Gaggia Magenta Plus full review
Does coffee at the touch of a button sound like dream come true? Well, that’s what the Gaggia Magenta Plus can offer from the comfort of your own home.
Automatic bean-to-cup coffee machines are all the rage and Gaggia’s latest model brings with it a modern design including a colour screen and touch-sensitive buttons. It’s got a few tricks up its sleeve to bring you barista-quality coffee at home.
Design & Build
The Magenta Plus, and other models in the range, arrive with a contemporary design which is more stylish than many other coffee machines out there. It’s also quite slimline which will help it fit into smaller kitchens where worktop space is at a premium.
It’s the angled control panel that makes it stand out, but also little touches like the chrome/stainless steel sections and red detail give it a classy look. It wouldn’t look out of place in an Italian restaurant.
Setting up the machine is nice and easy thanks to the colour screen displaying easy to follow instructions, so I was able to get up and running within minutes. Gaggia even supplies a test strip to measure the hardness of your mains water.
Add your water and coffee beans into the compartments on the top of the machine and you’re ready to choose a beverage. On the Magenta Plus, there are five options: espresso, espresso lungo, coffee, americano and hot water. Then the steam option on top of these, of course.
It’s not a touchscreen so you simply use the four buttons next to the pictures, which is an easy to follow system. Below are more touch buttons for power, home, clean/settings and start/stop.
As with most coffee machines like this, the dispense nozzle is adjustable to your cup and a section of the tray is removable and slots in higher up for espresso mugs. The slot is basically invisible so is a little hard to find the first few times.
I only have a few gripes about the design and they are fairly minor. A large section of the front is removable as part of the drip tray – to empty the dregs and coffee grounds – but the steaming wand needs to be moved first which is hard to remember.
More of an issue is the fact the 1.8L water container goes into the top of the machine, under a flap that doesn’t stay open on its own. When you include the handle, which is very bendy, there’s not much room to manoeuvre the container if the machine is under a kitchen cupboard.
I ended up just refilling the water from a jug rather than trying to remove and replace the water container without spilling water everywhere while bashing my hand on the cupboard.
On the other side, the coffee bean hopper has a clear aroma lid but there’s a section at the top where beans get stuck so you’ll have to nudge them down to the lower part where the grinder is. On the plus side, it can fit 250g of beans and Gaggia supplies a 500g bag in the box with the machine.
One final issue – partly just because I am used to it – but the Magenta doesn’t have anywhere to store/warm mugs.
Features & Performance
As mentioned earlier, the Magenta Plus offers five different beverages, although that includes hot water. The Magenta Milk has nine and the Magenta Prestige has no less than 12.
Still, five should be enough for most people and it’s partly not more because you have to manually steam the milk yourself. Before I get to that, the Magenta offers a large amount of control over the beverages including size (in ml), temperature (three levels) and strength.
There’s also a two-cup option as you would expect and the americano even lets you choose how much coffee and hot water you want. The screen also displays messages like the bean hopper being empty or errors – not that I experienced any of the latter.
It’s easy and clear to change using the screen and buttons, and you're given the option to save the setting to avoid doing it every time. This means after powering on, your coffee is two quick buttons taps away from being brewed.
As well as five settings for the ceramic grinder, the Magenta offers five strength levels from the interface, and it also accepts pre-ground coffee if you like.
Add in the stainless steel steam wand and you can make a lot more types of coffee, such as Latte and Cappuccino. Note that the Magenta Plus has a professional style wand so it’s a lot harder to use than the plastic ones you find on cheaper machines like the Gaggia Naviglio.
It works very well but takes some getting used to if you’ve not experienced one before. You need the right amount of milk in your jug and to hold the tip of the wand at a very precise point under the surface of the liquid to get the right result.
If teaching yourself to be a barista sounds like too much effort, you can upgrade to the Magenta Milk or Magenta Plus, both of which will sort out the milk for you.
With a quick heat boiler, the Magenta is ready to go with minimal waiting. The machine is nicely quiet in operation, too. No matter what you make, the coffee comes out looking and tasting great – easily what you'd expect at a local café.
The Magenta Plus sits at the bottom of the Magenta range at £589. The Milk and Prestige models offer more beverage options and automatic milk frothing. They cost £599 and £649 respectively.
In the US, you can buy the Magenta Plus for $1,099 via Amazon.
This makes it one of the more expensive coffee machines you can buy, before you head into the professional market. However, even the high-end Prestige is cheaper than the £699 De'Longhi Dinamica, when bought at RRP.
Check out our best coffee machines chart to see all your options.
Although the Magenta Plus will be a little too expensive for some, if you want a range of coffees at the touch of a button then it's an excellent choice.
It comes in a stylish and slim design and works both quickly and quietly. Fuss is at a minimum here and there's plenty of customisation options so you can get your brew exactly how you like it, but easily tweak for a visitor.
A top-positioned water container with a flimsy handle is awkward but is easily remedied by filling the machine with a jug. Beans getting stuck at the top of the hopper and no room to store espresso mugs are more minor caveats.
Overall, it's a great machine that will serve you well on a daily basis. You just need to decide whether the professional steam wand is suitable for you on the Magenta Plus or whether to pay more for the Milk or Prestige models to froth for you.
Gaggia Magenta Plus: Specs
- Colour TFT screen
- Touch buttons
- 5 beverages + steam
- Quick heat stainless steel boiler
- 1900W power
- 15 Bar Pump Pressure
- Professional steam wand
- Removable water tank (1.8L)
- Removable drip tray
- Adjustable grind and coffee dose (5 levels)
- Adjustable temperature (3 levels)
- Adjustable cup height
- Coffee Bean Capacity: 250g
- Dump Box Capacity: 15 servings
- 224 x 357 x 425mm
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