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Gaggia Baby - All - Magnus Stensson's Review
Posted: January 11, 2005, 10:00am
review rating: 6.2
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 193,388 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: 6.4
Manufacturer: Gaggia Quality: 3
Average Price: Varies Usability: 8
Price Paid: $345.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: Italy Outlet Aesthetics 6
Owned for: 3 months Overall 7
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Had the power button been of better quality I'd have liked the Baby to be my friend for many years to come, as it makes good espresso and gives you control of the process.
Positive Product Points

The Baby can brew great espressos once you get the grind, tamp & coffee amount correct. My better shots were well in line with the better espressos I've had in commercial bars.

The machine is easy to operate, it warms quite quickly and after pulling a blank shot it's ready to go.

Cleaning is quite simple (apart from having to remove the 3 valve drip spout very time you empty the drip tray).

Negative Product Points

The power button broke after two months, so I haven't been able to use the machine for a month now. After opening the machine to check I discovered that the buttons seem very cheap and unreliable. They should be changed for better quality

The product is quite ugly to look at, it's not something to show off on the kitchen counter, it looks cheap and bulky.

It's hard to get dry pucks. If you fill the portafilter with coffee up to the rim (after tampering) you can hardly attach the portafilter to the machine. If you fill normally, (fill loose coffee up to the rim, then tamper) there is always water on top and the puck is soggy unless you leave it for a minute or two.

The drip container is too small. It seems I'm always emptying it.

Detailed Commentary

Until the power button broke I liked the Baby. I managed to produce good espresso's, making my mornings more pleasant before driving to work. I didn't get around to doing many cappucinos or latte's using the turbo frother, the few times I tried I never got good results, but then again, I'm more of a straight espresso drinker anyway.

The portafilter feels nice and of high quality. I quickly replaced the (too small) plastic tamp with a real 58 mm tamp, thereby avoiding the spilling of coffee around the edges of the portafilter. However this heavier tamp resulted in too hard tamping in the beginning, so nothing was poured through the portafilter, instead the water tank started bubbling, making me suspect I'd managed to backflush the machine...

The single filter basket is supposed to handle pods as well, but the ones I've tried were too coarse in grind, so the water ran through too quickly, making undrinkable espresso.

If I get my Baby refunded (see below) I'll look for a Gaggia machine with better quality buttons (maybe the Classic or Coffee) and not buy a new Baby model.

I have also tried to contact Gaggia Italy directly via fax & email asking about their warranty policies and spare parts availability. But no answer from them.

Buying Experience

Italy Outlet (www.italy-outlet.com) have good prices, but lack a bit in customer service. Sometimes the answer emails, sometimes they don't. You ask 2 questions, you get one answer, etc. My machine was delayed for a week because it wasn't in stock, but no information about that to me before I called them to ask (now they have disconnected their phone, so email is the only option).

When the power button broke they advised I contact the Swedish distributor Adesso. However the Baby isn't sold in Sweden so Adesso didn't have any spare parts. I requested Italy Outlet they send a power button and asked about payment of repairs (Adesso claimed I had to pay the repair in spite of a Europe wide warranty). I never got an answer on the last question, after a few more emails I did get information that a power button was ordered from Gaggia.

A month later and no power button I emailed them again and received the information that Gaggia can't deliver a button, so they offered me to return the machine for a full credit. And that's where I am right now. I'm waiting for an answer who is to pay for the return shipment.

But, if the refund works out ok, I'll probably buy from them again, as their lower prices compensate for any communication hassles.

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review rating: 6.2
Posted: January 11, 2005, 10:00am
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