Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Beginner machine broke thoughts on Rancilio Rocky w/ Gaggia Classic
Donate to Coffee Kids
Coffee Kids works with farming communities around the world, improving lives. Donate today.
www.coffeekids.org
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Beginner machine...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
Author Messages
brohar
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Apr 2014
Posts: 4
Location: cincinnati
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Apr 29, 2014, 7:21pm
Subject: Beginner machine broke thoughts on Rancilio Rocky w/ Gaggia Classic
 

I need a new setup and have a $700 budget for the grinder & machine.  Ive researched for days but there is just so much info, it gets overwhelming.  At this point im leaning towards the Rancilio Rocky w/ Gaggia Classic.

I primarily drink espresso or cafe cremas with the occasional milk based drink.  

About 2 drinks per-day on average.

I only need it to make one drink at a time.

I would prefer it's ready to use quickly in the morning.

Reliability is of course important.

I just want to achieve some semblance of the quality I had drinking espresso while visiting Rome.  Doesn't everyone though...

Thanks
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,163
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Apr 29, 2014, 7:35pm
Subject: Re: Begginer machine broke thoughts on Rancilio Rocky w/ Gaggia Classic
 

Gaggia Classic - good choice given your budget.
Rancilio Rocky - don't waste your money. Get a Batatza Preciso, or a Lelit or a used Mini class grinder.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,021
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Apr 29, 2014, 7:38pm
Subject: Re: Begginer machine broke thoughts on Rancilio Rocky w/ Gaggia Classic
 

Welcome to CG.

No to Rocky.  The steps are too far apart to keep dialed and it has been surpassed.  How about a Classic refurb

Click Here (www.wholelattelove.com)

and Vario refurb from Baratza.com.  When available, frequently, the Vario refurb is $360 + shipping.

Money left for the Silvia V.1 steam wand.

I am assuming supplies such as tamper are already owned, if not, then the Baratza Preciso refurb and more for supplies  :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,389
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed Apr 30, 2014, 5:48am
Subject: Re: Begginer machine broke thoughts on Rancilio Rocky w/ Gaggia Classic
 

Agree, refurbished Classic and Vario. Say no to the Rocky.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Dayglow
Senior Member
Dayglow
Joined: 5 Oct 2007
Posts: 70
Location: Greenville, NC
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Apr 30, 2014, 6:00am
Subject: Re: Begginer machine broke thoughts on Rancilio Rocky w/ Gaggia Classic
 

Given your requirements I'd have to agree with the others. The Classic would be a great machine if you are making one drink at a time and are not concerned with back to back shots or excessive steaming. Out of all the machines people on here would more than likely recommend it also has the fastest "boot up time" given that it has a smaller, easier to heat boiler. As to the grinder there are many better options than a rocky. You should decide whether you want doser, doserless, or grinds bin. Those options when weighed will narrow down your search on a decent grinder that may even last into your next bout with upgraditis.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 490
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: HG One, OE Lido 2, Baratza...
Drip: Chemex/V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Apr 30, 2014, 6:41am
Subject: Re: Begginer machine broke thoughts on Rancilio Rocky w/ Gaggia Classic
 

CMIN Said:

Agree, refurbished Classic and Vario. Say no to the Rocky.

Posted April 30, 2014 link

This is my current set up, except I added a PID to the classic (recommended)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
brohar
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Apr 2014
Posts: 4
Location: cincinnati
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Apr 30, 2014, 7:32am
Subject: Re: Beginner machine broke thoughts on Rancilio Rocky w/ Gaggia Classic
 

A few more questions:

What kind of warranty is provided with a refurbed Classic and Batatza Vario from their respective dealers?

Can you get a caffe crema out of the classic easily?

If i did need to do a couple back to back shots on occasion, how long do you have to wait between pulls?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,021
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Apr 30, 2014, 9:29am
Subject: Re: Beginner machine broke thoughts on Rancilio Rocky w/ Gaggia Classic
 

You can contact WLL above about the Classic refurb warranty.  Baratza gives a full year on the refurbs, same as new I believe.

http://www.baratza.com/

Back to back shots need about 4 - 5 minutes between if left entirely to OEM machine mechanics.  Steam switch surfing, boiler thermometer and/or PID can cut that down.  Here is mine with PID, "back to back"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sluei1-IkTw

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 989
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Wed Apr 30, 2014, 10:51am
Subject: Re: Beginner machine broke thoughts on Rancilio Rocky w/ Gaggia Classic
 

brohar Said:

Ive researched for days but there is just so much info, it gets overwhelming.

Posted April 29, 2014 link

Consider the dates of the material you're reading.  Rocky is not recommended in many recent threads as better options have appeared on the market over the years.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,316
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Wed Apr 30, 2014, 11:21am
Subject: Re: Beginner machine broke thoughts on Rancilio Rocky w/ Gaggia Classic
 

Consistently good espresso is a matter of good beans, and good control of temperature, pressure, dose and grind.  That's not an opinion.  It's an "is."

Temp
You can make something which is recognizably espresso with machinery which doesn't allow consistent pressure in the right range, insufficiently fine control of temperature and insufficiently fine control of grind.  Sometimes you get lucky, and it's good.  But you can't make it good on purpose or consistently good without a certain level of competence from your machinery.

If you absolutely, positively must buy now and your budget restricts you to an SBDU, plan on adding a PID as part of the purchase, because "temperature surfing" using the lights -- no matter how much practice you have, or whether you use "advanced" techniques like "reverse surfing" -- is just not good enough if you have any kind of palate.  By that I don't mean some sort of super-duper, golden palate (which I don't possess) -- but that you can recognize "too sour," and "too bitter," as things which are unpleasant and best avoided.  

Pressure
Fortunately, the Classic has an OPV, so too much pressure isn't an issue.  You can avoid too little, by prepping your baskets your baskets well enough to avoid serious channeling.

Dose
For dosing, you'll need a scale with 0.1g nominal accuracy (0.25g is really all you need, but good luck finding it, and since 0.1g scales are cheap -- why the heck not?).  

Whether or not you "single dose" by weight, you'll need the scale.  And if you don't, but use the grinder's hopper, you'll probably want some sort of timer to time dose; so you don't have to weigh every darn dose before grinding.  

GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER
Not many grinders in your price range include timers; so if you're looking at a grinder which doesn't, factor the lack of a timer into your consideration.

The Rocky (no timer) used to be the best grinder in its price range.  Now there are much better for less.  Setting aside the difficulty of finding the exactly right setting with any stepped grinder (the Rocky may be modded to be stepless) the Rocky's particle size distribution range -- pardon the jargon -- is far too wide for an espresso grinder.  

The Baratza Preciso (stepped, timer) and LeLit PL 53 (stepless, no timer) are both significantly better than a Rocky for espresso grinding, but each is barely adequate.  

The Vario (timer) is the least expensive, good grinder.  It's also one of the most user-friendly grinders available at any price.  

Three things to remember are that (a) as long as the machine is minimally competent you'll see a lot more "in the cup" difference between grinders than between machines; (b) money invested in grinder performance will pay a hugely bigger dividend, than the same amount of money invested in the machine; and (c) any SBDU, expressly including the Gaggia Classic, without a PID -- and maybe with one -- falls below that minimum threshold of competence -- which ought to tell you something.

Other Stuff
Steaming is not an essential part of espresso per se.  But it does matter to a lot of people.  The Classic, like every other SBDU is a piss-poor steamer.  If capps and lattes are big parts of your plan, you may want to wait until you can afford a hybrid or an HX.

Steam or no steam, if you're in a position where you can delay buying until you've saved another $300, The combination of the Crossland CC1 + Vario is enormous value for the money.  

But 50% more than you budgeted is a LOT.  If you can't wait, and have made up your mind on a Gaggia Classic, consider some form of consistently accurate temperature control a necessity.  (A PID kit is certainly the most common, but I understand there may be a couple of other ways to skin the cat.)  If you can't control temperature, you can't teach yourself how to make good espresso.  The best you can do is learn inadequate work-arounds.  

If you've decided on the Classic, don't get less than the PL 53 or Preciso, but don't waste your money by getting anything more expensive than a Vario.  With or without a PID, an SBDU is too limited to take advantage of a better grinder.  

Finally, my opinions about SBDUs are just that -- my opinions.  You can certainly find plenty of people who feel otherwise, and will tell you that on the basis of their experience, SBDUs are just the thing for the espresso junky on a budget.  But you'll find that most people with a lot of time and experience with espresso, especially those who moved on from SBDUs, agree with me.

Hope this helps,
Rich
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Beginner machine...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Cafe Espresso Machines
Video reviews, nationwide installation, leasing options... Nuova Simonelli, Rancilio, La Marzocco.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.448580026627)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+