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Gaggia is a company deeply rooted in Italian espresso heritage. Yet its coffee machines have evolved over the decades, from the original pressure-generating, lever-activated piston, to the latest fully-automated, bean-to-cup technology which, at the touch of a button, grinds, brews and dispenses a delicious cup of espresso. However you prefer to brew your coffee--whether you want the simplicity of bean-to-cup or crave domestic barista status--there is a Gaggia machine for you.
In 1938, Achille Gaggia filed patent no. 365726, an ingenious invention which saw steam pressure applied to ground coffee, so that the water forced through the coffee extracted all its flavours and aromas to create a rich foam crema layer. However, the real revolution came 10 years later when Achille filed a new patent, for a lever-operated piston machine incorporating a spring. This spring provided additional pressure, and this pressure forced water through the coffee in a shorter time, producing a short black espresso in just 15 seconds.
In the 1950s, Gaggia found fame in the trendy coffee bars of Rome and Milan, and most notably in London’s prominent Sirocci in Soho. These coffee bars soon became icons of the '50s lifestyle. With the launch of Baby Gaggia in 1977, the company began producing domestic espresso machines, making the professional values inherent in Gaggia’s commercial machines widely available for use in the home.
There's nothing like a good cup of coffee to inject a little luxury into your daily life. The Gaggia Classic RI8161 coffee machine is an ideal introduction into the world of Italian coffee and offers a real hands-on, professional coffee-making experience. The elegantly styled machine brings modern coffee shop looks to your kitchen, as well as coffee shop quality and great taste into the comfort of your own home. The simple-to-use and durable manual machine is perfect for everyday use, combining advanced technology and a classic, compact stainless steel body.
The 1300 watt, 8 kg Gaggia Classic is powerful, yet lightweight. It comes with a 15 bar pressure pump and 1.2 litre water tank for outstanding results. The removable water tank/reservoir and stainless steel boiler ensure that it's practical and easy to clean.
Gaggia’s manual machines come with coffee filters for one or two cups of ground coffee, and a special filter for ESE (easy serve espresso) pods. All Gaggia’s coffee machines have two special 'crema perfetta' filters that allow you to use either ground coffee or coffee pods.
A manual coffee machine is the most traditional and well-known way to make espresso, using the filter holder and ground coffee. A professional chromed brass filter holder and ring, the same as used in Gaggia’s commercial machines, ensures a consistent temperature throughout the coffee making and dispensing process. The material of the filter is durable and safe to use. It is inert and thus ensures the best results with consistent temperature.
The panarello steamer attachment rotates for easy access to froth milk in seconds, and also delivers hot water for tea and other hot drinks.
Espresso coffee, originally created in Italy, is made by rapidly forcing water that has been heated to the correct brewing temperature through finely ground coffee beans. The heart of the espresso machine is a precision engineered pump. The pump and water flow is easily controlled with just a flick of the switch. The internal mechanism of the Gaggia Classic is composed of a solenoid expansion valve that allows rapid drying of the interior. Gaggia’s solenoid valve delivers a widespread shower through the coffee, eliminating hotspots which can burn the coffee. Its precise pressurisation ensures no drips and leaves drier coffee grounds after brewing, for easy cleaning.
The Gaggia Classic coffee machine comes with a traditional frother. The higher the fat content in the milk, the denser the froth will be. The 'turbo-frother' will give you perfect, creamy froth, but just a tip--don’t let the milk come to the boil! It may require two or three attempts to become an expert barista, but you will be successful at frothing milk if you give it a chance. Just swivel the turbo-frother steam nozzle slightly outward so that you can get the frothing pitcher under the nozzle without knocking the base of the machine.
1 . The taste of your coffee depends on the characteristics of the beans from which it is made, the type of bean, and where it was grown and processed. Coffee beans that are roasted for a longer period of time and at higher temperatures will be much darker in colour. Darker beans will produce a richer cup of coffee than lightly-roasted beans.
2. A variety of dark roasts are available from which you can choose to brew your espresso. Each of these roasts is a blend of coffee beans that are roasted at a specific temperature producing a specific type of flavour. There are also decaffeinated beans that have had up to 98% of their caffeine content removed. The next time you purchase coffee for your espresso maker, experiment with one of the many kinds of coffee on the market. You may just find that it tastes better than the blend you have been using.
3. A fine 'espresso grind' for pump-driven machines must be used. Be sure to ask for this when buying coffee or when having beans ground. Do not use a blade-type grinder because it makes too much coffee dust and produces an irregular grind.
4. The mark of real espresso is its dark colour, rich taste and the light brown, natural froth called 'crema' in Italian.
5. Cappuccino is simply a combination of espresso and hot, frothy milk. Cappuccino is usually topped with cinnamon, nutmeg or cocoa powder.
6. Espresso coffee should be served immediately after it is made.
7. Espresso should be served in 2 to 2½ oz demitasse cups. A 4 or 6 oz cup or glass should be used for cappuccino.
8. Ideally, coffee beans should be ground immediately before using. Remember, it must be an 'espresso grind' for pump-driven espresso machines.
9. Ground coffee tends to absorb food odours, so it’s best to store ground coffee or whole beans in an airtight container in your freezer.
I was 100% right to.
My wife had done plenty of research into which Gaggia to get me, and the Gaggia Classic seemed to consistently raved about. Now it's my turn to.
Really easy to assemble, though having to remove the chrome overflow pipe to remove the tank was tricky (it's screwing it back on that's tricky as you could lose the pipe you have to screw it onto inside - maybe it was a problem with my machine).
Anyway, with minutes, I had it set up, filled with water and switched on. The tank holds loads and is very easy to fill. There's spaced for a few espresso cups and saucers on top to warm, though if you do want them to warm up, and get really hot coffee too, I agree with the other reviewers that you need to leave it on a while to really heat up.
The filter holder is very sturdy, in fact the whole machine is so robust and well put together you can feel the quality. It comes with two filter cups, one and two cup, but you'll probably only use the two cup filter cup.
It is a bit noisy, but I don't care. It's a powerful machine and you get the impression it's very much function over form with this Gaggia. It does whatever it takes to get the best possible cup of coffee.
The espresso is superb. The milk frother takes a bit of getting used to but is really effective, creating a really good frothy cappuccino time after time - you will have to rinse the frother nozzle though after each use. the only criticism is that the nozzle is quite low to the level of your worktop so getting a cup under it can be tricky.Read more ›
After two+ years, we can say with confidence that of all the gadgets we have bought, our Gaggia coffee maker has stood the test of time.
We drink a lot of coffee. Not sure if it was working in the US or Milan that started that one. I suspect it was the latter - our Milan MD swore that his treacle-thick espresso was safe to drink and had less caffeine than filter coffee ("Less time spent in contact with the grounds"). And American cars just dont seem to work without a bucket of coffee sitting in one of the ubiquitous cup holders.
So when I sheepishly stared at one of these in a shop window before Christmas, my wife caved in, took some advice, and bought me one (brushed steel, not chrome) .
We've used it every week, and pretty much every weekend day since I got it. It does really great coffee (so long as you use good beans or a freshly opened pack of pre-ground). Produces a great crema and the kitchen fills with the smell of a coffee shop (less the cigarette smoke, mind) in seconds.
A few gripes - the milk froths pretty well, but the nozzle is a pain to clean, even straight after use. I find myself making americano and espresso most as a result.
And it is rather noisy. Not in a swishy-swooshy-frothy way but in the ratatatat racket of the compression pump. I've nothing to compare it to to tell if this is better or worse than average.
On the other hand it heats up quickly, the water tank holds loads, the unit and its accessories are really solid (they take a real bashing), and the coffee is great - we love it.