Good looking machine that produces passable espresso, but is unfortunatly let down by the build quality.
Positive Product Points
- Basic Manual Machine, straightforward to use. - Looks very cool. - Compact enough for a tiny kitchen like mine.
Negative Product Points
- Poor build quality - Low pressure on steam wand
I wanted this machine because of the good looks and well known name, but unfortunatly the build quality lets the machine down.
The espresso from this machine is perfectly OK, but unremarkable. It is helped along by an espresso-friendly blend but struggles to produce crema if you try and brew from a single origin or ordinary blend. The steam wand feels low pressured and has a tendency to produce bath foam rather than silky latte milk. I've used friend's machines that cost half what this one does that produce equal results. While I appreciate that a budget home machine will never rival my commercial machine at work I thought that opting for a pricier machine with a big brand might at least turn out better espresso than the cheap plastic espresso makers you can pick up in Woolworths, it seems I was wrong.
I've suffered two broken switches , the steam wand and the on/off. I managed to repair the steam wand, but I've just had to bypass the on/off and now switch the machine on from the plug. There is also a cheap feel to the steam valve knob and the plastic drip tray. Basically the machine isn't as good quality as it looks.
I was enamoured with the looks of the Gaggia range & the romance of its pioneering associations, but based on this machine I think they are trading on the strength of their commercial machines, not their home ones. I still think theirs are the best looking machines around, but I would be unlikely to replace this machine with another Gaggia. Even if I had the finance for one of their flagship models - the Classic or the Baby, they are both too large for the space I have available.
It was a present, although the original shop furnished me with a replacement handle - no questions asked - after the machine arrived without one.