You’ve got to admit it:
The Gaggia Classic is quite a sexy looking machine.
The stainless steel housing and simple interface on the front can turn quite a few heads.
We were even more impressed once we took a closer peek at the features.
Gaggia 14101 Classic Pros & Cons
The Gaggia 14101 Classic offers much better quality than you’ll find from the under-$100 crowd of machines without being much more expensive.
We also like the flexibility of this machine, since you can upgrade your components as you become a better barista.
Best Suited For
Where to Buy the Gaggia Classic
Gaggia 14101 Classic Review
When rating espresso makers, we’d put the Gaggia Classic solidly in a class with high end, at home machines. This means that it’s not exactly commercial quality, but it can still pull you a great cup of espresso. The trick is to know how to use it well. If you’re still learning the basics of at-home espresso, we recommend browsing Coffee Kid’s FAQ for information.
The Classic provides all the features and many of the accessories needed for most espresso-based drinks. There are filter baskets, a coffee tamper, and a basic frothing wand included in the box. You can use either espresso pods or your own ground coffee. You can also easily upgrade your frothing wand as you improve your skills.
Although the machine takes a while to heat up really well, once it’s ready it pulls a good shot. The 17 ½ bar pump is more than sufficient for an even-pressured pull.
The Classic also has a high-voltage boiler that can quickly bring water to the temperature for a good shot. (If you’re unsure what that means, you can read up on the importance of pressure and temperature.)
Gaggia Classic Features
Apart from the all-important pressure and temperature features that we hit above, you’ll also want to know about these:
- Single-shot, double shot, and pod portafilter basket included: we like that this machine includes many options, so you can make the perfect cup or go for something fast.
- Panarello wand included and interchangeable: the frothing wand easily screws on and off, making clean up (or switching out wands) a cinch.
- Stainless steel and brass components maintain a stable temperature: keeping your water temperature stable throughout the entire pull is important for optimal flavor extraction.
- Three-way solenoid valve enables a quick second pull: unlike many home machines, the Classic allows you to immediately release pressure and prepare your next shot.
- Hot water dispenser included: this certainly wouldn’t be a deal breaker if it wasn’t included, but it’s a nice add-on.
- 72-ounce water reservoir: a single shot of espresso is one ounce, so you can pull a lot of shots before refilling. (the reservoir removes easily for cleaning as well.)
- Tamper and measuring scoop included: you may decide to upgrade your tamper if you’re serious about good shots, but the scoop works just fine.
- Warming tray holds up to five demitasse cups: this is great for warming up cold, empty cups before pulling a shot into them.
- Chrome blow-off tube: this clever little feature allows you to quickly drain water so you can disassemble the machine with less mess.
The Gaggia Classic is a great choice for espresso-lovers. It’s a good starter machine since there are a few parts that are good enough but could improve. (We’re looking at you, Panarello wand and coffee tamper).
Fortunately, getting a higher-end version of these parts won’t cost you much, and they’re no trouble to switch out. The important things that you wouldn’t be able to upgrade (like the pump pressure and temperature) are already great quality. We’d say, definitely snatch one up as soon as you can.