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James Hoffmann - Best cheap espresso setup for ~£250


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8 minutes ago, MrShades said:

The two points you mention are probably the only good things about it... the list of bad points is significantly longer and more critical to use as a good espresso machine 

Crazy that a new product would be worse than the old one but not the first and last time it has happened.

It's thanks to the good folk on this forum and people/businesses like @MrShades that old machines can continue to function and in some cases get even better. Thanks guys!

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48 minutes ago, Chriss29 said:

Crazy that a new product would be worse than the old one but not the first and last time it has happened.

It's thanks to the good folk on this forum and people/businesses like @MrShades that old machines can continue to function and in some cases get even better. Thanks guys!

I think when the big corporates get the bit between their teeth, they can really ruin a product. Over the years I have seen it many times, as the smaller espresso machine manufacturers get swallowed up. A small manufacturer might look at user feedback...the big corporates "know" what they are doing. It does make for a healthy modding community though.

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I imagine as part of the acquisition they decided to let their "product development scrum masters" "disrupt" and "challenge" the fundamentals of their product design in order to "drive synergies in production" (aka cut production costs to a minimum).

"What's that? Sounds expensive" *delete*.

Thankfully they reinstated the design. Still a great machine that is a choose your own adventure with respect to mods - I like that it can be enjoyed by such a wide variety of users along that continuum.

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PMA all day!

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2 hours ago, Bagpu55 said:

Can I ask why he chose to go for 6.5bar and not 9. Is there much difference?

Yes - all the cool cats use lower pressures these days... 6.5ish bar espresso is great.

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You can usually find me and all of my Gaggia products at Shades of Coffee

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This is definitely the swan song for me where Classics are concerned (I know I've said that before!).

Luckily I do have 5 Classics that I'm slowly working on. 4 are dated 2002 or 2003 and one is a 2005. Spent a fortune on used and new parts as per usual (two of them being cases only) but think I have just about everything now for the 5 refurbishments.

It seems to me he didn't even bother to do any basic research (such as one click on "2015 Classics"!) or he would have known the 2015 didn't have the 3 way valve etc.

£100.00 for a 2015, he was ripped off!

Edited by ratty
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"This is my first post and forgive me if this subject has already been discussed, alas I haven't really found my way around this site as yet.

"i purchased a Gaggia Classic last week and was very disappointed with it so sent it back to whence it came. Within 4 days a plastic shim around where the portafilter locks into the head came away and snapped, the portafilter then would not tighten at all, also this machine doesn't have the 3 way solenoid valve which I had read was a real selling point, very confused on which model I should buy to ensure it isn't the dumbed down version that's right now on its way back to Italy."

Nikko007 on the forum talking about his newly acquired 2015 Classic.

Just the first negative I came across on a search on the forum!

Only other possibility is the company has too many 2005's lying unwanted and he's been paid a good sum to promote them.

Edited by ratty
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1 hour ago, FlyingPianist said:

I feel like I timed the purchase of my 2006 Classic off eBay a couple of weeks ago for £121.25 quite well now! .. Very pleased with it so far! 

For a working machine in good nick that’s a decent price 👍

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On 12/03/2021 at 09:13, Chriss29 said:

Is the 2015 model really that bad? I think the boiler is bigger at 200ml and it's stainless steel but I could be wrong. 

Nope.

I've argued previously that it is better in some respects than the other versions.

That's considered blasphemy by the community though.

My very low maintenance, zero corrosion, quick heat up, no steam dripping, auto shut off Gaggia has been a dream. 

The removal of the 3 way valve and it's foibles and maintenance requirements is an added bonus.

I've been using mine for 12 months now and it works like a charm and as James says, it is capable of excellent espresso.

The argument that it can't because it is "not the same"  can finally be put to bed.

 

 

 

 

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Nope.
I've argued previously that it is better in some respects than the other versions.
That's considered blasphemy by the community though.
My very low maintenance, zero corrosion, quick heat up, no steam dripping, auto shut off Gaggia has been a dream. 
The removal of the 3 way valve and it's foibles and maintenance requirements is an added bonus.
I've been using mine for 12 months now and it works like a charm and as James says, it is capable of excellent espresso.
The argument that it can't because it is "not the same"  can finally be put to bed.
 
 
 
 

You need to mod the OPV to 6.5 bar in order to get “good espresso” from a Classic 2015 as experienced by James.

...and you may not have a dripping steam wand, but as you have no solenoid valve you do have dripping / pressurised portafilters instead. The latter is significantly more of a challenge in daily use.

You can usually find me and all of my Gaggia products at Shades of Coffee

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18 minutes ago, MrShades said:


You need to mod the OPV to 6.5 bar in order to get “good espresso” from a Classic 2015 as experienced by James.

...and you may not have a dripping steam wand, but as you have no solenoid valve you do have dripping / pressurised portafilters instead. The latter is significantly more of a challenge in daily use.

We've walked that road as well.

Iirc, 'tis only the V2 that measured 10 bara at the brew head out of the box.

I was going to test mine and add a proper 10bara adjustable bypass but never got round to it. Never needed too really, my coffee is good enough.

Portafilter drip isn't an issue for me either. The pucks aren't biscuit dry but they are not that damp. Least not for me. I always hot rinse the PF before each use anyway.

 

But these are old arguments.

My experience with my V2 has been nothing but positive.

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17 minutes ago, Blue_Cafe said:

We've walked that road as well.

Iirc, 'tis only the V2 that measured 10 bara at the brew head out of the box.

I was going to test mine and add a proper 10bara adjustable bypass but never got round to it. Never needed too really, my coffee is good enough.

Portafilter drip isn't an issue for me either. The pucks aren't biscuit dry but they are not that damp. Least not for me. I always hot rinse the PF before each use anyway.

 

But these are old arguments.

My experience with my V2 has been nothing but positive.

I’m glad you’re enjoying it and enjoying the coffee it makes - that’s all that’s important 

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You can usually find me and all of my Gaggia products at Shades of Coffee

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On 11/03/2021 at 03:13, SupraMan said:

I don't get how he picked it up for only £100

Just picked up mine on eBay for $145 US after watching Hoffman's video. Maybe I was lucky or maybe the trick is to find one that's listed for parts or repair "untested." Still waiting on a couple bits and bobs to get my espresso going but after a descale and a new shower screen nothing seems to be wrong with it. 

Edit: It's a Gaggia Classic Coffee (1475w) model if that's of interest to anyone.

Edited by C Woody
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56 minutes ago, C Woody said:

Just picked up mine on eBay for $145 US after watching Hoffman's video. Maybe I was lucky or maybe the trick is to find one that's listed for parts or repair "untested." Still waiting on a couple bits and bobs to get my espresso going but after a descale and a new shower screen nothing seems to be wrong with it. 

Edit: It's a Gaggia Classic Coffee (1475w) model if that's of interest to anyone.

Correction: 1425W, and It's a 1998 manufacture date. 

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I wasn’t going to buy one, but saw JHoff and got one on FB shipped $100.  Ordered every mod o know of for $276.  Ready to solder and ???

oh no. I have it seen it yet.  I assume it works.  I know it will one day soon.

 

sometimes you just gotta say WTF.

Edited by Cameron Logan
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Haha! That sounds exactly like me with the 2006 classic I bought off eBay which said 'stored for a few years, tested as working as of the 18th feb'. The OPV pressure gauge, seals, PID and cleaning kit all arrived before the machine itself (which combined all cost more). Ok it needed a good clean and de-scale, but I'm more than happy with it..

I just took the same philosophy and bought a 1999 Honda Goldwing unseen for a Grand Tour type Scottish highlands road trip in may! (Wrong topic, wrong forum, I know!) Can I be lucky twice!! 🤣😂😆 At least I have luggage room for the GC! 😆

Edited by FlyingPianist
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