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Upgrading from Gaggia Classic
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Upgrading from...  
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MarissaMc
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Dec 2013
Posts: 4
Location: NSW, Australia
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Dec 25, 2013, 3:59pm
Subject: Upgrading from Gaggia Classic
 

Hi all,

I am thinking about upgrading my Gaggia classic. I have been offered an ex demo model Isomac Venus for $650. That would be the upper limit of my budget and I already have a grinder I am happy with, a good tamper and a knock box.

I typically would be making 2 coffees at a time - cappuccinos, piccolos or flat white, using the machine around 3 times a week.

I'm happy to buy used equipment.  What other machines (if any) should I be considering?  Any feedback on the Venus?

Thanks in advance!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
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 Wed Dec 25, 2013, 9:10pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading from Gaggia Classic
 

Hi, Honestly, most of the people who say they have a grinder and are looking to get into espresso, do not have a grinder that is able to grind for espresso. You don't say what you have and indeed you just might be just fine with the grinder but until you say what it is, we have to go on history and assume that the grinder is not espresso able., sorry.

As to the price. It is still a SBDU machine with a 10 oz boiler. That is a lot of money to pay for a used SBDU. Have you checked the coffee group that is a whole lot closer to you and whos for sale adds may be much more attractive to you?

I am not trying to get rid of you, no not at all, you can enjoy BOTH boards!  Do check out Coffee Snobs though, they are down under :D
http://coffeesnobs.com.au/

 
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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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,061
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Dec 25, 2013, 10:41pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading from Gaggia Classic
 

Welcome to CoffeeGeek!

Like Wayne said, you'd be upgrading from a SBDU to a different SBDU, so there isn't much improvement to be expected, neither as far as espresso quality is concerned nor convenience. However, unless you already own a commercial grade grinder, upgrading that part of your equipment might make a noticable difference. Also installing a PID would render your machine more temperature stable and free you from the need to temperature surf.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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MarissaMc
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Dec 2013
Posts: 4
Location: NSW, Australia
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Dec 26, 2013, 1:36am
Subject: Re: Upgrading from Gaggia Classic
 

Thank you for the replies :) I'll check out coffee snobs as well for some 2nd hand equipment!

The grinder I have is a sunbeam. I know it is not ideal (hence why I tried to avoid naming it in my op :p ), but I am happy enough with it for now - I get a pretty good crema on my shots. I would like to eventually upgrade the grinder but right now if I keep the gaggia, I need some work done on it which will set me back about $250 (estimating, based on previous service price).
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,061
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Thu Dec 26, 2013, 1:48am
Subject: Re: Upgrading from Gaggia Classic
 

Do you use the perfect crema system of your Gaggia Classic, in other words a pressurized portafilter?

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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MarissaMc
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Dec 2013
Posts: 4
Location: NSW, Australia
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Dec 26, 2013, 2:03am
Subject: Re: Upgrading from Gaggia Classic
 

NobbyR Said:

Do you use the perfect crema system of your Gaggia Classic, in other words a pressurized portafilter?

Posted December 26, 2013 link

No, I just use the standard basket and group handle that came with the machine (bought around 8 years ago).
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,061
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Thu Dec 26, 2013, 2:59am
Subject: Re: Upgrading from Gaggia Classic
 

MarissaMc Said:

No, I just use the standard basket and group handle that came with the machine (bought around 8 years ago).

Posted December 26, 2013 link

Well, the machine usually comes with a pressurized portafilter ex factory. This used to be a removable plastic device located underneath the filter basket, but nowadays is a double walled filter basket. A pressurized portafilter is for people who don't want to be bothered with correct grinding and tamping. You get seemingly good results without craftsmanship, because in it the coffee is forced to pass through small openings, thus generating pressure. That way it creates foamed coffee (bubbles made of air) that has nothing to do with real crema, which is an emulsion of water and aromatic oils that forms tiny bubbles around carbon dioxide released from the coffee beans during extraction when water is pressed through finely ground fresh coffee at around 9 bar and the right temperature. Since extraction has already taken place when pressure develops in a pressurized portafilter, no crema can arise. It may look like it, but it certainly doesn't taste like it. It's a fake. You can taste the difference.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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Frost
Senior Member
Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,116
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Thu Dec 26, 2013, 11:42am
Subject: Re: Upgrading from Gaggia Classic
 

All the Gaggia I've seen come with standard non-pressurized 58mm portafilter.
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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 Thu Dec 26, 2013, 11:52am
Subject: Re: Upgrading from Gaggia Classic
 

Gaggia Classic in US came with a single and double "perfect crema" baskets and a non-pressurized double basket.  A note stated that in the US the non-pressurized double basket was included implying that it was not included most of elsewhere.

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


Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 1,724
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: SAMA (2), Maximatic, Cremina...
Grinder: K-10PB, Rancilio MD-50
Vac Pot: no like
Drip: no like
Roaster: HotTop   Huky en route
Posted Thu Dec 26, 2013, 2:07pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading from Gaggia Classic
 

Frost and I come from an earlier age when Gaggia Classics only came with a single and a double basket.
The OP similarly acquired her Classic before the advent of the pressurized baskets and perfect crema frou frou.
These aberrations started showing up after Gaggia was acquired by Philips in 2009, I think.
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