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help, watery gaggia classic

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  • help, watery gaggia classic

    Hi Everyone,

    I am glad to have found this forum. I just bought my wife a Gaggia Classic Espresso machine for valentines day. We have had a hard time getting a good cup of espresso. WE are using a blade grinder (from our american coffee making days), and grinding beans we bought from costo, or we are using pre-ground beans we bought in Italy in January.

    The espresso comes out watery, and the puck is often watery. Is it going to be impossible to get good espresso with the blade grinder? We are preheating the machine plenty, I think. Thanks in advance!


  • #2
    Re: help, watery gaggia classic

    Hi blakesq and welcome,

    I think you already know the answer to your question, but I will deliver the confirmation:
    The blade grinder is not going to be sufficient in the search for good espresso.

    The consensus here would most likely point to either the Sunbeam EM0480, Iberital Challange or Rancilio Rocky as your minimum grinder requirement.

    As for the pre-ground you bought in Italy, no chance in h*ll of getting a real espresso from it. A fake one using pressurised baskets maybe.

    As well as a grinder, you need to find yourself a good source of freshly roasted whole beans. Less than 3 weeks old if you really want great results.

    One sugeestion might be.. let me see... um.. the BUY BROWN button near the top left of the screen. Some of the sponsors also sell roasted coffee, so check them out too.

    Where are you located? Perhaps you can visit a sponsor and talk about your coffee situation.

    Otherwise, keep asking the questions, we love converting people to snob status!



    • #3
      Re: help, watery gaggia classic

      Hi blakesq,
      Welcome to CoffeeSnobs! As you may have found in searches on this site, that the Classic is VERY capable of making a better than good cup of espresso.

      Ill try to keep it short, but basically a blade grinder just wont cut it, pun intended. You need to get yourself a proper burr grinder, a good place to start is to look at the Equipment Review/ Info page on this site under Grinders and check out some around the $300 mark, like the Ascaso i-mini, Iberital Challenge... This will make the biggest difference for sure. 2nd, beans - There is a general rule of thumb with the life of beans before theyre stale- 3 years for green beans, 3 weeks for roasted beans, and 3 minutes for ground beans (whether theyre vacuum sealed or whatever). Of course this is only a general rule, but you get the gist. Supermarket coffee is all stale.

      With the Classic also, Ive found that you need to updose. so much so, that after youve pulled a shot you should get an impression of the shower screen screw in the puck. It helps with part of the watery issue too.

      Getting your tamp to the usual 30lbs is a good start for consistency.

      So basically to get you going to a level that you will enjoy your machine and the coffee coming out of it more; get a good grinder and find a local roaster/cafe and get some fresh beans. After these things, then start working on the other variables. There is also a Classic modification of the pressure (search Gaggia Classic Pressure OPV), where you adjust your machine down to pump out 9bars of pressure instead of the 12,13,14,15. Trust me, all this is worth it! If you have any questions keep firing them away.

      Im sure Ive missed something, but there are plenty of people with Classics or experience with, on this site to help you out.



      • #4
        Re: help, watery gaggia classic


        Listen to them it works!

        I have a Gaggia Classic and got the updose advice as well. I have found this markedly improved the coffee and completely eliminated the watery puck.

        I havent looked into the mod yet....but thats next on the agenda.



        • #5
          Re: help, watery gaggia classic

          Add the Gaggia MDF to the list of grinders. It will perform very well for your machine.

          Basically it is the companion grinder to Gaggia machines and since I have owned mine I have had no issues with my Classic.


          • #6
            Re: help, watery gaggia classic

            The only time I got watery pucks with my Classic was the grind was too coarse due to el cheapo grinder. Overdosing even by only 1/2 a spoonfull makes all the difference.
            As far as grinders go check out the Cunill Tranquilo for consistent grind and only $395. I find this grinder is way too many times overlooked on CS.


            • #7
              Re: help, watery gaggia classic

              hi blakesq...

              welcome from another newcomer

              I have had my Classic for around 5 years...and learnt more about using it in the last 5 weeks (since joining the forum) than I did the whole rest of the time.

              I guess you cant do much until your warranty expires...but I carried out the pressure modification (following info on this site and helps from other CS) and got instant great results...but only with the freshest coffee and the updosing that others have mentioned.

              I also bought the Sunbeam em0480 grinder and get pretty good results.



              • #8
                Re: help, watery gaggia classic

                actually...great is a relative term!

                My coffee is great compared to how it used to be

                But its Getting Better all the time