This $450 semi-automatic espresso machine is a commercial-grade workhorse for a fraction of the price - here's how it works
- You don't have to spend a thousand dollars to produce quality espresso in your own kitchen.
- Gaggia's new Classic Pro (currently $449 on Amazon) costs more than your average espresso machine, but it's made with a commercial-grade brew head and portafilter.
- If learning how to use and dial in an espresso machine is a craft you want to hone, the Gaggia Classic Pro will do you right.
The $449 Classic Pro Espresso Machine from Gaggia, an Italian company best known for its espresso and cappuccino machines, is a new consumer-priced espresso machine with the guts of a commercial one. It doesn't take up nearly as much space, in part because it doesn't come with a grinder, but this pared-down simplicity is what gives it charm and beauty. It's also what gives you room to play around with settings and really learn how to dial in your shots.
This is the machine for those who really care about the craft of making espresso.
To use the parlance of our times, it's old school, and it's hardly much of an update on the old machine, which is why we like it so much. Gaggia is a classic name in espresso, and there's a reason why the brand has stood the test of time: These machines make great coffee.Gaggia kept the exact same brew head and portafilter it's always used, which it also places in commercial machines, along with the three-way solenoid valve that purges any residual steam or water after you stop the machine. That keeps your coffee from getting burnt by any stored steam or water in the chamber on the next shot. Other modifications are slight but appreciated: a frame that allows you to see how much water is left in the reservoir, a small silicone grip on the purge valve and the frother, and a simplified on/off switch and light setup.
Along with an updated boiler, this all adds up to one hardy machine that offers you manual control over exactly how your shot turns out. This is your transition from an automatic to a manual transmission; the training wheels are off, and it's time for some real, unfettered fun.
Below, I'll walk you through every aspect of the Classic Pro Espresso Machine.
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