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Is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level espresso machine.
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Is the Gaggia...  
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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 Sat Apr 20, 2013, 4:23pm
Subject: Is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level espresso machine.
 

Moka makes awesome coffee, but it has to be done correctly.  LaVazza is a waste, expensive and already stale when you buy it. But with Moka there are different pots and specs for each one. Did you fill each one up correctly? theres a fill line in each one, ie each cup size specs X amount of grounds. And there's different techniques, can check YouTube and see.

The Grinders in Starbucks are useless, their fine settings aren't even suitable for espresso machines. But if you used their beans, you pry got a burnt/charred taste with the Moka.

Fresh ground beans in Moka is yummy, I'll do that when I don't feel like dealing with the machine ( easier to make a larger amount in one setting with the Moka and split that with 4+ people etc.

I don't know what pot you got at Target,  but if you didn't have the right grind the coffee wouldn't be good. Buy preground Bustelo or Pilon and thats the grind type you want to aim for in Moka.
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strawberrykoi
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strawberrykoi
Joined: 11 Oct 2012
Posts: 43
Location: USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3,...
Grinder: baratza vario, Hario...
Drip: chemex
Roaster: whirly pop
Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 4:24pm
Subject: Re: Is the Gaggia Classic still considered...
 

If the moka pot made the worst coffee you and your guests have ever had, something is direly wrong. Many, many people vouch by the moka pot... so you know it can't possibly make the worst coffee, or it wouldn't be a common favorite in this community. In fact, I promise you it has the capability to make the BEST coffee you've ever had - but there are many factors that play in making a good cup of coffee. I also agree in either finding barista lessons, practicing with a knowledgeable friend, or just a crap-ton of experimentation, because you might find the same disappointment with a gaggia out of the sheer fact that there is a learning curve with any new machine and/or coffee brewer that you try.

When I first got my Moka pot, I was like... "It's OK"... but then I practiced and experimented, and it resulted in WONDERFUL coffee.
When I first got my Aeropress, I was like... "It's OK"... but then I practiced and experimented, and it resulted in WONDERFUL coffee.
When I first got my Mypressi, I was like... "It's OK"... but then I practiced and experimented, and it resulted in WONDERFUL coffee.
When I first got my Duetto, I was like... "what's wrong here..."... but then I practiced and experimented, and it resulted in WONDERFUL coffee.

The result will always be the same. First learning curve, and then success. You have to toy with the variables and discover which beans are good, which grind is good, best water-temp and so on and so forth. (but the grinder is STILL the most important tool)
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Jenn312
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Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 39
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 4:40pm
Subject: Is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level espresso machine.
 

I have this moka pot. Click Here (www.target.com)

I followed the instructions exactly and I did watch you tube videos to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong. I will try Bustelo but honestly I doubt I will like it, I rather drink regular drip than coffee from my moka pot.

I also just rinse out my moka pot with no soap like the instructions say.
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,007
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 4:45pm
Subject: Re:Is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level espresso machine.
 

Jenn312 Said:

I need to make at least 2 steam drinks in the morning and maybe around 4 when company comes over.

Posted April 20, 2013 link

Most of the entry level machines are Single Boiler Duel Use machines. Unless you are making two espressos and then steaming once you will probably not be very happy. Pulling espresso, and then steaming, and then waiting for the machine to restabilize to repeat the cycle will probably not get your morning off to a good start. You may need to look beyond entry-level. If I were going to make two cappuccinos I would pull the two espressos and then steam once. If I did that often I would probably want to upgrade.

As noted you may also consider options other than espresso.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Jenn312
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Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 39
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 4:57pm
Subject: Is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level espresso machine.
 

D4F Said:

Most of the entry level machines are Single Boiler Duel Use machines. Unless you are making two espressos and then steaming once you will probably not be very happy. Pulling espresso, and then steaming, and then waiting for the machine to restabilize to repeat the cycle will probably not get your morning off to a good start. You may need to look beyond entry-level. If I were going to make two cappuccinos I would pull the two espressos and then steam once. If I did that often I would probably want to upgrade.

As noted you may also consider options other than espresso.

Posted April 20, 2013 link


Thanks if you did upgrade what would you upgrade to?
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,007
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 5:44pm
Subject: Re:Is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level espresso machine.
 

Upgrade machine is upgrade budget unless you get used and are willing to service/repair.  Hx or Dual Boiler are the real upgrades and some would argue CC1 with boiler and thermoblock.  Used Oscar is often suggested as the Hx upgrade and most reasonable.  Likely Helen will fill you in there, but $500 if you search and wait, but then you will usually need a bit of work, and perhaps money.

You need to see machines in operation and see how they fit your needs and workflow, and be ready to adjust your budget accordingly.  I am still happy with my entry level Classic, and price :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,068
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 5:48pm
Subject: Is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level espresso machine.
 

You never mentioned what manual grinder you have.  This is important in regards to whether it's adequate for espresso or not.

To find a good cafe near you, try searching the East Regional or cafe review forums. Geez try google, then look for reviews. To say there's nothing around you except *$$ and DD is ludicrous.

As others have said, there is something definitely wrong with your process if the moka pot coffe is as bad as you say. You need to accept that and figure out how to fix it. If you do the search and find a cafe near you, as Helen suggested you can go there and probably arrange some very cheap professional training, or as someone else suggested...maybe a fellow CG member can help you. Heck, if I lived there I'd offer to help you.  Perhaps in the coffee machines and brewing methods or Q&A forums you can post a thread describing your entire process and get some help that way?

Re machines: I made 1cappa and 3lattes every morning for years on a Silvia. It's not ideal, but was doable. I've never used a Gaggia classic, but I have read enough posts about it to recommend it as a good entry level starting point...but it takes some work to get good on entry level gear, so you'll need a good dose of patience for the learning curve.  Of course if your manual grinder is up to the task, maybe you can manage to spring for a CC1 or a used Higher end machine?

I wish you the best of luck!

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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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 Sat Apr 20, 2013, 6:10pm
Subject: is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level espresso machine.
 

Jenn312 Said:

I have this moka pot. Click Here (www.target.com)

I followed the instructions exactly and I did watch you tube videos to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong. I will try Bustelo but honestly I doubt I will like it, I rather drink regular drip than coffee from my moka pot.

I also just rinse out my moka pot with no soap like the instructions say.

Posted April 20, 2013 link

thats a fine Moka pot. I meant Bustelo/Pilon not really for use but to see their grinds, as thats the grind you should be using for Moka. You were using stale beans (Lavazza is pretty bad), and didn't say what hand grinder you used. But with poor beans and poor grind it'd be no wonder the coffee was bad. Samething will happen with an espresso machone except way worse since everything is magnified with espresso, and espresso is even more picky about the correct grind range, off a little bit = blechh.

Buy the coffee above, usually cheap brick form. And buy fresh roasted beans, and try to match that grind type by look/feel.

Moka makes incredible coffee with fresh beans, love it.
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bmorton
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Feb 2010
Posts: 33
Location: Brooklyn
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Mazzer SJ
Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 6:43pm
Subject: Coffee in NYC
 

There are actually quite a few good small coffee places in NYC, depending on where you are.  Think Coffee and Grumpy's come to mind.  Joe has a number of locations, then there's 9th st espresso.  Some places feature Counter Culture coffee, others Stumptown.  There's even a Stumptown roastery in Red Hook. Oh, and Blue Bottle has places in Williamsburg and Chelsea.  Not sure if any of these are near enough to you to do any good...
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bohica
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Apr 2011
Posts: 17
Location: Panama City FL
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Nuova Simonelli Oscar
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Baratza...
Drip: Bunn Thermal
Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 9:54pm
Subject: Is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level espresso machine.
 

Regarding the original question, I owned a Gaggia Classic for the better part of 3 years and can confirm it is capable of producing some truly great shots and milk-based drinks better than the chain stores.  I paired it with a doserless Rancilio Rocky and was quite please with it.  It did take a little while to get my technique down but the time expended was well worth the effort.  

My only real complaint was with the stock steam wand.  I replaced it with a Siliva V1 steam wand which made all the difference in the world.  I made at least 2 lattes every day and the only real drawback was the time it took to go from steaming to brewing the espresso shots and back again.  Had it not been for finding a good deal on a Nuova Simonelli Oscar and a Baratza Vario-W I would still be happily using the Gaggia Classic and Rocky combo.
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