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Gaggia Anima bean-to-cup coffee machine review

Pros: not an overwhelming amount of choice
Cons: cleaning could be easier

Star rating: 4.5/5

Read our full review of the best bean-to-cup coffee machines

With its glossy black and silver finish, the Gaggia Anima is a pretty attractive machine – even if it isn't as swanky as some of its pricier counterparts. The build feels high quality, with compartments that fit in snugly and a drip tray that slots back into place with a satisfying click.

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Though compact enough to fit easily into small kitchens, as the 1.8-litre water tank and coffee compartments are integrated, you'll need space to be able to pull both out from above. There is also a steam wand included and, though made of plastic, it's actually far more robust than it looks.

With the option to use ground coffee, this is an excellent choice if you're prone to forgetting to stock up on beans. Simply use the available scoop to place a serving in the small hatch and use as normal. When it comes to the controls, the Anima keeps things nice and simple. The display is LCD and uncomplicated and each of the six buttons comes with a handy explanation of what it does, lessening the need to keep referring back to the manual.

With three temperature settings, five coffee strengths and two coffee modes available, the concise set of choices makes it less overwhelming than some machines. The only downside is that it requires you to do a bit more of the heavy lifting when it comes to making more complex coffees, though this isn't particularly complicated; simply choose from an espresso or lungo and steam up the milk (which helpfully includes a push-button rather than knob) if you want a cappuccino or latte.

Though the grounds bin holds a sizeable amount, when it comes to cleaning, this machine could be slightly more intuitive. Requests to refill the beans, water or empty the groups all occur independently, so you may find yourself having to perform some sort of maintenance several times a week. This is, of course, dependent on how much you're using the machine, so if you only need it in the mornings, it won’t be too much of a headache.

The descaling process, once indicated, must be performed before any more coffee-making can take place, so make sure you've familiarised yourself with the process so when the time comes you can perform the task quickly and easily. Despite these slight fiddles, the machine can be relied upon to produce consistently high-quality coffee – something that can probably be attributed to the fact that its functions aren't overly complicated.

It comes already set up with the maximum strength and pressure applied which, after some experimentation, definitely proved itself to be the most favourable combination for strength and quality of taste.

The lungo setting in particular yielded great results, producing a shot that was well-balanced and without a strong aftertaste.

Star ratings:
Functionality rating: 4.5/5
Results rating: 4.5/5
Ease of cleaning rating: 4/5
Value for money rating: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5

Dimensions (HxWxD): 500 x 290 x 460mm
Weight: 8kg
Power: 1850 watts
Water capacity: 1.8 litres
Adjustable grind: yes

Coffee recipes and tips

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This review was last updated in November 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at

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