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It's no secret that at Cape Coffee Beans, we're big fans of making coffee manually. We like to grind our beans, sometimes even by hand. We like to pour, tamp, press, stir, froth, etc. - we enjoy the process. Nevertheless, we recognise that not everyone takes pleasure in the same things we do. Some people just want an easy cup of coffee, at a push of a button. We're ok with that.
There are certain things we won't compromise on though. Coffee needs to be freshly roasted, high-quality and delicious, and it also needs to be freshly ground for tasty results. That's why we think that a bean-to-cup solution like the Gaggia Cadorna is a good compromise for someone who wants convenience in a home coffee machine. It may not be able to make a coffee quite as good as what you might be able to achieve with a more manual process, but it will make a solid one consistently, and very importantly, it will use beans of your choice and grind them fresh for every cup.
About the Gaggia Cadorna range
Gaggia is an incredibly well-respected brand in the world of home coffee. Its most famous machine is the entirely manual Gaggia Classic, but in recent years, Gaggia has also released quite an impressive range of "fully automatic" or "bean to cup" machines. The Cadorna range is one of these, aimed squarely at the home user looking for convenience. It's compact, easy to use and relatively easy to maintain.
Gaggia Cadorna machines have a simple interface, allowing you to create a range of drinks at the push of a button. They are actually made in Italy, and house a ceramic burr set with adjustable settings to help create quality beverages with good extractions. They're quite programmable, allowing you to adjust things like temperature, dose and the ratios of coffee, water and milk, while also remembering your favourite presets. One of the particularly nice features is that you can tweak these settings on the fly rather than having to dive deep into the menu options. They also pre-infuse before brewing, helping to further optimise extraction.
Gaggia Cadorna Barista Plus vs. Prestige
We have two models of Gaggia Cadorna available. The Plus is the more basic one. It makes 6 different types of black coffee beverages, from espresso to americano with everything in between, at the touch of a button. It does feature an integrated milk steam wand, which may prove useful if you have a guest who really needs some warm milk in their coffee, but if convenience is your thing and you want milky beverages regularly, we would suggest looking at the Prestige.
The Cadorna Prestige incorporates an automatic milk frother and milk carafe that makes producing any one of 14 beverages as easy as the push of a button. You can keep the carafe in the fridge and then attach it to the machine when you're ready for your next cappuccino, latte, macchiato or any other type of combination of coffee water and milk.
Our recommendations to get the most out of your Gaggia Cadorna
- Use it as intended; it's a home machine for up to 10-20 cups per day (give or take); you can do a bit more than that on some days, but it's not designed to regularly do dozens of cups per day.
- Clean it religiously using products like those from Caffenu and the instructions in the manual. If you don't, it will break down. This is true for all coffee equipment, particularly for bean-to-cups.
- Use water filtered through a jug like the BWT or bottled water
- Use fresh, high-quality coffee beans
- Don't use very light-roasted coffee (in bean to cups in general)
- Calibrate the settings to your taste (you may need to experiment)
- Don't expect it to make coffee like a professional barista
- Understand that if you want your milk scalding hot (no judgement), you may need to use a microwave or a stove rather than a coffee machine; this machine (like most others) will produce milk foam at an appropriate drinking temperature.
Gaggia Cadorna features
- 100% designed and made in Italy
- Digital interface with colour TFT and backlit buttons
- Stainless steel espresso tray
- Adjustable ceramic burrs (10 settings)
- Optiaroma (dose control - 5 settings)
- Adjustable coffee spout 70-155mm
- Pre-brewing function (pre-infusion for better extraction)
- Removable brew group (for easier maintenance and cleaning)
- Option to use ground coffee (for a secondary coffee or decaf, if you must)
- Quick heat boiler
- Milk carafe (Prestige) / Barista Wand (Barista Plus)
- Adjustable temperature (3 settings)
- 6 beverage types (Barista Plus) / 14 beverages types (Prestige)
- 4 user profiles
- Automatic cleaning cycles
- Includes grease tube, grinder adjustment key/measuring spoon, Intenza+ Filter
Gaggia Cadorna specifications
- Unboxed weight: ~9kg
- Dimensions: 26 x 38 x 44 cm
- Body: ABS
- Drip tray: ABS & spray painted anthracite
- Boiler: stainless steel
- Power: 1900W
- Power draw on standby: <1W
- Voltage: 230V 50Hz
- Water tank capacity: 1.5 L
- Milk carafe capacity (Prestige only): 0.6 L
- Hopper capacity: 300g beans
- Puck container capacity: 10