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Gaggia Evolution 74556 Coffee Maker Grey
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- Self priming pump
- 15 Bar pump pressure
- Drip proof system
- Removeable water tank
- Chrome plated brass filter holder
- Made in Italy
- 2 Year gurantee
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Espresso Evolution Style, Tradition, Affordable. Special care is given to its design with clean and definite lines,valuable materials and exclusive finish that express the different tempers of the product.A user-friendly design:the front water reservoir that is removable sideways,the large space to accommodate the cups,the stainless steel grill,the easy and exclusive controls,all make Espresso Evolution a choice of style and tradition.
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Other than that, once you've mastered how much to compact the coffee in the brewing head in order to produce a nice cream on top, the machine is very good.
The other thing I was a bit disappointed with was the fact that Amazon did not mention the colour of the machine. On the picture it looked like the black Gaggia Evolution, but when I received it - it turned out to be the GREY one. The grey is dark, almost black, but not good enough if all your kitchen appliances are black and chrome. However, I decided to keep it because I couldn't be bothered to send it back all at my expense.
Hope my experience would be of help.
On arrival, I unpacked the machine and was initially very impressed. Gaggia UK had put a service contact number sticker on the back, a nice touch I thought. However, I noticed that the case did not fit properly at the top back of the machine, something wasn't clipped in correctly inside. I actually had to open the machine up and bend a plastic clip back into position inside to get the case to fit properly, it wasn't a major issue, but their quality control can't be up to much if that got though, as I spotted it right away.
The general feel of the machine is quite nice, reasonable quality bearing in mind the price. Nothing felt cheap or shabby, but you canï¿½t expect solid stainless steel either. Overall, a nice machine.
The looks are good however, very nice, but that may be a personal taste thing. The black plastic casing is actually like a metallic paint finish on a car, black with silver speckles in it, nice. It looks simple, not fussy, which I like.
The user manual. Good luck, itï¿½s awful. Takes a few reads to know what to do and even then I wasnï¿½t totally sure. Iï¿½m no fool, but it had me scratching my head. However, essentially the machine is very easy to use, once mastered.
The water tank. A bit fiddly to take out but does look nice. Manual recommends using filtered or purified water to prevent scaling inside the machine. Personally, using bottled or filtered water is one extra hassle/expense too far. Iï¿½m sure it would improve the taste of the coffee and extend the life of the machine, but I just canï¿½t be bothered. Itï¿½s already quite a lot of effort making coffee with the machine anyway.
The filters. Supplied with the machine are one and two cup filters, a mushroom shaped thing for pressing the coffee down into the filter (the tamper) and a measuring scoop. The scoop and the tamper are simple black plastic, but do the job just fine. However, the filters which press into the brewing head, which clips into the machine are a different matter (Iï¿½m sure it isnï¿½t called a brewing head but I donï¿½t know the correct term, itï¿½s the thing with the handle that you always see them bashing into the bin in the coffee shops). Made from solid stainless steel, the quality is good, but they can be fiddly to get in and out of the brewing head. But the worst thing is, after maybe 20 uses, the single filter has started sticking, when you remove the brewing head, the filter stays in the machine!!! Not every time, but sometimes. Happened the other day when it was full of boiling hot water and coffee, and it really isnï¿½t easy to get out, I was lucky that time but Iï¿½m sure it wonï¿½t be long before I have hot water and coffee all over the kitchen. Not good.
The machine says it has a non drip systemï¿½ it doesnï¿½t, but it doesnï¿½t drip a lot either, there is a drip tray anyway, but the bottom of the cup is always wet after making the coffee so remember to wipe it.
Cappuccino. There is a milk frother, it does work well but I quickly grew tired of using it and now just have espressoï¿½s. I did burn myself a couple of times getting used to it, thatï¿½s not the fault of the machine, you are dealing with steam after all, but beware. The frother is a bit low however and getting a cup/jug of milk under it is okï¿½ish when not frothed, but you need to remember to leave room in the container to take it out after, or the milk tips out. You can take the frother nozzle off, but that is fiddly when covered in warm milk, bearing in mind you have to hold the milk so you can only use one hand.
The coffee you use will dramatically affect the end result. I donï¿½t mean the flavour so much, obviously if you buy cheap beans you get cheap tasting coffee. But buying ready ground coffee is not really an option, it has to be ground very fine, like fine bread flour to get any kind of ï¿½cremaï¿½ on the coffee. I got the Dualit grinder, works ace, see review, coffee from the machine was very plain and boring until I used the grinder with fresh beans.
Is it too much hassle for a cup of coffee? Wellï¿½ no. I do use it regularly and if you buy nice beans and grind them VERY fine, it does work well. Not much cleaning required but it does take a good few minutes of activity to get a cup out of it.
Iï¿½m sure this will sound like a bad review of the machine, but it really isnï¿½t so bad, it just has faults. I have never used any other machines but Iï¿½m sure there are a lot worse out there. Itï¿½s best point is its looks, so if you do buy it, and as is the case with many kitchen gadgets, stop using it after a few weeks, at least it will look nice in your kitchen.
I will continue to use mine, and probably would recommend it to someone wanting to spend Â£120 on a espresso machine. If I had my time again, would I buy a Â£200+ Dualit or similar? I donï¿½t know, maybe. If you have wads of spare cash, donï¿½t buy this machine. If you donï¿½t, itï¿½s work considering, it really isnï¿½t that bad, even after all I have said.
From when you switch the machine on its ready in about a minute, I prefer using my own ground coffee to using the pods, - so then its just a matter of filling the handle up, slotting it in, pressing a button and im done!
Downsides - does drip quite a bit (but as mentioned - it has a decent drip tray for this), and steam pressure isnt fantastic so i havent mastered a latte yet - cappuccino is not problem though, and you cant really expect commercial-quality steam pressure on a domestic machine for this price.
The machine comes with two handles, one for coffee pods, the other for ground coffee, however you cant easily switch between the two options - it involves tipping the machine upside down, and getting your screwdriver out - and this is where the instructions let themselves down a bit.
For the money im very happy, Ive had the machine for about 2 months and use it daily - no trouble whatsoever. i havent had any of the issues other people mention about blockages etc.
Its stylish, it feels solid, and is good quality.
Most recent customer reviews
Takes a little practice ie;tamping the coffee,extraction time etc but it's more than worthwhile when you get...Read more