There are few things I like more than a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. I like the aroma in the air before the cup is even in my hand and I like knowing the coffee I'm about to enjoy is made exactly how I want it. Honestly, there really isn't anything else I can think about at that time of the day.
Well, there is one thing, and that's my espresso machine. My Gaggia Platinum Swing Up is like having my own barista ready and waiting for me at a moment's notice, whether to brew a shot for a quick pick-me-up or my favorite – a double cappuccino with extra foam. All right, I'll admit it sounds a bit cliché, spending my nights dreaming of that first moment with my espresso machine in the morning, but once you've experienced one of the Gaggia Platinum machines, you'll understand.
There are four machines in Gaggia's Platinum line – the Platinum Vogue, Platinum Swing, Platinum Swing Up, and Platinum Vision. All four boast stainless steel exteriors and stainless steel boilers for an elegant design and professional performance. But it is how each machine differs in operation that sets them apart from each other, and all other espresso machines.
Gaggia Platinum Vision
Luxury... when most people think of luxury, they think of elite cars, extravagant houses, exclusive restaurants, you name it. I like to compare the Platinum Vision to the latest Lexus or BMW. The Platinum Vision is a sleek design with all the bells and whistles – any luxury car company that finds a way to get this machine in one of their models has got it made. Thanks to an intuitive easy-to-use touch screen, making the perfect cup has never been easier. Choose the size of your coffee, the strength of the shot, steam or hot water, and more. Program your machine in a matter of seconds, or just pause to check the time. It's all right there on screen. The Platinum Vision includes the Gaggia Milk Island, which is crucial for those early morning latte cravings.
Gaggia Platinum Swing Up
Okay, I might be a little biased here. I'm an Apple geek - can't live without my iPod. So, when I saw the iPod-like interface I was pretty much sold. As you scroll your finger around the wheel on the front of the Platinum Swing Up, the menu options scroll by on the LCD screen above it. Like the Platinum Vision, the Platinum Swing Up has a Champagne-colored front panel. I've never had an espresso machine brighten up my kitchen before, but this one certainly does.
Both the Platinum Vision and Platinum Swing Up include an electronic cup/drip tray lift. I am an absolute klutz by nature, so this was one feature I couldn't live without. Press a button, the tray lifts and lowers. Voila! I'm left with a clean shirt and still intact drip tray. Before my Platinum Swing Up, this experience was never pretty.
Gaggia Platinum Swing
Same great interface as the Platinum Swing Up, but no electronic cup lift. While I do like the LCD interface, there isn't as much room on the menu, so the menu options have been shortened slightly. The Platinum Swing also boasts a solid black front panel, which is just as sleek-looking as the Platinum Swing Up. But, I just had to have that electronic cup lift. It's the little things that count.
Gaggia Platinum Vogue
Last but not least is the Gaggia Platinum Vogue. Even without the help of a digital LCD menu, the interface is still very intuitive. Turning the ring on the front of the machine allows you to choose the amount of coffee. Pressing the button with the beans on it allows you to choose the strength of your coffee. The Platinum Vogue also has a solid black front, like the Platinum Swing. Both machines also feature a cup lift that must be operated manually, but the feature is still there.
All the machines do operate differently, but the Platinum Line does have some very significant features all the models share.
| Espresso Plus System |
Regulate the intensity of your coffee simply – with the turn of a dial. Adjust the body and intensity of any coffee blend anywhere from mild to more intense – it's entirely up to you.
| Bypass Doser |
Never worry again about the mess of dumping all the beans out of your machine simply because a guest wants decaf. The bypass doser is in the perfect location – right next to the beans. The simple maneuver of adding pre-ground coffee is achieved with no extravagant tricks. It helps guests with special coffee requests feel right at home. This feature is available with the Vision, Swing, and Swing Up.
| Gaggia Milk Island |
One item I can't live without is the Gaggia Milk Island. While I do enjoy steaming milk the traditional way, sometimes I want to skip the wait and have my milk ready to go. The Gaggia Milk Island hooks up easily, without any mess. Simply fill the Milk Island, connect it, and turn the steam knob. That's it. The Milk Island is included with the Platinum Vision, but can be purchased separately for $129 and works with any of the Platinum Machines.
| Cup Warmer |
Show off your favorite espresso cups while keeping them warm and ready to go on the cup warmer, located on top of the machine. My favorite cups to show? My Gaggia Platinum Espresso Cups, of course!
| Removable Water Reservoir |
Gaggia designed the location of the water reservoir in what I think is even more perfect than the location of the bypass doser. It's located on the side. Simply pull the reservoir out, refill it, and reinsert it into the machine. Now it's even easier to fit your machine under your kitchen cabinets – you won't have to lift anything up out of it! Oh, the machine will tell you when it needs a refill as well.
| Removable Brewing Unit |
Another great feature is the removable brewing unit. I'm obsessive about keeping my Swing Up in working order, and this feature helps make that possible. Just rinse the brew group under running water to remove any coffee oils and residue. It locks easily back into place, without any force at all. All the Platinum machines include brew group lubricant.
| Ceramic Coffee Grinder |
Quiet grinding, high performance, and a consistent grind are what you can expect from any Gaggia Platinum machine. The grinder's ceramic construction ensures the machine's longevity and always results in flavorful coffee.
| Revolving Pannarello Wand |
The revolving pannarello wand fits any size frothing pitcher. It's always ready to deliver hot water or steam for any drink you need to make.
I can honestly say that my mornings have never been the same since I discovered my Gaggia Platinum Swing Up. A great tasting cup of espresso with impeccable crema practically appears in my hand before I even realize I'm awake, and always without incident. Take a good long look at the Gaggia Platinum Line, and you'll find the one that's best for you. Once you've found it, you may find yourself waking up earlier in the morning, just to make time for an extra cup.
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