A good cup of espresso - made easily. Good solid everyday automatic.
Positive Product Points
Convenience. Convenience. Convenience
Negative Product Points
- WLL advises you to wash the brew group in the sink with water - taking care not to remove the grease. I find this hard to do. Invariably some grease comes off and also some coffee gets stuck in the grease - The bypass doser does not always function properly - occasionally it will dump the coffee and pour hot water into the cup. Not a problem with the main bean hopper. - The steam wand's location in a concave restricts the angles at which you can hold a pitcher. Takes time getting used to. Other Gaggia machines seem to have the wand offset towards the side without any restrictive ceiling getting in the way. - Instructions provided with the machine are not exhaustive as far as the cleaning part goes. - Like most other automatic machines in this price range the cup-warmer is notional, doesnt achieve much warming!
This is my first espresso machine and I like it for its convenience and good results. Very simple to use. Fill the tank with water - the bean hopper with coffee and youre set. The coffee produced has a good amount of crema. And for my non-exalted-connoisseur taste buds, tastes quite good. The time taken by the machine to get up and running is negligible. Having the dump box on the side of the machine means you dont have to take anything apart to clear it; just slide it out - and empty! All the dials and user functions are pretty simple to use and figure out. You can adjust the dosage, the water amount and there are 18 grind settings. One thing about the grind settings - you are only supposed to change them while the grinder is in operation... slight nuisance because you have to get the timing right. If youre looking for a fully automatic machine, this is a pretty good bet.
This machine comes with an attachment to the steam wand - the "Pannarello Wand" attachment. Throw this away. You will get much better steaming and frothing results without it. This thing is supposed to quicken the process of steaming - but what it really does is save a few seconds to achieve really suboptimal results. Just like you cannot really turbo-charge espresso making you cannot speed up milk steaming and frothing, and why would you? Without it the steam wand is quite decent once you get around the location of it.
If youre considering this machine - I would also advise checking out the Saeco Vienna de Luxe - I think it is essentially the same machine with a lower price point.
Bought from Whole Latte Love. Very easy and professional people. QUICK delivery! They will match prices - so make sure to shop around. I actually found a lower price elsewhere and then had WLL match it. Recommended.