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best pre-ground for gaggia classic
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tallica710
Senior Member


Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 1
Location: chambersburg, PA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 7:46pm
Subject: best pre-ground for gaggia classic
 

Hello everybody, this is my first post here, so I am hoping you could help me out.  I purchased a gaggia classic about 6 months ago.  Since I purchased it, I have used 2 different types of pre-ground coffee - alessi and lavazza in blu.  with the alessi, its too course and pours too quickly (particularly with a double shot).  with the lavazza, it is too fine and pours too slowly.  I have tried multiple tamping pressures, and nothing seems to work.  I know that i need a grinder, and expect 400 messages saying so.  Overall, I dont mind the taste of the coffee, it just drives me nuts that I cant get a consistent shot.  My question is, does anyone have a gaggia classic and has success with a particular brand of pre-ground?  Or, do you know any way to find the grind courseness prior to purchasing another brand?  If I could just find some kind of measurement for the alessi and lavazza, I would just need something in the middle and I would be golden.  

Again, I know that the coffee wont be as good as if I grind it, but I just cant convince myself in spending another 500 bucks on something that will make the coffee taste marginally better/fresher...let alone the cost of constantly purchasing beans.  So if anyone could just help me with a pre ground selection that will give me a nice consistant shot with this unit, that would be great.  I really appreciate it!
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,851
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 8:20pm
Subject: Re: best pre-ground for gaggia classic
 

Respectfully I must say you are most incorrect when comparing preground coffee to that of freshly roasted, freshly ground for espresso.

Around here, the mantra has always been GRINDER FIRST.

You will not get anything resembling the taste, crema and bouquet from prepackaged ground coffee, which may be many months old.
In fact even if it was 2 WEEKS old, it would have lost 75% of it's potential.

BTW, it wouldn't matter whether it's your Gaggia, a $7k La Marzocco or, a lever. The results would be the same.

You do not have to spend $500.
OE (Orphan Espresso) sells an incredible manual grinder called a Pharos, with 64mm conical burrs at less than half $500.
A Baratza Preciso grinder can be had at their website as a refurb, with full warranty for $250 or less.

Even a Hario Skerton, or other low priced manual ESPRESSO grinder, paired with freshly roasted coffee (best after 5 days, good till day 14-15) would be immeasurably better than pre ground LaVazza.

Obviously, as you expect 400 posts....you'll get far less, as folks will tire of re-iterating the obvious, you must already know of what I preach.

Get with the plan. You have a fine espresso machine, with a true professional porta filter/basket.
Also, don't forget good, on the softer side water.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,997
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 8:53pm
Subject: Re: best pre-ground for gaggia classic
 

I have a Gaggia Classic and did similar.  I read the posts, and my problem was trying to stay within a budget.  I used coffee roasted and ground in a local shop.  I would come home and get a reasonable brew once or twice and then rapidly down hill.  You will have 2 problems, the ground coffee will not be fresh for very long.  1/2 - 1 pound ground and brought home will give you only a couple of doubles, say one ounce of grind, of decent espresso.  Oh, and that is if you are lucky.  You could get the wrong grind and choke the machine and waste it all, or too coarse.  I also found the the correct grind on day one was not the same in a few days after the grind dried and oxidized.  I was fortunate to get by for a short time and decided to budget for the grinder.  I looked long at used Rockys, and then ended up with a Baratza Preciso refurb for $239, directly from Baratza.com.  I think that is the best deal, though you could do ok with a hand grinder or used.  The Baratza is nice as it fits with the Classic in undercounter space.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,722
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri May 25, 2012, 6:26am
Subject: Re: best pre-ground for gaggia classic
 

If you get any pre ground coffee to pull properly, run and I mean RUN to the store and buy ONE lottery ticket as that is all you will need to claim the whole pot, by your self.

The odds of getting anything even close to a good shot with preground ..... well, see the above, you have a MUCH better chance at the lottery.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,039
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Fri May 25, 2012, 7:41am
Subject: Re: best pre-ground for gaggia classic
 

The basic problem is that in order to get the right extraction, your coffee needs exactly the right fineness of grounds. The odds of getting pre-ground coffee just right are like winning the lottery. Plus that right fineness can change from day to day depending on factors like humidity. So even if pre-gound coffee might by chance fit one day, it can be all wrong the next.

You need a grinder!

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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al_bongo
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Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 450
Location: Scotland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks Barista
Grinder: Solis 166/Iberital MC2
Vac Pot: Cona
Drip: Chemex/Melitta
Posted Fri May 25, 2012, 8:20am
Subject: Re: best pre-ground for gaggia classic
 

"Again, I know that the coffee wont be as good as if I grind it, but I just cant convince myself in spending another 500 bucks on something that will make the coffee taste marginally better/fresher..."

It's not that it won't be as good. it's the fact that you cannot make espresso without a suitable grinder.

The only significant variable you have to make an espresso shot with a 25s or so pour is grind fineness. If you can't alter the grind you cannot achieve this and no espresso. Tamping alone cannot make up for a grind that is even slightly off what you need.

Spending another $500 gives you a way to make espresso which you currently don't have.
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mhborstad
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Feb 2012
Posts: 31
Location: Gatineau
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri May 25, 2012, 8:49am
Subject: Re: best pre-ground for gaggia classic
 

For less than 20$ you should be able to buy a pressurised basket to fit your Gaggia. Your machine will tolerate a wider range of grind and freshness.

Otherwise, your second variable is dose - if Lavazza pours too slowly just use less...

Third option - pick up a moka pot and see how you like that. Brikka is worth the premium over the standard sort.
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AndyPanda
Senior Member
AndyPanda
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 769
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Olympia Cremina, Various...
Grinder: Mazzer Major, Fiorenzato,...
Vac Pot: vintage Corey
Drip: AeroPress
Roaster: BreadMachine/HeatGun
Posted Fri May 25, 2012, 10:14am
Subject: Re: best pre-ground for gaggia classic
 

I have a couple of very good ($) grinders ... but I also picked up the Krups Conical Burr Die Cast grinder from Amazon for $100 to test it out.  (I think the price has jumped since I bought mine - maybe $140 now).  I can totally get top quality espresso shots using that grinder.  It isn't quite as easy to adjust and it's noisier than my commercial grinders - but I found it to be a totally acceptable espresso grinder for someone who doesn't want to spend $500 (or $5000) on a high end grinder.

I think you would be much, much happier with that grinder and fresh roasted beans than with any pressurized filter basket and preground coffee.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,039
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Sat May 26, 2012, 12:41am
Subject: Re: best pre-ground for gaggia classic
 

If it's a budget question, a relatively cheap, bur capable hand grinder like the Hario Skerton will suffice.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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sweaner
Senior Member
sweaner
Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 1,125
Location: Yardley, PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano, Arrarex Caravel, La...
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, OE Pharos
Drip: Bunn Trifecta MB
Roaster: Poppery II
Posted Sat May 26, 2012, 1:22pm
Subject: Re: best pre-ground for gaggia classic
 

Here is the Amazon link to that Krups grinder. It has gotten some decent reviews, but may require some tweaking.

Click Here (www.amazon.com)

However, if you are a religious chap, you may not want it, as it is made with "Saintless Steel!"

 
-Scott
“Coffee - the favorite drink of the civilized world.”
Thomas Jefferson
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