Great value for someone wanting to learn serious espresso on a budget. Spend your money on the grinder!
Positive Product Points
Great value for good 'serious' espresso. Commercial grade portafilter and boiler heats up quickly. Great machine on which to learn proper technique.
Negative Product Points
Cheap plastic construction. Small aluminum boiler. Dinky, too short steam wand.
Like any espresso machine, the Espresso Gaggia is only as good as the grinder and the beans. With my Rocky, fresh beans, and a little practice, I can produce consistently good (sometimes great) double espresso shots. While outward construction is cheap, the working internals are the same as higher end gaggia machines. Doesn't have a three-valve, but I never owned a machine with one, so I don't miss it. Water on top of the puck is never a problem. Overall, the internals have been very reliable.
Bottom line: If you want to learn espresso on budget, and are willing to invest in grinder and fresh roasted beans, this machine represents the best value. If you want a "show-piece" appliance for your counter, look elsewhere.