The Gaggia Classic is one of our best sellers since we began Whole Latte Love in 1997. Over time, Gaggia has added improvements designed to enhance the user experience while staying true to their commitment to produce espresso equipment that is on par with the best in the industry.
New to 2003 Gaggia has replaced the nickel plated carbon steel housing with brushed stainless steel. This produced a machine with an even more durable housing that will not rust or flake overtime. The portafilter handle was also upgraded to include a stainless steel dispensing beak. This improved consistency of the espresso flow when split between 2 demitasse cups or shot glasses. The main design of the portafilter remained the same at a whopping 1 pound of chrome plated brass with a commercial size, 58mm diameter. Gaggia also uses a massive chrome plated brass brew group, which is where the portafilter handle locks onto. Heat stability and retention is remarkable with this much mass, and is a Gaggia standard that only the Rancilio Silvia can match. All Gaggia espresso machines received a new Pannarello style frother to replace what was known as the Turbo Frother. This wand has proved to be both easier to use, and clean. Our testing showed that it is less finicky and requires less technique to produce frothed milk quickly, and of good quality. Also new is that Gaggia has finally dumped the pod adapter and replaced it with a stainless steel combination single shot/pod basket. For those that know, the old pod adapter was a true contraption; it was difficult to attach and too much effort to remove if you wanted to use ground coffee as well. The new pod basket was designed with the approval of Illy, who has been a founding member of the ESE (easy serving espresso) consortium. Our internal tests, and those of Illy USA, performed by both East and West Coast divisions has backed up this claim as well. With this approval all Gaggia machines can use espresso pods from any roaster that is ESE approved – the largest standard in the coffee industry.
The overall wattage of all Gaggia machines stay at an industry high 1425 watts. The electric pump accounts for 55 watts and is the strongest in it’s class. The remaining wattage is directed to Gaggia’s unique boiler system that incorporates not 1 but 2 heating elements. Unlike every other manufacturer at this price range, Gaggia does not position them in direct contact with water. They are actually embedded into the sides of the boiler which prevents a major reason espresso machines are brought in for warranty repair – corroded heating element. This design has proved to be highly efficient by causing the entire boiler to become a heating element. A fast method that further supports temperature stability.
The Classic further distinguishes itself by sporting a 3 way solenoid valve. This is a feature generally only found on commercial and prosumer equipment. It’s main purpose is to relieve the pressure that develops during the brewing process. As you may have read, espresso is brewed best at 8 to 9 bar or atmospheres of pressure. With a single bar being 14.7 lbs of pressure per square inch you can calculate that espresso is brewed at 132 lbs per square inch. The 3 way solenoid valve instantly relieves that pressure and diverts it to the drip tray. You may notice the chrome tube leading to the drip tray in the larger image. The benefit of this is that the quick release of the pressure takes much of the water left over in the group and leaves a relatively dry coffee puck. Drier puck means less coffee grounds to clean.
We recommend that you consider a quality burr grinder capable of producing a commercial grind like the Baratza Vario or Gaggia MDF for best results. Includes two stainless steel filter baskets (single/pod and double shot), coffee tamper and 7g measuring scoop. Available in Brushed Stainless Steel (Satin Finish).
Features & Benefits: Coffee
Commercial Size and Style Portafilter Handle
Some of the most crucial elements for producing high quality espresso are influenced by the Style, Size and Construction of the portafilter. Style: This portafilter is designed like a commercial machine and works in the same way. The coffee is ground fine and is tamped (pressed) firmly into place. Size: The size of the portafilter is also the same as a commercial machine. Is has a large diameter (58 mm) so that the water is distributed evenly over a wide surface area. Construction: The portafilter is made up of two parts, the handle and the filter holder. The handle is made of high quality plastic. The heavy chrome plated brass filter holder keeps the temperature stable throughout the entire brewing process, therefore producing a quality cup of espresso.
Commercial Brewing Group
This is the portion of the machine that the portafilter locks into. It is made of chrome plated marine brass which provides a superior brewing environment through maximum heat stability and component longevity.
The Gaggia boiler system is very unique. It is designed of highly conductive aluminum with two heating elements. The heating elements are embedded into the exterior sides of the boiler, providing even heat distribution. Having the highest wattage system available, incorporated into a low volume boiler (3.5 ounces) provides excellent temperature stability and will heat up quicker.
3 Way Solenoid Valve
The three-way solenoid valve is a commercial feature that relieves the water pressure off the coffee when the brew switch is turned off. This serves two functions; it dries out the coffee to prevent dripping and makes it easy to knock the coffee out of the portafilter with one knock.
High Quality Controls with Temperature Ready Light
The Classic contains three rocker arm switches. The one on the left is the main power switch. It has an indicator light built into it that is illuminated whenever the machine is turned on. The middle switch is the steam switch. When turned on it will heat the boiler up to steam temperature. The far right switch operates the pump and is also known as the brew switch. To start the brewing process just turn on the brew switch, wait until you have reached your desired volume and then turn off the switch. There is an indicator light built in that is illuminated whenever the boiler reaches operating temperature.
Preheating your cups is very important. The Classic has a cup warmer that will hold up to five espresso cups. It is a passive type heater which means it is heated with the residual heat from the boiler.
Features & Benefits: Frothing and Hot Water
Hot Water Dispenser
If you want hot water for any reason, be it Hot Chocolate, Tea or Americanos it is very easy to do. Just turn on the pump (brew) switch and open the steam knob. Hot water will start to stream out.
Improved Pannarello Steam Wand
The Gaggia Classic comes equipped with a new Pannarello steam wand. The new design makes great froth every time with no problems.
Features & Benefits: Care, Maintenance & Other
The large removable 64oz reservoir can be refilled from the top any time during the operation, for an endless supply of coffee.
ESE Pod Capable
Comes ready to use with pods or ground coffee. Use the single shot filter basket with Easy Serve Espresso (ESE) pods. Pods are single serve prepackaged shots that are designed to be quick and clean.
Thermostat and Safety Switches
The Gaggia has three temperature controls. There are two thermostats and one high limit. There is one thermostat for maintaining brew temperature and one for maintaining steam temperature. The high limit will turn off the power to the boiler in the event of a malfunction thus preventing the boiler from overheating.
The Classic is made of stainless steel for extreme durability and a professional appearance. The drip tray is chrome plated while the drip grate and pan are made of a durable plastic.