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Which Gaggia?

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  • 06-10-2011 11:40pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 45


    I currently have a Krups Citiz Nespresso Machine and I am looking to sell it and get a Gaggia Espresso machine, but I am struggling to pick one.

    Firstly, I have made my mind up to move on from the Nespresso and know what a good machine it is. Simple to use, good quality coffee etc. I just find it a little limited and I'm finding it a little expensive as I drink a lot of coffee. So decision made and I will not be turned.

    From there, which Gaggia? I have looked at a few and was settled on the classic, but have seen a few more a little cheaper ie. Gaggia espresso color, Gaggia Baby Dose, Gaggia ABS Baby and the Gaggia espresso pure. There are a few more. The espresso pure is the cheapest, so how different is it going to be from the Classic or the Baby. The espresso color is somewhere in the middle. So.....I'm a little confused. There is a lot of information out there and don't which is correct.

    Any help would be great!:eek:


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭Sinfonia


    I posted in another thread that Argos have the Gaggia colour listed for €135 at the moment (direct from Gaggia would be €210), but it doesn't seem to be in stock in any of the Argos stores..

    Otherwise, as far as I'm aware, Gaggia machines are almost exactly the same internally, with slight improvements as the price goes from the €200+ range to the €350+ range.
    Buying 2nd hand isn't a bad idea either, assuming the previous owner has taken good care of it. I've got a Gaggia Evolution that I bought 2nd hand for €70 and it's perfect. So it's worth checking out adverts.ie and ebay etc.

    Try and get the best deal anyway, because I don't think there's a world of difference between a €200-€350 range Gaggia and a €350+ range Gaggia.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45 DaraghMAC


    Sinfonia wrote: »
    I posted in another thread that Argos have the Gaggia colour listed for €135 at the moment (direct from Gaggia would be €210), but it doesn't seem to be in stock in any of the Argos stores..

    Otherwise, as far as I'm aware, Gaggia machines are almost exactly the same internally, with slight improvements as the price goes from the €200+ range to the €350+ range.
    Buying 2nd hand isn't a bad idea either, assuming the previous owner has taken good care of it. I've got a Gaggia Evolution that I bought 2nd hand for €70 and it's perfect. So it's worth checking out adverts.ie and ebay etc.

    Try and get the best deal anyway, because I don't think there's a world of difference between a €200-€350 range Gaggia and a €350+ range Gaggia.
    Thanks for that. I'll keep looking and will try not to rush into anything. I have to sell the Nespresso first! Thanks again

    Daragh.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭Sinfonia


    DaraghMAC wrote: »
    Thanks for that. I'll keep looking and will try not to rush into anything. I have to sell the Nespresso first! Thanks again

    Daragh.

    No problem. There are others here who can provide better advice than me anyway, so wait for a few more replies at least!

    Also, remember that the most important piece of equipment is the grinder. The minimum (for making espresso) should be a Gaggia MDF (or better), which is €175 new. But anything less won't grind fine enough for espresso. Also, getting fresh beans is really important.
    I'm relatively new to getting serious about espresso. What I have now is a Gaggia Evolution and a Gaggia MDF (both of which I got 2nd hand from adverts.ie) and I've been buying fresh roasted beans from Nicks coffee shop in Ranelagh.
    Considering I'm new to the actual technique, already the difference between fresh roasted beans (pumped immediately after grinding in a decent burr grinder) and any kind of pod/capsule system, or even supermarket bought beans/grounds is huge.

    To be honest, you'll probably need to enjoy the process as a hobby, because it's taking a lot of effort to get better with the technique, and it can be messy too! But I've really enjoyed it, and have found that making a great cup is really rewarding (like cooking a great meal)! Also, even when you pull a 'bad' shot, it still does the job, so you won't spend an hour throwing away shots in the morning before you get one right. And if you're adding milk then the espresso flavour is dullened slightly anyway (although you do get the added excitement of trying to create microfoam!)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭Curry Addict


    i recently moved from nespresso also and for the same reasons as you.

    i went a different direction which i would encourage you to consider because its working out great for me.

    i got this http://www.powercity.ie/?par=60-10-CM5100&brands=MIELE

    yes its expensive but it will last for years. i worked out, that it pays itself back in less that 2 years, in cost of making fresh bean coffee versus nespresso pods.
    it consistantly makes much better coffee or espresso than a nespresso machine with even more convenience! the milk frothing and foaming etc is also excellent.
    the only downside is i drink too much coffee now because its so convenient and the results are so good :P


  • Registered Users Posts: 45 DaraghMAC


    I had a look at your link and I think I would like something a little more traditional in an espresso maker. That is what I am missing in the Nespresso. I would just like to full coffee experience.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,396 ✭✭✭PPC


    Most of the cheaper line are very plasticy and don't retain the heat too well.
    The classic is pretty much all metal, where as the baby has some plastic bits which is why it comes in at second place in the Gaggia list.

    I've a Baby I bought second hand and I'm pretty happy with it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,330 ✭✭✭Gran Hermano


    PPC wrote: »
    Most of the cheaper line are very plasticy and don't retain the heat too well.
    The classic is pretty much all metal, where as the baby has some plastic bits which is why it comes in at second place in the Gaggia list.

    I've a Baby I bought second hand and I'm pretty happy with it.

    The more expensive Gaggia machines also have a 3 way solenoid/valve. This helps with shot stability and also means it is easier to
    clean the machine by backflushing. The Classic has the 3-way soleniod and I believe the Baby class also.

    Whatever machine you look at purchasing factor in you will need to spend €200+ on a suitable grinder.

    Have you looked at the Rancilio Silvia?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,330 ✭✭✭Gran Hermano


    Good (if long) overview of how the 3 way solenoid works and the benefits of it:
    http://home.surewest.net/frcn/Coffee/3way/intro.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,396 ✭✭✭PPC


    Oh yes there is that as well.
    We've a Gaggia Evolution in work and you'd notice the difference between that and the Baby i have at home.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,895 ✭✭✭✭the beer revolu


    Some of the cheaper gaggia machines have aluminium porta filters while the dearer ones, like the classic, have chromed brass porta filters.
    This makes a huge difference to the heat retention and stability and the feel is very different in use. This, along with the solenoid mentioned, makes a huge difference to the machine.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 690 ✭✭✭aristotle25


    Some of the cheaper gaggia machines have aluminium porta filters while the dearer ones, like the classic, have chromed brass porta filters.
    This makes a huge difference to the heat retention and stability and the feel is very different in use. This, along with the solenoid mentioned, makes a huge difference to the machine.

    Does it really make a "huge" difference? All the happens in the portafilter is water travelling through the grinds and into the cup. Where does heat rentention come into it?

    And what extra "stability" do you get with alluminimum versus chromed brass? Just sounds a bit hairy-fairy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭Sinfonia


    Does it really make a "huge" difference? All the happens in the portafilter is water travelling through the grinds and into the cup. Where does heat rentention come into it?

    And what extra "stability" do you get with alluminimum versus chromed brass? Just sounds a bit hairy-fairy.

    I agree, just make sure the pf is warm before you put the grounds in.
    Heat retention in the cup is much more important; the pf is only in use for 25 seconds anyway. Maybe invest in a VST basket (~€29 incl. postage) for better stability.

    Things that will really make a noticeable difference (without costing a lot):
    To taste:
    1) The quality of the grinder
    2) The freshness of the beans
    To technique:
    3) A solid, well-fitting tamper (as opposed to the plastic thing that comes with the machine)
    4) A VST basket (also affects the taste)
    5) A cheap needle and an empty yoghurt pot for the Weiss Distribution Technique (costs practically nothing and very effective particularly when using midrange grinders like the MDF)



    Also, read this guide: http://www.coffeegeek.com/guides/howtobuyanespressomachine
    and their other guides too. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,895 ✭✭✭✭the beer revolu


    Does it really make a "huge" difference? All the happens in the portafilter is water travelling through the grinds and into the cup. Where does heat rentention come into it?

    And what extra "stability" do you get with alluminimum versus chromed brass? Just sounds a bit hairy-fairy.

    Not hairy fairy just physics.
    A brass portafilter has about three times the mass of an aluminium one.
    This is why more expensive machines have brass boilers too.
    You get temperature stability.

    The difference in the feel of it when using it is totally different too.
    Just try inserting an aluminium one and then do the same with a brass one - it's a quality and build thing!
    If you're going to be using this machine daily for years, these things do matter a lot - to me at any rate.

    If the op wants a cheaper machine with cheaper components and a cheaper feel that's fine, I'm just pointing out the differences as asked.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,330 ✭✭✭Gran Hermano


    Keep in mind the old mantra "buy cheap, buy twice" as it is particularly apt
    when it comes to coffee equipment. Better off stretching your budget now rather than suffering from upgrade-itis in 12 months.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45 DaraghMAC


    Thanks for all the tips so far! Keep them coming!!

    So now its down to the Classic or the Baby. The Classic is the Classic, but there are so many versions of the Baby!

    Can someone have a look at these Baby's and tell me what the difference between them is:

    http://www.coffeeitalia.ie/proddetail.php?prod=ffffff-gaggia
    http://www.coffeeitalia.ie/proddetail.php?prod=fffff-gaggia
    http://www.coffeeitalia.ie/proddetail.php?prod=fff-gaggia
    http://www.coffeeitalia.ie/proddetail.php?prod=ff-gaggia

    Also. I still have the Nespresso on Adverts.ie if you know anyone who might be interested!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 127 ✭✭Regular Latte


    DaraghMAC wrote: »
    Thanks for all the tips so far! Keep them coming!!

    So now its down to the Classic or the Baby. The Classic is the Classic, but there are so many versions of the Baby!

    Can someone have a look at these Baby's and tell me what the difference between them is:

    http://www.coffeeitalia.ie/proddetail.php?prod=ffffff-gaggia
    http://www.coffeeitalia.ie/proddetail.php?prod=fffff-gaggia
    http://www.coffeeitalia.ie/proddetail.php?prod=fff-gaggia
    http://www.coffeeitalia.ie/proddetail.php?prod=ff-gaggia

    Also. I still have the Nespresso on Adverts.ie if you know anyone who might be interested!!

    I love my Classic. I've used it everyday for nearly three years and not had any significant problems with it. I only wish it had a better steam arm. One of these days I'll do the mod....

    As an aside, you might want to look into some older posts about Coffee Italia. I've never used them myself, but I have a feeling they don't have a great reputation on this board. (Someone please correct me if I've got the wrong company).


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,752 ✭✭✭Bohrio


    I love my Classic. I've used it everyday for nearly three years and not had any significant problems with it. I only wish it had a better steam arm. One of these days I'll do the mod....

    As an aside, you might want to look into some older posts about Coffee Italia. I've never used them myself, but I have a feeling they don't have a great reputation on this board. (Someone please correct me if I've got the wrong company).

    I can answer that question!

    I have used Cafe Italia several times. First time I bought a Savinelli Milano. Delivery was quick. Although I never got the crema I am supposed to get with a lever machine the coffee was excellent so I didnt mind that too much.

    However it has broken down a couple of times (both my fault) and customer service was awfull. They rarely reply to your mails, although it appears that they do look at them and deal with your queries you never see a reply unless you either call them or emaiil them several times.

    My current coffee machine (Expobar brewtus IV) I got it off Bella Barista. The service was excellent and never had a problem reaching them either by mail or phone.

    I decided to give them one more try and bought an e51 single portafilter for my expobar. A month later I emailed them asking where the portafilter was or for a tracking number. Never heard back. So a few days later I emailed again, they replied, we have run out of portafilers it will be a while before we get any in.

    I replied how long is a while, still waiting for an answer. I paid through Paypal so I open a dispute and my money was returned to my bank account. Needless to say that I will nto buy anything else from them. I bought my Mazzer Mini-e again from bella barista. In my experience, best service I have got so far (regarding coffee stuff) are Happy Donkey (where I bought my iberital MC2), hansbeans and Bella barista.

    Stay away of Coffee Italia if you can. Of course taht's just my opinion, remember, delivery was fine but support is absolutely appalling!


  • Registered Users Posts: 45 DaraghMAC


    To be honest I have no intention of buying from these guys but there website is good for reference purposes as they seem to have a broad range of stock from most manufacturers! Having read posts on boards.ie and other forums it seems possible that they might be passing off less than perfect stock as new and defect free when some of them might be seconds at best in the first place. That is only my opinion and may not be the case, but it seems that their customer service policy ends at the transfer of funds to their bank account!!!
    I have had a good look around the web and have found the Gaggia Classic from between €189 and €399 New and as little as €92 second hand. I think I will go for a New one so if anyone can recommend who to buy from weighing up the factors of Cost and customer service I would very much appreciate the advice, but I have not totally ruled out buying a reconditioned unit but only from an approved reseller!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭Sinfonia


    DaraghMAC wrote: »
    I have had a good look around the web and have found the Gaggia Classic from between €189 and €399 New ... if anyone can recommend who to buy from

    Well the €189 is obviously winning on cost, where was that?


  • Registered Users Posts: 45 DaraghMAC


    That was on eBay with postage of €25.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 202 ✭✭livingthedream


    Hi,

    Well I bought a Gaggia Classic a couple of weeks ago after my 8 year old krupps machine gave up the ghost. So far I am very happy with it, I wanted another machine that would last so I went for the classic, not the prettiest in the gaggia range but has the feel that it's built to last (function over form)...

    I bought it from coffeeitalia.ie and I have to say that I found them very helpful, they answered all my queries almost immediately. I guess that was all pre-sales though, let's hope the after sales is as good or that I don't need it... They appear to have a repair shop in Park West in Dublin and they were 20% cheaper than most other places I looked, I was a bit dubious of buying one from fleabay....

    I have also gone for a 12 month subscription from hasbean.co.uk which also appears to be great and again cheaper than equivalent deals in Ireland.

    I have to say that I find the price differential outside of Ireland is kinda depressing, I'd love to buy Irish and try to boost the economy in my own little way, but every time I try to, it would be like getting mugged or paying an idiot tax :(

    Anyway to sum up:
    Gaggia classic = thumbs up
    Hasbean subscription = thumbs up

    .


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,752 ✭✭✭Bohrio


    I bought it from coffeeitalia.ie and I have to say that I found them very helpful, they answered all my queries almost immediately. I guess that was all pre-sales though, let's hope the after sales is as good or that I don't need it... They appear to have a repair shop in Park West in Dublin and they were 20% cheaper than most other places I looked, I was a bit dubious of buying one from fleabay....

    I have been in the repair shop (Caffe Zucco) a few times and they are good, customer service is very "italian", kinda laid back people, it will take a while for them to fix it but, in the end, they will and they are very polite and helpful. I dont think they are the same company though, I believe this is an independent business, Cafe Italia just uses them when they need something fixed as far as I know.

    They had a "shop" in dublin but I dont think is open anymore.

    Once you buy the coffee machine the customer service quality decreases, a lot. But I think it depends on the mood Marc* is on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,253 ✭✭✭donnacha


    DaraghMAC wrote: »
    I have had a good look around the web and have found the Gaggia Classic from between €189 and €399 New and as little as €92 second hand. I think I will go for a New one so if anyone can recommend who to buy from weighing up the factors of Cost and customer service I would very much appreciate the advice, but I have not totally ruled out buying a reconditioned unit but only from an approved reseller!

    I think a few other boards.ie members have bought locally off watermark in citywest: http://www.gaggia.ie/machine/gaggia-classic/

    €315 plus a free lesson.

    In terms of servicing then look no further than Kenilworth Electical in Harolds Cross http://www.kenilworthelectrical.ie/gaggia.htm


  • Registered Users Posts: 690 ✭✭✭aristotle25


    You can also maintain your machine easily enough. Just descale it and backflush it using the cleaning tablets every few months (depending on usage and type of water you use).

    Doing these two things will go a long way to keeping your coffee machine healthy.

    Do a bit of research on the web on how to descale and clean a coffee machine.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭Sinfonia


    donnacha wrote: »
    In terms of servicing then look no further than Kenilworth Electical in Harolds Cross http://www.kenilworthelectrical.ie/gaggia.htm
    Thanks a million for that link, that's quite near my house, so could come in handy!
    You can also maintain your machine easily enough. Just descale it and backflush it using the cleaning tablets every few months (depending on usage and type of water you use).

    Doing these two things will go a long way to keeping your coffee machine healthy.

    Do a bit of research on the web on how to descale and clean a coffee machine.
    Absolutely.
    Machines in this range require a bit of maintenance, but it's all stuff that's easy to sort out yourself.
    As far as I've seen, the general consensus on Classic maintenance is a backflush (with a blind filter or one of those rubber things in a normal filter) once a week; unscrew and soak & scrub the grouphead once a month (or maybe a little more frequently) and descale every few months (in Ireland at least)


  • Registered Users Posts: 45 DaraghMAC


    Hi,

    Well I bought a Gaggia Classic a couple of weeks ago after my 8 year old krupps machine gave up the ghost. So far I am very happy with it, I wanted another machine that would last so I went for the classic, not the prettiest in the gaggia range but has the feel that it's built to last (function over form)...

    I bought it from coffeeitalia.ie and I have to say that I found them very helpful, they answered all my queries almost immediately. I guess that was all pre-sales though, let's hope the after sales is as good or that I don't need it... They appear to have a repair shop in Park West in Dublin and they were 20% cheaper than most other places I looked, I was a bit dubious of buying one from fleabay....

    I have also gone for a 12 month subscription from hasbean.co.uk which also appears to be great and again cheaper than equivalent deals in Ireland.

    I have to say that I find the price differential outside of Ireland is kinda depressing, I'd love to buy Irish and try to boost the economy in my own little way, but every time I try to, it would be like getting mugged or paying an idiot tax :(

    Anyway to sum up:
    Gaggia classic = thumbs up
    Hasbean subscription = thumbs up

    .
    I have been using Beans from Mocha Beans in Galway. Their house blend is nice. They always let me sample before I buy. They are roasted on site and are usually fresh. 1Kilo for €20.

    Someone mentioned earlier about coffee in Italy. A visit to Florence a few years ago is what started my interest in Coffee. I loved the way they just pop in to an espresso bar order a shot have a smoke and away they go again. I dont smoke myself but but the coffee I did do. And I agree that if I lived over there I probably not need a home machine as it is so cheap over there!! Here it a luxury, over there it is a way of life!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,752 ✭✭✭Bohrio


    DaraghMAC wrote: »
    I have been using Beans from Mocha Beans in Galway. Their house blend is nice. They always let me sample before I buy. They are roasted on site and are usually fresh. 1Kilo for €20.

    Someone mentioned earlier about coffee in Italy. A visit to Florence a few years ago is what started my interest in Coffee. I loved the way they just pop in to an espresso bar order a shot have a smoke and away they go again. I dont smoke myself but but the coffee I did do. And I agree that if I lived over there I probably not need a home machine as it is so cheap over there!! Here it a luxury, over there it is a way of life!!

    Your totally right. Same thing in Spain, although the Coffee culture is not as strong as it is in Italy the fact that you can get a cup of coffee for less than 1 euro makes having an expensive one not so logical.

    In Ireland, if you want a cup of coffee be ready to spend 3-4 euro. Its ridiculous in my opinion but hey... what can we do!

    And I rarely like having a coffee anywhere... most of the time the coffee is burnt or it has been poured for too long... :( among other things...


  • Registered Users Posts: 45 DaraghMAC


    So I finally ordered my new machine!! I picked up a new Gaggia Classic for €240 including delivery. I could have got it cheaper on eBay but some of the reviews of the seller were suspect when it came to sales of Gaggia machines. They seemed to have a lot of complaints about faults and their answer seemed to be "talk to Gaggia its not our problem".
    I bought from Amazon so hopefully everything will work out. Thanks for all the tips along the way! I think I'll keep posting here from time to time with any new info I come across. Thanks for all your help guys!!:D:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,253 ✭✭✭donnacha


    Best of luck with it - you may want to reduce the pressure on it (fairly easy on the classic) - check out reactors post on it here:
    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=53799445


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  • Registered Users Posts: 45 DaraghMAC


    donnacha wrote: »
    Best of luck with it - you may want to reduce the pressure on it (fairly easy on the classic) - check out reactors post on it here:
    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=53799445

    Thanks Donnacha! Just got it this morning and it's great. Just playing around with it and getting used to it! Already the best home brew I have had so can only get better with practice!! Can anyone help me out with home roasting beans? That might be my next little project!! P.S. Was quite impressed with how quickly Amazon got it delivered to me!!


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