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44 Reviews
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 (15)
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 (16)
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 (1)
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says
We bought this machine to replace a fantastic 25 year old Salton Espresso machine. The Gaggia looks great and once we had de-ciphered the confusing instructions and figured out how to use it, it makes good espresso and nice frothy cappuccino. The wand works particularly well, it turns half a pint of cold milk into a hot creamy froth in 90 seconds. The downside is that...
Published 21 months ago by Bernie

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but with reservations.
I bought this machine quite recently for the knockdown price of £99, which considering it's general construction (it uses quite a lot of plastic) is all the thing is worth. At the previous price of £180 it's ridiculously overpriced when you compare it to other espresso machines and when you consider that it's made in China.

It does make a nice cup of coffee...
Published 17 months ago by Daveyboy


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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says, 14 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gaggia RI8323/01Gran Gaggia Prestige Manual Espresso Machine (Kitchen & Home)
We bought this machine to replace a fantastic 25 year old Salton Espresso machine. The Gaggia looks great and once we had de-ciphered the confusing instructions and figured out how to use it, it makes good espresso and nice frothy cappuccino. The wand works particularly well, it turns half a pint of cold milk into a hot creamy froth in 90 seconds. The downside is that the filter is smaller than on our previous machine so you can only make 2 small espresso's at a time. If we could give half stars, we would give it 4.5. Overall it is good value and an attractive addition to our kitchen
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent machine, 26 Jan 2013
This review is from: Gaggia RI8323/01Gran Gaggia Prestige Manual Espresso Machine (Kitchen & Home)
Firstly, I bought this machine and it gives excellent results. However, if you do need to educate yourself on the type of drink you want to make. Some reviews I read gives me the impression that people buy a machine and think all the hard work is over.
I myself am a big flat fan from Costa, so that's the drink i've been trying to recreate at home.
The best coffee i've used is illy espresso(red band) ground in a tin, don't forget to use the coffee measurer to give the correct desired amount every time.
Go to google and view video's regarding how to steam milk correctly. You will be needing a milk jug and thermometer. Over steaming milk ruins the flavour and texture. Get a cup that will make you happy to hold and drink out of.
Even what sugar you take makes a difference, I prefer brown rough cut cubes.
Once you've mastered nice coffee, just do the same thing every time.
This machine will give the crema you need, froth the milk you need, the rest is down to you. Practice makes perfect.
Hope this review helps.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good machine., 9 Mar 2013
By 
Mr. A. Kane (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gaggia RI8323/01Gran Gaggia Prestige Manual Espresso Machine (Kitchen & Home)
My wife and I bought this Gaggia to replace a K-fee Podpronto coffee pod machine. After our Podpronto died we'd bought a Senseo because the cost of the Podpronto had increased from £50 to £90 and in addition to paper pods the Senseo can use any type of ground coffee to make a brew.

We tried three types of Senseo pods and several different ground coffees without success trying to get a decent cup of coffee from the Senseo, even emptying the remaining pods we'd enjoyed using in the Podpronto. The results were without exception awful. The predominant taste was always plastic! Eventually the Senseo was sent back and we looked around for something better.

A friend who was once a coffee bar employee had recommended her Gaggia Cubika and I checked it out online. Amazon flagged that the Gran Gaggia Prestige was an updated version. As it was on sale at £109 we decided to give it a try. Good decision.

From the outset all the coffees we've tried have been at least drinkable. Some have been very good and now I've discovered a blend called Tim Peaks available from our local café which I absolutely love. (Google Tim Peaks coffee for an interesting aside).
The Gaggia takes a little getting used to but it's well worth persevering. It's not as convenient as a pod machine but the results are far better. I initially made a mess whenever I used it, either spilling coffee grounds or dripping water around. Now with some practise I've mastered making good coffee with no mess.

You'll need to pre-heat your cup using steam or water from the steam arm; otherwise your coffee will get cool too quickly. Don't bother using the cup storage plate on top of the machine, it's only warm and will impart no heat to a cup.

I've not yet mastered the steam arm sufficiently to make a decent cappuccino, my wife's favourite drink. She says it's just a latte with a layer of froth on top, but my friend says that having done so for years she can do it easily enough and I should study the vids on YouTube to see how to do it.

One gripe is that the clearance to the bottom of the filter holder, (the bit where your coffee comes out), is only 7.5 cm. To make a mug of Americano I have to fill an espresso cup three times and tip it into the mug. This is becoming part of the ritual however and is not a hardship.

Initial priming took a long time but I noticed eventually that I'd pressed the steam button which had prevented the process from starting. Brewing yourself a cup of coffee will take you two or three minutes once you've got the hang of it and you can ignore other reviews which imply anything else.

Although the booklet from Gaggia says you can use any ground coffee, my best results have come using coffee ground for espresso, this seems to fully release the flavour. I wouldn't get in a fankle buying expensive grinders to grind your own. If you can find a source of freshly ground coffee locally, get them to grind some for espresso and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.

My first batch of 500g of Tim Peaks (£7.98 from the café as opposed to £11.98 online), did me two weeks. Kept in a plastic box (like one of those old fashioned Tupperware boxes!) in the fridge, it was as aromatic and full of flavour at the end as when I got it. I'm looking forward to trying a few different ones from a coffee shop in Edinburgh too.
Packs from the supermarket of Lavazza espresso have been the best pre-packed coffee I've tried but there are so many others there's a good chance you'll find one to suit.

I'd intended to send away for some ESE coffee pods, (the smaller 44mm size fits the Gaggia), for easy use but now I'm inclined not to bother.

For making my preferred brew, Americano, I give it five stars. My wife is less impressed as she hasn't yet had a good cappuccino so I'm giving it four stars at this stage. If I can in the end get a decent cappuccino, I'll definitely increase this to five stars.

22/06/2013

Having now learned how to use the Gaggia to make a cappuccino, I'm upgrading my review to five stars. I'm sure there are other machines out there with more features and automatic do-dahs but for a straightforward decent coffee, the Gran Gaggia Prestige manual does the job very well. I've seen offers for the machine for £80 so if you can get it for that price,............

15/12/2013

I've amended my review to four stars from five. Over the past three or four months the Gaggia when it's switched on has developed a steadily worsening drip from the steam arm this has now become a dribble. The volume of water which leaks from the arm over the course of making two mugs of coffee is around 200 ml so we need to leave a cup under the steam arm to catch this. It's annoying, I imagine it might qualify as a fault so I'll need to look into it.

07/04/2014

Well I left it too late to do anything about it but 15 months after buying the Gaggia the dribble from the steam arm is now a veritable skoosh. I emailed Mark at "serviceGaggia" (his own Gaggia advice and servicing concern), who suggested that "it looks like the seal on your steam valve spindle may be failing or some debris caught in it." I'll open it up myself and see what I can find, he may get some spare seals in so maybe I'll get it back in good working order again.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect coffee, 24 Oct 2012
By 
David PM Young (East Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gaggia RI8323/01Gran Gaggia Prestige Manual Espresso Machine (Kitchen & Home)
I bought this is I used to own a Baby Gaggia, no longer in production. This is an older style Gaggia machine with a lot of Phillips bits added. It has a smaller tank that I would have liked at 1.25 Litres, but at 15 Bar it has ideal pressure to make a perfect cup of coffee. The height between the coffee holder and the base is enough to take a regular cup. The steamer/milk panerelo is rubber and stainless steel and it froths well. I uses a stainless jug and thermometer from Andrew James. The instruction manual is overly large and has too much information about priming for the first time. tools fit in a nice space on the top of the machine and the water holder is well designed. I would recommend this product to you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow but sure, 15 May 2014
By 
Roger J. Pettitt (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gaggia RI8323/01Gran Gaggia Prestige Manual Espresso Machine (Kitchen & Home)
Bought this to replace ageing Gaggia Classic. Opening the box I was disappointed to find it lightweight and plasticky compared to battleship classic. After a bit if experimenting I have found that it actually makes a decent espresso. My method is on every occasion the machine us switched on you must prime the machine by opening the silver knob then press the water flow button until a good flow of water is coming through the steam arm. Close the knob and you could make an espresso but.........for an even better and hotter brew place the empty coffee holder in position and place your espresso cup(s) in position. Press the water flow button and allow the water to flow into the cups. Stop the water flow, remove the coffee holder and reinsert loaded with coffee. Empty cup(s) of water and put back in position. Press water flow button and mama Mia, a nice hot espresso. So, if you are prepared to take the time rather than a quick wham bam thank you mam, you will get a decent espresso.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillant, 7 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Gaggia RI8323/01Gran Gaggia Prestige Manual Espresso Machine (Kitchen & Home)
Does what is says on the tin. Both the coffee bags and beans work fine. I prefer the beans rather than the coffee bags, better tasting. Would be great to get a big coffee mug under the machine....which seems to be a common issue with all brands. But a fab machine at a great price and I mix my beans in my Kenwood. I should of bought one of these years a go.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 1 May 2014
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This review is from: Gaggia RI8323/01Gran Gaggia Prestige Manual Espresso Machine (Kitchen & Home)
No doubt like many people we shopped around for ages given that feedback is nowhere near even 80% positive for any machine on Amazon. This reflects some dubious QC methinks for most brands. We finally settled on this one and we are pleased with our choice. Does everything it says it should, is nicely put together, and looks good too!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Foam lot of trouble, 9 Nov 2012
This review is from: Gaggia RI8323/01Gran Gaggia Prestige Manual Espresso Machine (Kitchen & Home)
The espresso's from this machine are amazing, the only issues im having are creating the right amount of foam for cappuccino's and latte's.
The rubber/chrome steaming wand extension is awful, and the only way I could solve the problem is to remove it completely and use the bare steam arm. Now they are perfect.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gaggia easy to achieve quality espresso, 19 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Gaggia RI8323/01Gran Gaggia Prestige Manual Espresso Machine (Kitchen & Home)
Espresso is very easy to make just drips a bit afterwards. The cappuccino is a bit messier but would expect that with milk. Even my husband can make a good cappuccino with this. An Italian friend has not heard of this brand but have seen a larger version in a good coffee shop recently. Excellent value for money.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but with reservations., 15 April 2013
This review is from: Gaggia RI8323/01Gran Gaggia Prestige Manual Espresso Machine (Kitchen & Home)
I bought this machine quite recently for the knockdown price of £99, which considering it's general construction (it uses quite a lot of plastic) is all the thing is worth. At the previous price of £180 it's ridiculously overpriced when you compare it to other espresso machines and when you consider that it's made in China.

It does make a nice cup of coffee even using regular ground coffee not specifically made for espresso machines - I have yet to try it using the ESE pods, which incidentally are practically impossible to find in most supermarkets. They are however, available online, so I will be trying some in due course. There's a bit of a learning curve with these machines, and they do take a bit of getting used to. The instruction book supplied is not particularly well written, and the fact that the text is in one part of the book, and the illustrations are in another, means that you have to keep flipping between pages - very annoying.

There are some traits which require a bit of getting used to when using the machine - if you don't warm the cup and coffee holder, you end up with lukewarm coffee. Also, the height from the group head to the base is far too shallow and will only take an standard cup. If like me, you prefer to use a mug ( I like Americano ) then you need to remove the drip tray which then gives sufficient height to accomodate a smaller mug. Another thing worth mentioning is that the steam wand is a little too long and is isn't angled out sufficiently to clear the edge of the body - you can only just get the wand into a frothing jug by tilting it. Of course, if they had designed the machine with sufficent height to accomodate a mug, then this problem wouldn't exist. On the plus side, the machine is quite compact and occupies about the same amount of counter space as my filter machine.
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