Gaggia Classic is the way to go if you want a great espresso machine but cringe at the price of a Rancilio. This was my “professional level” espresso machine before I upgraded to Rancilio Silvia, and I must say it performs well for its price.
Fast and Easy to Use
The Gaggia Classic is comparably easier to use than the Rancilio, so I would recommend it as an entry level machine.
A good espresso machine must make good espresso, of course, and Gaggia Classic does that. The three-way solenoid valve is one of its best features; it lets me prepare the next shot almost immediately!
Now that I’m using the Rancilio, I realized that the Gaggia heats up fast. I can do one or two cups of espresso at once with the handy design. That saved me some time when I had guests over, because six shots took me about 5 minutes!
I’m also impressed by the fact that Gaggia Classic has sturdy and replaceable parts. My Gaggia has served me the better part of a decade before I turned it in for a Rancilio.
“I’ve worked at two espresso shops with commercial machines, and the parts on this moderately priced Gaggia are nearly as heavy and substantial as the big multiple-thousands of dollars machines.”
- – Dominika Lepak, reviewer at Amazon.com.
The steaming wand does take some getting used to. It is one of the most complained features of the Gaggia Classic. Don’t get me wrong, the foam that it produces is splendid! But the design is flawed so sometimes it works badly.
Gaggia has come out with a Turbo Frother wand with the newer version though, which I can’t comment on.
Another thing is the aluminum boiler. I wasn’t so worried about corrosion because I insist on using bottled water for my coffee, but this may be a problem for those who use hard tap water. The manufacturer actually recommends NOT to back flush this machine, and descaling only once a year to keep the boiler in good shape.
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All in all, the Gaggia Classic is a good value espresso machine, the best high end machine for its price. Unless you are a 100% serious coffee lover who prefers the pricier Rancilio, this machine is the one that will give you Starbucks quality coffee. Remember to invest in a good burr grinder too.
For those of you who wondered about the oh-so-famous Rancilio Silvia, click here to read my review on it. If you prefer to be kinder to your wallet, I strongly recommend DeLonghi EC155, the best budget semi-auto.
I have also listed my recommendations for super automatic espresso machines in my Best Espresso Machine main page.