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- 05-06-2011 06:48 AM #1
Coffee machine conundrum: Gaggia XTWO or Accademia
So my conundrum is thus; I currently have a Gaggia XTWO fully automatic machine and I love it. I rarely make cappuccinos or any milk based drinks but I just get on with the machine far better than the I did the synchrony, titanium or nespresso and I've had no problems with reliability - it's worked perfectly from the off. Anyway, I have very generously received a brand new gaggia accademia as a gift, but don't know whether I should return the accademia for a refund and keep the XTWO, or whether I should keep the accademia and try and sell the XTWO.
I haven't taken the accademia out of the box yet as I'm unsure what to do, so in terms of trying them side by side it's a bit of a no-go (I wont be able to get a full refund if the item is "used"). Now the accademia is a thing of beauty, and it would be nice to know that it would be covered under warranty for two years but is it much better than the XTWO? Is there anyone out there who has tried them both?
Any opinions would be gratefully received. And I should probably point out that the gift-giver would not be the least bit offended if I did return the accademia!
As an aside, I know I seem to have committed the cardinal sin of being a fully automatic fan, but I have tried the manual machines and separate grinders in the past and they haven't suited... All I got was a messy kitchen and a lot less consumption as the hassle always put me off . In any case I found out pretty quickly that for me, bean choice and water softness mattered far much more to my uncultured taste-buds than anything else!
- 05-06-2011 06:53 AM #2
Oh - hi by the way! How rude of me not to begin by offering a word of thanks for this insightful and helpful forum first...
- 05-06-2011 05:06 PM #3
I've got that machine too. It's still sitting on the counter waiting for use. It's very shiny and seems to be very well built, more like a safe, 46 pounds. It's certainly an awesome looking machine, and the demo was cool too on Youtube. I've been looking at a summer machine that makes mochas. Its the Bunn Coffeehouse freezer, priced at about 2k, little over. It's keeps rotating all day long which allows a nice icy frappe mocha anytime.
Amazon.com: BUNN 2-Hopper Ultra Gourmet Ice System (Black): Kitchen & Dining
- 05-07-2011 10:51 AM #4
Well today, finally after my new Gaggia Accademia has been sitting on my counter begging for use, I got it up and running! The main reason I waited more then a week to use it is because it's far from a Hick's view of a ONE TOUCH! Yes, according to standard term, it's in the One Touch category, but the break-in process takes a few hours to be fair. You have to read the manual of course once through, and of course it has a major water cleaing process that needs to recycled twice. Then also, you need to decide to install the water filter or not. Finally after a few hours of tinkering, I made my first cup of coffee.
So many touches later, I am finally up and running. However, don't get me wrong. The complexity of this machine does not put me off. Working in computers for many years, this is actually pretty simple stuff. However the idea of just pulling it out of the box, plugging it in, adding water and beans with a magic one touch button is far from reality. I actually like the complexity of it, because it offered much more control over features. The strongest cup of coffee is still a bit weak for my taste, but it makes a fantastic cup of coffee, all things considered. Take that you religious types peering over the top of your burr grinders. In fact I was very impressed, much better then I could do, although my Chemex allowed me to make a pretty decent cup. I am used to drinking coffee that will make your jeans stand up by themselves, so if I used the Espresso mode, the strength of it is more to my liking. However, I was even impressed with the taste and the way the weaker Longo and Cafe cups turned out.
The biggest thing for me is once you got it sorted out, it's actually pretty easy from there on out. In the morning I can now make a cup by just hitting a button, and that is the magic of the One Touch. Yes, many touches to finally get it programmed to your liking, but from then on it can be a one touch. The idea of no grinding in the morning and hanging up my Chemex while a robot does my coffee is somewhat appealing. In fact very appealing after months and months of the Chemex ritual was starting to take a toll on me. This is a great machine it seems so far. It is in fact very well built, like a brick S-h-i-t-e-house. It's seems indestructible. I saw a video on some of the Platinum Gaggia problems on Youtube. For half the price, that machine seems like a total joke compared to this one. Don't waste your money on it, because this is a huge step up, and it's built just like a floor safe. Incredible! 46 Pounds, and it sits rock solid on the countertop!
- 05-07-2011 11:58 AM #5
Thanks for the update! I also like my coffee strong and with a depth of flavour, which is why I could never get along with drip coffee - too wishy washy for my tastes. Although saying that, the french people I work with have their coffee like melted plimsolls so I must lie somewhere in the middle!
Do you know if the accademia has a pre-set menu for "coffees of the world"? It's under "extras" in the "programming menu" on the XTWO. This is quite a nice feature of the XTWO although admittedly not a deal-breaker... Also, how good is the adjustable brew-head to use (in order to raise and lower for different size cups)? I quite like the drip-tray on the XTWO as you just put a little up or down pressure on it and it moves really smoothly and quickly to the exact height you need it. Does the accademia move in predetermined "stages" or can you decide the exact height?
Sorry for the amount of questions, but finally - how much used coffee can the dreg drawer hold before it needs emptying? I know these all seem fairly trivial items but I really am torn on this so these could be the deal-breakers!
Thanks in advance
- 05-07-2011 08:22 PM #6
I haven't seen your machine demo, so I haven't a clue about it. I can just say I think I made a good choice with the Gaggia. I had looked at quite a few others, Jura, Saeco, etc. I haven't looked for Coffees of the world, but I think it would. Seems to me I heard something about that in the demo.
I think it's pretty cool for different sized cups. You can not only remove the brew head but you can take out the bottom grill as well which will allow for the tallest cup of all. Check out the Youtube demo by Wholelattelove. They go all through that. I do like the steam tube which moves at an angle. This means you can stick a taller cup off to the side with this tube at an angle. That is very cool. I had heard in the demo that this is the only one touch that has a steam tube as an extra feature.
On the dreg drawer, after I got my message to empty it, I noticed that was still plenty of room for more pucks. However the message to empty the bottom water tray was dead on, because that was full! I think you really need to watch this video, it will help you a lot.
YouTube - Gaggia Accademia: Unboxing and Introduction
- 05-09-2011 01:43 PM #7
Thanks for the helpful info... I'm still undecided but will let you know what I decide to do - I've 3 weeks or so to get a refund if I decide to take the Accademia back.
So far it seems like the accademia is more of a sideways step than an upwards step from the XTWO in that it hasn't got any big improvements and has a slightly reduced water capacity (!.6 litres compared to 2 litres for the XTWO) and no touch screen interface. So really the only benefits I can see are the extended warranty and the slightly better (in my opinion) overall look of the machine....
Hmmm, will keep you posted
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