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Gaggia Baby - All - Alan Magill's Review
Posted: October 27, 2004, 12:26am
review rating: 6.5
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Gaggia Baby Espresso Models
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Arrow The Gaggia Baby - All has 27 Reviews
Arrow The Gaggia Baby - All has been rated 7.17 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Gaggia Baby - All reviews have been viewed 184,479 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Nadav Caine 9.33
Patrick Sloane 9.20
Andrew King 8.50
Brad Franks 8.00
Jesse Robinson 7.11

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 7.4
Manufacturer: Gaggia Quality: 7
Average Price: Varies Usability: 6
Price Paid: $225.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: eBay Aesthetics 7
Owned for: 1 year Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: none
Bottom Line: Makes a great espresso. As a first espresso machine, the Baby will do a good job of convincing you that you spent your money wisely.
Positive Product Points

Makes a beautiful cup of coffee, portafilter is brass not aluminium,  nicely put together (except for the buttons), good value for money.

Negative Product Points

Buttons are poorly designed, on my machine they stuck and had to be repaired under warranty. The pannarello wand is easy to put together incorrectly.

Detailed Commentary

I have had this machine since last Christmas. It is my first espresso machine and overall I love it. Two of the lessons I've learned this year are: don't plan to buy a grinder later, build it into the budget from the start, and don't  settle for supermarket beans, find a local roaster, it makes a big difference.
Some people have problems with the pannarello wand blowing off. You start frothing and 2 seconds later, BAM, milk is everywhere and the wand is in the jug. I had this problem. I found I could minimise it by putting the wand on carefully, not pushing it on too hard, but I couldn't stop it happening entirely. About 10% of the time the wand would blow off.
Some people have described this wand as 'useless'. I found it pretty useless. I had to work hard to eke froth out of the milk. I didn't know how hard I was working, because I'd never done it before, but I did know that when people wrote about creating a 'whirlpool' in the frothing jug I would think wow, I never get anything like that.
I discovered that both these problems were because the wand was put together incorrectly. It consists of 5 pieces. The main part has an insert that fits inside it, and pokes slightly out the tip. Generally, you don't take this piece out when you pull the wand apart to rinse it, it stays inside the main part of the wand.
This piece must be lined up correctly. The tip of the wand is oval shaped, so it has a long edge and a short edge. The inner piece must be lined up with the LONG edge.  My machine came with no instruction telling me this. When you line up the inner piece the right way, and push it in, it 'clicks' into place, so you know you've done it correctly.
Putting the insert in correctly increased my steam power by 200%.  Suddenly, when I put the wand in against one side of the jug, the other side roils and swirls about. I'd never seen that before.  And the milk froths up effortlessly. Before, I was jiggling the jug about, up and down, eking out the froth. Now I barely do anything. The steam does all the work. Also, since making this change, the wand has not blown off once.
Thinking about the people who have problems keeping the wand on, and the people who dismiss the wand as 'useless', I feel sure some of these people have it pushed together wrongly. I hope, if you're one of those people, that this has been helpful.

Buying Experience

I bought it on eBay from Auction Brokers (an Australian outfit). I had no problems. I have since bought a Gaggia MDF grinder from them.

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review rating: 6.5
Posted: October 27, 2004, 12:26am
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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