Gaggia Baby D Product Spolight

Gaggia Baby D Espresso MachineGaggia has had quite a year when it comes to new products. Within the past 12 months, we’ve seen the introduction of the Compact Digital, Titanium, Titanium SS, and now, the Gaggia Baby D. And just like the other new Gaggia machines released in 2005, the Baby D is something to write home about. It’s claim to fame? A spiffy bubble-buttoned control panel that has 2, count ’em, 2 programmable brewing buttons.

You look familiar to me…

Truth be told, the Baby D is somewhat of a hybrid in its design. It has obviously retained the majority of the original Gaggia Baby’s sleek style - like its rounded corners, top mounted steam knob, and backlit indicator icons - but also has a control panel that features the same push buttons found on the Gaggia Titanium and Titanium SS. Top it off with a silver ABS plastic housing, (which p.s., has fun sparkly silver flecks in it), and you have a machine that looks pretty darn cool.

Gaggia Baby D Steam KnobWhat’s new, pussycat?

As we briefly touched on above, what sets the Baby D apart from its predecessors are its programmable brewing buttons (the 2nd and 3rd buttons from the left on the control panel), each of which comes preprogrammed from the factory for single and double shot liquid volumes respectively. When you press one of these buttons, the Baby D will dispense the preset amount of liquid and automatically stop the brewing process, allowing you to get your milk ready for frothing, throw some bread in the toaster, or anything else you can think of without having to worry about keeping an eye on your shot.
Gaggia Baby D Control Panel

The Baby D also gives you the option to reprogram the brewing buttons to dispense any amount of liquid by using the Menu button on the control panel. The Menu button is the last button on the right side of the control panel, and when you want to reprogram either brewing button, simply hold the Menu button down until the triangle indicator below it flashes. Then press the button you’d like to program, and when the desired amount has been dispensed, press the same brewing button again, and then the Menu button to exit the programming mode. Easy as pie. And if you’re in the mood for something a little different than you normally get from the programmed buttons, there’s no need to reprogram - the Menu button doubles as a manual brewing button. Just press it once to start the brewing process and again to stop.

Staying in control

In the same control panel that the brewing and Menu Gaggia Baby D Power & Brew Buttonsbuttons sit, you’ll also find the rest of the controls you’ll need to operate the Baby D (minus the steam knob, which if you recall, is located on top of the machine). Starting on the left, you’ll find the On/Off button that not only has a diagram above it to remind you which position is "on" and which is "off" - when the button is sticking out, it’s off, if it’s pressed in, it’s on - it also has a squiggly green indicator light below it that illuminates to let you know when the machine is up to temperature. To the right of the On/Off button sit the 2 programmable brewing buttons, followed by the Hot water button, Steam button, and Menu button. Except for the On/Off button, each button in the control panel has a red indicator light beneath it that illuminates when that particular button is in use.

A side note from our sponsors…

There are 2 quick things that should be mentioned about the control panel. First off, when you pull the Baby D out of the box and see that the control panel is on a blue background, don’t panic. This is simply a protective sticker that can be easily removed to reveal a silver background that beautifully complements the sparkly silver housing. A similar sticker is also found on the stainless steel drip tray cover to prevent scratching during transit.

The second thing is that the red indicator lights beneath the control panel buttons continue to blink as the machine sits idle - not in rapid succession, mind you, but one after the other in a slow, continual pattern. Interestingly, it’s actually got a kind of calming effect. Maybe it’s to combat the effects of too much espresso.

It’s what’s on the inside that counts.

No Gaggia semi automatic would be complete without a 58mm commercial style portafilter and brew group that have been forged from marine grade brass, and the Baby D delivers. These heavyweight Gaggia Baby D Marine Brass Portafilter Handlecomponents provide temperature stability and the capability to brew café quality espresso. Furthering the "café at home" experience, the Baby D features a 3-way solenoid valve that makes "knocking" the spent grounds out of the portafilter after brewing easy and mess free, and a high-wattage 3.5oz aluminum boiler with dual heating elements for even temperature distribution from start to finish. And to top off your drink, the D has the Gaggia Turbo Frother that makes even the most novice cappuccino maker an instant barista, and can also dispense hot water for mouth-watering americanos as well.

Since the Baby D is a single boiler machine, you will need to wait for it to heat to steam temperature after brewing. To activate the heating process, press the steam button. This will cause the steam button’s indicator light to turn on and the green temperature ready light to go out. When the D is up to steaming temperature, the green light will turn back on to indicate that you can go ahead and steam or froth your milk. Just place your frothing pitcher full of milk under the steam wand, turn the steam knob, and you’re good to go. On the other hand, you can dispense hot water for tea or an americano instantly when the machine is at brew temperature. Just press the hot water button, place your cup under the steam wand, and turn the steam knob to release hot water.

Gaggia Baby D Drip Tray Maintenance is also simple with the Gaggia Baby D. Although the D’s 48oz reservoir can be easily removed from the front of this semi auto, a funnel on the top rear of the machine allows you to refill without removing a thing. Emptying out the drip tray is effortless too, as it just lifts right off the front of the machine. Just remember to remove the small rubber attachment that guides water into the drip tray from the 3-way solenoid valve, or you’ll stand there scratching your head wondering why the drip tray won’t come out, just like I did. Can you say "Duh?"

She’s got the whole package.

Everything from the Baby D’s eye-catching silver housing to its commercial quality components oozes style and quality. Add on the programmability options and you’ve got brains, brawn, and beauty. What more could you ask for in a semi automatic that’s the perfect size for any kitchen counter?

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