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Gaggia Factory - James Hathaway's Review
Posted: February 7, 2008, 2:01pm
review rating: 8.7
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Gaggia Factory Lever Machine
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More About This Product
Arrow The Gaggia Factory has 10 Reviews
Arrow The Gaggia Factory has been rated 8.54 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since February 3, 2003.
Arrow Gaggia Factory reviews have been viewed 64,605 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Merle Richard 10.00
Michael Mermigan 9.25
James Hathaway 8.66
Greg Sherwin 8.12
Danny Hyams 7.75

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.6
Product Reviewed: Factory
Manufacturer: Gaggia (La Pavoni) Quality: 9
Average Price: Varies Usability: 7
Price Paid: $279.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Whole Latte Love Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 6 months Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: A hands-on machine that gives you more control over the espresso-making process.
Positive Product Points

The Gaggia Factory is well-built, nice looking, and inexpensive.  
It truly can make a great shot of espresso.
It has good steam power, without any waiting after pulling a shot.
It requires a manual pull on the lever, giving the barista more control over the process.

Negative Product Points

It does have a steeper learning curve than semi-auto/auto machines.
It is finicky about grind quality and fineness.  
It overheats quickly, handicapping it for multiple, successive shot pulls.
It tends to move around a bit on the counter when pulling a shot.

Detailed Commentary

After researching espresso machines for several months, I decided to try a manual lever machine.  I saw that Whole Latte Love had a refurbished model for $279, so I quickly purchased it.  It arrived well-packed, with all the accessories, and a manual to get me started.

It did not take me long to realize that my Baratza Maestro grinder could not produce a fine enough grind to satisfy the Factory (although it is great for other methods).  The Factory requires a fine enough grind to create enough resistance in the pull, thus generating a pressurized water flow over the coffee.  I have since upgraded to a Rancilio Rocky which works very well.

Using the Factory is a little bit skill, a little bit art, and a little bit ritual.  I have learned that I have a short window of time (about 10-15 minutes after turning it on) to pull a couple of good shots.  After that, the group is overheated, making the shot a little bitter.  Oddly, thatís part of the charm of these machines!  They have a temperamental personality but produce delicious espresso!

Steaming is a breeze on the machine.  It takes about 20 seconds to steam about 4 or 5 ounces of milk.  There is no waiting for the machine to reach steaming temperatures after pulling a shot, thanks to its design.  Just turn it on and steam!

If you are thinking of getting a lever machine, consider that it isnít the easiest machine to use, but it is fun.  Itís not good for big parties and multiple shots, but it really does make great espresso.

Buying Experience

I bought it through Whole Latte Loveís outlet store.  It was a good experience with no problems.

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review rating: 8.7
Posted: February 7, 2008, 2:01pm
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