If you’re in the market for a simple machine that can brew cafe-quality espresso, the Gaggia Classic Pro is an excellent choice.
Are you just starting your home barista journey? The Gaggia Classic Pro has a beginner-friendly design and it is very easy to operate. However, the machine has a premium build quality and is fully capable of brewing the perfect shot of espresso. It’s a great option if you’re new to brewing your own espresso, or if you’re more experienced and want a quality, no-frills machine.
Gaggia Classic Pro Review
An Italian Company founded in the 1930s, Gaggia has a long history of producing espresso machines for cafes and homes alike. The company produces some beautiful home machines that look like they belong in a professional coffee shop. The Classic has been a highly appraised machine for years, and the “Pro” is Gaggia’s refresh on that same design.
Gaggia has a range of products but the Classic is its flagship entry-level espresso machine. The brand delivers superior build quality but as you might expect, it comes at a cost. Gaggia machines are a little more expensive than some of their competitors but may be worth the investment to get a durable, high-quality machine.
About the Gaggia Classic Pro
The Gaggia Classic Pro is a semi-automatic home espresso machine. It features a professional-grade steam wand for milk frothing. This machine could be right for you if you’re looking to make cafe-quality espresso and want some control over your grind size, brew time, dose size, etc.
It’s important to note that there is no built-in grinder and you’ll need to purchase one separately. You’ll need a good burr grinder that can grind fine enough for espresso so make sure you consider that when budgeting your setup. We have some great options here that could pair with the Gaggia.
If you need some extra help figuring out what you’re looking for in an espresso machine, check out our detailed buyer’s guide here.
Features & Specs
The Gaggia Classic Pro has a stainless steel body, so it’s durable and built to last. It measures 23 x 38 x 24 cm and weighs in at 7.625 kg (16 lbs). It’s not a compact machine but it doesn’t have an excessively large footprint. It’s certainly heavier than its plastic competitors but I still find myself putting a hand on top of the machine to prevent it from moving, especially when tightening on the portafilter.
It is beautifully designed and comes in a variety of colors, as well as the classic stainless steel finish. The Gaggia Classic logo is displayed on the front of the machine as well as the Gaggia “G” on the portafilter. It is an excellent looking machine and will impress anyone that walks into your kitchen.
The machine is operated with 3 rocker buttons and indicator lights for on/off, espresso, and steam. The indicator lights make it easy to see when your machine has warmed up to the right temperature.
Heating and Pressure
For heating, the Gaggia Classic has a single aluminum boiler. It is great at maintaining consistent temperature while brewing and steaming. The downside of a single boiler machine is you will have to wait for it to reach proper temperatures when switching between brewing espresso and milk frothing.
Pressure is controlled by a 15 bar pump and the 3-way solenoid valve helps maintain constant pressure inside the filter holder. While brewing, the boiler and pump work together to extract an excellent shot of espresso and produce a beautiful layer of crema.
Temperature and pressure are not adjustable on the Gaggia Classic. If you’re a beginner this will allow you to focus on perfecting your recipe and brewing technique. If you’re more experienced you may want to look for a more advanced machine to make these adjustments.
The Gaggia Classic comes with a 58 mm portafilter and 3 baskets: a double shot pressurized basket, a double shot non-pressurized basket, and a single shot non-pressurized basket. The pressurized “crema perfetta” filter gives beginners a little extra help in achieving a perfect layer of crema. All baskets are compatible with both ground coffee and ESE coffee pods.
To brew, fill the 2 Liter tank with water and turn on the machine. Once your machine is warmed up the indicator light will turn on to let you know you’re ready to brew. Fill your basket with your favorite espresso ground coffee and flip the espresso switch to pull your shot.
The Gaggia Classic has an excellent steam wand with two holes. The steam wand is very impressive for an entry-level machine and if you’re willing to practice your frothing technique you’ll make gorgeous cappuccinos and lattes.
To turn on the steam wand flip the steam rocker switch and wait until the indicator light shows it is at the right temperature. Slowly turn the knob open to begin steaming. You’ll be getting that perfect microfoam in no time!
The Gaggia Classic doesn’t come with much in terms of additional accessories. For such a premium package it was surprising that it only comes with a plastic tamper and scoop. You’ll definitely want to buy a quality weighted tamper to pair with your machine.
The espresso machine is covered by a 2-year warranty. If your machine is damaged or malfunctions you’ll be covered by Gaggia’s support team.
Generally, keeping your Gaggia Classic machine clean will keep your espresso machine performing at its peak. Make sure you wipe your steam wand, baskets, and portafilter with a wet cloth after use. Gaggia recommends descaling the machine every 2 months so you can keep on brewing excellent tasting espresso.
Does the Gaggia Classic Deliver?
Quality, Consistent Espresso
The Gaggia Classic can brew espresso that tastes amazing and looks absolutely gorgeous. The key to brewing great espresso is precise temperature and pressure control. The Gaggia boiler, in combination with the professional-grade pump, maintains constant pressure and temperature allowing you to consistently brew rich espresso.
The quality of parts on the Gaggia outperforms some of its cheaper competitors. With proper technique, you’ll never have to worry about getting burnt or bitter espresso.
Professional Grade Steam Wand
The stainless steel steam wand has two holes for aeration. This steam wand really is of commercial quality and will make great milk foam. With the large 2-liter tank you’ll have plenty of time to achieve the perfect texture for your cappuccinos and lattes.
Simple and Easy to Use
Automatic espresso machines come with tons of settings and adjustments that may overwhelm those who are just starting with home espresso brewing. The Gaggia Classic Pro has only four touch-point controls: the 3 rocker buttons and the steam wand knob.
Beginner baristas will appreciate how straightforward the machine is to use. The water tank is easily removable and even accessible from the top of the machine. Free of unnecessary complications, you’ll quickly learn to pull espresso shots and be able to pay more attention to developing your brewing technique.
While looks are subjective, I think the Gaggia Classic is a beautiful looking machine. It’s sleek, comes in a variety of color options, and is finished with the Gaggia logo. This machine will stand out and look gorgeous in your kitchen. It looks like it belongs in a coffee shop.
The Gaggia Classic Pro’s stainless steel body is more durable than its plastic competitors. With proper maintenance, it will stay looking and performing like brand new even after years of ownership.
Single Boiler Design
Many entry-level machines feature a single boiler to save on cost and footprint. However, this means that you won’t be able to make espresso and foam milk at the same time. This usually isn’t a problem for a home machine but if you’re in a hurry or making multiple drinks this could be an issue for you.
While the Gaggia has great temperature control it’s also worth noting it takes a bit of time to warm up. It takes about one minute for the espresso light to come on, but I’ve found you should wait at least 5 minutes for that temperature to maintain the entire time you’re pulling the shot.
Lacking on Accessories
There are not many extras that come with the Gaggia Classic Pro. The tamper that comes with the machine is very cheap and you’ll want to upgrade that immediately. Also, there is no grinder built-in.
Many will be surprised to find that a good burr grinder can cost almost as much as your espresso machine. Some competing machines come with built-in grinders, so this is important to consider when budgeting your setup.
No temperature or pressure control
Operating temperature and pressure are not adjustable on the Gaggia Classic Pro. This won’t be much of a problem for the beginner but those with more experience might want that control. If you’re someone that is seeking temperature and pressure adjustment you may want to look for a more expensive machine.
Since the Gaggia Classic has been on the market for such a long time, there are a wealth of forums online that will walk you through pressure and temperature adjustment. This can only be done by opening up the machine and adjusting or replacing some parts. Be warned that this will void your warranty and is only recommended for experienced baristas and tinkerers. Perform at your own risk!
The Gaggia Classic Pro is a great entry-level home espresso machine that can brew cafe-quality espresso. It is very easy to use, making it ideal for beginners. And while it is an entry-level machine, it’s got a stainless steel body and a professional-grade steam wand. The Gaggia Classic can consistently deliver tasty espresso with beautiful crema.
That being said, the machine is slightly pricer than some of its entry-level competitors. It doesn’t have pressure and temperature adjustment. Additionally, the single boiler means you can’t pull shots and froth milk at the same time, and you must wait some time between pulling shots.
If you’re looking for temperature and pressure adjustment you may want to go for an automatic machine. An automatic machine can also feature a built-in grinder if you’re looking for an all-in-one package. More experienced home baristas may also consider dishing out the extra cash for a more expensive semi-automatic double boiler machine.
If you’re on a tight budget you may want to consider more affordable options. You can still make good espresso on a cheaper machine, but the Gaggia has premium parts that make it a little easier to consistently pull quality espresso.
Gaggia Classic Pro Review: A Professional Shot of Espresso
If you're looking at the Gaggia Classic Pro, you're really into your espresso. Read this Gaggia Classic Pro review to find out if this one is for you.
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