plus offers a very different take on budget espresso machines:

You still have the portafilter and steam wand design, but the machine looks after you much more.

It has timed shots for single and double espresso (which can be customized), and 3 coffee temperatures to choose from – 198°F (92°C), 201°F (94°C), or 205°F (96°C). The best bit is that you get automated milk foam with 3 temperatures and 3 foam settings so you don’t need to froth the milk yourself.

The downside to all this help?

The quality of espresso and milk from the DeLonghi will never reach the quality you can get from the Gaggia. (Though I still think it tastes good, just not enough to knock my socks off.)

The Winner

Purely in terms of the quality of coffee produced, the Gaggia Classic Evo Pro is the clear winner. But if you’re looking to start making coffee at home instead of heading to a cafe and don’t have the time/ energy/ bandwidth to get into the weeds, the DeLonghi will suit you far better.

When deciding between Gaggia vs DeLonghi, it will always come back to what you value more: quality or ease. And only you can make that decision.

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Mid-Range: Gaggia Cadorna Prestige vs DeLonghi Dinamica

Usually found for around the same price, these two machines are still “affordable” but offer the added convenience that many people are looking for.

Gaggia Cadorna Prestige

Gaggia cadorna prestige front view
  • 10.2 x 15.7 x 15 inches (W x D x H)
  • 12 pre-programmed drinks
  • Automatic milk frothing
  • Ceramic grinder with 10 settings
  • Color screen with buttons
  • 1 year warranty

DeLonghi Dinamica with LatteCrema

DeLonghi Dinamica with lattecrema
  • 9.3 x 11.8 x 16.3 inches (W x D x H)
  • 16 pre-programmed drinks
  • Automatic milk frothing
  • 13 grind settings
  • LCD Display with buttons
  • 2 year warranty (+1 extra year when registered with DeLonghi)

Prefer to Shop Direct? Buy Here

Though they retail at around $200 difference, the Cadorna Prestige and the Dinamica with LatteCrema are often sold at a similar price thanks to regular discounts on the latter. So, if you’re looking to replace the daily cafe run or upgrade from a single-serve machine, they’re both great options.

Gaggia Cadorna Prestige

This machine is both great looking and simple to use thanks to the color screen and button combo.

The Cadorna Prestige has 12 pre-programmed coffees (plus hot water and foamed milk). This covers all the big hitters that coffee fans adore like cortado, latte macchiato, cappuccino, and flat white. It also has a choice of espresso, coffee, ristretto, or lungo for those who aren’t milky coffee fans.

Having adjustable temperature, strength, and length alongside a superb ceramic grinder ensures you can make your coffee exactly how you want. I’d prefer if I could adjust the milk foam, but it’s more of a budget machine so I’m just being greedy.

For some reason, you have to use a tool to adjust the grinder which is awkward. But, that aside, we really struggle to find issues with the Cadorna Prestige. It offers amazing value and even has 4 user profiles to save drinks – a rare feature at the budget level.

Read next: Our Full Gaggia Cadorna Prestige Review

DeLonghi Dinamica with Latte Crema

The Dinamica with LatteCrema is a little bit of an odd duck. It was initially released with a manual steam wand so the LatteCrema system feels a little like an afterthought. So, whilst you can make all the milk-based favorites, it involves adjusting a dial on the LatteCrema system for the correct milk.

The flip side of this is that you can choose any of the 3 levels of milk foam for any drink. So if you feel the milk is too foamy or not foamy enough, there’s a chance you can customize it. For example, they recommend using the same setting for latte macchiato and flat white. But I think it’s way too foamy for a flat white so I like that I can dial it down.

You also get the option for coffee over ice, which works really well. And there is plenty of flexibility to adjust settings to your preferred style of coffee.

It’s just not as convenient or as good as other machines at this price.

The Winner

The Gaggia Cadorna Prestige is the best-value super-automatic machine you can buy across all brands. So unsurprisingly, it is a clear winner here.

If you’re looking to spend just under $1000 on a super-automatic, this is almost certainly the better choice.

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High End: Gaggia Accademia vs DeLonghi Eletta Explore

Do you want an insane amount of choice of hot and cold drinks? Or a few beautifully made ones? That’s what this round of the DeLonghi vs Gaggia battle boils down to.

Gaggia Accademia

Front view of the Gaggia Accademia whilst turned on
  • 11.1 x 16.5 x 15.2 inches (W x D x H)
  • 14 pre-programmed drinks
  • Automatic milk frothing
  • Ceramic grinder with 8 settings
  • Color screen with buttons and dial
  • 1-year warranty

DeLonghi Eletta Explore

DeLonghi Eletta Explore
  • 10.3 x 17.5 x 15.1 inches (W x D x H)
  • Over 50 pre-programmed drinks
  • Automatic hot and cold milk frothing
  • 13 grind settings
  • Touchscreen
  • 2 year warranty (+1 extra year when registered with DeLonghi)

Prefer to Shop Direct? Buy Here

Gaggia Accademia

Mirror mirror on the wall, is the Gaggia Accademia the most beautiful espresso machine of them all? We certainly think so!

It offers more than just good looks though: it’s also a joy to use. The combination of the large screen and the dial/buttons make selecting, customizing and saving your coffees a dream.

Along with the classic coffee options you have some niche Italian specialties such as melange and macchiatone. Plus, you can switch from automatic milk to the manual wand if you want to become a latte art master.

In addition to the usual strength, length, and temperature settings, you can also adjust the pre-infusion time and the flow rate through the puck with “Espresso Plus” system. I love this flexibility as it helps you get really fantastic espresso or lungo without over-extraction.

The only real downsides are that the minimum espresso length is too long if you want a 1:2 ratio, and the drip tray is quite small so it needs to be emptied frequently.

These are small niggles on an otherwise fantastic machine from Gaggia.

Read next: Our Full Gaggia Accademia Review

DeLonghi Eletta Explore

Do you want choice? How does over 50 drinks sound?

You may wonder how this is possible. It’s because the DeLonghi Eletta Explore has hot, over ice, and XL versions of basically every drink option on the machine. So if you can get to 17, you can get over 50.

This is an incredible range.

The Over Ice drinks are brewed warm and designed to be served at around 50°F (10°C). So they’re not exactly cold, but certainly not warm either. You get an ice tray and instructions for how many cubes to use for each drink (which are impressively accurate so I don’t recommend free-wheeling it).

The downside to all this? The coffee and milk quality is nowhere near that of the Gaggia (I know, I know, you’ve heard this song before.)

Its still very enjoyable. But if you’re not going to use the cold foam and XL drink options then it’s absolutely not worth the money. You also have 2 milk containers to store/clean, which irrationally annoys me.

If you’re an iced coffee lover, regularly want to fill a travel mug, or just love mixing it up then you’ll not find a better range of coffee options without spending over double this amount.

Read next: Our Full DeLonghi Eletta Explore Review

The Winner

This round of the Gaggia vs DeLonghi comparison is the ultimate “horses for courses” battle.

For those who want their go-to coffee exactly how they like it with limited choices to offer guests then the Accademia is the machine for you.

Or, for those who love iced coffee/ would like to have the option for hot and iced coffee, then the Eletta Explore is the best value espresso machine you can buy.

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Final Thoughts

Are you an espresso purist or obsessed with getting the best value?

Gaggia machines are the better choice if you want your coffee perfect every time. This could be at the touch of a button or by nailing your workflow. Either way, you’ll be able to coax more flavor from your beans and get better microfoam from your milk.

If you’re looking for a feature-packed espresso maker that won’t bankrupt you then DeLonghi machines frequently offer far more than the competition at the same price.

So pick your own coffee adventure. Choose Gaggia vs DeLonghi based on which one serves your needs best.


Matt Woodburn-Simmonds

Matt's coffee obsession started in 2006 when working as a Barista. A tendency to turn up to work hungover kickstarted his coffee journey which quickly turned into a love affair. As he moved on to work as a Restaurant Manager and Sommelier, the obsession continued to grow. Now, his passion is helping others to enjoy better coffee at home.

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