no one answered, so I just used some common sense.
posted about whats happening here:
but basically, for those too lazy to click the above link:
Today I picked up a used Gaggia Classic Espresso Machine from a bloke that "has owned it for a few years and only used it 3 or 4 times because its too hard / too much effort". I paid $150 au, and it also came with a Gaggia MM grinder.
The first thing I did was open it up and inspect it. This machine is super clean, only a little dust. A quick wipe down, and a wash of all the parts in some warm water, and it looks brand new. I soaked the PF handle, baskets and shower screen in some cafetto before rinsing and switching the machine on.
When I removed the shower screen, I expected some serious muck, nope, super duper clean. This guy wasnt kidding when he said it was hardly used.
I turned the machine on and immediately activated the brew & steam switches which primes the boiler with water by jetting water out of the steam wand (turning on steam knob too). Within a sec or two it was primed and water was gushing out, it was just a fraction murky (not perfectly clear, but no floaty bits, good). A whole tank of flushing and I was ready to back flush it with some cafetto. I back flushed it about four times, then it was clean.
Fired up the Gaggia MM grinder with some crappy supermarket beans (bought specifically to taint this machine after cleaning), what a terrible grinder, loud, crude, and struggling to grind, it eventually got there, funny, the setting I chose (backed off one notch from the burrs smashing each other) was perfect. I dosed the basket, tamped, locked in and brewed a shot. The machine fired up and the pour began. I was instantly shocked at how much slower, thicker, creamier the pour was compared to my Sunbeam EM6910. First shot and I get this really nice slow thick pour. The crema was quite brilliant (especially for my first shot!). I ran off four or five more shots to rid the machine of any cleaning agent and run it in a little. I took a sip of the last shot, it was -ok-. Not sour, or bitter, but creamy and full of body. The actual flavour wasnt brilliant, stale supermarket beans! I wasnt about to grind up and possibly waste any of my home-roasted good stuff!
Before cleaning up the machine and packing it up ready to take to work I had to give the steam a go. I flicked the steam switch on and waited 15 or so seconds for it to be ready. Turned the steam knob and..... damn, Ive never jumped so high. The steam that came out almost knocked me over! I knew the sunbeam steam was poor, but now I know its really quite awful! This thing smashes the sunbeam for steam, its insane. (yeah I took off the stupid turbo frother). I can see this machine requiring a longer steam wand however (silvia).
I suppose its ready to take in to work. To be honest, Im thinking Id rather keep it for home. I honestly believe this machine just kills the Sunbeam, not just in pour, but in steam (obviously).
Three of us at work will be brewing on this, all milk drinks, so we will see how it goes. Perhaps the Sunbeam would work better for the several milk drinks due to its ability to brew and steam back to back (despite poor steam power). Time will tell and I will report back soon on my findings.
Now excuse me while I pack this bad boy up in a box ready for work, and print some signs out that say "property of James, do not touch upon pain of death". heh