Gaggia Classic Espresso Machine
Consumers Best Buy!
The Gaggia Classic is a best sellers for several reasons. Commercial quality: Rugged construction Solid materials. High performance: Forged brass components to stabilize temperature with a three-way solenoid valve and independent expansion valve.
With a little practice, The Gaggia Classic turns anyone into a “Barista” in their own home.
Designed in Italy by Gaggia, one of the most respected names in the espresso industry, the Classic uses standard 58 mm filters to provide ample room for brewing rich, full espresso.
A higher power 17-1/2-bar pump, an independent expansion valve, and a three-way solenoid valve is also included, providing immediate pressure release from the group head once an espresso pull is completed. This allows the portafilter to be removed and the next shot to be prepared instantly.
Other convenient features include a hot-water dispenser for tea, a frothing wand for crema, and a cup warmer. It’s 72-ounce water reservoir is removable for easy filling or cleaning.
- chrome-plated 58mm brass brew group and portafilter
- huge 72 oz removable water tank
- 17 1/2 bar pump
- High-wattage boiler
- single or double shot, or two simultaneous
- frothing steamer
- Includes single, double, and pod filters
- tamper and scoop
- 8 x 9.5 by 14.25 inches
Is the Gaggia Classic Tres Classique?
Any of the high end machines will do a decent job of heating up quickly, holding temperature, brewing quality espresso, and holding up to daily use.
The big question however is this: Pressurized Portafilter?
The Gaggia Baby Class has a pressurized portafilter. This is a galvanizing feature that the purists hate, but that most people don’t even really notice or think about. On the one hand, a classic solid brass portafilter (basically the ground coffee holder and filter basket assembly) can produce the best results. When used by the most experienced barista. When properly tempered to operating temperature. But a pressurized portafilter attempts to overcome variations in coffee grinding, tamping, and temperature preparation by building pressure to a minimum level before allowing the brewed espresso to escape.
This has two effects. First, the filter baskets tend to clog and require cleaning, which can be a royal pain in the rear as they are tiny pinholes and are hard to clear. Second, the used espresso puck that should be dry and just tap out can be a wet soupy mess.
Here’s what I have found over the years. If the portafilter is a wet soupy mess, then your coffee is probably not ground correctly; it’s probably too coarse. And if the filter basket is clogging, then you probably either have your grind too fine, or you’re leaving the machine sit uncleaned for extended periods between uses. Figure out your grind and empty and rinse after each use, and your problem will probably be solved.
So for me, not working at the espresso machine 8 hours a day to perfect my technique, I find the pressurized portafilter to be perfectly “acceptable”. Just make sure you are ok with a pressurized portafilter before you buy one this machine (or any of theese mid level ones).
Gaggia has three machines are more or less interchangeable to me. They all do ok. They all have mostly raving reviews. They all have some bad reviews for failures. Make sure you but one that is “sold and fulfilled by Amazon” so you get good customer service at least long enough to get a working machine. Any of these are good machines.
For me, however, I’d probably pick up the Saeco Aroma espresso machine. It may be a boxier, less modern design, but it’s built durable, and the Saeco design has been around for years and is proven reliable. And the Saeco let’s you adjust the brew strength (even mid pull). But that said, if you prefer the Gaggia Classic, I can easily recommend it as well. There really are no losers in this group.