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Recommendations for a machine or brewing set up


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Hi everyone, I'm a newbie so please bear with me .

 

We bought a gaggia classic on eBay last week, and long story short, it's pulling shots way too fast and the seller thinks the solenoid valve for damaged in transit.

 

We're now in a situation where he'll get it fixed or give us a refund.

 

We're weekend latte drinkers mostly and want to move up a level.

 

Our previous machine was Delonghi,uk version of the 155 I think.

 

I found the temperature swings and process of the gaggia more long-winded, and likely it's too much for our needs in the end given rare usage. But I do want to use ground beans.

 

Should I get a Delonghi dedica for example for ease of use ,plus a grinder? I've seen some burr grinders for £40ish which wouldn't break the bank when we get the £150 refund if that's what we choose.

 

Or should we brew with a cafetiere or aeropress , and buy a frother for example ? I loved Costa lattes but now have been drinking Small Batch coffee in Brighton for a few years, so want to get closer to that from home.

 

Any recommendations much appreciated.

Edited by eagerlearner
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What is your total budget? Basically depending on budget there are a few ways to go. For £200ish you should be able to get another Delonghi plus a cheap burr grinder. This would produce something close to espresso, but as Delonghi machines operate with pressurised filter baskets to compensate for preground supermarket coffee or coffee ground with a cheap grinder, the taste would not be as good as the alternative below. I would say for £300ish you could persevere with a Classic and get a second hand semi commercial grinder such as a Mazzer Mini or Super Jolly, which would produce much better coffee. As you say, yet another (and much cheaper option) would be to use a cafetiere and milk frother, maybe while you have a think about what to do long term. Although you have said you want to use ground beans, it may also be worth looking at a nespresso compatible pod machine, as some independent roasters (Colonna is one I know of) now make pods to fit these machines and the quality is much much better. I suggest this last option as making decent espresso is a very long winded process, and if you're not so taken with the process but more the end result then this option is maybe worth considering!

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What is your total budget? Basically depending on budget there are a few ways to go. For £200ish you should be able to get another Delonghi plus a cheap burr grinder. This would produce something close to espresso, but as Delonghi machines operate with pressurised filter baskets to compensate for preground supermarket coffee or coffee ground with a cheap grinder, the taste would not be as good as the alternative below. I would say for £300ish you could persevere with a Classic and get a second hand semi commercial grinder such as a Mazzer Mini or Super Jolly, which would produce much better coffee. As you say, yet another (and much cheaper option) would be to use a cafetiere and milk frother, maybe while you have a think about what to do long term. Although you have said you want to use ground beans, it may also be worth looking at a nespresso compatible pod machine, as some independent roasters (Colonna is one I know of) now make pods to fit these machines and the quality is much much better. I suggest this last option as making decent espresso is a very long winded process, and if you're not so taken with the process but more the end result then this option is maybe worth considering!

 

 

Thank you for your reply ,I was starting to think no one could see my thread.

 

I'm happy to spend this £150,either by keeping the Classic once repaired and figuring out all the maintenance and quirks we'd need to learn, or buying a new machine that was easier to operate. I've enjoyed using it and learning to some extent so far. Shame we haven't had a proper expresso from it so far though as it keeps filling the shot within around 9 seconds, it's crazy. He thinks it got damaged in transit.

 

I just don't know what to do, I do enjoy the process and have taught myself alot these last few weeks I feel, hence taking the leap last week on eBay. But it's dented my confidence I think, worrying it might be a step too far...

 

He could repair it, then I'd just need to learn about maintenance and routines, could sell my old Delonghi and put that towards a grinder. The other thing is, as we'd prob only have 2 or 3 coffees each on a weekend, whether the beans would go off? I'll check prices for the mazzer mini and super Jolie thank you .

 

Does anyone here who has a Classic only have a few coffees a week is what I'm wondering. ..

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We bought a gaggia classic on eBay last week, and long story short, it's pulling shots way too fast and the seller thinks the solenoid valve for damaged in transit.

I don't think that solenoid valve is connected with the speed of the shots you pull, more likely your coffee is ground too coarse.

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I don't think that solenoid valve is connected with the speed of the shots you pull, more likely your coffee is ground too coarse.

 

Thank you ,the seller did a video call with me to see what could be wrong, firstly the machine drips lots of water whilst warming up,then the shots are almost always fast. I have the aeropress grinder on 9 which is the lowest it'll go to. He said he'd been using 10 for fresh roasted beans with no issues. Suspects damage in transport.

 

I just don't know now whether it's a good set up given we have so little coffee each week and how the temperature varies etc. I'm willing to do it though as everyone seems to say this is a great machine to upgrade to.

 

Or do I budget the £150 to go to a sage grinder pro for now, would that be best?

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firstly the machine drips lots of water whilst warming up
Here is strongly solenoid involved, but it can be removed and thoroughly cleaned, this valve easily gets blocked by limescale especially when you descale the machine once a year instead doing this regularly. 2009 Classics are good and probably your machine is Italy made. If I were you, I would get a partial refund, open the machine and give it a good cleaning. Most probably you will need a set of new gaskets only.

 

PS I don't believe the solenoid valve can be damaged in transit though.

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Here is strongly solenoid involved, but it can be removed and thoroughly cleaned, this valve easily gets blocked by limescale especially when you descale the machine once a year instead doing this regularly. 2009 Classics are good and probably your machine is Italy made. If I were you, I would get a partial refund, open the machine and give it a good cleaning. Most probably you will need a set of new gaskets only.

 

PS I don't believe the solenoid valve can be damaged in transit though.

 

thank you ,it was serviced recently and everything was OK, this is why he thinks something happened. I don't think he's lying. I know nothing about the inner workings of the machine nor does my husband, so we'd probably need to take it somewhere local, adding to the expense. The seller descaled it every month and even sent me pulycaf for the future.

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Persevere with the classic I think, it really is a great little machine. I probably only make a couple of coffees a day and paired with the sage grinder pro i'm making some really great tasting stuff (in my opinion anyway!)

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Where do the drips come from ? They would need studying carefully to be sure of where they are coming from. A machine might develop an internal leak during transit. A solenoid is less likely. Too fast a flow could be down to the setting of an internal valve that limits the brew pressure or a fault in that area. The usual cause though is grinds that are too coarse.

 

A grinder that is suitable for the filter baskets that probably came with the machine is a bit of a problem. A cheap burr grinder is unlikely to be satisfactory. It should be better with pressurised baskets and those are available for Gaggia machines but must come with a small plastic part that fits into the portafilter or that has to be bought separately. By mentioning Sage you have very probably mentioned the cheapest option that will at least do a reasonable job with the usual unpressurised baskets. Cheap hand grinders are a mixed bunch - believe it or not a "good" one may cost as much as a Sage grinder or not that far short of it.

 

There are a lot of happy Classic owners about. I can't comment on the made in Italy aspect but would wonder about any upgrades that have happened since.

 

John

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Where do the drips come from ? They would need studying carefully to be sure of where they are coming from. A machine might develop an internal leak during transit. A solenoid is less likely. Too fast a flow could be down to the setting of an internal valve that limits the brew pressure or a fault in that area. The usual cause though is grinds that are too coarse.

 

A grinder that is suitable for the filter baskets that probably came with the machine is a bit of a problem. A cheap burr grinder is unlikely to be satisfactory. It should be better with pressurised baskets and those are available for Gaggia machines but must come with a small plastic part that fits into the portafilter or that has to be bought separately. By mentioning Sage you have very probably mentioned the cheapest option that will at least do a reasonable job with the usual unpressurised baskets. Cheap hand grinders are a mixed bunch - believe it or not a "good" one may cost as much as a Sage grinder or not that far short of it.

 

There are a lot of happy Classic owners about. I can't comment on the made in Italy aspect but would wonder about any upgrades that have happened since.

 

John

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Thank you both, I can't see a way to simply add a response to the thread, only reply with quote.

 

We talked about it last night, ultimately we're too nervous to keep this machine I think, given how little we'll use it and how much extra work and servicing it might need. I think I'll bring my Delonghi back out from the cupboard, give it a good descale and maybe upgrade the steaming wand t, which I believe is the Rancillo Silvia one? Then we'd look at investing in a good grinder. When the Delonghi eventually goes, I'll relook at machines.

 

I know what you mean re the grind being too coarse, it was the first thing I asked the seller on the call, as the grinder was set to 10, and won't go lower than 9, he said he didnt know this as always used 10 with fresh beans with great results. Might be a fib but can't see why.

 

The classic drips lots of water when warming up, this comes from around the head, not just from the head area. If not the solenoid then something happened in transit .

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You'll get good coffee from a fully working Gaggia Classic. Not the new model - you can tell the older models by the thin chrome pipe coming down to the drip tray on the left, plus the middle black switch is wider. On the new model they're the same width.

 

£150 should get you a Mazzer Super Jolly grinder. Always plenty about on eBay or here. You won't need to upgrade that for a while unless you get geeky and want a Mazzer Major. That and a Classic are a very safe combination in terms of quality in the cup. There's a learning curve, but loads of tutorials on YT since the models are so common. Parts galore as well.

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You'll get good coffee from a fully working Gaggia Classic. Not the new model - you can tell the older models by the thin chrome pipe coming down to the drip tray on the left, plus the middle black switch is wider. On the new model they're the same width.

 

£150 should get you a Mazzer Super Jolly grinder. Always plenty about on eBay or here. You won't need to upgrade that for a while unless you get geeky and want a Mazzer Major. That and a Classic are a very safe combination in terms of quality in the cup. There's a learning curve, but loads of tutorials on YT since the models are so common. Parts galore as well.

 

Hi thank you ,not sure if you saw my original thread but I currently have a classic gaggia as you describe.

Thing is, it's not working and looking quite involved as we need to ship it back to eBay seller who's going to then ship somewhere to see what's wrong etc. I'm thinking I jumped the gun anyway, for 2 or 3 coffees a week each and it'll sit idle on weekdays. ..If we return it point blank we'll get a refund and can then buy a proper grinder and start to enjoy ground coffee, miles better than the Lidl ground we've been having. I bought some beans from Hasbean which we enjoyed with the grinder the eBay seller had included, and it was amazing. We'll lose the grinder when returning the whole shebang tomorrow... I'm more upset about that at the moment ?

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Well once it's gone back, have you looked in the for sale area. Are you in the UK?

 

hi I haven't yet, think I can when I have made a few more posts. I was looking on eBay, things like Delonghi kg89 etc too, very affordable and likely we'd be able to do decent fresh ground with it for our pressurised portafilter in the existing Delonghi.

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You only need 5 posts. Are you in the UK?

Hi sorry yes I am, I couldn't see it earlier when I looked, will check again, I'm sure it's better to look here than eBay, feel a bit nervy from the eBay experience with the gaggia. Haven't had a reply back from him as of yet, hopeful he will soon

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