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Gaggia reliability?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Gaggia...  
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jonnybignote
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 23
Location: Culver City
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Apr 18, 2012, 2:21pm
Subject: Gaggia reliability?
 

Hello all - great place you have here....

So I made a poor impulse decision buying the new Brevile Dual Boiler Espresso machine and the Breville Smart Grinder.  This was too great a step up from my horrible Krups II Caffe Duomo Coffee maker & Espresso (fake) Machine, both from an economic and kitchen real estate perspective (I still need to keep my drip machine also).  Lets blame it on a few glasses of wine and a wife with a spending problem...

Suffice to say, I regrettably took it back to Sur La Table (who have a very liberal return policy luckily)  I have done a bit more research and think I'll probably later plump for the Gaggia classic.  What perturbed me was the guy in Sur La Table who told me that Gaggia's are always breaking down.  Sur La Table do sell them online if not in stores, so he didn't necessarily have any reason to lie to me other than he just wanted me to buy something there and then.

Is there any truth in that?  I've read very positive things about that model for someone like myself, moving up the coffee ladder.  In retrospect I will probably again buy the Smart Grinder as they now seem to have tuned the manufacturing to a fine espresso grind and it will do a reasonable job on french press coarse also.  I just wondered if anyone had any input on the Gaggia and if I'm looking in the right area at that price range.  There is also a sinister sounding prop 65 lead warning on SurLaTable's gaggia classic page...

For anyone not knowing, Sur La Table will price match and they lifetime warranty anything you buy from them, even online, just by returning to any store.  I've even heard they'll take the Bed Bath and Beyond 20% coupon also...

Incidentally, anyone with $1200 to burn - the Breville was awesome - I know they get a bad rap around here but I thought it was great - paired with a seller who'll give you a new one if something goes wrong....

Any advice greatly appreciated.
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,869
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Wed Apr 18, 2012, 2:29pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia reliability?
 

This is a put on right?

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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jonnybignote
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 23
Location: Culver City
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Apr 18, 2012, 2:37pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia reliability?
 

which part?  

I've been doing steam only espresso for the last few years and not enjoying it that much.  I took the Breville thing home and thought it was great.  That is of course, coming from someone who knows very little.  I am interested in getting the Gaggia Classic but was slightly put off by the salesperson at SLT and was looking for some advice.

If there is something else I said, that is making you think its I'm putting you on, then you'll have to be more specific as I'm new here...
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,025
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Apr 18, 2012, 3:06pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia reliability?
 

I have a Gaggia, so I may be biased that they are good.  With regard to lead, you may want to read the article.  Many of the espresso machines use brass, not stainless in the boilers.

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

I am surprised that he did not give you the aluminum - alzhiemers argument on the Gaggia.  I will let you google that, perhaps I already have alzhiemers from using the Gaggia.

If you are starting over, the Gaggia or other single boiler machines should be more than adequate for a start.

I think the Baratza Preciso grinder is a bargin, and if you have the money, the Baratza Vario.  Both of those are easy to read about on this site.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,047
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Apr 18, 2012, 3:10pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia reliability?
 

I think he was saying if you have 1200 to burn you can get a commercially rated HX machine like mine (or other prosummer machines) and he considered buying espresso machine at sur la table the joke.

All espresso machines can break down, but most of the good ones have lots of parts available and people here and other boards to help you fix it.  I bought used and replaced my pump, cleaned a valve, adjusted a pstat.  I don't know a watt from a volt so I don't consider myself an electrical repair person.

Start with the review section here and how to buy espresso machine.  You will be glad you spent the time before the money.

http://coffeegeek.com/guides/howtobuyanespressomachine
http://coffeegeek.com/reviews

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,047
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Apr 18, 2012, 3:17pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia reliability?
 

Reposted my post from the other thread I snipped because of some ugliness in that thread.

(http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/576847?Page=2)

I wanted espresso with no real idea how much that would cost. I realized this krupps steam toy I had would steam milk but not give me anything like good espresso.  Also, like most, I was thinking of the machine cost only and not the grinder at all.

I came here, read a lot of posts that started "I have X machine and now I want to upgrade what should I get?" X machine was one I was considering buying.  This made me upgrade my budget 2 times before I bought.  I am really glad I missed a bunch of upgrade steps that would have made me very unhappy and added up to more money spent over all.   I wanted steam power and I got it and I think this machine will make me happy a really long time.  I ended up spending a lot more than I thought I would when this all started, but to stay within my budget I got used machine and only had to upgrade my grinder. (only had to do that because of a misunderstanding on my part at the time of purchase of the first grinder.)


This is how cheap upgrades can cost you more than you thought:
http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/general/568403

Really cheap ideas.

Click Here (coffeegeek.com)


My set up was 475 used Oscar and 550 New Vario W grinder.  Under the 1200 for the breville and I believe I have a better longer lasting set up.  But only time will tell if I am wrong about the breville.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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jonnybignote
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 23
Location: Culver City
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Apr 18, 2012, 4:32pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia reliability?
 

thanks for the great advice everyone.
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frank828
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 581
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Posted Wed Apr 18, 2012, 4:56pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia reliability?
 

i think he's saying he's not ready to spend 1200 bucks and wanted a smaller machine than the BDB?

and is trying to convince himself that the gaggia is good enough for his needs.


i dont have the experience to really recommend anything but i know enough from reading these forums that the breville smart grinder is not the one you want.  the steps are too great on it and you wont be able to properly dial in your espresso.   for espresso, most will agree that the baratza preciso or OE Pharos(hand grinder) is where you want to start on the lower end of the price scale.  i wouldnt expect any espresso grinder to be great for french press, though.

btw prop 65 lead warning is pretty much on EVERYTHING.  i wouldnt worry bout that.
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jonnybignote
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 23
Location: Culver City
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Apr 18, 2012, 5:47pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia reliability?
 

Thanks Frank - that is what I was getting at.

I thought the Smart Grinder had around 8 steps in the Espresso grind range - I was mostly just setting it at the finest though anyway...
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,047
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Apr 18, 2012, 5:50pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia reliability?
 

I have never owned a Gaggia and I wanted milk based drinks. I researched and read too many  "not enough steampower"/upgrade/pid/"what is my next espresso maker" threads with both Gaggi and the Silvia.  I just decided to skip that whole round of spending and go for a more stable machine that is less flashy so more bang for my buck.  This is not to say there are a lot of people that are sold on and love both machines.  Both can be repaired and modded by the owner.  And a lot of people modify them to get more temp stability.

For about what the gaggi/silvia are new I got a more robust and steam workhorse machine, albeit used.  Some people hate buying used and I have had to work on my machine.  But if you are on a budget used is something to consider if you want more machine than your budget allows.

Also, I hope the Nocturne gets off the ground and I want to see a Crossland at the show.  Both are going for the 500 and below market.  I would love to see more/better choices in that market range.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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