Gaggia is a brand that’s well-versed in making a smooth, rich espresso, having started its coffee journey in Italy in the 1930s. Its first consumer espresso machines were launched in the late 1970s, and since then Gaggia has been on a mission to bring coffee-shop standard hot drinks to the home.
As well as offering manual espresso machines, such as the Gaggia Classic, the company also includes a number of fully automatic coffee makers in its range. The Gaggia Magenta Plus is its latest bean-to-cup machine, automating every step of the coffee-brewing process – from grinding the beans and tamping the coffee to dispense the correct volume, to ensure you can enjoy barista-style coffee at the touch of a button.
The Gaggia Magenta Plus can make four different coffee drinks, as well as dispense hot water. These can be selected from the 2.5-inch full-color touchscreen on the front of the unit. It also comes with a professional-style built-in steam wand, along with a 0.48-gallon / 1.8-liter water tank.
The machine can take whole coffee beans, offering five different grind settings, but can also be used with ground coffee, if you prefer. Each drink can be customized, allowing you to select the strength, aroma, drink size, and temperature to suit. The Gaggia Magenta Plus will even save those settings so you really can get the perfect coffee in seconds. However, it’s an expensive purchase.
At $799 / £749.99, the Gaggia Magenta Plus is best suited to those who want coffee-shop quality but aren’t interested in experimenting with grinding their own beans and creating the perfect coffee puck (the name for the disc of compacted coffee grounds). It’s simple to use, but expensive – although it may well be worth the investment for those short on time.
Gaggia Magenta Plus price and availability
- List price: $799 / £749.99 / AU$1,170
The Gaggia Magenta Plus is priced at $799 / £749.99 / AU$1,170 and is available direct from Gaggia in the US and the UK, while in Australia you can buy it through Amazon.
Gaggia also offers the Magenta Prestige, which includes automatic milk frothing and dispensing, to create 12 different drinks. It costs $899 / £849.99 / AU$1,170.
- 2.5-inch color touch display
- Integrated bean grinder
- Can also brew ground coffee
The Gaggia Magenta Plus is a stylish coffee machine in a matte black finish, with stainless steel accents such as the milk frother and the drip tray. There’s also a splash of red on the front of the machine for those who like some color. However, it’s a bulky appliance, measuring 14 x 8.8 x 17.1 inches/ 35.7 x 22.4 x 43.5cm (h x w x d) and will take up quite a bit of space on a kitchen countertop.
As mentioned, it’s a bean-to-cup machine. The 8.8oz/ 250g capacity coffee bean container can be accessed from the top right of the machine, while on the left you’ll find a removable 0.47-gallon / 1.8-liter water tank that has to be filled manually. The Gaggia Magenta Plus can also be used with ground coffee, which is great for those who like their coffee decaf, but note that ground coffee can only be added one scoop at a time as required.
Drinks are selected using the touch control on the 2.5-inch color display that sits in the center of the machine. Once one of the four options for coffee type – Espresso, Espresso lungo, Coffee, or Americano – has been selected, you can go on to customize the strength, aroma, drink size and temperature using the same touch controls. The grind level of the beans is also adjustable, using the control knob in the coffee bean container, and the coffee machine can also dispense just hot water for teas.
The Gaggia Magenta Plus features twin pouring spouts, so can be used to pour two espressos simultaneously, and the height can be adjusted to take a maximum cup height of 4.7 inches/ 12cm. It also comes with an espresso tray, which, Gaggia says when used with traditional-style espresso cups, ensures the right height to obtain a thick crema on the coffee.
On the left-hand side of the Gaggia Magenta Plus is a professional-style steam wand, which the machine automatically rinses through after every use, so there’s minimal daily cleaning required.
- Produces smooth coffee with a thick crema
- Adjustable spout allows it to take a range of cup sizes
- Noisy in use
On test, we found the Gaggia Magenta Plus was quick to brew coffee, taking just 32 seconds from selecting the drink to creating a smooth intense espresso. The default amount is 40ml, although this can be adjusted anywhere from 30ml to 80ml in 5ml increments.
When it came to flavor, we used the default Espresso grind for the beans and opted for a normal strength aroma, which resulted in a well-rounded espresso that was neither burnt nor overly bitter. Using these settings the crema was thick, and reformed after adding a spoon of sugar. However, do note that it’s easy to make the coffee stronger or weaker to your taste using the touch controls.
Unfortunately, this machine is noisy, with our decibel meter registering 87db during the bean grinding section of the process; this dropped to 52db when the drink was brewing. At its loudest, the coffee machine sounds similar to a car wash at 20ft away – it’s one of the louder machines we’ve tested. However, since the noise will only last for a couple of minutes, we think it’s acceptable.
The steam wand can produce a jug of hot texturized milk in just under a minute with a temperature of around 133ºF/ 56ºC, with the bubbles thick and velvety, and remaining stable for the whole drink. And we found the wand worked just as effectively with plant-based milk: we tried oat milk with great results. However, our decibel meter hit 90db when steaming milk, which is equivalent to the sound made by a motorcycle passing at a distance of 25ft. We also found it made a shrieking noise, which wasn’t pleasant.
Should I buy the Gaggia Magenta Plus?
Buy it if…
You want barista-coffee quickly
With four different types of coffee available in just 30 seconds, and requiring no more input than a touch of a button, this is the ideal coffee machine for those in a hurry.
You want to customize drinks
If you’re fussy about aroma, temperature, and strength, the Gaggia Magenta Plus lets you customize to ensure the coffee really is to your taste.
You sometimes make decaf coffee
As well as taking whole coffee beans, the Gaggia Magenta Plus can also brew ground coffee, which is extremely handy if you sometimes drink decaf coffee.
Don’t buy it if…
You like quiet appliances
At 87db when grinding beans and 90db when steaming milk, this coffee machine is one of the noisiest appliances we’ve tested. One to avoid, if you like the peace.
You want an automatic milk frother
Unlike some bean-to-cup machines such as the DeLonghi Dinamica Plus, which can automatically texturize milk, this coffee machine has a steam wand that you have to operate manually. Milk-based coffees will therefore be more time-consuming to make using the Gaggia Magenta Plus.
You’re short on space
This is quite a bulky machine that will take up a good chunk of space on your countertop. If space is at a premium, look elsewhere
First reviewed: September 2021