The coffee machine market is booming, and it’s not just specialty cafes driving growth. Residential consumers are also getting in on the action, snapping up the professional calibre equipment like a Gaggia coffee machine online. Demand for super-automatic, semi-automatic, and manual espresso machines is expected to continue growing at an impressive rate over the next several years. But with some of these machines having a significant cost, how do you choose the right one?
While there are many ways to get great coffee at home, true coffee-making enthusiasts will argue that none compares to crafting the perfect shot on a manual espresso machine. However, a good quality espresso machine is an investment, and the learning curve for operating a manual espresso machine is steep. Fortunately, with the Gaggia coffee machine, users can ease into making coffee at home with a well-designed, functional – and most importantly affordable – manual espresso machine.
Gaggia Coffee Machine Design and Features
The new Gaggia Classic Pro is a refresh of the very popular Classic Gaggia coffee machine. The entire machine has been given a more modern design, and the new Gaggia Classic Pro now includes a professional steam wand for frothing milk. After a failed redesign attempt in 2015, the Gaggia Classic brought back its famous 3-way solenoid valve, aluminum boiler and eliminated (almost) all the plastic bits seen on models built after 2009. Gaggia also returned the manufacturing of the Classic Pro to Italy, much to the delight of consumers unimpressed by the “made in China” versions of the older model.
The new Gaggia Classic Pro is a sturdy machine with solid components, something you can feel right away when installing this 8 kg machine on your counter. As mentioned, Gaggia eliminated nearly all the plastic from the construction of this machine. The Gaggia Classic Pro is made from stainless steel and available in several colour options.
The machine comes with a 2.1-litre water tank and a transparent cut out so that you can easily see water levels (a nice feature to have and new for this model), a roomy drip tray with the option to purchase a lower profile tray for those who like taller cups, a nice brass portafilter, and tamper. The only complaint one might have with the included components is the plastic tamper (used for packing the espresso), but at this price point, you can easily afford to upgrade it for a better-quality tamper.
A nice feature of the Gaggia Classic Pro is the passive cup warmer at the top of the machine, which allows you to heat your cups before you pour your shot. It can take a while for the plate to heat up, but it is still a welcomed alternative to boiling water to warm your cup first.
The Gaggia Classic Pro comes with almost everything you need to get pouring right away. In addition to the machine, portafilter, and tamper, the Gaggia Classic Pro comes with three different filters options. These include the “crema perfetta” filter, which can help even beginners get the perfect crema on top of their espresso, a single espresso filter, and a double strainer.
Optional (But Necessary) Gaggia Classic Pro Add-Ons
So, while the Gaggia Classic Pro comes with almost everything you need to get started, if you’re buying your Gaggia coffee machine online there are a few other items you may want to add to your cart.
Next to the machine, the most important investment you’ll make is in the right coffee bean grinder. Don’t fall into the trap of picking the cheapest options; if you are going to invest in a Gaggia Classic Pro, get a quality grinder to go with it. There are a few different types of grinders out there, including blade, burr, and manual options.
Blade grinders are the most widely available and least expensive option, but most coffee pros would warn to steer clear of them. Blade grinders tend to produce inconstant grinds, can burn your coffee beans, and generally don’t last as long as other options.
Diehard espresso enthusiasts nearly unanimously prefer burr grinders. These grinders utilize two burrs spinning in opposite directions (rather than rotating blades); the result is a more consistent grind that produces very little heat. Burr grinders are more expensive than blade grinders, but a quality burr will last longer and produce a better coffee grind.
Manual grinders are a good option for households that don’t want to deal with the noise of a burr or blade grinder. They produce a very constant grind with none of the noise – but you’ll have to work for it.
Looking for other accessories to go with your Gaggia Classic Pro? You may want to consider upgrading your tamper to a professional quality, weightier option, picking up a scale to ensure you’re always using the right amount of coffee bean, a knock tub to store your used pucks, and a tamping mat to help make cleanup quicker.