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Gaggia Classic - Roman Rakus's Review
Posted: February 25, 2009, 11:03pm
review rating: 7.5
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
Gaggia Classic Machine
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More About This Product
Arrow The Gaggia Classic has 78 Reviews
Arrow The Gaggia Classic has been rated 8.03 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Gaggia Classic reviews have been viewed 642,361 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
A C C 9.00
Daryl Cross 9.00
John Anderson 8.85
Peter Buchta 8.00
Dan Pohl 8.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.8
Manufacturer: Gaggia Quality: 10
Average Price: $449.00 Usability: 7
Price Paid: $729.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Espressotec Aesthetics 7
Owned for: 4+ years Overall 10
Writer's Expertise: Pro Barista Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Gaggia Espresso, Rancilio Silvia
Bottom Line: Reliable, exceptional and a pleaure to own and use.
Positive Product Points

-Easy to use
-reliable and rugged
-makes excellent espresso
-exceptional build quality
-long-lasting

Negative Product Points

-doesn't look that great especially when compared to other espresso machines like the Rancilio Silvia
-can't stand that turbofrother- I use long inner tube of Saeco pannarello with great results for microfoam
- your microfoaming and foaming technique must be very well honed and practised
-aluminum boiler

Detailed Commentary

I am very happy with my Gaggia Classic. It sits proudly and well on my kitchen table next to my Rancilio Rocky Doser grinder. I love the quality of espresso that can be made from it and it is generally easy to use but  one's foaming and microfoaming techniques must be well-honed . As a result, don't forget to replace that turbofrother with the long inner tube of a Saeco pannarello and microfoam will not be a problem as long as your technique is good.  In my case I had several years experience with a Gaggia Espresso prior to getting a Gaggia Classic so that was not a problem.  I also love that the Gaggia Classic has a  solenoid valve unlike my Gaggia Espresso which had no solenoid valve and that meant coffee mess everywhere. Oh, and do get yourself a good large -sized  knockbox for knocking the grounds- it is a must for an espresso machine that has a solenoid valve like the Classic.
I have not had any mechanical/reliability issues with the Gaggia Classic. It is a solid ,well-built performer- a gem of a machine and a joy to use. I would however , for all the reasons aforementioned not recommend it for the newbie or beginner. I would instead recommend for the beginner, the other Gaggia  entry-level machines until you become more accustomed and comfortable with the whole essence of the espresso and cappuccino-making experience and what all of that entails. After that you will be able to truly appreciate your experience with your Gaggia Classic and come to learn why it is held in such high esteem by so many. Compared to the Gaggia Espresso which ihas an exterior made of ABS plastic the S/S exterior of the Gaggia Classic gives it a wonderful and rugged feel even though both machines are so similar. The internals of a Gaggia Espresso match the internals of a Gaggia Classic minus the solenoid valve to my knowledge-- unless I have overlooked or missed something. That is what made Gaggia so great- basically the same internals and quality in all of its machines for so many years. In my opinion, the  Gaggia Classic even surpasses  all new Gaggia semi-automatic home machines put out today.
I also own the Rancilio Silvia and I may post  a review of this other wonderful machine at some point as well. The Rancilio Silvia and Gaggia Classic are neck and neck as machines side -by-side competing with one another. What one has better the other makes up for in some other area. The aluminum boiler in the Gaggia is more susceptible to corrosion compared to the brass boiler of the Silvia but on the other hand the Gaggia Classic is a less-finicky machine with no need for temperature-surfing and in my opinion less need even for a PID.  They both make excellent espresso and cappuccino. The Rancillio Silvia has a  larger boiler than the Classic which means  it has greater steaming prowess but the Gaggia Classic works just fine with patience and good technique and can easily make more than one cappuccino .

So there you are. The Gaggia Classic. A truly exceptional espresso machine that I believe every serious espresso and cappuccino enthusiast should own and it will last you a lifetime.  It is  a shame that it was discontinued.

With pleasure and happy espresso and cappuccino-making to all,

Roman

Buying Experience

Purchased from Espressotec in Vancouver.  Unfortunately machine did not come in working condition but after taking it to a Gaggia tech it worked fine. Minor tech problem. Otherwise no complaints. My very first espresso machine was the Gaggia Espresso also from Espressotec and it arrived from Vancouver in perfect working condition. I also own a Gaggia Baby Twin which I love very much and a Rancilio Silvia. I did not purchase these from Espressotec.

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review rating: 7.5
Posted: February 25, 2009, 11:03pm
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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