Summary: I have been making my own espressos and lattes at home for about 8 years. I have owned a couple of manual, 15 bar espresso makers. I learned to make really good espresso with these makers, but not always consistently. I decided to try a semi-automatic. We have a Gaggia automatic espresso machine at work that works really well and has been trouble-free, so not knowing any better, I decided to go with that brand for my personal purchase.
Summary: Truth be told I noticed most reviews about this machine are because they receive broken machines which are not fair at all. This machine is a very good starter machine and the guts of the machine are the exact same as the highly regarded Gaggia Classic. The only difference is the outer shell is a hard plastic where the Classic is all stainless steel. Not much difference in terms of shot quality between the two.
Summary: My unit also arrived broken. It leaked everywhere like the other posters. The plastic housing felt fairly cheap. The front part of the machine partly peeled off when I removed the plastic that was applied to protect it during shipping.
Summary: ========== Pros ========== - Excellent price for a entry-level espresso machine - Quality internal components ========== Cons ========== - Plastic housing - Very particular about grind and tamping pressure - Light plastic tamper included ========== Summary ========== This espresso machine has many components that are normally found on high-end more expensive espresso machines.
Summary: The directions are not at all helpful. It took a very long time to figure out how to use it. Sometimes it's inconsistent when making a shot, however the espresso is great when I get it right. Maybe I'm doing something wrong but than again the instructions are nonexistent. I had to try and figure it out by watching you tube videos.
Summary: Same problem as reported by other users - water sprayed everywhere and came out of every part of the machine except the coffee filter, which remained bone dry. A Google search on the problem suggests these are prone to faulty solenoids and other pump problems. Such a pity - the machine looks good and other web reviews indicate that they work well if they don't arrive broken.
Summary: I am sad to report that my Gaggia Baby was dead on arrival. New, out of the box, leaked from all corners and pumped the water through the housing of the unit instead of the coffee. I read several leak problems about the Gaggia. The importer (Importica) offered a free return shipment and replacement. But I do not want to take chances with it, even though I believe that the Gaggia is one of the better espresso makers....unfortunately it is not made in China.
Summary: Nicely built and presented machine, but I have two problems with it. Firstly, there is a distinct oily taste in the steamed milk. Secondly, despite trying several different ways of loading the coffee holder, the machine persists in spluttering hot coffee over a range of 3 feet to either side of the machine. Very messy.
Summary: This is my fourth Gaggia machine, I find they work well for a few years then break down. Repairs cost the best part of £100, and as they never seem to work as well once they come back from Gaggia, I tend to simply replace them. I chose this model because of the twin boiler feature, which I hoped would make cappuccinos with relative ease. The machines in coffee shops are able to produce steam and coffee simultaneously because each function has its own boiler.