advice for Gaggia machine?

peteknauss

New member
Jan 7, 2009
2
0
Hello,
I am a new member here and looking for advice.

I am looking to get (I think) a semi-auto machine in the <$500 (preferably closer to $300-400). From the research I have done it looks like Gaggia machines might be a good choice.

I am primarily interested in making straight espresso while the milk type drinks will probably only happen when guests are over. I have a decent burr grinder (a lower range La Pavoni). I had a Krups pump machine that was 15+ years old and it died on me.

Could someone please advise whether there are differences between the Gaggia's in this price range? I tend to make many things around the kitchen from scratch so I can handle a learning curve. I want a machine that is going to last so if there is one (maybe another brand) that will probably last longer than another I would spend a little more (up to $500).

I have also considered refurbished products such as those available from wholelattelove.com. Is it usually better to by a newer machine at the same price as a more expensive machine that has been refurbed?

Sorry for the long question and thanks for the help!
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,605
9
Central North Carolina
Yeah the Gaggia Classic is a great home machine and I'd say with a nice grinder it will be on par with anything out there. The Classic and the Baby are one in the same except for the skin. The Classic is a little more heavy duty and the Baby is more "pretty" with the nice buttons, but has alot of plastic from what I've read.

The higher end Gaggias have alot to offer. Like a 58mm nickel plated grouphead and matching portafilter, a 3-way valve, an adjustable OPV, very fast recovery when pulling shots or steaming, etc.

Exactly what grinder do you have? Model name and #....

In addition to the machine be sure to buy a few nice shot glasses, a proper tamper (58mm for the Classic) made out of a decent material, frothing pitcher and digital thermometer are nice as well. Buy some good descaler for occasional boiler descaling and also backflush detergent like JoeGlo or Cafiza, which is very useful when cleaning parts.

I guess refurbs are OK, but you never know exactly what you get. Later!
 

MCD

New member
Dec 8, 2007
14
0
Gaggia is a fine choice for a semi-automatic espresso machine. The big differences in the $300 - 500 range are whether they have a 3-way selenoid valve and the construction material. The Gaggia New Baby has some Stainless Steel in it and is more durable that the Espresso Dose and Evolution which have ABS construction. The New Baby also has larger water reservoir of 64 ozs and the 3 way valve. The drip tray cover is also metal on the New Baby. For the money, the Gaggia New Baby at $399 is a very good deal. Gaggia is running specials right now with a 10% discount but I don't believe this will last for long.

Modern Coffee Designs
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,605
9
Central North Carolina
Yeah that does sound like a good deal, but from what I've been reading some are having trouble with the switches on the Baby series of machines. At least the Classic has the tried and true rockers. Just my opinion. Later!
 
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peteknauss

New member
Jan 7, 2009
2
0
  • Thread Starter
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The grinder I have is a La Pavoni MEC-258 Coffee Grinder.

Thanks!
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,605
9
Central North Carolina
I can't find anything based on that model number. Could you simply post a pic of it and the burr design? Or send a pic to my e-mail..... It is important to know what you have because you might need to budget for a new grinder if you really want a good home setup. Later!
 

harry33

New member
Jan 6, 2009
2
0
I am quite nervous about using it as i have tried once using the instructions and it all went pear shaped and hot water came out the frothing tube. I know its straight forward from when the guy in the store did a demo but I can't for the life of me work it out.
 
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