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Hate my Gaggia Classic

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  • Hate my Gaggia Classic

    I've had this machine for a few years now and have never felt that I have command of it.

    Previous was an older Italian machine called Novitalia – it was a cracker and would pump out espresso with good crema from a Lavazza pre-ground bricks every time. And when I bought freshly ground it was right up there! Alas, that one has gone to the barista gods.

    I buy my coffee purpose ground (fine –> very fine) from Seven Seeds or St Ali. When it's fresh (hours) it's ok – but never gives out a luscious, golden, thick, syrupy crema. That's what I want.

    The machine has had the pressure mod done to it.

    I overdose, as is common for these machines and even when the pour is slow and fine, it is quite dark and watery. And when I get the grid done just a whisker finer it just chokes.

    Hmmm. Have been wondering if I should take the thing to St Ali and ask one of the dudes there to road test it. Would they do that? Are you listening in, even?

    Tips welcome.

  • #2
    I'm a noob so this is probably a stupid suggestion - but hey, how else can I learn? I noticed a radical difference with using the double wall filter as compared to the single wall with the preground coffee crap I have tried (all I had for my as-of-yesterday arrival of my first machine) - might you have been using a double wall in the old machine but now you're on single wall? So your normal procedure needs adjusting?

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    • #3
      Get a grinder and grind on demmand fresh coffee beans from a local roaster. You will never get good coffee from that stale preground muck.

      Barry

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      • #4
        Re: Hate my Gaggia Classic

        Fresh is a few minutes, not hours. The right 'fineness' takes testing on your machine, and adjustment. Your not going to get the best result possible with preground beans.

        Maybe a grinder is the solution?

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        • #5
          Journeyman, I just use the standard single and double filters. I get a slightly more consistent result with the double, though, as it tends to slow the pour with more resistance.

          Barry, the symptoms are still there if I get freshly ground from the coffee dudes and make at home 15 minutes later. I never use the branded pre-ground stuff these days – the Gaggia Classic just pisses through it.

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          • #6
            Re: Hate my Gaggia Classic

            Then its probably too coarse, or you are under dosing or undertamping (what tamper are you using?)

            15 mins, to me, is still too old. We're talking < 2 mins.

            Edit: looking back at your original post, just sounds like stale coffee.

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            • #7
              I don't think the grind is too coarse – I've played with it and the shops do it a notch finer than they would do for any other home espresso machine.

              <2 mins? Seriously? I'll have to work on riding home from the coffee roasters a bit faster then!

              All the above makes sense, except my benchmark is that old Novitalia machine that had the goods day in and day out and was not too worried about the exactness of the grind.

              If I have to buy a grinder, what do I buy. (Small is better – space is tight in the kitchen.)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Johnonetrillion View Post
                If I have to buy a grinder, what do I buy. (Small is better – space is tight in the kitchen.)
                those little conical sunbeam puppies are good!

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                • #9
                  You hate your classic? I would say it hates you more for feeding it crap.

                  As others have said get some fresh beans, get a grinder, learn or fine tune your techniques and you will produces pretty good espresso on the classic.

                  I have been using a Porlex hand grinder for the last year, can be had for around $60 fits in your pocket.... it does an OK job if you secure the adjustment with a 10mm nut using a spanner, but will soon be upgrading to my first electric grinder.

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                  • #10
                    You need a grinder, that way you can buy freash roasted coffee beans, take them home waste a few getting it right. What Barry Duncan is saying is right. Im not saying theres not other issues, however if its one thing i have learnt about owning a coffee machine. Besides that fact a grinder wont make a coffee, the grinder is the more important part of producing a perfect cup that the machine is.

                    Dont by pre grounded coffee, get a grinder

                    Cheers,

                    Chris

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                    • #11
                      You'd make better coffee if you sold the Gaggia and bought a grinder for the money! It really doesn't matter that much how you make the coffee, as long as it's fresh ground (< minutes) from fresh beans (< 4 weeks) on demand, it will always be better.

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                      • #12
                        Check this post, it has great easy to read and understand information. http://coffeesnobs.com.au/general-co...tml#post493600

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                        • #13
                          Alright, I'll buy one. Would prefer something non-electric – just to keep the bench clear. The Porlex number looks the goods, but a bit small. What else is available with similar function in Australia? Kyocera ceramic?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Johnonetrillion View Post
                            Alright, I'll buy one. Would prefer something non-electric – just to keep the bench clear. The Porlex number looks the goods, but a bit small. What else is available with similar function in Australia? Kyocera ceramic?
                            I LOVE my Gaggia Classic. Here are a couple of pics of a shot from an un-pressurised double basket.

                            15 grams of Colombian Supremo, roasted to the start of second crack on Feb 27th.

                            Ground with the Hario Skerton also shown. they can be bought for about $50 to $60 last time I checked.

                            Cheers, deegee.Click image for larger version

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                            • #15
                              I get great espresso from my Gaggia classic

                              I have it at work and use my Lido hand grinder

                              With fresh beans and the correct grind and dose you should be getting good espresso.

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