A very good quality product, capable of making fantastic espresso, nice design. Will last a lifetime (I think).
Positive Product Points
- This machine has a boiler and a separate steaming thermo block. They both work fantastic. - It looks fantastic, this is not your average fire engine, industrial looking machine but a genuinely good looking (and cute!) kitchen appliance. Brushed stainless steel, curved lines and electronic buttons with LEDs in them. Drip tray and cup holder are made of powder coated metal. - Water tank is easy to remove, has a carrying handle and can be filled from the top. - Full sized 58mm porta filter without crema-enhancing device. Heavy (500g/1lb or so) and made of brass. Big sturdy handle. - Programmable and manual pump control. - Thermo block can also be used for hot water.
Negative Product Points
- Steaming knob feels somewhat loose. - Steaming wand is very short and has a removable frothing aid. - User manual a bit hard to read, not extremely informative (it covers all the basics though).
First I was looking for a very basic machine with only one boiler (Solis SL-70), but then I discovered the Gaggia Baby Twin. I liked the looks and features of it but there were no reviews at the time. Apparently the product was just released a month ago. So I decided to buy it, curious as I am :)
This machine has, as I mentioned before, a boiler and a thermo block. The boiler takes about 10 minutes to heat up (the portafilter gets real hot very fast) and the thermo block used for steaming is ready within a few seconds. Also, I am very happy with the 3-way solenoid valve. Just today I found out how bad it can be if you don't have that feature on your machine.
Everything on the Baby Twin has a high quality finish, no rough or sharp edges and no ugly stickers or labels anywhere. I like the big G logo in the center of the touch control ring. The drip tray is big enough to hold a cup of water and has a little piece of plastic that will warn you when the tray is getting full. This tray is completely removable and made of powder coated metal. On the tray sits a stainless steel plate with holes in it. It will get scratched by the cups but that's okay, I just 'brushed' some more using an abrasive pad and now it looks fine.
The cup holder on top is big enough for about 5 small cups, and is heated actively by a 3W element inside. The steaming knob in the middle is a bit annoying though, because my kitchen cabinet gets in the way.
Some more about the steaming function: it works fantastic. First you have to drain the water inside of the thermo block (it contains hot water) until all lights start to flash, and after turning off the steaming wand the thermo block will heat up. A light will flash and once it's finished you can start steaming. The steam will flow until your water tank runs empty (or after 3 minutes I read somewhere). A good tip to all owners is to remove the bottom 'spout' of the frothing aid, and keep the upper part attached to the wand. That way your steaming wand is a bit longer and you've got a very good, powerful steaming tip. Be careful not to blow your milk out of the pitcher.
All in all, I am real happy with the Baby Twin. It's a bit more expensive than the Classic but better looking and the powerful steaming function works fantastic.
DeKoffieThuiswinkel.nl is a Dutch web shop, e-mails were answered quickly and I am very happy with their service.