Coffee Accessories

Gaggia Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker

The first thing I noticed about the Gaggia Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker was the build and material quality. Top notch. The tank is not as easy to remove as the one on the Baby Twin, but there is a fill opening in the top, so removing the tank is not generally necessary. The pump sounds more “expensive” than the one on any of my other expresso makers. The water heats up really fast. The portofilter is chrome plated brass (just like the Baby Twin); nice and heavy. Like the Baby Twin, the portofilter basket has the Gaggia Crème feature; essentially, there is a primary perforated barrier against which the coffee is packed, followed by a second barrier with a single hole in the center. This feature provides a predictable back pressure on the liquid to ensure good extraction of the coffee oils. And the single hole provides a high velocity jet of coffee that entrains air for the crème.
I have not tried the frothing wand. I don’t use the steam wand to froth my milk. Instead, I heat the milk in the microwave, then use an AeroLatte frother to make the foam. This is faster, less messy and the results are more consistent.