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Is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level espresso machine.
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Is the Gaggia...  
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Jenn312
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 39
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 9:25am
Subject: Is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level espresso machine.
 

Hi,

I was on a couple of months ago and went with everyone's suggestion of getting a moka pot and a hand grinder as my entry point into the world of espresso. At the time I could not afford a grinder and a good machine. I still can't afford both because I was unable to drink the coffee from the moka pot and believe me I tried. In the end I am back to my daily Starbucks habit that is burning a whole in my pocket. I need to get a machine and yes I know I should get a grinder first but honestly I don't want to. I really need to see if I can keep with a habit of making myself a daily cappuccino and  lattes first before investing in a grinder. If and when I do decide on a grinder I am leaning towards the Ranchilio Rocky Doserless. I can afford to go up to $600 but would prefer to stay at $350 and save the rest for the grinder. I would like a machine that I can keep for at least 5 years that also makes a good foam for cappuccinos, and latte's
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,021
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 9:58am
Subject: Is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level espresso machine.
 

What grinder is your hand grinder?  If it is good enough then you can get by with it till you get better.  Have you tried french press?  Espresso is a lot of work.  Do you think you can get a lesson from a local barista to find out if you will do it before you spend your money?

 
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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Jenn312
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 39
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 10:16am
Subject: Is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level espresso machine.
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

What grinder is your hand grinder?  If it is good enough then you can get by with it till you get better.  Have you tried french press?  Espresso is a lot of work.  Do you think you can get a lesson from a local barista to find out if you will do it before you spend your money?

Posted April 20, 2013 link

I have a hand grinder. I doubt I can get a lesson from a barista but I will look out and see if I ever see anything for a home barista class. I know its a lot of money but I am spending more at Starbucks plus it takes extra time and money because once in Starbucks I usually get enticed by something from their display case.
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Fred1
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Sep 2004
Posts: 563
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: LaSpaziale S1 Mini Vivaldi...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini/NS MCF
Vac Pot: None
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Hottop, FR+8
Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 10:20am
Subject: Re: Is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level machine
 

If you have $600 you could spend the Gaggia Clasic/Baratza Preciso combination should be within your reach.  Check with Whole Latte Love to see what kind of deal they can give you.  Yes the Gaggia Classic is an excellent entry level espresso macnine.

Fred
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Jenn312
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Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 39
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 11:13am
Subject: Re: Is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level machine
 

The Gaggia classic does have a good steamer correct?
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,021
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 11:27am
Subject: Is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level espresso machine.
 

Good is relative... what is your need steam wise?  And I was suggesting an informal barista class for a tip...

 
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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Iluvdabean
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Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,253
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 11:33am
Subject: WLL go there now!!!
 

You can get the Gaggia Classic and Gaggia grinder at whole latte love for 524.00
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strawberrykoi
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strawberrykoi
Joined: 11 Oct 2012
Posts: 43
Location: USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3,...
Grinder: baratza vario, Hario...
Drip: chemex
Roaster: whirly pop
Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 3:06pm
Subject: Re: Is the Gaggia Classic still considered
 

Out of curiosity, are you experimenting with different roasts and brands of beans? I think the moka pot is a wonderful device, so I'm a little surprised that you dislike it so much... most people do move on to bigger and better things from there, but as long as you have good/fresh beans, consistent grind and perfect water-temp, it SHOULD make a very delicious brew.. hm.

...Have you considered the Aeropress or Mypressi? The Aeropress makes a brew a lot like the moka pot in the sense that it's a coffee-concentrate, and both are similar to espresso, but the Aeropress makes a much cleaner and consistent coffee... it satisfied my need for espresso and/or lattes while I saved for my espresso machine. For only $20-$30 I don't see a big risk in trying it out. Plus it's just fun to experiment!

The Mypressi is also nice, because it makes true espresso... but it's so much cheaper than any other espresso machine that's worth a dime (the downside is, it uses N2o cartridges and has no ability to froth milk... but still very much worth it, imho)

Going with a cheaper coffee maker will allow you to spend more on your grinder... which is the most important thing anyway. Seriously... don't skimp on that part. I tried to do that too in the beginning, but I quickly learned the dramatic difference it made with a better grinder :D Now I want an even better one than my Vario...

I'm not a big fan of the gaggia since it is a singer boiler and cannot froth milk the same time it brews (along with other things)... but I also know I'm an all-or-nothing kind-of-girl and that's why I skipped the whole entry-level thing.

Pretty much everything recommended here is better than Starbucks... everyone starts out preferring Starbucks, and once they do a fair share of experimenting and defining their pallets, they discover Starbucks really isn't all that good... haha
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,997
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 3:21pm
Subject: Re:Is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level espresso machine
 

Gaggia Classic for $349, current sale.

http://www.wholelattelove.com/Gaggia/classic.cfm

Baratza Preciso refurbished when available from Baratza.com for $239, and about $10-$15 shipping. The refurbished grinders are usually available on Thursdays until sold. Look on Thursday mornings.

Helen's suggestion of an informal barista class is an excellent idea. Perhaps you can find a Coffee geek member with a Gaggia Classic or another similar machine near you. I did not see your location listed. You might do well to spend some time before you spend your money and actually see the machine in use making the drink that you like. It sounds like you need to see what is involved in making an espresso drink and cleanup. You would also get a realistic idea as to whether the steaming will meet your needs. That said, I don't believe you will have trouble making a single cappuccino or latte, I actually use that setup. I can't brew and steam at the same time but I may not be multitasking in the morning until I've had my coffee, so the machine is not holding me back. I think the bigger drawback is to try to make another espresso after you have steamed. You then have to wait for the machine to cool and stabilize. As long as you are making one steamed drink the Classic should be more than adequate for several years. You certainly can steam a second drink if you are willing to wait a few minutes for the temperature to stabilize.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Jenn312
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 39
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Apr 20, 2013, 4:03pm
Subject: Is the Gaggia Classic still considered the best entry level espresso machine.
 

Ok I am going to try and answer all the questions. I like in NYC unfortunately I don't see a lot of small coffee houses around me just a Starbucks and DD on every block.

I don't really want to buy an Aero press because I feel like I already wasted my money on a moka pot. The coffee it made was so bad my guests even said it was the worst coffee they ever had I tried Lavazza beans and some others I bought on line. I even went to both Starbucks and Fairway and had them grind the beans for me on their big fancy grinders.

I need to make at least 2 steam drinks in the morning and maybe around 4 when company comes over.
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