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Gaggia Carezza - Scott Leong's Review
Posted: May 24, 2008, 1:22pm
review rating: 0.0
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Gaggia Carezza Espresso Machine
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More About This Product
Arrow The Gaggia Carezza has 27 Reviews
Arrow The Gaggia Carezza has been rated 7.51 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 2, 2003.
Arrow Gaggia Carezza reviews have been viewed 169,845 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Dr. Robert Case 8.89
Greg Kaan 8.17
Brent L 8.00
Matthew Hall 8.00
Robert Seidlitz 8.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.0
Manufacturer: Gaggia Quality: 7
Average Price: $229.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $100.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: used (craig's list) Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 2 months Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: Just starting Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: none
Bottom Line: Can this be the ONE?
Positive Product Points

Only 3 switches (power, steam, brew) and 1 knob (steam).
About size of coffee maker.

Negative Product Points

Cannot disassemble for cleaning?
To nitpick, no storage facilities for filter baskets, etc., but I guess only a fully auto would not need storage facilities.

Detailed Commentary

This is my first experience with espresso making and did the normal forum lurking and googling.  Based upon data I gathered about prices, types of makers, and personal perferences, I decided to go with the Gaggia Carezza.  I managed to find one on Craig's list for 1/2 the price of a new one, and picked it up.  Thanks goes to the previous owner for the demo and general information provided to me before sending me on my way.  Not much to say about set up, just placed it on the counter and plugged it in.

Obviously my first shots were bad because I needed to learn tamping technique (10%) and improper grind (90%, don't use the worthless store grinder).  Bought a Capresso Infinity a few days later, and shot quality immediately improved.  Now, I'm probably within the golden rule 90% of the time.  I'm fairly happy with my current setup, and may only upgrade from the plastic tamper.

As far as my ratings, I gave a 7 for quality (plastic casing), 9 for cost value (because I think I got a good deal for a used one), and 8's for everything else (to reserve room on the upside).  Remember I don't have experience with anything else.

I'm sure there is a lot of tips out there and I don't know if I have anything new, but I posted one under the buying experience.

Buying Experience

When buying used you may want to Urnex (about $1 a pack after shipping from eBay) immediately, as previous owner probably sold toward the end of the descaling cycle (I would).  I was amazed when I descaled it, how much "stuff" was coming out of the machine (stuff was coming out even with the fourth pass of clean water).  Anyway, I suggest running the solution through the machine first, then reserve the solution for soaking of removable components.  I soaked components first and crud came off the components that I did not want to run though the machine, so had to make another batch of Urnex.  Finally, when running solution through the machine make sure you remove the frothing components and run solution and clean water through the frothing line also (that was where I noticed stuff coming out of the machine).  After Urnex, espresso seem to taste better, but maybe because that's what I was expecting.

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Posted: May 24, 2008, 1:22pm
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