A decent mid-range coffee machine, the Gaggia Magenta Plus quickly delivers great espressos. Milk frothing is a bit of a hassle, so those looking for better results may want to find a machine that milks milk automatically or has a suitable steam tap. For those who largely drink regular coffee, this machine is a great choice.
- Easy to use
- makes a good espresso
- Easy to maintain
- Slightly difficult to use steam wand
TypeThis is a bean coffee machine with a manual steam wand.
While the Gaggia Magenta Plus is at the bottom of the Magenta bean-to-cup range, it’s arguably the most flexible of the trio, allowing you to froth milk manually via a steam wand.
This allows you to froth your milk the way you want, giving you plenty of options to create a variety of different drinks.
Well built and with a nice interface, this coffee machine is generally very easy to use, but the steam wand takes some getting used to.
Design and functionality
- Simple and striking design
- Easy-access grain hopper
- Simple interface
With its black body and red interface, the Gaggia Magenta Plus looks quality. It’s also sturdy and is an improvement over cheaper entry-level machines, such as the Beko Bean To Cup Coffee Machine with Steam Wand CEG5311.
Like most bean-to-cup machines, this one can hold 250g in its bean hopper. It’s a standard coffee bag. Inside the hopper is the grinder control, allowing you to switch from coarse to fine grind. It is worth adjusting the grind when changing beans to get the best quality every time.
On the other side of the machine, hidden under a flap, is the 1.8-liter water tank, which lifts and pulls out to fill. You will need a decent space above to take out the tank, so it will be easier to fill it using a pitcher or bottle. There is no filter included, but you can install one to improve the taste of your drinks.
Machine control is via the simple LCD screen and touch buttons. There are preset options for espresso, coffee (larger cups), steam, lungo (a larger espresso-style drink), americano (hot water added to espresso), and hot water. .
Selecting an option allows you to adjust the volume of liquid dispensed, although the defaults, such as 40ml of espresso, are about correct.
There is room under the spout for cups up to 6 ” tall, which covers most types except larger latte glasses.
- Pour a little fast
- Good espresso temperature
- decent cream
As with most coffee machines, there is little control over the flow of espresso. Even with the finest grind setting, I found the Gaggia Magenta to make espresso a bit fast: around 20s is about fine for a standard shot, but the Magenta was around 15s.
While you don’t get quite the same quality as with a manual machine, such as the WPM KD-270S, Magenta is still quite good. I found the espresso shot came out with a nice flat creme that wasn’t too sparkling. The temperature was also there, with my coffee delivered at 60 ° C.
Dark in color, the espresso looked good too. It lacked all the depth I would get from a high-end manual machine, but the pronounced acidity and boldness was there. Considering how easy it is to brew espresso, the results are pretty good.
- Slightly complicated to do well
- Decent results are possible
As a single boiler coffee machine, you can only steam or brew espresso, not both at the same time. When you press the steam button, it takes a little while for the Gaggia Magenta to heat up before it begins to eject steam from the wand. It also takes a few seconds to stop ejecting steam when you press the stop button.
This makes it a bit difficult to eject the water from the wand before you start to lather, which you really should be doing; with a machine that has a tap, you can use a jet of steam to squirt water before frothing the milk.
It is also a bit of a hassle to place a jug under the wand at the right angle for perfect milk results. With a little practice it is possible to get a well textured milk with microfoam but it is a bit trickier here than on other machines.
When you are done, I recommend that you point the steamer nozzle at the drip tray and turn the steam on and off to remove any residual milk from the system.
If you don’t want to process the milk manually, the Prestige and Milk versions of Magenta have automatic milk froth.
- Easy to empty
- Easy access to the brewing unit
As with most bean machines, the bin should be emptied regularly. This can be removed from the front with the drip tray. I found the used coffee pucks to be quite dry which made the bin easy to empty. A quick wash in soapy water, with the drip tray, does not hurt.
The automatic rinse helps keep the Gaggia Magenta in top condition, but you should also remove the brew unit to the side and rinse it weekly. Gaggia recommends using its cleaning tablets once a month to remove accumulated coffee oil, following the instructions in the manual.
When prompted, you will also need to descale the coffee machine by following the instructions in the manual. The time between descaling depends on the hardness level of the water in your area. Gaggia provides a test strip in the box, and you can then adjust the level in Magenta.
Should we buy it?
If you want a solid midrange machine that’s great for espresso but can handle milk whenever you want, it’s a good compromise.
If you want more variety of recipes, including profiles for individual users and automatic milk froth, you may want to look elsewhere.
As a general rule, a good espresso and simple maintenance set Gaggia Magenta apart from the cheaper competition. It takes a bit of getting used to manual steaming for the best results. If you don’t want to worry about it, I recommend the Melitta Caffeo Barista TS Smart, which automatically froths milk and lets you create profiles for your favorite drinks. It is a little more than Magenta.
If you’re considering a manual machine instead, check out my guide to the best coffee machines for some ideas.
How we test
Unlike other sites, we test every coffee machine that we scrutinize over an extended period of time. We use industry standard testing to properly compare features. We will always tell you what we find. We never, ever take money to review a product.
Learn more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main coffee machine for the review period
Tested for at least a week
We roast our own beans for regular coffee machines, which allows us to compare each machine fairly; pod machines are tested with a variety of compatible capsules
Depending on the capacities, we test the capacity of each espresso and cappuccino maker
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Yes, you can use the manual steam nozzle and a jug of milk.
The Plus has the manual steam wand, while the Prestige and Milk will steam automatically.
It takes 250g, which is the size of a regular coffee bag.
RRP in UK
Date of first review
Type of coffee machine
Maximum cup height
Number of boilers
Gaggia Magenta Plus
224 x 435 x 357 MM
Gaggia Magenta Plus
From bean to cup
Yes (steam wand)