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Gaggia Classic Pro Review

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Gaggia Classsic Pro Review

A lot of homebrewers dream of making cafe-quality coffee drinks from the comfort of their own homes. However, a lot of home espresso machines show much promise but fail to deliver. Believe me – I’ve been there!

The good news is that the Gaggia Classic Pro is designed to bring home the barista-cafe experience. But does it deliver? Let’s take a look!

Curious as to what else is out there? Check out our espresso machine buying guide!

Things to Consider When Buying an Espresso Machine

If you’re hoping to replicate the cafe experience at home, then you’re going to need a quality espresso machine. That said, there are several  factors to consider before you make a purchasing decision, including:

  • Durability
  • Steaming capability
  • Water storage
  • Ease of cleaning
  • Pleasing aesthetics
  • Grinding capacity

For starters, there are a ton of cheap espresso machines on the market that may not perform how you’d like them to. A quality espresso machine needs to be able to handle both heat and pressure, and a professional-grade machine should work all day without breaking or overheating.

What’s more, it’s essential to consider the steaming capabilities of the espresso machine. Cheap machines don’t provide enough pressure to achieve a smooth, thick foam. Look for a frothing wand that’s made entirely of metal. If it has a plastic end, that’s an indication of a cheap wand that’s great for beginners but is not likely to produce cafe-quality foam.

Another factor to consider is water storage. Most home machines have a reservoir that holds enough water to brew eight cups of espresso. For the most part, this is sufficient for home brewing situations, but you must know the espresso machine’s capabilities before you bring it home.

You should also consider how easy it is to clean the espresso machine. How often should you perform the descaling process on it? This process can be challenging, but it’s essential to maintain the quality of the espresso itself.

On top of that, keep in mind the aesthetics of the machine. Will it look good sitting on your countertop at home?

Lastly, grinding capacity plays a significant role in producing cafe-quality espresso. In many cases, if you’ve been unable to make espresso that is as rich and flavorful as your local coffee shop, it may be that the grind is not fine enough.

How the Gaggia Classic Pro Stacks Up

Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro Espresso Machine, Solid, Brushed Stainless Steel

The Gaggia Classic Pro is a semi-automatic espresso machine designed to brew cafe-quality espresso. It has a commercial-grade foaming wand and a simple interface. Let’s break down its specs:

  • Premium stainless steel build quality
  • Professional-grade steam wand
  • Excellent milk-frothing capability
  • Compatible with ground coffee and ESE pods

Overall, the Gaggia Classic Pro has everything you need to make espresso drinks at home. While it doesn’t have a lot of extras, it’s built from premium parts to brew high-quality espresso. However, you will need a separate grinder, as this machine does not include that feature.

Its boiler maintains a consistent temperature, and the professional steam wand includes two holes for added control and frothing capability. Plus, it has a 3-way solenoid valve to seal the portafilter and the group head to maintain pressure and prevent moisture from leaking, which can be a problem with lower-quality machines.

Things We Like

  • Easy to use (even for newbies)
  • Professional-grade steam wand with dual holes for maximum foaming capability
  • The solenoid valve maintains proper pressure for a smooth brew
  • Simple stainless steel construction
  • It looks like it belongs in a coffee shop

Room for Improvement

  • A bit more expensive than some models at this level
  • Lacks advanced features
  • Requires a separate coffee grinder

Features and Benefits of the Gaggia Classic Pro

The Gaggia Classic Pro is ideal for beginners. It functions on the same level as many professional machines that coffee shops use, and it produces high-quality espresso. That said, let’s examine this espresso machine more closely.

Durability and Aesthetics

Gaggia is an Italian company, and all of its products are produced in Italy. As such, they are premium quality, including the Gaggia Classic Pro, with its brushed stainless steel exterior and timeless appearance. It looks like a chunk taken out of the espresso machines you see in coffee shops and placed on your kitchen counter.

On top of its quality outside appearance, the Gaggia Classic Pro has premium features on the inside as well. It’s built with the three of the most critical components of a high-end espresso machine in mind: the group head, boiler, and steam wand. All three of these elements enable it to produce Italian coffee shop quality espresso.

To keep the machine clean, be sure to wipe it down with a wet cloth followed by a dry one after every time you use it. This simple process will keep it looking like a new and a stand-out component in your kitchen at home. The classic look of this machine matches almost any type of interior design.

Ease of Use

Part of the appeal of the Gaggia Classic Pro is its simplicity (at least for me). The best coffee is produced using simple principles. When it’s over-complicated, taste and richness begin to suffer.

Touch screens are a popular choice these days, but I’ve always felt they’re less intuitive, which is why the Gaggia Classic Pro features easy to understand rocker buttons. With this espresso machine, you can focus on technique rather than becoming bogged down in automatic options that you’ll never use anyway.

To use the Gaggia Classic Pro, all you need to do is fill its tank with water, switch it on, wait until it heats up, and then start pulling espresso shots. To make it even easier, it’s designed so you can see the water level on the side of the tank. You’ll need a good burr grinder to complement your new espresso machine and some quality espresso roast beans, and you’ll be brewing top-notch espresso in no time.

Brew Quality

It’s challenging to reproduce cafe drinks at home, mostly because of the quality of the home-brewed espresso. It requires the perfect regulation of temperature and pressure to produce rich espresso, and consistency is key.

A lot of home machines lack boiler pressure, temperature consistency, and the proper sealing needed to produce decent espresso. If you’re like me, you’ve been discouraged in the past by burnt espresso.

Fortunately, the Gaggia Classic Pro strikes the perfect balance for a homebrew machine. It uses a 58mm filter basket in its portafilters and a traditional boiler for temperature stability. In other words, it maintains precise brewing temps and consistent pressure application to make espresso to higher than expected standards.

Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro Espresso Machine, Solid, Brushed Stainless Steel

Steaming Capability

Another crucial part of making many espresso drinks relies on the capability of the commercial steam wand. With the right amount of control of your milk, you can make lattes and cappuccinos to your heart’s content.

The Gaggia Classic Pro has a professional-grade stainless steel wand with two holes for aeration. With it, you’ll be able to froth your milk properly. Between the 2.1L water tank and single boiler, you should have enough time to sculpt your foam without adding too much water for improved sweetness and texture.

You won’t be able to brew espresso and steam milk at the same time with this machine, but you’re not under the same time constraints as your local coffee shop either.

Ease of Cleaning

All espresso machines can be challenging to clean. However, most modern designs do everything possible to make the process as smooth as possible.

As far as the Gaggia Classic Pro is concerned, the drip tray is easily removed and can be rinsed of all the coffee grounds with hot water, and the worst of the cleaning can be avoided by simply wiping the machine down after each use.

A general rule of thumb is to run espresso machine detergent through the machine about every 100 cups when it comes to descaling. Doing this will preserve the rich flavor of your espresso and help prolong the life of your machine.

Alternatives and Conclusion

The Gaggia Classic Pro is a straightforward espresso machine that enables you to brew cafe-quality coffee at home. It’s easy to use and maintain. Plus, it has a professional-grade steaming wand and features a 3-way solenoid valve for ideal pressure and to prevent leaks.

That said, this machine is on the pricey side. What’s more, it doesn’t have advanced features like programmability, which may deter some users, and it requires a separate grinder. Depending on your needs, you’ll have to decide if an espresso machine like this is worth it for you.

For those who prefer more advanced features, you may be interested in fully automatic espresso machines. These machines often come with built-in grinders and milk frothers so that you have as little to worry about as possible.

On the other hand, if the Gaggia Classic Pro is too expensive, you might be interested in some more affordable options. It’s worth noting that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make quality coffee, especially if you’re just starting as a homebrewer.

The Gaggia Classic Pro is an Italian-built espresso machine that foregoes the extras in favor of a simplistic design and cafe-quality results.

Happy Caffeinating!

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