Good machine, not forgiving, will hone skills, likes to be clean and can last years, needs good grinder + beans
Positive Product Points
Strong build quility, lovely deisgn, can make excellent shots, good entry level machine. Will hone skills in a novice. 5 years on and its still like brand new.
Negative Product Points
Can be noisey, developed a little rust after 2 years, stumpey steam wand.
I purchased this machine about 5 years ago, back then I didn't have a clue about the finer art of espresso making. I just thought....buy ground beans, turn machine on...wait a few minutes...add cooffe to basket...hit button and voila...9 times out of 10 my coffee was bad, bitter, under-extracted, soggy pucks, leaking filter etc...
This machine requires attention , so clean it well, use Puly Cafe or similar, buy the best grinder you can afford (don't buy the Gaggia MM) and upgrade your tamper.
If you want to make more than one espresso per person in a day look somewhere else, this machine takes about 30 mins to warm up before you make the first shot, anything after that isn't the same...
The steam is excellant on this baby only problem is the stumpy steam wand....I don't mind the turbo milk frother attachtment but for micro foam you have to use the bare wand.
I have not found this machine to be very forgiving..but then this is my first machine. It does require some expertise.
Make sure all the planets are aligned before making you best shot on this one.
Purchased in Harrods, London for £280 back in December 2000, was told this was the best machine, was not told that there is a little more skill needed in producing fine espresso...the assistant was chasing a sale.
Could not advise me when things where going wrong for me, and this was a Gaggia Rep...very crap indeed!!