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Comparing Gaggia's Yet Again
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Nov 2, 2012, 10:35am
Subject: Re: Comparing Gaggia's Yet Again
 

Watch youtube pulls it will show you how the buttons are used.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 1,016
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Fri Nov 2, 2012, 11:56am
Subject: Re: Comparing Gaggia's Yet Again
 

toyman Said:

I didn't have any beens to waste prime the new grinder, so I used some preground espresso for the first 2 pulls.  Read thru the instructions and which combination of rocker switches needed to be where.  Got that down and pulled a few shots.  Way too fast, which is telling me the pre-ground is too course.

Posted November 2, 2012 link

...and stale (unless it was ground seconds before you pulled).  Stale beans are a very common cause of fast extractions.
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toyman
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2012
Posts: 50
Location: PA
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Expobar Office Lever Plus,...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Cuisinart
Posted Fri Nov 2, 2012, 3:31pm
Subject: Re: Comparing Gaggia's Yet Again
 

Success!  Set the Preciso to 11, tamped and pulled a 25-30 second double with about 15g of 1 week roasted beans.  It had a creamy mouth feel, great crema, and tasted excellent.  Pulled 2 more and made a few espresso martinis for me and the wife.  Fantastic!  Looking forward to tomorrows pull.  Next, the perfect grind and bean for the cuisinart drip.
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MochaJoe
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Posts: 66
Location: Omaha, NE
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Nov 2, 2012, 3:37pm
Subject: Re: Comparing Gaggia's Yet Again
 

Woot!

Cant wait to share that feeling ;)

So update: I wrote to the sales dept at WLL and asked about a combo price for refurb Rocky and Classic. He said that he would put a package price together, as there wasnt one listed on the site. The problem is that the price quoted is actually higher than that listed on their site if I were to buy them separately....Color me confused.

I'm going to try to call them tomorrow and speak to them in person and ask what's the deal
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,038
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Fri Nov 2, 2012, 7:02pm
Subject: Re: Comparing Gaggia's Yet Again
 

I do not want to be the bearer of bad news, but the Rocky is not acceptable unless you are into mods.  The Rocky steps are too large to keep the grind correct.  The best price for an acceptable grinder IMHO is on the Baratza Preciso refurb directly from Baratza.  $239 and about $10+ shipping.  The only comparable will be a better grinder used.  Search Rocky and Preciso on CG.

Perhaps WLL can package a better grinder than the Rocky, but check out the reviews, on CG, before you agree.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 669
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Fri Nov 2, 2012, 8:11pm
Subject: Re: Comparing Gaggia's Yet Again
 

]

D4F Said:

I do not want to be the bearer of bad news, but the Rocky is not acceptable unless you are into mods.

Posted November 2, 2012 link

I would like to clarify this statement a little. Saying that the Rocky is not acceptable implies that it can't grind for espresso. This is false. It most certainly can. However, when Rancilio
designed the Rocky, they designed it as just a "All-Round" grinder rather than a grinder meant just for espresso.

You also make it sound like the modifications one would have to do to this grinder to make it stepless involve massive amounts of hacking. That's not quite the case.
Someone on Home Barista managed to make their Rocky stepless using a ghetto mod which cost less than a dollar, it just didn't look pretty. Here's some pics of that mod:
Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

D4F Said:

The Rocky steps are too large to keep the grind correct.

Posted November 2, 2012 link

The one thing I found about the Rocky was that once you got close to where you wanted to be for the grind, I literally had about 3-4 steps to choose from to get the grind
close to where I wanted it to be. Using subjective numbers, At "8" the shot would be a gusher, "7" would be a fast shot, "6" would be just a bit slow and "5" would be a choker.

Once I got it to a setting which was close, I'd have to adjust the dosage to get the shot I wanted. This mandates that you MUST use a scale to weigh every shot before you pull it.
Personally, that's a pain in the rear. Adjusting dosage rather than grind can really affect the taste of the coffee... a 14 gram dose can taste quite different from a 16 gram dose.

I will also agree that there are grinders out there which are much more suited to grinding for just espresso than the Rocky, because they have many steps or they are stepless.
Not to mention, having a removable hopper I think is key to making a grinder easy to clean.

I would not recommend buying a new Rocky, because there are other alternatives out there which are stepless or have very small steps. However, I would recommend buying
a used Rocky if you are looking for something cheap, espresso-capable and you are aware of the limitations of this grinder.

It's a shame that people rag on this grinder, because the Rocky is really built well. My biggest beef with it outside of the steps is that the bean hopper isn't removable and that you
have to hold a switch in to grind.

If you can find one used for around $100-$150-ish, they're well worth the price if you are on a very tight budget. Otherwise, yes.. Consider a Baratza Precisio or better yet, a Vario.
(I don't have experience with those grinders, but they have good reviews on this site.)

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,038
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Fri Nov 2, 2012, 8:22pm
Subject: Re: Comparing Gaggia's Yet Again
 

MochaJoe Said:

I'm not one to randomly open up my machine, and am not really a tinkerer.

Posted November 1, 2012 link

D4F Said:

I do not want to be the bearer of bad news, but the Rocky is not acceptable unless you are into mods.  The Rocky steps are too large to keep the grind correct.

Posted November 2, 2012 link

Qualin, not looking for an issue but I was trying to help OP and explained my reasoning, I thought.  No rag on the Rocky and suggested that he read about both.  He was in fact looking at a new bundled grinder.  Mods are not huge, but if you do not like to tinker, and if you have a new grinder....

I looked at used Rocky and various mods, and almost bought that before reading here on CG.

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


Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Posts: 66
Location: Omaha, NE
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sat Nov 3, 2012, 12:05am
Subject: Re: Comparing Gaggia's Yet Again
 

Mad thanks to both of you for the advice.

But here os the long and the short of it....I am afriad of dropping more than 500ish on a set up because i have never attempted anything like this before. I conisder this a hobby just as much as good eats. Issue is I dont like drip coffee at all. Disgusts me. Love the smell, hate the taste. Im afriad I cant recreate the flavors I do enjoy.

I started drinking Mocha lattes and cafe mochas at starbucks just becuase of the caffiene and my friends and i would study there for hours. I truley fell in love with Espresso in St Saveur, a little town in the Laurentian mountains outside of Montreal. It waw the best thing i had ever consumed! It was a Mocha, but it was not overpoweringly chocolatly, not bitter...the fact that the cafe was a tiny yellow house overlooking a lake probably helped too ;)

Romantacism aside, thats what im trying to recapture. But I must balance this with reality. Can I get good quality espresso using a used Classic and a grinder under $300? Not perfect, but good. I apreciate all the advice, but Im getting more confused.

In a perfect world Id get a Silvia and Vario and spend hours perfecting my shots. Sadly thats not my life yet.  At this point in life I want a machine and grinder, that I can (after a few runs) use a set # of scoops of beans, grind, tamp and go. I of course understand that changes occur based on what coffee I use, etc.
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 669
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sat Nov 3, 2012, 10:02pm
Subject: Re: Comparing Gaggia's Yet Again
 

MochaJoe Said:

I am afraid of dropping more than 500ish on a set up because i have never attempted anything like this before.

Posted November 3, 2012 link

I realize that it can be intimidating at first and cause you to be leery because it's a lot to commit to without knowing that you'll like it. I can understand that. That's why I would suggest that if you are starting out, to start
out with a lower end SBDU machine because at least that way, you'll get good results at relatively low cost without too much of a commitment.

The best part about buying something with a lot of quality (Like a Silvia) is that it generally has a good resale value, so if you want to back out and try something else, you can without too much of a hit to the wallet.

MochaJoe Said:

I consider this a hobby just as much as good eats.

Posted November 3, 2012 link

That's the thing right? It's all about what you get in the cup. If you don't like what you get in the cup, you have to change it. I'll admit that I'm a shameless foodie and my belly reflects that. I've been drinking K-Cup
coffee for the last few years because it was convenient. Then I kind of realized how much this convenience was costing me, not only from a financial perspective but from a taste perspective. I found myself buying
really dark roast K-Cups because the lighter roasts didn't have any flavor to them. (Especially with milk & sugar added) It was like putting ketchup on everything, what's the point?

MochaJoe Said:

Issue is I don't like drip coffee at all. Disgusts me. Love the smell, hate the taste.

Posted November 3, 2012 link



The thing I've found to drinking drip coffee is that I feel it tastes "watered down" in comparison to espresso and milk-based espresso drinks. The other problem is that drip coffee typically isn't
prepared properly. I can't count the number of times I've seen pots of drip coffee sitting on a warming burner in a restaurant for hours on end, only getting thrown out when it's nearly gone. I find that's not acceptable anymore.
When People usually buy the stuff from the supermarket which has already been pre-ground or roasted six months ago. it's going to taste lousy in comparison to fresh beans.

Adding milk and sugar to coffee just hides a much more severe problem which people have grown to live with.. it really doesn't have to be that way.

MochaJoe Said:

Im afriad I cant recreate the flavors I do enjoy.

Posted November 3, 2012 link

To get the flavors you expect, you need a capable grinder. Even if you just want to forgo making espresso for now and just make drip coffee with a cheap Chemex, you can always start out with a
grinder which can really bring out the flavors of the coffee that you want. Espresso just extracts the maximum amount of flavour out of the coffee, so much so that it's difficult to drink straight, just because
it is intense. In the evenings, when I make my straight espresso shot, I always put a bit of sugar in it to take the edge off the coffee. There's no law that says you have to drink straight espresso either.

MochaJoe Said:

I truley fell in love with Espresso in St Saveur, a little town in the Laurentian mountains outside of Montreal. It waw the best thing i had ever consumed! It was a Mocha, but it was not overpoweringly chocolatly, not bitter...

Posted November 3, 2012 link

This is kind of what got me seriously into this hobby. I once drank a macchiato latte which tasted like it had nutella in it, even though all it was, was coffee and steamed milk. Ideally, this is what I'm going to aim for eventually.
It was a trip to San Francisco, drinking coffee out of cafes that suddenly I asked myself, "What can't I make one of these at home?"

MochaJoe Said:

Can I get good quality espresso using a used Classic and a grinder under $300?

Posted November 3, 2012 link

I think it'll be difficult to do, but not impossible. It's usually not the machine that is the weak point, it is usually always the grinder. If you are willing to use a hand grinder instead of a motorized grinder, you can find a grinder for
roughly around $150 new... that leaves you a bit of budget for your machine.

The big problem is, when you buy cheap equipment, you have to learn the limitations of that equipment and work around them. It takes time, patience and practice but you can make good espresso.. Suddenly, you will make yourself a Mocha in the morning and it'll be the best mocha you had and you'll wonder what the heck you did. The key trick is that more expensive equipment allows for better repeatability and consistency. It doesn't mean that you will make BAD
espresso based drinks, it means that you just need to practice more and find out the little nuances of the machine and grinder which can affect your shot.

MochaJoe Said:

In a perfect world Id get a Silvia and Vario

Posted November 3, 2012 link

Actually, that's a great combo, once you learn what the Silvia's limitations are. The Silvia has excellent resale value. Whereas the Vario can be re-purposed for standard drip if you find that espresso isn't your thing.

MochaJoe Said:

and spend hours perfecting my shots.

Posted November 3, 2012 link

Well, nobody said you had to stand in front of the machine and start spending hours making shots. I make myself two drinks a day.. maybe three depending on the day of the week. That's good enough for me. I've made my
fair share of sink shots, but I've learned from that. It does take time, but you don't have to do it all at once. Making milk drinks will cover up some of your mistakes, it's only when you start drinking straight shots that you really
start to notice mistakes you've been making. I should know! :-)

I really hope that you don't run away screaming and get the false impression that you have to spend obscene amounts of cash just to get good espresso. Start small and work your way up. You can even consider buying used,
then trade up as you go along, one thing at a time and see how it changes the quality of your drinks.

Good luck!

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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MochaJoe
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Posts: 66
Location: Omaha, NE
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sun Nov 4, 2012, 6:41am
Subject: Re: Comparing Gaggia's Yet Again
 

Thank you for your awesome reply!

First, let me say that I mis-typed regarding "making espresso with a Classic and grinder under 300" I meant to say buy the Classic, and a grinder specifically under $300.

I would suggest that if you are starting out, to start
out with a lower end SBDU machine because at least that way, you'll get good results at relatively low cost without too much of a commitment.

 I debated going with a Saeco Aroma, but by the time I bought the non-pressurized basket, Im so close in price to the Classic it wasnt worth buying. While the Classic is highly regarded, it is too "low end", or is it the perfect starter machine?  

I can see myself becoming OCD about Espresso. I'm studying chemistry and Bio for my degree, and would probably treat every shot as a trial and record, record, record data ;P

I actually own an Aeropress, and make fairly good iced lattes with it. Best $30 I have spent so far in the coffee world.

So far now I'm just going to slow down and breathe and not jump the gun. The latest combo I was looking at, barring any other opinions, was a Baratza Preciso and Refurb Classic for about $550.

Thanks again for you detailed and wonderful replies, it is most appreciated!
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