eyetechie Senior Member Joined: 17 Nov 2012 Posts: 16 Location: Pennsylvania Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Sun Dec 1, 2013, 5:00pm Subject: Re: Have you outgrown you Gaggia Classic?
My dilemma: Purchased my first espresso machine Gaggia Classic and Precisio on November 15, 2012. Things were going well until a couple of months ago. Seems like the machine was straining, but in the end still producing a good shot. But, I was always looking at other machines, with the plan that "someday, I'm going to get another machine, maybe a Breville or Silvia". On Thanksgiving morning my machine died, of course 2 weeks after my warranty. Took off the top and found melted plastic connector. So, now my dilemma: pay $140.00 for repair or buy a better machine. Probably will go the $140.00, just because it seems I should be able to get more than a year from the Gaggia Classic. What would you do?
Well, $140 goes about a 1/3rd of the way towards a better grinder. Or roughly about 1/6th towards a consumer SBDU machine.
I guess my thought is, what caused the connector to be burned? Even if you do get the machine repaired, how much longer until it needs repairing again? Maybe a month, maybe a year, maybe three years.. who knows.
There are some people on this forum who manage to keep their old Saeco's running come heck or high water and I admire them. However, considering that this repair is nearly 1/4 the cost of a new Gaggia machine, is it really worth it? IMO, I don't think so but it is your money.
IMHO, I think you should use this as an opportunity to upgrade both your machine and grinder. Let's stand back a bit and rethink this. I realize that perhaps maybe you are experiencing sticker shock. So, maybe you need an upgrade which is a little bit more incremental, rather than taking a huge leap into a very expensive setup.
So, you seemed pretty intent on buying that Breville for $830... how about this, why not consider spending that cash on used equipment selling on this forum? As an example, a Nuova Simonelli Oscar sells for around $500-$600 used. That leaves you $430 for a grinder. For $230-$330, you can get any variety of used grinders. Mazzer grinders tend to be bulletproof, near indestructible, durable and easy to maintain. I wouldn't doubt it if I heard that a Mazzer grinder outlasted the espresso machine it ground coffee for. :-) You could probably pick up a used Mazzer Mini or a Super Jolly for that money.
Now, if you are intent on buying new, then consider bumping your budget up an extra $160 and round it up to $1000. That gives you a choice of a few different SBDU machines. You may want to consider the Baratza line of grinders, like the Vario for example. The Silvia is a tested, tried and true machine but you are paying more for the quality and commercial components in it than you are for functionality. The Lelit SBDU line of machines would fit nicely into your budget.
If you are concerned that you'd be "Throwing your money away" on a SBDU, then I'd certainly consider buying a used HX machine if budget is a concern.
I wish you the best of luck.
EDITED: 2013/12/03 - I mentioned Saeco by mistake and meant Gaggia.
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
Iluvdabean Senior Member Joined: 7 Mar 2005 Posts: 1,277 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 Tue Dec 3, 2013, 6:10am Subject: Re: Have you outgrown you Gaggia Classic?
I used my Classic every day for five years,upgraded and then gave it to my daughter and she's using it everyday. They are great SBDU machines so I dont know what happened to yours. I would call the place you bought it and see what they say.
SJM Senior Member Joined: 17 Nov 2004 Posts: 1,721 Location: CA Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: SAMA (2), Maximatic, Cremina... Grinder: K-10PB, Rancilio MD-50 Vac Pot: no like Drip: no like Roaster: HotTop Huky en route
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 8:01am Subject: Re: Have you outgrown you Gaggia Classic?
Eyetechie, the most recent response is spot on. The Classic is a great machine and something unusual caused the burned wire. Figure that out and get on with your life with Classic. It will serve you well if you pair with with a good grinder, do regular maintenance, blah blah blah. Nothing about your situation demands or suggests that it is appropriate to consider a different espresso machine.
One thing you did not mention is what your maintenance regime has been like with that Classic. The sound of the pump straining suggests you might have had a blockage, which the pump was trying to overcome, and which might have contributed to the burn.
Take pictures, open the machine, fix it up and enjoy it. And, as D4F suggested earlier, you should probably start your own new thread. You will get more help that way.
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