The only Gaggia Dual boiler, 3way valve, adjustable OPV, exact same performance as a Gaggia Classic with more convenient steaming ability.
Positive Product Points
Built by Gaggia, Dual boiler, 3way valve, adjustable OPV, exact same performance as a gaggia classic with more convenient steaming ability.
Negative Product Points
This product was doomed to failure by poor marketing. It is not worth the original $800+ price tag, though now that they have dropped the price its a great deal. Current price is under $500.00 More difficult to install a pid, replacement parts may be hard to find.
Bottom line this is a great machine for anyone who wants an easy to use espresso machine. This machine uses the exact same brew setup as a Gaggia Classic, so see the Gaggia classic for reviews on brewing performance I will not discuss it here.
I will comment on the steam portion however since it is unique to this model. The 2nd steam boiler is the standard (small) Gaggia boiler. It is considered weak by some, I consider it adequate, I have no problems steaming milk, though I suggest throwing away the plastic frother. If you want you can install a silvia steam wand onto these units as well. I see comments from people who run out of steam while trying to steam milk. So here is the secret, if there is no water in the boiler you won't have steam. You must fill the boiler by pressing the button with the steam valve open, this isn't hard BTW. Gaggia uses extremely powerful heating elements, you don't have to wait for the machine to catch up with your steaming, perhaps these people bought defective units or aren't using the machine properly.
There are only 2 reasons why you wouldn't buy this machine vs a classic.
It is harder to install a PID, in fact as far as I know no one has yet. Perhaps I will be the first. There is a discussion in the forums on why its difficult and possible ways around the problem.
it will be harder to get parts, the boiler and most internals are identical to other Gaggias, however things that are specific to this machine like the steam valve and switches may be hard to find in a few years (this model is discontinued)
The reason I compare this to a gaggia classic is simple. There are a lot of misconceptions floating around about this machine. People complain about performance or quality. As far as I can tell quality seems to be on par with all Gaggia machines. (note* there have been revisions made to this model, to fix a few known issues)
Oh and Guess what? since it shares the same internals as a Gaggia Classic the performance is the same as well. So if you think you will like a Gaggia you will like this machine. If you don't like Gaggia then don't by this machine. ( there is another review here from someone bashing this machine, shockingly he also disliked his other Gaggia machine as well)
Oh on a side note, this is different from the Gaggia BabyTwin. The twin uses 1 boiler and a thermoblock for steam (more compact) Also the twin has more electronics volume dosing etc. I don't know enough about the twin to decide which is better but don't confuse the 2 they use completely different technology to obtain similar results.
Bought refurbished direct from kitchenaid, everything went perfect, my machine looks and functions like new. Buying from kitchenaid direct seems to be the cheapest since this is a close out item, they are emptying there warehouses. Also do a google search and you can find discount coupons for there website.