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Gaggia Babila Super-Automatic Espresso Machine Review

SUMMARY: Gaggia Babila Super Automatic

“Gaggia
  • Highly customizable for black or milk coffees
  • Automated cleaning and maintenance
  • Great for a family or office
“In my opinion, it’s one of the most versatile full automatic coffee and espresso machines available.” – Alex Mastin, Homegrounds.co

A quick review of the Gaggia Babila:

Gaggia’s top of the line super-automatic machine is certainly not just for espresso drinkers. Yes, it pulls a great shot. But this fully-automatic espresso machine has the versatility to make long coffees, short coffees, and the perfect flat white or latte macchiato.

Gaggia Babila would be a good fit for a family in which every member takes their coffee differently. There’s even a plain milk froth option for babycinos or puppuccinos.

Pros

  • Eight pre-programmed drinks

  • Automatic milk frothing
  • 15 grinder settings
  • Ceramic burr grinder
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Heavy
  • No cup warmer

A full review of the Gaggia Babila:

If you want to know if you really need all the high-tech features that come with this bean to cup espresso machine, here’s how the Gaggia Babila stacks up.

Latte with Wooden Spoon

Design – 4.5/5

Buying the Babila is a bit of a statement. It’s an impressive looking machine: a high-quality stainless steel body decked out in a brushed metal finish with chrome accents. 

It’s narrower than some other espresso machines. Still, at 14.17” in height, it is tall.

You access controls by combining buttons for one-touch drinks and a display screen for the full menu. You’ll also get alerts for anything you can think of: when to refill the water, refill the coffee, change the water filter, or descale the machine.

It has a 10.57-ounce bean hopper. Other features included for the price tag include a bypass doser for pre-ground coffee, a stainless-steel dual boiler system, and a detachable milk carafe. Unusually, the Babila doesn’t have a cup warmer.

Like any good bean to cup espresso machine, the Gaggia RI9700 Babila is designed for convenience.

Cleaning is automatic for the most part. It has a self-rinse cycle for both the machine and the milk carafe, plus an automatic descaling. There’s also a removable brew unit and drip tray for easy cleaning. 

User-friendliness – 4.5/5

What’s fantastic about the Babila is that although it’s highly customizable, it’s also super-easy to get COFFEE AT THE TOUCH OF A BUTTON. It has eight pre-programmed drinks. Five of these drinks can be made with the one-touch brewing feature, and you can access three from the menu.

You can tweak each of these pre-set drinks to your liking and save the settings once you discover your perfect coffee.

Another good news is that there is no learning curve for the automatic milk frother.

You can even make a milk-based drink without moving your cup (an advantage over the similarly-priced Oracle). The Gaggia Babila features a detachable milk carafe. For you, this means that you can store it in the fridge between uses. Moreover, if you want to try your hand at latte art, there’s also a separate manual steam wand that also dispenses hot water. 

What more to expect?

Reservoir size – 4/5

In any other espresso or even coffee machine, a 50.7oz water reservoir would be sufficient. But with the option to make espresso lungo and even larger coffees, you’re going to get through this pretty quickly. 

We do love the fact that you can remove the water reservoir for easy filling at the sink. It’s compatible with the Aquaclean filter to prevent scale buildup.

Versatility – 5/5

The Babila gives you five different ways in which you can tweak your coffee preferences. They start with the ceramic grinder, where you have 15 different grind settings. Most automatic machines concentrate on the finer end of the scale, but this one will give you some coarser options too. 

This is ideal for making longer coffees without over-extraction (1).

You also have five options for strength, which adjusts the dose of coffee and taste settings. This is the pre-infusion time and is listed as delicate (no pre-infusion), balanced (two seconds), and full-bodied (four seconds). 

The normal rule is lower temperatures for darker roasts and higher temperatures for lighter roasts.

Marlous van Putten, barista

Try a longer pre-infusion time for lighter roasted coffee beans (2).

Gaggia gives you a choice of low, medium, or high temperatures for brewing. This is not just about preference. You should also adjust it depending on the bean’s roast. 

Finally, there is flow control knob on the front. The control is about how fast the water goes through the machine. Again, this is a useful addition for a espresso coffee machine that offers such a wide variety of coffees, as the flow can affect both balance and flavor (3).

The Babila comes with a bunch of accessories including a bottle of gaggia descaler, an AquaClean water filter, a tube of brew group lubricant, water hardness test strip, and a scoop/grinder key.

It also comes with a 2-year warranty, so please make sure to make a request.

Is this really for you?

If your drink preferences tend towards the cappuccino and latte, this is the machine for you. With options to customize and save your preferences every step of the way, you can tweak until you get the perfect cup.

Don’t buy this if…

If you don’t need to tweak your coffee. The Jura Z6 offers 13 re-programmed drinks and also holds an impressive 81oz in its water tank.

If you’re happy with a manual steam wand. You can save a bundle by making your own milk foam with the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 or the Gaggia Brera automatic espresso machine.

The bottom line

This really is an incredibly versatile machine. For anyone that likes a wide variety of beverages and adjustable coffee, you’d be hard-pressed to find something better. It is expensive, but you’re getting an incredible amount of value for your money.

“Gaggia
References
  1. Oden, G. (n.d.). Having Trouble Brewing Delicious Espresso? Here Are 5 Things To Try. Retrieved from https://www.javapresse.com/blogs/espresso/espresso-troubleshooting-5-things-to-try
  2. Brøndsted, T. (2017, December 7). Light versus dark roast. Retrieved from http://coffeenavigated.net/lightvsdark/
  3. Grant, T. (2020, August 04). How Flow Profiling Impacts Espresso Extraction. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/07/how-flow-profiling-impacts-espresso-coffee-extraction/

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