It is an attractive machine, makes very good espresso, some problems with a machine oil smell from the steamer
Positive Product Points
Pros: Looks great, seems sturdy, is easy to use and clean, heats up quickly, makes very good espresso
Negative Product Points
Cons: There is a smell from the steam wand, it gets less over time and I am told that running descaler through it will eliminate it. (Why couldn’t they do that?) The group head is configured in such a way that you cannot really fill the portafilter full of coffee and have to leave a bit of room at the top. This is a slight bummer for me as I like my morning coffee a nice long pull and with our former machine could get enough coffee for 2 such pulls at one time for both me and the hubby. True it is no tragedy to pull 2 shots but just not as convenient. If you are pulling for one, there is no problem.
Baby Gaggia Twin I am on my third Baby Gaggia Twin since February and the third one does seem to be the charm. The first machine had an impotent steamer and was sent back, the second, the steam wand came off entirely. I did notice that happened to another reviewer but went with this machine as it was in my price range and I felt lucky. The first one was purchased through Essential Espresso (avoid at all costs) who when I called to address the problem were very “We don’t want to hear it, talk to the manufacturer” even though their site boasts a 30 day no hassle return. I wish I read the reviews on them before purchase. I won’t go into every detail but dealing with them was so unpleasant and they took so long to do anything that I decided that I would get my replacement from BBandBeyond, where I learned they would price-match even with a 300 dollar difference and free shipping!! So, BBandBeyond gave me a truly hassle free exchange for the second machine and it’s faulty steam wand and now I am reasonably happy with the machine. The customer service there is among the best I have experienced. Pros: Looks great, seems sturdy, is easy to use and clean, heats up quickly, makes very good espresso The steamer takes a little getting used to. You need to purge it of water till the lights flash, turn it off and then back on again, keeping the wand out of your milk until it is up to “full steam” then turn it off again and put it in your milk pitcher. It sounds more painful than it is and all happens in about a minute and change. Cons: There is a smell from the steam wand, it gets less over time and I am told that running descaler through it will eliminate it. (Why couldn’t they do that?) The group head is configured in such a way that you cannot really fill the portafilter full of coffee and have to leave a bit of room at the top. This is a slight bummer for me as I like my morning coffee a nice long pull and with our former machine could get enough coffee for 2 such pulls at one time for both me and the hubby. True it is no tragedy to pull 2 shots but just not as convenient. If you are pulling for one, there is no problem. However, Gaggia itself and its U.S. representative, www.importika.com are lacking in customer service in my opinion. After receiving my third machine, I sent an email asking about a pressurized portafilter for the machine. I also added that it would be nice of them to offer some discount on same taking into to consideration the inconvenience I had been through having 2 defective machines. Both Todd and Linda at Importika in the U.S. and Gaggia in Italy totally ignored this. I would not buy from them again for that reason. To me, it would be a no brainer to comp a relatively inexpensive item to compensate for the inconvenience and leave the customer feeling that you value their business and regret the inconvenience. They obviously don’t. It does take away some of the enjoyment of owning it.
First buy was from Essentialespresso.com (see commnets above) and was negative. Second was from Bedbathandbeyond and was very positive.
Three Month Followup
I have returned Baby Twin # 3, this one leaked around the portafilter, the previous 2 had stemer related problems. I now have a Gaggia Classic which I am much happier with. It does not have the shot programing function but is so much better. The steamer is noticably more robust, without the foul smell that came from the twin. They really should have woeked the bugs out of the Baby Twin before putting her out there. she is not ready for prime time. BBabdBeyond, pricematched it for me. I prefer to buy from them after the dreadful experience I had with Essential Espresso.. i know if there is a problem, they will do the right thing..
One Year Followup
The Baby Twin was a bust, I returned 3 of them for various reasons, one had low self esteem... I mean steam pressure, another had the wand come offf, the third had smelly steam, leaked and was inconsitant. The Gaggia rep thought I would be happier with the Gaggia Classic, she was right, I have had it about a year and am very happy. The wand leaks a bit when heating up and I wish the head did not come down as it does which takes away from the amount of coffee you can put in the portafilter. But nothing is perfect and I consider myself very happy with the taste and consistency of the shots and the power of the steam. It is very easy to use and to clean. I use a Capresso grinder with it and all is well. The Classic is more solidly built than the Baby Twin, I do not think that it will catch on unless the make significant improvements. I have readjusted the scores to reflect the Gaggia Classic