- Gaggia Baby Twin looks great- a very high aesthetic appeal especially the green-lit buttons on the control panel. - Control panel offers pre-infusion on single shot brew button. - Consistency in espresso shot volume and timing due to programming function on control panel. -Control panel is touch sensitive. - Makes excellent espresso. -steam on demand
Negative Product Points
- Initially difficult to use and understand with control panel-super-automatic type buttons -Thermoboiler is not easy to adjust to when steaming and foaming milk on first time. -must use smaller 12 oz steaming pitcher for best results foaming- reading this review you will find out why -must use homogenized milk for best results- something you may not have realized without this review
The Gaggia Baby Twin is undoubtedly a beautiful machine. It is also well-packaged in a double-box with lots of styrofoam and plastic to protect the machine. The Gaggia Baby Twin does however take a lot of getting used to with the new control panel and control panel touch-sensitive buttons if you have only used a semi-automatic manual espresso machine before like the Gaggia Classic, Gaggia Espresso or Rancilio Silvia which I own also. The single and double shot brew buttons on the control panel are a delight to use- definitely a nice touch and a new toy for the espresso lover and one that people who are techies or tech-minded will love. The single and double shot brew buttons on the control panel deliver fantastic espresso and with the memory - "M" programming function the shot timing and volume can be programmed on the machine by holding the "M" button for a few seconds and after which you press the single or double shot brew button and then you press the appropriate brew button again to end the shot and you then press the "M" button again to program it into the machine'e memory. Your shot brew time and volume are then automatically saved in the memory. Making that first shot of espresso is quick as a result and no -nonsense. You can also avoid programming and brew your espresso shot manually without programming volume and shot time by simply pressing the "M" button. Thus the "M" button offers manual shots and memory programming and even delivers hot water instantly from the grouphead which is very handy for cleaning the grouphead and portafilter. All of this is not easy to remember on the first time and it can be quite challenging if you have as I have mentioned only used fully manual machines like the Classic and the Silvia. I was fortunate in that the Gaggia sales lady from whom I bought the Baby Twin from gave me an hour and a half tutorial on using the machine. It is also very easy to prime the pump un the Gaggia Baby Twin by just opening the steam knob on top of the machine which also takes some getting used to and pressing the "water droplet " button and thus running hot water through the steam wand for a little while and you are ready then to make espresso. This is also an excellent way of adding hot water to your Americanos. The Gaggia Baby Twin also has a solenoid without a removable decompression tube as on the Gaggia Classic which uses a visible in-your-face decompression tube which must be removed and replaced on the Gaggia Classic when removing the water tank and drip tray. The Gaggia Baby Twin also has an excellent user- friendly water tank which can be easily lifted with a handle and that is very easy to fill and clean. It is also very easy to see how much water is in your water tank and it has a max line and a hole so that you do not over-fill the water tank. There certainly was a lot of thought put into this latest offering by Gaggia. The removable drip tray not only looks attractive but also has a red "bubble" marker piece which lets you know when the drip tray is full and the whole drip tray is very easily removable as a complete unit including also a small drip cavity for water expelled by the solenoid and the whole unit can be pulled straight out towards you from the Baby Twin. The pre-infusion function on the Gaggia Baby Twin is a wonderful touch but unfortunately it is only available on the single shot brew button. However you can make your shot on the single shot brew button actually as long of a shot or as short of a shot as you like. The pre-infusion gently coats or preps your espresso shot with a small bit of water before the espresso shot is actially made.
The Gaggia Baby Twin has uniquely a dual heating source in that it has a boiler and a thermoboiler that I have just learned from Gaggia not a thermoblock. the thermoboiler makes a considerable amount of noise as it draws steam and the noise at first made me think that I was damaging the pump on my Baby Twin which I found out when going back to Zuccarini Importing the next day was not the case. The wonderful thing about the thermoboiler on the Gaggia Baby Twin is that you have steam on demand and you do not have to wait in between espresso shots to steam and foam milk. This is absolutely wonderful. The thermoboiler on the Gaggia Baby Twin does take some getting used to and one must have their foaming and steaming technique well-honed and even altered to adapt to this new feature. I have been successful at making microfoam on the Gaggia Baby Twin after trying everything by using a smaller 12 oz pitcher and the inner tube of a Saeco panarello.- which is the panarello I use on my Gaggia Classic as well. After this technique is crucial. You must first plunge the panarello deep in the milk of the small pitcher and then afterwards let the tip of the frother sit just a little below the surface for a little while and then continuously stretch the milk which then creates the microfoam. By stretching I mean lowering and raising the pitcher several times till you get a consistent foam and then plunging ithe panarello as deep as you can and you will have eventually wonderful microfoam. Do not forget to stretch out your adjustable wand outwards to the right as well before stretching for maximum foaming potential. It is wonderful that the steaming wand on the Baby twin is on an adjustable swivelling ball base enabling you to stretch it out in any direction making it also very pitcher-friendly no matter what size of pitcher you are using. Also you must use homogenized milk for best results foaming. With the Rancilio Silvia and the Gaggia Classic you can be content with just leaving the tip of the wand- (Silvia) or Saeco panarello-(Gaggia Classic) for the most part just a little below the surface because there is enough steam pressure from the boiler and then finally plunging it of course deep in the milk. The Gaggia Baby Twin with the foaming technique that I just explained and discovered enabled the Gaggia Baby Twin to finally meet all of my expectations and then some. But do not forget to use homogenized milk as well instead of 2%. It is truly a wonderful espresso machine after you straighten out these kinks and It is a reminder that the Gaggia brand is still good when it comes to the higher end of their new machines. But you must use the foaming techniques I described and the smaller 12 oz foaming pitcher or you will be very frustrated with foaming for cappuccino.
Overall, the Gaggia Baby Twin met my expectations and is my favourite espresso machine next to my Silvia and Gaggia Classic. It is an espresso machine which looks so good, and is so much fun to use especially with the new touch-sensitive control panel buttons with the single and double shot brew and memory and hot water buttons and pre-infusion features that it is a pleasure to use when finally mastered. The ability to foam on demand without having to wait in between making espresso shots is wonderful. Just master the foaming technique I have described and use homogenized milk instead of 2% and you will be very happy with your Gaggia Babby Twin. Unfortunately not everyone especially newbies will be able to discover this foaming technique which is why I have written it here- Do not return your Gaggia Baby Twin- it works fine and it is a good machine. Just replace that Gaggis turbofrother with the inner tube of a Saeco panarello and get a small 12 oz pitcher and use the foaming technique that I have described and you will be very happy. The Gaggia Baby Twin is a nice and refreshing change fron the usual semi-automatic manual espresso machine. You may miss the reliable simplicity of a Gaggia Classic or a Rancilio Silvia in some respects but the overall looks and appeal and that amazingly cool state -of -the-art control panel with touch-sensitive green-lit buttons and foam on demand will make you want to make espresso on the Gaggia Baby Twin every day. I am very happy to own the Gaggia Baby Twin and next to my Rancilio Silvia and Gaggia Classic it is an equally wonderful and satisfying machine to use .WARNING- the Gaggia Baby Twin also makes excellent espresso and always at the right temperature and you can program it to continually deliver excellent shots! The Gaggia Baby Twin is without a doubt my favourite espresso machine.
Zuccarini Importing in Toronto , Ontario Canada -where I bought the Gaggia Baby Twin is the best purveyor of quality espresso machines in Toronto. The kind sales lady/tech I dealt with -gave me a one hour and a half tutorial on using the Gaggia Baby Twin even allowing me to try it as well and her knowledge of the Gaggia Baby Twin was infinite, extremely impressive and highly professional. To everyone at Zuccarini Importing in Toronto Ontario Canada- Many thanks!! Zuccarini Importing also has the best repair techs I have ever dealt with and has wonderful espresso accessories. Zuccarini Importing is the oldest espresso machine business I believe in Toronto and they brought over the first espresso machine to Toronto , Ontario Canada which was a Gaggia. They also sell Elektra and other high quality commercial and home espresso machines.