OrPhEuS Senior Member Joined: 3 Sep 2007 Posts: 41 Location: Washington, D.C. Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Barista Grinder: Virtuoso Preciso/Hario... Roaster: WB Poppery I and Poppery II
Posted Mon Jun 25, 2012, 12:21pm Subject: Which Gaggia would you go with?
I have searched through this site, sat through a few whole latte love review videos, but I am still unsure which machine would be the best investment for me: New Baby, Baby Class, or Classic. I see 3+ years ago the Classic seemed the way to go, but does this hold true today?
I already have a Virtuoso Preciso and have been hobbling along with my Starbucks/Saeco with a NP portafilter, but I'm overdue a big birthday gift and have been considering upgrading my machine. The SB/Saeco has gotten me through for several years, but the time involved in brewing and steaming milk (especially the milk!) is too much. The reason I've settled on these three is the price point. They're currently all between $340 to $375. It would be used mostly for lattes with occasional straight shots. So I guess two questions of the experts out there - which would you get and why, and am I missing another quality option at this price point?
Gig103 Senior Member Joined: 12 Feb 2012 Posts: 224 Location: Arizona Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: Crossland CC1 Grinder: Baratza Vario Drip: French press!
Posted Mon Jun 25, 2012, 12:35pm Subject: Re: Which Gaggia would you go with?
I was considering the Classic over the others because I didn't have to worry about electronics, and I liked the three-way solenoid valve that the Saeco doesn't have. But if you are already using a non-pressurized portafilter, I'm not sure how much more you'll get out of the Gaggia. WLL talks about a small boiler so it has a fast recycle time, so that might help some.
If it was me (and I know it isn't), since you already have a Preciso I'd save up for a few more months, and buy a Crossland CC1. I have one and the PID is nice so you don't need to temperature surf anymore. And the thermoblock and auto-fill boiler mean you can transition from steam to brew fast, and can do large amounts of milk without burning up the boiler. To me it's the logical upgrade, even for a few hundred more.
Posted Mon Jun 25, 2012, 12:58pm Subject: Re: Which Gaggia would you go with?
Of the Gaggia machines ... I prefer the Classic. What I like about the Classic: the large water reservoir and how you can see it from the front. The large (compared to other Gaggia models) drip tray and how easy it is to dump 3-way solenoid valve and OPV So simple, no complicated circuits to fail The top is good for setting your cups etc. (many other Gaggia models haven't got the flat top cup warmer spot) Tried and true - parts readily available
Most people say the 58mm portafilter is a big advantage - and it is nice to be able to buy different baskets and tampers so easily. But I have used machines like the one you have now with the 53mm filter (if I understood correctly what you already have) and I actually prefer the smaller Portafilter as far as quality of shots - they do a great job. with the non pressurized basket you've converted to, you should be able to get very good shots with what you have.
You would have an upgrade by going to the classic by way of the 3-way valve and larger tray/reservoir. But I'm not sure that it would be enough of an upgrade to jump unless your current machine is on its last legs.
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