Gaggia Classic 2019 Review
The new espresso machine from Gaggia, The Classic Pro is an updated version of the Gaggia Classic that was a beloved machine for coffee makers adding to the rich history of Achille Gaggia's innovations. The Classic while efficient and loved had a few drawbacks that the new Classic Pro aims to rectify. with the Classic as its building block, is the new machine better? What features has the new classic borrowed and how do they work? Read this Gaggia Classic Pro Review to find out!
What You Need To Know
Looking for great espresso but don't want to go out? If this is how you constantly feel then you need an espresso machine. While fully automated espresso machines on the market if you're a person that likes to get a bit hands-on, the best option for you is a semi-automatic espresso machine that allows you to control how you brew your coffee.
Whether all you want is to chose how much coffee to use or deciding on pre-ground coffee or whole coffee beans a semi-automatic machine has you covered but keep in mind that some machines don't have built-in grinders.
They are also fitted with a professional steam wand to make the milk froth for milk-based drinks and allow you to perfect your latte art skills, create quality espresso and unleash your inner barista in the comfort of your home. These perfectly built machines can allow you to play around with your taste buds by changing the texture of the milk in your milk drinks.
Here is what to look for when buying a semi-automatic espresso machine and if you can't settle for a fully automatic one.
Professional Steam Wand
Smooth lattes always need decent microfoam and a professional steam wand is just the thing to get it right. Make sure your option can do this.
Espresso making machines are known for their size, so be sure to get the measurements right so when you set it up you have enough space for cleaning. If you don't check the measurements you might have to return your espresso machine if it doesn't fit your kitchen counter.
If you keep your eyes open you will learn when to stop, the machine will help you know so it doesn't matter if your brewing coffee for the first time.
Check user reviews and ask around so you know how good the espresso will taste. Gaggia espresso machines are renowned for a great-tasting cup like one from an Italian bar.
Warm-up time for machines differs so keep an eye out to see how long your choice will take to just warm up so you don't spend forever waiting.
Capacity water tank: 2.1L
Frequency: 50 Hz
Max. cup height: 75 mm
Pump pressure: 15 bar
Voltage: 230 V
Cord length: 0.8 m
Gaggia Classic Vs Gaggia Classic Pro - Still one of the best coffee machines?
Gaggia classic was launched in the '90s and over the years it has helped coffee makers to brew good coffee but since the 90's a lot of brands have come on the market making the Classic look a bit backwards and un-stylish. The original Classic was replaced with a new model in 2015 but the most important aspects that drew people to the Gaggia was lost. The 2015 model had poor switch quality and the commercial 3-way solenoid valve was removed. It even lost its signature Gaggia machines style.
Fast forward the years, a new model is here a new Gaggia Classic Pro with build quality that traces back to its Italian roots and throws in a touch of modernity. This great espresso machine is worth the money and guarantees quality espresso and gorgeous cappuccinos to all buyers.
Features Of The Gaggia Classic Pro
One of the best manual espresso machines on the market, Gaggia Classic is the perfect way to unleash your inner barista. The new model has features that improve the 2015 Classic while keeping the Italian style the machines are associated with. The Classic offers value for money benefits that all coffee lovers want in a professional machine.
PROFESSIONAL GROUP AND FILTER HOLDER
The chromed brass group and filter holder come in the same style and size as professional machines. The chromed brass group and filter holder have been specially designed to maintain the right coffee temperature throughout the entire brewing process and offer an improved in-cup quality. The 58mm portafilter is made for long life.
PROFESSIONAL STEAM WAND
The professional steam wand has two valves for the best milk froth replacing the Panarello steam wand that most of the customers did not like in the 2015 model. Your perfect milk forth can make produce the right microfoam for latte art.
Cheaper machines don’t have this addition to their machine which leaves you with sloppy coffee pucks to get rid of but the new Gaggia Classic has a 3-ways solenoid valve that when you pull the short releases pressure from the brew head. This famous addition also ensures that the filter holder has constant control on water pressure inside plus perfect drying for coffee pucks.
NEW ROCKER BUTTONS INTERFACE
With on/off, espresso and steam dedicated indicator lights, the new intuitive interface gives the user function control. The Rocker buttons interface is Gaggia's way of keeping things simple and convenient.
If you’re a beginner or pro in brewing coffee you will appreciate the 3 filters available in the new Classic whether you’re working with ground coffee or coffee. You can get the commercial basket if you have a grinder or get the best coffee with the pressurised basket.
STAINLESS STEEL CUP PLATE
The stainless steel cup plate holds 5 cups and can keep all the cups ready for use with the warmth from the machine.
NEW BODYWORK DETAILS
The bodywork is renovated and the stainless steel bodywork allows you to see the water level, the filter holder carries the signature Gaggia ‘G’ and the new drip tray is stable and easy to clean.
15 BAR PUMP
The 15 bar pump offers the perfect pressure to make great Italian espresso.
DESIGNED AND MADE IN ITALY
The Gaggia classic is whole made Italy and guaranteed premium quality so your excitement for espresso-making never dies.
The Classic Gaggia Industrial Design
The Italian espresso machine is smoother than the old classic though not as stylish as other espresso machines. It has a stainless steel body, a plastic drip tray and three durable rocker switches instead of buttons offering the finishing touch to this creation. The machine frame and switches also have an industrial build simple to clean but also durable. The switches designated for ON, BREW and STEAM are simple to get a hang of unlike the ones from the old Classic and they also have their own dedicated indicator light.
Re-Designed Pump Means Less Noise
While coffee lovers want to brew their own coffee, they want a machine that does not wake up everyone in the house and the new Gaggia Classic Pro has a redesigned pump that has taken away the noise associated with 1401.
The mounting pump still does the same job, pumping exquisite espresso minus the noise.
Espresso Brewing Quality & Flavor
Gaggia has always promised their customers cafe-quality espresso from all their machines and the redesigned Classic is keeping that promise.
To get the best quality, Gaggia has added a 58mm group head and portafilter which is a common size in commercial machines. The new classic also comes with different filter baskets like the pressurised n]basket that you can use when making pre-ground coffee. You can also use the other filter basket to change the coffee grounds density.
The drip tray is also removable if you want to fit a larger mug under the spout though you can only fit an espresso cup for normal use and the wait time to start brewing your first cup is five minutes so it's not the fastest option.
High-Pressure Extraction by Default is not ideal for regular shots
To be able to make good espresso with freshly ground coffee you require 9 bar while the Pro's baskets push around 14 bar which is too much pressure than needed. But this downside can be solved by buying a new kit of a spring and tubes that you will have to refit to push down the pressure bar to 9 if you want that good espresso.
Removable Drip Tray
Because the dip trays are well sized and built with plastic and stainless steel they are easy to remove for cleaning.
The beans matter
The Classic Pro can create the best Italian espresso with rich dark flavours but if you want medium or light roasts you will have to put in a bit of effort when doing extraction to get the most out of beans. You can set the pressure to 9 bar and watch the temperature to get it right.
There is a fitted thermostat inside the Classic Pro but it does not offer much help in helping you know the right temperature and you will only know when the brew switch light comes on so while this might be a downer for big brewers, its a simple option for a novice user. For anyone who wants to up their game, Gaggia has PID kits that you can use to replace the old thermometer with a more accurate digital one.
Compared to the old Classic that had a Panarello wand, the new Gaggia Classic has a professional steam wand with 2 two steam outlets that allows you to steam and froth milk like a pro. Be ready to make the perfect Italian bar microfoam that you cant get from cheaper machines.
Ease of Use
With just three switches and one knob, the new Gaggia Classic takes away all the complications that other espresso machines bring into your kitchen. The water filling options are also easy, you can remove the water reservoir and fill the water tank from the machines front side or fill the water from the top while the reservoir is still in. The Classic Pro only has one single boiler though so you cant steam milk and brew espresso at the same time.
Maintenance and Cleaning
To keep the Classic Pro in good form you will have to clean it with care and since the machine's control panel does not have descaling warning lights you can just create a monthly cleaning schedule. But with a brushed stainless steel exterior wiping is all you need to do and the 3-way solenoid valve means you can just throw away the coffee pucks easily. The stainless steel drip tray is also easy to remove and empty.
Do Not Buy The Gaggia Classic Pro If…
You want a sleeker-looking machine
The Gaggia Classic Pro is a beauty fitted with a professional steam wand making the best milk froth for gorgeous cappuccinos but we know its visual appeal is less when compared to the Breville BES 84OXL Infuser. With a bold stainless steel casing and equipment, clean line and smooth edges and a colour option of cranberry red the Breville is a good espresso machine with the looks.
You want a built-in grinder
With a 4 keys formula and digital temperature control for your water, the Breville Barista Express has an innovative grinding cradle that lets you grind directly into the portafilter, a good option if you want a built-in grinder.
Gaggia classic alternatives
While Gaggia Classic has a new intuitive interface with dedicated indicator lights and other specs that can help you unleash your inner barista, there other alternative espresso machines that should catch your eye.
Breville Bambino Plus
The Bambino Plus comes with 3 seconds heat-up time and an automatic steam wand so you can adjust milk temperatures and texture to make the best microfoam.
Delonghi EC680M DEDICA
Fitted with adjustable controls to modify your coffee preference, a drip tray and water tank that is removable and dishwasher safe and advanced settings allowing you to instantly brew another cup the Delonghi can unlock your inner barista.
Breville Barista Touch
The Barista Touch is fully automated unlike the Classic Pro and allows you to just enter your brewing preferences and the machine will do the magic. This espresso-making machine is all in one with inbuilt grinding, fast warm-up time and a touch screen that allows you to save up to 8 personalised coffee styles.
The Gaggia Classic Pro Review: Conclusion
There is no doubt that the redesigned Classic is among the best semi-automatic machines out there. With a professional steam wand that works well for steaming and milk frothing, a 3-way solenoid valve that makes it easy to get rid of coffee pucks and a more modernised look with the stainless steel frame the Classic Pro is still a Gaggia machine with a touch of modernity.
While the old model did little justice to coffee lovers, the new classic offers you more quality and control and maintains Gaggia's 80 years of history in making great espresso machines. It can fit well within budgets for money and space in kitchens and is a friendlier model for people getting into espresso machines.
With quality improvements with the traditional rocker buttons that have dedicated light switches, a steam wand that makes the best froth milk for out of the cappuccinos, the chromed brass group and filter holder with long life and an easy to clean frame the new classic is worth every penny and a good comeback for Gaggia. Plus the water reservoir design that allows you to fill water from front or top is a clever move for Gaggia.
Frequently Asked Questions
How good is Gaggia classic?
As a new addition to the espresso machine market, Gaggia Classic Pro is a combination of functionality, affordability and attractive Gaggia style. With traditional rocker buttons, you also get a machine that is simple to learn and use, which is awesome.
How long does the Gaggia Classic last?
With proper care and love, you can keep your Gaggia coffee machine alive for over a decade or two and get many years of quality coffee.
Is Gaggia the best coffee machine?
Even though it does not have a built-in grinder, Gaggia Classic is easy to use and can be paired with ground beans or coffee pods making it the best choice for people buying an espresso machine for the first time. Visible water levels available in the new design and easy to clean drip trays and improved stability, the Gaggia is the best choice on the market.
Should I buy Gaggia Classic Pro?
If your looking for the perfect Italian espresso at home Gaggia Classic is the right machine at an affordable fee, a good size for your kitchen counter and parts available for upgrade. It also doesn't rust.
How often should I descale my Gaggia Classic?
Cleaning your Gaggia Classic can be a bit hard and time consuming since the machine should be taken apart to do a good job. With over 20 instructions to follow to do this, you might opt for a once in a month descaling process but frequency might depend on how hard your area water is.
How do I use Gaggia classic?
- Start with carefully unboxing all the accessories of your machine, the power cord and accessories will be in the water tank.
- Get the drip tray out.
- Carefully remove the metal tube on the left side of the machine.
- Remove the water tank and plug the power cord at the back.
- Plug the machine directly to the power source.
- Submerge the inlet/outlets tubes by filling the water tank full.
Get the water flowing
- After placing a cup under the steam wand turn the steam knob to open.
- Turn on the power, brew and steam switches.
- Dispense water between 3-4 oz into the cup.
- Close the knob, switch off the steam and brew buttons to finishing priming the machine.
Get it Hot
After switching your machine on again try waiting for 10-15 minutes before you start using it
Make sure the portafilter is attached while you wait.
After this process, you're ready to start using your machine to make great espresso.
- Use the portafilter to grind your beans.
- Tamp the ground beans with pressure.
- Put the portafilter into the brew group and lock.
- Flip the brew switch on.
If your a first-time steamer here is how you can get things done
- Flip the steam button on and wait for the machine to reach temperature
- Purge the steam wand.
- For steam to start jetting out make sure you open the steam knob and leave it open.
- You are now set to froth.
How do I clean my Gaggia Classic?
There several ways to clean your Gaggia Classic and they depend on which part of the machine you are cleaning.
To clean out oil and deposits from the shower screen, brew group and the solenoid valve you have to backflush the machine with recommended cleaning products by the manufacturer.
Steam Wand cleaning
Steam wands and nozzles need to be cleaned daily to remove milk residues. So do a daily clean up when you are done using the machine to prevent blockages.
If you want to descale the machine try to only use the descaling product recommended by the manufacturer and follow the right descaling procedure.
Group heads can have a build-up of scale and coffee residues so they should be taken apart monthly to get rid of all these. You can improve shot flavour with this trick.
Boiler Tear Down
The boiler requires deep cleaning but the job can be done in thirty minutes. Find guidelines on how to clean the boiler from the manufacturer.