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New Gaggia Classic - issue with "Perfect Crema" filter
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Katja
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Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Germany
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 5:20am
Subject: New Gaggia Classic - issue with "Perfect Crema" filter
 

Hi, I just purchased a brand new Gaggia Classic machine. This machine came with 2 filters - the "Perfect Crema" filter for ground coffee and a filter for pod coffee (*shudder*).

After priming the machine as per the manual, I tried to make an espresso (with the Perfect Crema filter). Nothing came out of the portafilter. I thought maybe I ground the coffee too fine (brand new grinder as well) and/or tamped it a bit too hard, so I discarded the coffee and tried again. Same thing. This time I emptied the coffee and put the empty filter under the group head and turned the machine on. Nothing came out. The pump is working, but water only sits in the filter and does not flow through. It can't be clogged, as it is brand new. I even let it run for almost 1 minute and nothing flowed through.

Water comes out of the group head just fine, as well as with the pod filter attached (tried it with no coffee).

Any idea what's wrong here? Again, it's brand new and, therefore, can't be clogged. I feel like such an idiot, because I can't even make a shot with this simple machine.
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AndyPanda
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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 Tue Jun 12, 2012, 8:07am
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic - issue with "Perfect Crema" filter
 

You should contact the vendor you bought the Gaggia from.  It is possible the pump isn't working correctly (though that doesn't seem likely if water flows well when you don't have the PF locked in).  If you have the new Pressurized basket (Perfect Crema) it is possible that it is now plugged up, even though it is new, from the first attempt with coffee.

I have not seen the newest "Perfect Crema" filters that come with Gaggia.  My understanding from older machines was that it consisted of a black rubber disc that goes under the filter basket and a small plastic plug in the bottom of the Portafilter. But the new machines may only come with the pressurized baskets.

If yours uses the rubber disk and plug at the bottom ... simply stop using the rubber disc and pull the little plug out of the PF.  Then use the regular double basket (if it came with one) ... if you have a standard basket, you should be able to hold it up to the light and see through the many, many tiny holes at the bottom of the filter basket.  

The newer Gaggia machines (so I hear) ship set to a little bit extra high pressure setting required for pods.  If you are not going to use pods and only make espresso with the non-pressurized portafilter and no "perfect crema" filter ... at some point you may want to adjust the pressure down a little.  It's fairly easy to do and there are plenty of people here that would be happy to walk you through the steps.  But you should still be able to make great espresso with that machine without having to change the pressure setting.

And if your machine really did not come with any normal (non-pressurized) baskets ... I have had great luck with this aftermarket basket that is not expensive at all :
http://www.espressoparts.com/EPMZ_107A ($7)
Or with the quite expensive VST baskets ($30)

If your basket looks like this picture ... that is NOT what you want .. this is a picture of the pressurized type basket you want to avoid if you have a real espresso grinder and want to make great espresso.

AndyPanda: Pressureized.jpg
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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 Tue Jun 12, 2012, 8:16am
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic - issue with "Perfect Crema" filter
 

This is a picture of the standard Gaggia double basket that is NOT pressurized. I couldn't find a photo of the underside of the basket ... but the underside should look the same as the hole pattern you see here on the inside.  All these holes should be visible on the bottom as well.

Click Here (www.1st-line.net)

AndyPanda: GaggiaBasket.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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wsikes
Senior Member
wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 8:34am
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic - issue with "Perfect Crema" filter
 

I think we can all agree (correct me if I am mistaken) that you will never reach the full potential of the Gaggia Classic if you use the pressurized portafilter and/or the crema enhancer.  These items are apparently included to seduce the entry-level consumer who does not have an espresso-capable grinder.  I have problems believing that they (Saeco/Gaggia) are now marketing this machine without a nonpressurized portafilter.  Do yourself a favor... gut the portafilter and throw the pressurizing parts in the trash can.  Do the same thing with the crema
"enhancer."  They have no place in a machine that is designed to make "real" espresso.

 
Bill
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,005
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 9:29am
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic - issue with "Perfect Crema" filter
 

I purchased a new Gaggia Classic several months ago.  The nonpressurized basket came with the other two, but with a note stating that it was included for the USA market.  I do not believe from the wording that the nonpressurized basket is included in all countries.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Katja
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Germany
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 9:54am
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic - issue with "Perfect Crema" filter
 

Yep, just one stupid hole... in both filters. I thought that was weird when I first saw that, but I thought maybe that's how that machine was.

I'm in Europe, so I only got the 2 pressurized filters.

Thanks all!
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,005
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 10:19am
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic - issue with "Perfect Crema" filter
 

I am not sure that I remember correctly from a previous post, but IIRC the prior thread sounded like the poster had contacted Gaggia and they sent the basket.  I had the impression that they would supply on request.  You might try that and if successful that way, post a reply.  As suggested, there are aftermarket baskets and PF's.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Katja
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Germany
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Jun 12, 2012, 11:36pm
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic - issue with "Perfect Crema" filter
 

I'll see if I can get a free normal portafilter/basket from Gaggia. If it comes with the machine in the US, then I should be able to get it from Gaggia here. I'll let you know if I can. Thanks again everyone.

I did take a pin and pushed it in the single hole... and now water flows through. I suppose it was clogged after all. Stupid if it got clogged that fast, b/c my grind really wasn't that fine.
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notcosi
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Jun 2012
Posts: 4
Location: UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Jun 13, 2012, 4:11am
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic - issue with "Perfect Crema" filter
 

Just purchased a classic yesterday - came with the pressurised baskets. I have exactly the same issue! Is the solution just to change the baskets then? Seems ridiculous to change something that worked previously!
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Katja
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Germany
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Jun 13, 2012, 5:12am
Subject: Re: New Gaggia Classic - issue with "Perfect Crema" filter
 

I suppose they will sell more if anyone can use it without thinking... which it seems these filters are for. As I'm waiting an answer from Gaggia (Philips), I decided to try out the stupid thing again. It clogged halfway through my shot! And I know my grind wasn't too fine, and I didn't tamp too hard, as the first half of the shot was coming out a bit fast. I'd like to use a grind one notch finer than I did this morning, but that is what caused that problem yesterday.

I have a feeling I won't be getting a proper filter from Gaggia, as Gaggia in Italy pointed me to Philips in Germany, since Philips handles the German sales. (Although I bought mine from Italy.) Anyway, a new filter, no matter what price, will be worth it, but I think it is silly they don't even give an option of getting the "filter-for-dummies" or a proper one.
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