Top critical review
27 people found this helpful
Awesome machine...until you need support
on 22 December 2009
I've had a Gaggia Baby Class (stainless steel) for nearly a year. Out of the box, one of the buttons on the machine was broken but it was quickly fixed by the Gaggia repair centre. The machine itself is well built, except for the steam/water buttons which are quite flimsy and plasticy considering the price.
Once fixed the machine was a dream. I made really really good coffee by following some simple guidelines: use recently-roasted beans, freshly ground in a burr grinder, preheat the machine, portafilter and chinaware properly and tamp the coffee with a consistent pressure. Then with a lot of practice (and a slight caffeine addiction) you'll be able to almost-consistently make good coffee. The machine itself is also perfectly capable of steaming a small quantity of milk, but try and do too much and you'll struggle to get anything other than huge bubbles, far away from the fine, textured microfoam you'll find in italian espresso bars.
I would recommend this machine except for one thing: don't buy it and expect support should it go wrong. Philips recently bought Gaggia UK and now run the service centre for broken machines. Sadly my machine developed a leak in late October and I've been struggling to get it repaired for two months - after sending it back for an initial repair the 'repaired' machine still leaked, then I spent three weeks getting it returned again for a re-repair. Now, despite calling many times a day I'm often unable to speak to anyone, or am promised phone calls I never get. So, I'm still waiting for my machine to come back. I'd never ever buy another Gaggia as despite making great machines, for the money you'd expect a much better level of service. Their 2 year warranty is not worth the hassle. Next time I'll get a Rancilio Silvia.