Post By timmyjj21
Post By wattgn
Post By LeroyC
Post By Quant
Upgrading from Gaggia Classic to...?
My current set up is a Gaggia classic moded with a Silvia V2 wand, and OPV set to 9 bar. Grinder is a Smart Grinder Pro. I only make 1-2 coffees a day, usually with milk.
I'm starting to feel the upgrade itch, the classic has done me well so far, especially since the whole set up cost ~$300 so I have no real complaints. That said, upgraditis is hard to avoid and a recent promotion sounds like a good excuse to follow through on that desire to me.
Question is, should I move from my current set up to something like a Silvia/Rocky combo (like the one currently in the hardware for sale section), a Lelit PL41 (with a new grinder?), or do I save my pennies another year and go for a bigger step up?
Currently I don't really want to spend >$2000 for a HX machine, maybe on the next promotion in a few years..
Thanks for your time
To be honest, going another single boiler is more of a sideways move instead if an upgrade. Sure the Silvia is slightly larger and brass instead of aluminium, but it still suffers from the same lack of thermal stability.
Two very noticeable things that you could instead would be:
Add a PID. It's cheap and easy with step by step guides available. It makes a huge difference to temperature stability and shot quality and I never have the urge to immediately sink a shot anymore.
Upgrade your grinder. I noticed a massive difference going from a little Sunbeam to a Mazzer SJ. Shot quality and taste improved dramatically. A Eureka Mignon is also a popular choice due to size and cosmetics.
The addition of a PID Controller for the Boiler in a Gaggia Classic makes a huge improvement in both Brew Quality and Steam Performance. Given how cheaply this can be accomplished these days, plus the addition of a grinder upgrade to a Macap M2M or M4 say, your coffee quality in the cup will be in another league. This supposes that your do your part and use high quality, freshly roasted beans only ground immediately before pulling a shot....
I managed to stave off the cost of upgrading to a HX machine for a couple of years by undertaking the above. And, the quality of coffee produced remains at some of the best I've ever had...
Why not look for second hand? This is the route I would choose if money is an issue. Some snobbies are inveterate upgraders leaving in their wake lovingly maintained and relatively lightly used equipment.
Originally Posted by Quant
I've been in exactly the same position as you before. I wouldn't recommend moving to a Silvia or Lelit single boiler from the GC. They are both possibly a bit more user friendly for experienced operators and a bit more capable, but not by enough to make it worth it.
So I echo the comments above - either add a PID to the Classic and buy a better grinder or wait until a well priced HX machine pops up on Coffee Snobs. I kind of did both of these things although I never added a PID to my Classic. I upgraded my grinder twice, with the biggest noticeable difference being when I moved from my Nemox Lux to an Anfim KS. The bigger, flat burr grinder made a huge difference. Then I patiently trawled every online sales site I could until I spotted my Brugnetti Simona Top DE on Coffee Snobs a couple of years ago. It's a small HX machine and has been amazing. I picked it up for AUS$440 in the end and it's been worth every cent. Good luck with whatever you decide, make sure you keep us in the loop.
Yep. For me, the only noticeable difference between a Gaggia Classic and Silvia is the better steam power of the Silvia. More of a sideways move than an upgrade. I echo the comments here about the grinder.
If having to save up for it is in the cards, getting a very good grinder makes a lot of sense. A grinder that you can rely on even when you move to a prosumer level espresso machine. PID would be next. I make 2-3 coffees a day on a GC with PID using a Eureka Mignon Manual and I am pretty happy with the results using my homeroasted fresh coffee.
If you can get a 24 month to pay "serious machine" setup from Paul, go for the experience.
Similar upgrade I did recently.
I had the baby dose and the smart.
7 years of pining and playing with the setup. Finally upgraded.
I was looking at a second hand hx or dual boiler. But ended up going whole hog and got a new setup. Machine and grinder.
Bz10 + quamar grinder.
Honestly. Save for a hx be it second hand or new. As I reckon if you go to another single boiler you'll want an upgrade sooner rather than later. My setup now should stay with me for a long long time.
If you need a step in the right direction. Look at the grinder upgrade (though I ended up keeping the smart for decaf )
Thanks for the advice everyone!
Taking it all in, I'll definitely start the search for a grinder upgrade in the short term. Longer term I'll look for a second hand HX I think. I'll also look into the PID for the Gaggia, I'm not sure if I want to invest too much more into it, it was second hand and I put some work into getting it back up and running but it's not in amazing condition. I did however study PID control at university so I might do a home job on it.
Don't worry, I spend enough time lurking this forum that I would never dream of doing anything less! Currently I get my beans from The Coffee Roaster in Sydney, and Di Bartoli if I'm dropping by Bondi Junction. I also weigh my grinds and shot out, and I use the WDM on the grinds as my current grinder leaves them a little lumpy!
Originally Posted by Dimal
Thanks again everyone for the advice, much appreciated.