Gaggia for Illy Espresso Machine Review
Hi folks, pull up a chair, grab an espresso and looks get ready to talk about the Gaggia for Illy espresso machine. In this Gaggia espresso machine review we’ll take a look at this particular single serve espresso machine which to me looks like Gaggia has come out swinging against Nespresso. If you’re in a rush to buy the Gaggia for Illy espresso machine then click here for the best price at Amazon. So I hope to offer some advice on the Nespresso Citiz vs. Gaggia for Illy and see who comes out ahead. From the different versions of these companies machines, I believe that the Nespresso Citiz compared to the Gaggia for Illy espresso machine to be the fairest comparison.
Now right off the bat, I’m going to give the award for design to the Nespresso espresso machines, and not just the Citiz, although it is much more aesthetically pleasing than the Illy espresso machine. And this surprises me because Gaggia is… correction, was an Italian company (since bought out by Philips, but as I understand their espresso machines are still made in Italy), and the Italians being so stylish and fashionable generally this took me by surprise.
Okay, so the design is one thing as far as the single serve espresso maker looks. But good design does not equate to good coffee or in this case good espresso. So let’s look at some of the important features of the Gaggia Illy espresso machine and see how it compares to the Nespresso Citiz espresso machine.
As far as the water reservoir they’re both identical in size at 1 liter or around 34 ounces. Depending on when and where you buy either espresso capsule machine depends on whether you get a trial pack or not, so to be sure to pick up some espresso capsules or espresso pods when you buy the Gaggia for Illy espresso machine. So on this count I’ll call it even Steven. Let’s look at price. Now it’s hard to give a definitive price as there are specials on all over the place at different times for different sellers.
So I’ve taken a look at a bunch of online merchants of espresso machines and decided that I’d give you a general idea. On Amazon for example, the Gaggia for Illy espresso machine plus is the same retail price as the Nespresso CitiZ C120 with frother. Although as I write, Amazon has a better discount on the Gaggia espresso machine. You can buy the Nespresso here or the Gaggia here.
Here are some of the features of the Gaggia for Illy espresso machine:
- Programmable cup volume for you to decide how much espresso you want (same as Nespresso)
- Dedicated controls for on/off, cup volume and milk frother which can pour hot water (Nespresso doesn’t offer a wand that can pour hot water)
- 4 stage water filtration process thanks to Mavea water filter (Nespresso doesn’t have water filtration)
- Dreg drawer can hold up to 12 spend espresso capsules (Nespresso only holds up to 10)
- Stainless steel boiler (I can’t tell what the Nespresso’s thermoblock is)
Okay, so from the features above I’d suggest that the Gaggia for Illy espresso machine is in the lead. Although the Nespresso CitiZ with milk frother offers you guessed it a milk frother, it’s an automatic frother and not a wand steamer. I have heard some complaints from folks suggesting that the espresso and milk are at a good temperature but not very hot.
The Nespresso single serve espresso maker does offer 19 bars of pressure compared to the Illy’s 15 bars of pressure. So Nespresso takes the edge here, but to be honest, I don’t find this to be particularly relevant. I’ve enjoyed espresso beverages from espresso machines that offered far less pressure than 15 bars and it still tasted great. In my opinion if you’re in 12 or more bars that’s plenty and you can oftentimes get away with less.
The Nespresso capsules are packed in an aluminum package which I’m not crazy of. There has been some suggestion that aluminum has some affect in Alzheimer’s and although not conclusive, I frankly choose not to cook or heat things in aluminum. Now the Gaggia Illy espresso maker packages their espresso in plastic which is not ideal either so this too is a tie. And another reason why you should not be intimidated to learn the art of espresso so that you can buy yourself a decent manual espresso machine and not have to worry about these concerns and also not be dictated to by the espresso beans or coffee capsules that you have to buy.
Another win for the Gaggia for Illy espresso machine is that they pack a reasonable 7 grams of espresso into each capsule compared to the chintzy 5.5 grams that Nespresso thinks they can get away with. You can see where I’m heading with this head to head comparison of Gaggia single serve esrpesso machine vs. Nespresso single serve espresso machine can’t you 😉
Lastly, I want to talk about the capsules themselves. I just hate being beholden to a single company to buy my espresso coffee beans from. And with the Nespresso you can only buy their espresso capsules online from them. And offline you can buy from very few select merchants. At least this is the way it is as I write this.
Because Gaggia doesn’t make the Illy espresso cups or as they’re really called the Illy iperEspresso capsules, you can buy them at several online retailers as well as offline retailers. I like this a lot more. The cost is similar when you compare the amount of coffee you’re getting in each manufacturer’s espresso capsules.
Okay, for really, really last, I’m just not a fan of Nestle and they’re the folks that make the Nespresso coffee machines. It all goes back to their bad corporate behavior when they were doing shady business with selling underhandedly their baby formulas to third world moms back in the 70s I think it was.
I just don’t trust them and probably never will. In my mind they’re up there with the likes of Monsanto. Not to say that Gaggia is unblemished, and now that they’re part of Philips who knows. Nevertheless this bias of mine alone is enough to choose the Gaggia for Illy espresso machine over the Nespresso CitiZ.
In this comparison reviews of single serve espresso machines, in my mind, Gaggia for Illy clearly wins. You’ve gotta stand for something or you’ll fall for anything right?