Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
consumer product reviews
coffee & espresso grinder reviews
Gaggia MDF - Kurt Swanson's Review
Posted: January 29, 2008, 3:15pm
review rating: 7.3
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Gaggia MDF Espresso
Where to Buy
Arrow WholeLatteLove.com
Arrow Amazon
 List your business site here.
About "Where to Buy"

More About This Product
Arrow The Gaggia MDF has 32 Reviews
Arrow The Gaggia MDF has been rated 7.79 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Gaggia MDF reviews have been viewed 226,360 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
A C C 9.00
B T 9.00
Lance Goffinet 8.88
Mark Babbe 8.20
Patrick T 7.66

Previous Review Next Review
Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.4
Manufacturer: Gaggia Quality: 8
Average Price: $249.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $155.36 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Whole Latte Love Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 1 month Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Krups blade, Capresso Burr
Bottom Line: By far the best choice in price range
Positive Product Points

Consistent grind
Great price/quality ratio

Negative Product Points

Somewhat slow
Doser not really useful for a home model

Detailed Commentary

This was the second grinder upgrade for me, having started with a whirlybird, then progressing to a cheap burr grinder.  I received this unit at the same time as a Gaggia Coffee, and both were a big step up for me.  It only took me about 3-4 shots before I figured out how to make consistently high quality shots from this pair.

The unit has 34 grind settings which I find ample both in number and range.  Other reviewers here have lamented the fixed spacing of the settings, but I personally am not geek enough to find issue.  The manual suggests using a setting of 5-10 for espresso, but I found it worked best at no higher than 4.

I don't really need a doser, and it generally seems to just be in the way, however there are some advantages as well.  Since I generally only make one shot at a time, I don't want ground beans sitting in the doser between uses.  Thus I find myself grinding a specific amount (measure by the *time* of the grind), and once complete, I'm standing there jerking the doser handle back and forth like 10-12 times before I receive all the grist into the portafilter.  Of course I don't have to hold the portafilter there when grinding, which is nice since the MDF grinds a bit slow (which, on the plus side, doesn't heat the coffee as much as a faster grind might).  Others have noted that the doser handle is a bit flimsy, and prone to breaking, and thus I treat it gingerly.  The doser has six sections and one pull rotates the contents one section.  But only it you pull all the way--anything less than a full pull on the handle rotates the section back to starting position.  Needing the kid gloves and having this happen can be a bit frustrating.  I can understand why others have broken theirs!

Buying Experience

I bought this as a package deal from Whole Latte Love (a.k.a. Aabree Coffee): Gaggia Coffee, MDF, Rancilio SS base, plus Gaggia DVD & 8 oz. Lavazza Oro.  The package cost me $473.10 and thus the given price i paid above is the MDF's relative cost based upon the individual prices for the 3 main items.  Note that without the package the price would have been $199.

This was my first dealing with WLL, and it was just before Christmas 2007 and they were swamped.  I ordered online, and the package seemed available.  Unfortunately, after placing the order, I was informed that both Gaggia Coffee and MDF were back-ordered through February.  I was offered several generous deals for alternate product combos, however I declined as they were all above the sum I wanted to spend.  I chose to wait it out.  After checking numerous other web sites, it seemed the Gaggias were sold out through February everywhere, indicating the distributor was back-ordered.  What ensued was a comedy of errors.  Every time I called I spoke to someone who had to get acquainted ith the entire story.  At one point my entire ordered was simply canceled, but not at my behest.  In the end my credit card was charged the sum total of all the items individually, including the freebies.  This took 3 calls to sort out.  All in all I placed approximately 12 calls to WLL with respect to this one order.

Surprisingly, a shipment came in *before* Christmas, and WLL unilaterally upgraded my shipping to 2-day Air and I had my entire package a few days before Christmas!

While service may have been technically bad, I chalk it up to the holidays, and I feel I got a great deal, and that WLL went out of their way to make it right.  And this is why I'll certainly be returning as a customer some day.

Three Month Followup

Did not have anything to note after three months.

One Year Followup

I am still very happy with the MDF, after a full year.  Nothing really to add or retract, but a few usage tips.  Get some little rubber tabs (small round rubber sticker things) to place on the feet, in order to make the device more stable, especially during operation.  To correct for the doser dumping the grist all towards the left side of the portafilter, rotate the portafilter in its slot while jerking the doser handle.

I did have a problem with a little plastic "pie slice" that sits over the chute section of the doser--it can come loose and will rotate all the way around the doser, but doesn't really serve a function and is easily re-seated.  Also, I've noted that I originally had the grind set at "5", and have progressively stepped this "finer" (now at "3" and considering "2").  While my taste may have changed over the year, I do believe that I've needed to set this finer in order to maintain the same effective grind.  I don't know what I'll do once "1" becomes too coarse...  Thoroughly disassemble and clean?  Replace the grind plates?

Previous Review Next Review
Write a Review for this Product
review rating: 7.3
Posted: January 29, 2008, 3:15pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Login Password
forgot pw | signup
Rocket R58 Double Boiler
Rocket Espresso R58 Double Boiler -  Everything you need for the perfect shot!
Find the Right Machine...
Package deals on the best machines from Izzo, Quick Mill, Rocket, La Marzocco & more.
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2015 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.18575501442)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+