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How does the pairing of a Baratza Vario and Gaggia Classic strike you?
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CSG
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Joined: 8 Feb 2002
Posts: 42
Location: Idaho
Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 12:52pm
Subject: How does the pairing of a Baratza Vario and Gaggia Classic strike you?
 

I mostly drink straight espresso with the occasional milk based drink.  Only pulling 2-4 shots a day as I'm the only one who likes espresso in our household.

Have been using a Baratza Maestro and Krups 880 "Gusto" for the past 10 or so years and just felt like I wanted to upgrade but stay under a grand pricewi$e.

Other thoughts?
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,997
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 1:03pm
Subject: Re: How does the pairing of a Baratza Vario and Gaggia Classic strike you?
 

Looks like you will get a few opinions on this one.  I like the combo and have the Classic and Preciso.  Unless you are getting the Vario W, why the Vario. Save a little $.   Are you using more than one grind or coffee types?  If you get the Gaggia, a PID is very helpful for temperature setting and less necessary, but nice for steam.  If you put steam on the PID alarm control, then you do not have to watch temperature or surf.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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CSG
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Feb 2002
Posts: 42
Location: Idaho
Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 1:12pm
Subject: Re: How does the pairing of a Baratza Vario and Gaggia Classic strike you?
 

I don't want to get that involved with PID and temp surfing.  It's just espresso to me not so much a lifestyle or hobby.  In other words, I just want to buy a good pairing and not feel the need to modify.

As to why the Vario, I like the idea of the ceramic burrs.  Having a Maestro for other use (we are primarily "pour over" drinkers using Melitta single cup filters) I was thinking of of single use grinder just for espresso.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,722
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 1:44pm
Subject: Re: How does the pairing of a Baratza Vario and Gaggia Classic strike you?
 

OK, you want quality andwant to upgrade but no electronics on the machine.
The Vario is a great little grinder and you should be very happy with it, it does a very good job.

The thing about no PID though, I understand but you might be giving up a lot quality wise with your espresso for the sake of avoiding a little digital readout. The problem with stock SBDU machines is that they rely on click type thermostat switches. This is fine and they work but they allow a very wide swing in tep between the set temp and where they turn on, as much as 20f or more! This is the reason for temp surfing, to try to get a consistent temp for brewing while avoiding a PID.

With a PID, you avoid temp surfing and achieve a better brew of espresso to boot! The PID can maintain a temp of + - 1 deg when sitting idle and it turns on the heater MUCH quicker when brewing so you maintain a much better heat in the brew head for your shot.

There is nothing really wrong with not doing either but pleast take a little thought about the quality you are after, if quality isn't such a big deal and you just want espresso as good as the corner "coffee shop" then stick to your plan, you will be happy, if you want to get more from your equipment then please think about what I just wrote.

Congrats on choosing a good grinder, it goes a VERY long way to getting good to great espresso and congrats on the choice to upgrade! ... WE LOVE TO SPEND YOUR MONEY!!!!!! ;<O

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 1:44pm
Subject: Re: How does the pairing of a Baratza Vario and Gaggia Classic strike you?
 

Problem w/o the PID or temp surfing, you'll pry never pull "espresso" shots, as your temps will be all over the place, you'll pull coffee, but it mostly likely won't resemble "espresso", been there done that, reason I got the CC1 with built in PID. I used to think I was pulling espresso, until I used a PID machine lol, night and day difference. Nevermind having the right temp, but even being able to adjust a few degree's either way can make the same coffee taste completely different, and not having to temp surf is a big plus. If your going to spend the money on a Vario I'm guessing you have a decent budget. You could look into a used H/X on here, or buy something already equipped with a PID. Without a pid for temp surfing, as ex espresso on avg is pulled around 200-201 degrees, without either of the former on that machine you could be way over that or way under.

There's a yahoo (or google can't remember?) group too on the Gaggia's with machines for sale, can pry find one with PID already installed. Another example, had one coffee offhand today I had tried between 201-205 and was ok nothing special and in some pulls didn't care for taste, tried at 200 and it was great, smooth and chocolaty.
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CSG
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Feb 2002
Posts: 42
Location: Idaho
Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 2:34pm
Subject: Re: How does the pairing of a Baratza Vario and Gaggia Classic strike you?
 

Well, I'm not gonna mod anything.  As I said, it's probably not as big a deal to me as some of you.  Remember, I've been drinking my own espresso made with a Krups 880 for a good ten years.  I've got nothing else to compare it to.

However, if I understand what a PID is; a precise temp controller, then maybe I should just get a machine with one built in.
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,997
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 2:37pm
Subject: Re: How does the pairing of a Baratza Vario and Gaggia Classic strike you?
 

CSG Said:

I don't want to get that involved with PID and temp surfing.  It's just espresso to me not so much a lifestyle or hobby.

Posted July 30, 2012 link

I am happy to see that others have posted.  A PID can take very little involvement, or a fair amount, depending on your interest.  You can have it installed, buy a kit, or buy the PID and make up your own wiring.  It is really a nice temperature control device that is lacking on the entry SBDU machines.  The Gaggia sounds like it will easily meet your desires except for the fact that you need to control the temperature, "get involved," with surfing or a PID.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 3:03pm
Subject: Re: How does the pairing of a Baratza Vario and Gaggia Classic strike you?
 

CSG Said:

Well, I'm not gonna mod anything.  As I said, it's probably not as big a deal to me as some of you.  Remember, I've been drinking my own espresso made with a Krups 880 for a good ten years.  I've got nothing else to compare it to.

However, if I understand what a PID is; a precise temp controller, then maybe I should just get a machine with one built in.

Posted July 30, 2012 link

Can't beat the Crossland CC1 for the price with the PID and it's other features built in. Silvia w/ PID cost more money pretty much right into entry level H/X territory, even if it were cheaper I'd still take the CC1 easily over it. You may find someone on the yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Gaggia/ selling  a Classic w/ PID.

You'll see a world of difference being able to brew consistently at various temps, as well as the correct temps for espresso, otherwise like the Krups 880 (everyone starts somewhere) your just pulling coffee shots that don't resemble espresso at all. If you've got the budget for the Vario, you should look into a machine like the CC1 or used H/X for sale in this forum etc. If you get the Gaggia, you have to learn temp surfing which some love, personally I find it to be a complete pain in the arse lol. I had a Bar32 which is similar to the 880 being that it's an entry level basic machine, I though it was fine... until I used a better machine and with PID, so bought the CC1. With good beans, it's a night and day difference.
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CSG
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Feb 2002
Posts: 42
Location: Idaho
Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 3:44pm
Subject: Re: How does the pairing of a Baratza Vario and Gaggia Classic strike you?
 

CMIN Said:

Can't beat the Crossland CC1 for the price with the PID and it's other features built in. Silvia w/ PID cost more money pretty much right into entry level H/X territory, even if it were cheaper I'd still take the CC1 easily over it. You may find someone on the yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Gaggia/ selling  a Classic w/ PID.

You'll see a world of difference being able to brew consistently at various temps, as well as the correct temps for espresso, otherwise like the Krups 880 (everyone starts somewhere) your just pulling coffee shots that don't resemble espresso at all. If you've got the budget for the Vario, you should look into a machine like the CC1 or used H/X for sale in this forum etc. If you get the Gaggia, you have to learn temp surfing which some love, personally I find it to be a complete pain in the arse lol. I had a Bar32 which is similar to the 880 being that it's an entry level basic machine, I though it was fine... until I used a better machine and with PID, so bought the CC1. With good beans, it's a night and day difference.

Posted July 30, 2012 link

Actually, you're incorrect about the Krups not being able to pull nice shots of espresso.  I think you and I live in two worlds where espresso is concerned. ;o)  I'm guessing you must have a far more educated palette than I.  Frankly, I don't even know what you're talking about with all your abbreviations.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 4:02pm
Subject: Re: How does the pairing of a Baratza Vario and Gaggia Classic strike you?
 

CSG Said:

Actually, you're incorrect about the Krups not being able to pull nice shots of espresso.  I think you and I live in two worlds where espresso is concerned. ;o)  I'm guessing you must have a far more educated palette than I.  Frankly, I don't even know what you're talking about with all your abbreviations.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.

Posted July 30, 2012 link

Unless your 880 is dialed in perfect at say 201 degrees, it's not really pulling espresso ;) , it's just your typical entry level steam-pump machine, which is fine. Like I said I still have a Bar32 which would be the next class up (pump not steam) and is another entry level machine. We all started somewhere, I too thought my Bar32 pulled awesome shots and couldn't get any better, man was I wrong when I used a better machine that let you control temp to espresso range consistently.... otherwise the entry machines just pull something more like a shot of coffee, not true espresso. I don't think my palette is that good actually lol, I just taste really good and bad shots like bright or smooth and deep chocolaty shots, can't pick out fig, apple, orange, sweet cherry and whatever else people seem to detail on here lol....though I can do that with microbrews go figure lol. Only appreciation was h/x, heat exchange.

Think what were just trying to say is if your budget allows the Vario, assuming the budget can also get a good machine so you can really enjoy good shots. And something with a PID added (like the Classic) or built in like the Crossland CC1 (which also has a thermoblock for fast steaming) would be excellent so you don't have to deal with temp surfing. Otherwise you'd have to do that on the other single boiler machines like the Classic or you could be pulling shots for example at 220 degrees or 190 and getting completely bitter or extreme sour shots.

What are you using for coffee right now, store bought, or fresh roasted?? That can make a big impact alone as anything from the store is basically already stale.
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