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Gaggia Classic review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £200
inc VAT

It's what a good espresso machine should be: simple, and capable of producing perfect espresso shots


Flow rate is excellent and we soon had our two shots of espresso. Simply by looking at the shots you can tell that this is an excellent machine. The coffee is dark and inviting, while the crema is thick, rich and oily, with that proper reddish-brown colour to it.

The taste is excellent, too. There’s the slightly bitter taste that comes with good coffee, without it being overwhelming, and the shot is rich throughout without the slightest hint of wateriness.

Temperature is spot on. We measured our coffee at 63C, which is just about perfect for espresso: still hot, but cool enough that you can drink it straight away.

Gaggia Classic High-quality espresso made simply is what the Classic is all about

When it comes to making milk-based drinks, the Gaggia Classic has it covered. It has a single boiler only, so once you’ve hit the steam switch you have to wait for the machine to warm up. Once the indicator light has come on, you can use the tap on the side to dispense steam, giving you fine control over the flow.

The long steam wand makes it easy to control the exact amount of foam you want, and we soon had a jug full of hot, frothy milk waiting for us. You can’t get better than this.

Gaggia Classic You can make excellent milk-based drinks thanks to the Classic’s steam capabilities

You can also dispense hot water from the wand, by turning the hot water button on while the steam button is switched on. This engages the pump and you can then use the tap to send out hot water.

There’s no mechanism to auto-vent steam from the machine, so if you want to make espresso after you’ve steamed milk, you’ll need to do this manually by turning on the water. If you don’t, the Classic will be too hot and will burn your next espresso.

We do have a couple of minor reservations about the Gaggia Classic. First, while the 1.2L water tank is large, you can’t remove it to refill it. Instead, you have to pour water from a jug into the tank from above. Secondly, while the main machine is metal, the plastic top you have to remove to pour water into the tank is rather cheap plastic; fortunately, the cheaper parts of the machine are hidden from view in normal use.

These minor points can’t distract from the quality of the Gaggia Classic. It’s a pure and simple espresso machine that delivers excellent coffee. Its pro group handle means you need to learn a bit of technique to get the right results, but it’s not hard and the coffee you get is better this way. If you want quality coffee from a manual machine, the Classic is the Ultimate choice.

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Dimensions (HxWxD)359x195x235mm
Maximum mug height68mm
Water resevoir capacity1.2L
Pump pressure15 bar
Cup warmer?Yes
Milk frothingYes (steamer wand)
Number of boilers1
Coffee typeGround, ESE
WarrantyOne year RTB
Part CodeRI8161/40

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