Gaggia is pretty well known brand among coffee lovers and it used to be a separate company with long history of making the espresso machines. However, first, it was acquired by Saeco and after that by Philips (just few years ago).
Gaggia Brera is really convenient gadget if you want to have some good expresso in the morning (e.g. of the working day). I am a coffee lover and preparing my espresso in the morning is nowadays close to a ritual.
Once you start to prepare (sometimes still being only half-awake) the coffee, after the Gaggia’s buzzing and other sounds, you start to smell freshly brewed espresso in your kitchen 🙂 And all that is achieved only by pressing up to two buttons! It does not run (neither embedded) Linux, however it has some board with the micro-controller on it.
Experience of using Gaggia Brera
We got our Brera from eBay already around four years ago. It has quite nice & stylish design and not complicated electronic control with LED-based indication.
Brera is pretty low-maintenance automatic machine, which makes your life easier. Your as customer duty is only to not forget buying the coffee beans and loading them later on. Another duty is filling the water container and you cleaning used coffee container. Oh yeah, Brera will remind you to descale it every 500 espresso cups. Basically, you are left to try different brands of coffee beans until you will find which is the best for you 😉
Well, when Gaggia is running, you really feel like in heaven.
Unfortunately, occasionally it breaks down as well 🙁
Gaggia’s warranty from eBay
When you buy electronics from eBay, some of it will have a valid (and international) warranty, while other will be covered only by the warranty from the seller. So, it is good to clarify with seller about the warranty before making the final decision.
In my case, Brera was covered by the seller’s warranty. The machine is pretty heavy. As the result, it would be pretty costly to send for the repair to the seller. But at the same time, the machine’s price was a lot lower compared to other online shops. So, it was fair enough not to get the international warranty. I did not mind about repairing Gaggia’s Brera DIY 🙂
If you prefer lower risk, you can get Gaggia Brera from Amazon too.
DIY repair of Gaggia Brera
During the time, when Gaggia is in our home, I first had to replace the boiler. After some Googling, I managed to find its service manual and the spare parts numbers list. The boiler, which came with Gaggia, was pretty thin and it got faulty after serving for around two years (its p/n 11013735). After contacting Gaggia UK, I was explained that a new design boiler has to be installed with new part number 11011341. Once the boiler was bought on eBay and replaced, Brera came back to life 😉
One error of the coffee machine was pretty annoying. The red triangle and cup started to flash and the user guide did not explain it 🙁 Only after finding the service manual, it appeared that Gaggia only needed ‘priming’. I believe that this error should be clearly explained in the user manual, however only the service manual revealed this 😉
If you would need to replace a pump inside the machine, it is Ulka EX5. Just pay attention to the voltage because theses pumps can be either 110V or 230V. Basically, they were the only main wearable parts of Brera.
After serving for four years, the scale developed inside the mushroom flow-selector few weeks ago. The machine had to be completely disassembled. You can see the results in photo above 🙂
This Youtube video was pretty useful in guiding, where the guy from Scandinavia explained all procedure and showed on his Brera 😉 It took me probably the whole evening until I reached that selector. Once the selector was removed from Brera, I gently disassembled it (as it was shown on Youtube) and filled with the citric acid. It was left to stay like this for ~20 min and it was properly washed after. The result of that was really great! I do not remember when this selector was so smoothly working. And of course, Brera started to make great espresso again 😉
Enjoy your projects by drinking good coffee at the same time! 😉