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Equipment advice please! (400USD budget)
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jjin082693
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:00pm
Subject: Re: Equipment advice please! (400USD budget)
 

Jason,

Thanks for the super-comprehensive response! At this point I've entirely resigned myself to getting used/refurbished machinery.

In terms of usability, what exactly are the differences between the Gaggia Classic and its peers, such as the Gaggia Evolution or the Gaggia Baby Class? Is it simply an issue of construction quality? I'm guessing that the cheaper plastic construction that some of the cheaper Gaggia machines use would inherently have poorer heat retention, but of course what do I know.

I'm patiently scouring eBay, Craigslist, Amazon, Google Shopping, etc. for potential deals. Making espresso for myself at home is still very much an experiment of interest at this point, so I'm very wary of spending anything over 400-500USD. Hopefully my eventual skills will be able to justify the purchases!

Thanks for all of the help so far guys! You guys are awesome.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,030
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:08pm
Subject: Re: Equipment advice please! (400USD budget)
 

All of those are single boilers.  If you want milk drinks I would suggest you look for a used HX, the NS Oscar that I got.  Sometimes you can find them for as little as 400 but mostly they are at the 500 mark.  The move fast at the 400 mark.  I got mine at a coffee shop that used it for catering.  I like milk drinks also and I am not sorry I skipped the Single boiler class of machine. Even though I use much less milk than I did when I started, I still use a few oz of milk.

 
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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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,015
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:24pm
Subject: Re: Equipment advice please! (400USD budget)
 

The Classic has a 3-way and adjustable OPV, and no plastic.  The Baby and Twins are prone to leak as noted below.

http://www.partsguru.com/GaggiaBabyClassandTwinBaby.html

SBDU machines are ok for a milk drink, I do that once or twice a day.  More than one milk drink at a setting is a little more difficult.  Do you make pulls and then do the milk for both, or do you switch back and forth from heating to steam and then cooling back to stable?

I have a PID to control the temperature including steaming so the steam temperature stays fairly high, not dependant on a bimetal steam thermostat.  The steam is adequate for a milk drink and very easy to do one at a time.

As Helen noted, if you are going to get into milk drinks, more than one at a time, SBDU is not really where you will want to go. That said, I am happy with the Classic.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,030
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:33pm
Subject: Re: Equipment advice please! (400USD budget)
 

If you are making milk drinks for anyone else but yourself, the power to be able to pull and steam at the same time can't be over stated.

 
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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