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Question Submitted by maureen c
Product Manual click to open/closeopen and close answer
Question Submitted by Adam Dean
What do I do if my coffee flow is reduced or stopped altogether? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • There are several possible causes of this problem. Please follow the instructions below to determine the cause:

    1. Turn the machine on.
    2. Let the machine heat up as usual.
    3. When the machine is hot, open the steam knob and then turn on the brew switch. You should hear the pump operate and you should see a constant stream of water exiting out of the steam wand. Turn off the brew switch and close the steam knob.
    4. If you did see a constant stream of water exiting out of the steam wand, proceed to step 5. If you do not see a constant stream of water exiting out of the steam wand, then there is most likely a problem with the pump. If this is the case, go to Solution 2.
    5. Without any coffee in the portafilter, lock it in place on the group head.
    6. Turn on the brew switch. If the machine cannot produce 2 oz of water in a 20 second brew cycle, the group head needs to be cleaned. If this is the case, follow Solution 1.

    Solution 1: Clean the grouphead:

    1. Ensure that the brew switch and steam knob are turned off and the machine is cold.
    2. Unplug the machine.
    3. Remove the reservoir, drip tray and drip pan and carefully lay the machine on its back.
    4. Use a short Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the shower screen. It is fastened into the group head with a chrome Phillips-head screw (if you damage the shower screen and/or screw, we have replacements available and they are not too expensive).
    5. Under the shower screen you will see the “Shower Holding Plate” that is held in place with 2 Allen screws. Remove the 2 Allen screws with a 5mm Allen wrench. Note: If the shower holding plate comes out after removing the 2 Allen screws, skip to step 6.
    If the shower holding plate does not come out after removing the 2 Allen screws, use a large flat blade screwdriver to gently pry out the Shower Holding Plate. Note: Be careful not to damage the ridge that the shower screen fits up into. If it still does not come out, you may need to apply some descaler solution in the gaps with a turkey baster or something similar. Be careful not to break or scratch the holding plate, but if this piece is damaged, you can purchase a replacement from us, and it is relatively inexpensive.
    6. Soak the shower holding plate and shower screen in descaler and use an old toothbrush or group brush to clean the shower screen. DO NOT push a pin through the holes in the screen. It can cause future clogs because it will enlarge the small holes.
    7. Rinse the parts thoroughly.
    8. Replace the Shower Holding Plate and Shower Screen.
    9. Tip the unit back up and replace the drip pan, drip tray and water reservoir.
    10. Fill the reservoir and plug the machine in and your machine should be ready to brew again.

    Solution 2

    If there is a problem with the pump, please call us to set up the machine for repair. We are an authorized repair center and can accept your machine for a repair.

    Comments (2)


    03/05/10 at 10:58 PM by Donna Greene
    I've tried all of it, too. This time it was working pretty well until I used Cleancaf and then the flow slowed way down and eventually stopped.

    10/11/09 at 03:42 AM by Sarah Dyer
    I've tried all this. Water does flow out of steam nozzle, but water still flowing to slow out of brew head. This prob keeps happening. What's wrong?

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Question Submitted by Adam Dean
The pump is loud and no water comes out of the steam wand or group head click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • There are several possible causes of this problem. Please follow the instructions below to solve it.

    Solution 1

    The The most common solution to this problem is to re-prime your machine. If the water tank runs out or becomes low, or if the water inlet tube floats up in the reservoir and brings in air, it can cause a bubble of air to get caught in the pump. Follow these steps to resolve the issue:

    1. Unplug the machine and allow it to cool completely.
    2. First you need to get a turkey baster or something that can inject water with some pressure. If you do not have anything suitable please call us to order a priming pump.
    3. Look into the reservoir and find the soft tubes. There is usually 1 or 2. You will need to locate the inlet tube. It is usually the longer tube with a V-shaped cut or angled cut at the end. This is the tube you are going to inject water into. NOTE: if your machine has a water softener on it, remove this while priming.
    4. Plug in your machine and turn it on.
    5. Fill the turkey baster or priming pump with water.
    6. Open the steam knob.
    7. Press the brewing button. Note: Some models will need to have the steam and brew buttons depressed in order to have water only come out of the steam wand.
    8. Now the pump will activate. Quickly make a tight seal with the priming pump/turkey baster and the inlet tube and force water into the tube.
    9. As soon as you have injected the water, turn the pump off by turning off the brewing button (we recommend doing this step 2-3 times before going on to the next step).
    10. Once you see water being pulled through the machine, replace the tube into a FULL water reservoir and let the water run out of the steam wand for 1 minute or until you no longer see sputtering. Your machine is now re-primed and ready to use again.

    Solution 2

    The second most common solution to this problem is that your pump has become dislodged from its mount. You may be able to reset it yourself at home. Do not perform this if your machine is still within its warranty period. Please call our technical help line for instructions.

    Solution 3

    If the first two solutions do not work, you may need a new pump. Please call us to set up a repair.

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Question Submitted by Tech Kathy
My machine powers on but it won't heat up click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The most common solution to this problem is to replace one of the thermostats. Your machine has one thermostat for steaming and one for brewing. To determine which thermostat you need to replace, follow these instructions:

    1. Turn the machine on.
    2. Immediately put the machine into steam mode.
    3. Wait 20 minutes.
    4. Open the steam valve.
    5. If you get steam, you need a new brew thermostat. If you do not get steam, you need a new steam thermostat. Call us to order a replacement.

    When you are ready to install a new thermostat, follow these instructions:

    1. Unplug your machine.
    2. Remove the top panel on the machine as follows:

    Gaggia Classic- Remove the 2 screws on the top.

    Gaggia Baby and Baby D- Remove the single long screw in the funnel that leads to the reservoir. Then pull straight up on the steam knob. Under it is another screw that must be removed. Then lift off the top.

    3. Double check to make sure that it the machine is not plugged in.
    4. With the top of the machine removed, you can see the brew boiler. It is the large, silver component right over the brew group with all of the wires going to it. Note: Your machine has 2 thermostats. One for steaming and one for brewing. The one at the back of the top of the boiler is the steam thermostat. The one at the bottom left side of the boiler is the brew thermostat.
    5. Remove the 2 wires that are attached to the thermostat and use a wrench on the brass part of the thermostat to unscrew it.
    6. Put a little heat transfer compound on the bottom of the new thermostat and carefully screw it back into place. Note: To tighten it, turn the brass part of the thermostat only. Be sure it is snug, but do not to overtighten it.
    7. Insert the 2 wires on the thermostat.
    8. Replace the top panel and screws.
    9. Turn the main power switch on and test it out.

    If this did not solve the problem, please call us to set up the machine for repair. We are an authorized repair center and can accept your machine for a repair.

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Question Submitted by Tech Kathy
What do I do if my machine leaks around the portafilter while brewing? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • There are several possible causes of this problem. Please follow the instructions below to solve it.

    Solution 1

    This problem can occur if the metal filter basket in the portafilter is damaged around the edges, or if coffee has built-up on the edges. Ensure that your filter basket is clean around the edges, and if it is damaged, replacements are available on our Parts Page below.

    Solution 2

    The most common solution to this problem is to replace the group head gasket. You should install a new about once a year. It is easy to install and you can do it from home. First, you will need to get a new gasket. Please call us to order, or visit our parts page linked below. The gasket is a large, black circular rubber piece in the group head. This is where your machine makes a seal for pressure brewing. To replace it, follow these instructions:

    1. Unplug the machine.
    2. Remove the reservoir, drip tray and drip pan and carefully lay the machine on its back.
    3. Use a short Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the shower screen (if you damage the shower screen and/or screw, we have replacements available and they are not too expensive).
    4. Under the shower screen you will see the “Shower Holding Plate” that is held in place with 2 Allen screws. Remove the 2 Allen screws with a 5mm Allen wrench. Note: If the shower holding plate comes out after removing the 2 Allen screws, skip to step 6.
    If the shower holding plate does not come out after removing the 2 Allen screws, use a large flat blade screwdriver to gently pry out the Shower Holding Plate. Note: Be careful not to damage the ridge that the shower screen fits up into. If it still does not come out, you may need to apply some descaler solution in the gaps with a turkey baster or something similar. Be careful not to break or scratch the holding plate, but if this piece is damaged, you can purchase a replacement from us, and it is relatively inexpensive.
    5. Now locate the group gasket. It is a black rubber ring. You need to pry off the rubber gasket. It should easily come out. If it does, skip to step 8.
    6. If the rubber gasket is difficult to remove by hand, find a couple of screws that you might have lying around. They do not have to be any special size, but a sheet metal screw with a 5/16-inch or 1/4-inch six sided head and a ratchet works best. Screw them into the old gasket. Make sure that they are across from each other. Note: Do not screw them in completely through the gasket—just screw them in far enough to get a good grip. You can judge this by looking at the new gasket you are going to install. The gasket depth is about 5/16-inch.
    7. Use pliers to pull on the screws and work the old gasket out. Pull one side and then the other until it comes out.
    8. At this point, it is a good idea to clean the shower screen and group head. DO NOT use a pin to clean out the holes in the shower screen. It can cause future clogs because it will enlarge the small holes.
    9. Clean and dry the slot in the machine that the gasket fits into.
    10. Slide a new gasket into place.
    11. Replace the Shower Holding Plate and Shower Screen.
    12. Tip the unit back up and install the drip pan, drip tray and water reservoir.
    Fill the reservoir and plug the machine in and your machine should be ready to brew again.

    Parts Page

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Question Submitted by Tech Kathy
How do I change my group gasket? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • You should install a new group gasket about once a year. It is easy to install and you can do it from home. First, you will need to get a new gasket. Please call us to order, or visit our parts page linked below. The gasket is a large, black circular rubber piece in the group head. This is where your machine makes a seal for pressure brewing. To replace it, follow these instructions:

    1. Unplug the machine.
    2. Remove the reservoir, drip tray and drip pan and carefully lay the machine on its back.
    3. Use a short Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the shower screen (if you damage the shower screen and/or screw, we have replacements available and they are not too expensive).
    4. Under the shower screen you will see the “Shower Holding Plate” that is held in place with 2 Allen screws. Remove the 2 Allen screws with a 5mm Allen wrench. Note: If the shower holding plate comes out after removing the 2 Allen screws, skip to step 6.
    If the shower holding plate does not come out after removing the 2 Allen screws, use a large flat blade screwdriver to gently pry out the Shower Holding Plate. Note: Be careful not to damage the ridge that the shower screen fits up into. If it still does not come out, you may need to apply some descaler solution in the gaps with a turkey baster or something similar. Be careful not to break or scratch the holding plate, but if this piece is damaged, you can purchase a replacement from us, and it is relatively inexpensive.
    5. Now locate the group gasket. It is a black rubber ring. You need to pry off the rubber gasket. It should easily come out. If it does, skip to step 8.
    6. If the rubber gasket is difficult to remove by hand, find a couple of screws that you might have lying around. They do not have to be any special size, but a sheet metal screw with a 5/16-inch or 1/4-inch six sided head and a ratchet works best. Screw them into the old gasket. Make sure that they are across from each other. Note: Do not screw them in completely through the gasket—just screw them in far enough to get a good grip. You can judge this by looking at the new gasket you are going to install. The gasket depth is about 5/16-inch.
    7. Use pliers to pull on the screws and work the old gasket out. Pull one side and then the other until it comes out.
    8. At this point, it is a good idea to clean the shower screen and group head. DO NOT use a pin to clean out the holes in the shower screen. It can cause future clogs because it will enlarge the small holes.
    9. Clean and dry the slot in the machine that the gasket fits into.
    10. Slide a new gasket into place.
    11. Replace the Shower Holding Plate and Shower Screen.
    12. Tip the unit back up and install the drip pan, drip tray and water reservoir.
    13. Fill the reservoir and plug the machine in and your machine should be ready to brew again.

    Parts Page

    Comments (1)


    05/21/10 at 05:30 PM by Richard Fowler
    If the shower plate is stuck then get an ~ 1 inch x 5mm screw. Screw this through the center hole and it will push the plate up.

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Question Submitted by Tech Kathy
My steam wand still heats the milk but it won't froth click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • There are several possible causes of this problem. Please follow the instructions below to solve it.

    Solution 1

    The most common solution to this problem is to ensure that the inner piece of the frothing wand is properly in place. To do this, follow these instructions:

    Click here for a diagram
    Note: Your wand may look slightly different than the wand pictured in the diagram, but the same instructions apply.

    1) Remove the black plastic outer sleeve of the Frothing Wand (some models have a metal outer sleeve). If done correctly, the “sleeve” has been removed, but the inner wand with red or black washer, is still connected to the machine.
    2) The part of the sleeve assembly that you have removed is comprised of 2 pieces, the frothing sleeve and the center piece. The center piece can be seen if you look into the top of the wand.
    3) Using a pencil (eraser end), or similar shaped object, push down on the center piece until an audible “click” is heard. The “click” means that the centerpiece is back into the proper position. When in the proper position, the center piece visibly sticks out the bottom of the sleeve about ¼-inch. It looks like a bird beak.
    4) Now put the sleeve back on the machine and your machine should be ready to froth again.
    Note: To prevent clogging, purge the steam wand after frothing milk and wipe off any excess milk with a wet cloth. We still recommend a thorough cleaning periodically as the milk can still build up inside the wand. The wand can easily be taken totally apart for cleaning.

    Solution 2

    The second most common solution to this problem is that the pinhole near the tip of the Frothing Wand has become clogged. If this happens, the machine will heat the milk but no froth will form. To fix this, follow these instructions:

    1) Remove the black plastic outer sleeve of the Frothing Wand (some models have a metal outer sleeve). If done correctly, the “sleeve” has been removed, but the inner wand with red or black washer, is still connected to the machine.
    2) Hold the Frothing Wand in your hand so you can see the top portion clearly (the top being the part that usually attaches to the machine, and the bottom is the part that goes into the milk).
    3) There is a single pinhole on the side of the Frothing Wand about ¼-inch down from the top. It is very small—literally a pinhole. You will need to clear this out. A sewing needle or pushpin is small enough to fit through. Make sure this is thoroughly cleaned out.
    4) Now put the sleeve back on the machine and your machine should be ready to froth again.
    Note: To prevent clogging, purge the steam wand after frothing milk and wipe off any excess milk with a wet cloth. We still recommend a thorough cleaning periodically as the milk can still build up inside the wand. The wand can easily be taken totally apart for cleaning.

    Solution 3

    If the first two solutions do not work, you may need to replace your frothing wand. Visit our Parts page below to purchase a replacement.

    Parts Page

    Comments (2)


    10/12/09 at 06:30 PM by Darren Ruffell
    As long as you are purging and wiping down immediately you should not have to remove after every use. I’d recommend soaking it in a dish detergent once a week for a ½ hr or so and then rinsing thoroughly. Hope this helps. Happy Brewing.

    01/22/09 at 07:36 PM by Brian Stone
    If you purge the wand and wipe it down immediately does it still need to be removed and cleaned after every use?

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Question Submitted by Tech Kathy
Why does my wand fly off while I’m frothing? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • There are several possible causes of this problem. Please follow the instructions below to solve it.

    Solution 1

    The most common solution to this problem is to ensure that your wand is installed properly. To do this, follow these instructions:

    Click here for a diagram
    Note: Your wand may look slightly different than the wand pictured in the diagram, but the same instructions apply.

    1. Slide the Nut (#1 in the diagram) up onto the steam wand with the threads facing down.
    2. Slide the Hard Plastic Gasket (#2) up with the flat edge facing down. There is a rounded edge on the gasket as well as a flat edge. The flat edge should face down.
    3. Slide the Soft Rubber Gasket (#3) up onto the steam wand. If your wand has a ribbed area or lines in the steam wand, position the gasket on this area for a good grip.
    4. Slide the Inner Wand (#4) onto the steam wand until it stops. Make sure the inner wand is as far up as it can go (even if you have to push the rubber gasket (#3) up slightly farther).
    5. Tighten the Nut (#1) down firmly onto the Inner Wand (4). You will have to hold the Inner Wand (4) as you are tightening the nut (#1). Note: Do not tighten the nut too much, as it may crack.
    6. Slide the Frothing Sleeve (#5) onto the Inner Wand (#4) all the way up until it stops.

    Solution 2

    Another possible cause of this problem is that you may be missing the soft rubber gasket (#3). Please call us to order a new wand or visit our parts page below.

    Solution 3

    Another possible cause of this problem is that the rubber gasket (#3) may be worn out and needs to be replaced. Please call us to order a new wand or visit our parts page below.

    Parts Page

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Question Submitted by Tech Kathy
My machine will not power on click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The most common solution to this problem is to replace a fuse in your machine. This is a relatively simple process that only requires a few tools. Please call us to order fuse DM1040. When you are ready to install this fuse, follow these instructions:

    1. Unplug your machine.
    2. Remove the top panel on the machine as follows:

    Gaggia Classic and Gaggia Coffee- Remove the 2 screws on the top.

    Gaggia Carezza
    a) Remove the single screw in the funnel that leads to the reservoir.
    b) Remove the screw on top of the steam knob.
    c) Remove the steam knob.

    Gaggia Espresso- Remove the single long screw in the funnel that leads to the reservoir. Note: Be careful when removing the top of the Gaggia Espresso, do not force it or it may crack.

    3. With the top of the machine removed, you can see the brew boiler. It is the large, silver component right over the brew group with all of the wires going to it.
    4. Locate the Phillips-head screw on top of the boiler that is holding down a brass-colored clip. It should be on the left-hand side if you are facing the front of the machine.
    5. Under the brass-colored clip, locate the semi-clear soft tube with wires coming out of both ends of it. The fuse link is in this soft tube.
    6. Remove the Phillips-head screw and cut the 2 small plastic ties at either end of the rubber tube.
    7. Slide the rubber tube toward the front of the machine. You may have to move the switches on the machine if they are in the way. You will also have to cut 2 or three plastic ties that hold the wires together so that you may move the rubber tube forward.
    8. Leave the rubber tube on the wires so that you can slide it back over the new fuse.
    9. Taking note of where each wire connects to the, cut the wires that lead to both sides of the fuse. Note: Cut it very close to the existing crimp connector so that the wires will not be overly shortened.
    10. Strip the wires that you just cut back about ¼-inch. This will expose the metal part of the wires.
    11. Before you install the new fuse, make sure that that the rubber tube will be long enough to cover the whole fuse and that it connects with at least ¼-inch to spare. Cut the fuse shorter if necessary.
    12. Install the new fuse (it does not matter which way it faces) using the crimp connectors provided. The connectors are 2 different sizes. The small one is for the single wire from the front of the boiler and the larger connector is for the 2 wires coming from the back of the boiler.
    13. Crimp the connectors onto the wire and fuse firmly, but not so firm as to cut the connector.
    14. Gently tug on the fuse and the wire to make sure that there is no movement and the connection is secure.
    15. Slide the rubber tube over the fuse. Note: Make sure that that all exposed wires and the fuse are inside of the rubber tube.
    16. Install new wire zip ties on the ends of the fuse link and replace any that where cut when moving the rubber tube.
    17. Replace the brass-colored clip and Phillips-head screw, making sure that the fat part of the fuse link is located under the clip.
    18. Make sure that the fuse and rubber tube are securely held in place by the clip. Put the machine back together, plug it in and test it out.

    If this solution does not work, please call us to set up the machine for repair. We are an authorized repair center.

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Question Submitted by Tech Kathy
How do I clean the shower screen? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The shower screen is located right above where the portafilter attaches to the brew group. It is used to evenly disperse water over the coffee grounds when you brew. As a daily maintenance routine, you should remove the portafilter after brewing and then press the brew button for a few seconds to let the water clean off any grounds that may be stuck to the screen.

    More thorough cleaning should be done about once every other week to keep the machine working at its best. To clean the shower screen thoroughly, follow these instructions:

    1. Use a short Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the screw in the center of the shower screen. The shower screen should fall out into your hand.
    2. Soak the screen and screw in descaler and use an old toothbrush or group brush to clean them. DO NOT push a pin through the holes in the screen. It can cause future clogs because it will enlarge the small holes.
    3. Rinse the shower screen and screw thoroughly.
    4. Replace the shower screen and screw.

    Gaggia Shower Screen

    Group Brush

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Question Submitted by Tech Kathy
How do I descale/decalcify my machine? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • First, descaling and decalcifying are the same thing. When you descale your machine, you are removing the calcium and mineral build-up in the boiler, brew group, frothing wand, and other related parts. You should descale your machine every 2-3 months. If you use reverse osmosis water or distilled water, you should descale about every 5-6 months.

    The first thing you will need is a descaling agent. Urnex Cleancaf or Durgol are the best for almost all espresso machines and coffee makers. Do NOT just use any product that claims to remove calcium and lime. Many products you can purchase at the local store can be harsh enough to ruin your boiler and cause leaks. Some are even poisonous. CLR or Dip it! are general descalers and are made more for coffee carafes. Lemon juice or vinegar can be absorbed into some of the components of the machine causing a very sour taste. Make sure the cleaner that you select is specifically for espresso machines and/or coffee machines.

    To descale your machine, follow these steps:

    1) Remove the machine’s water reservoir.
    2) Empty all liquid from the reservoir.
    3) Mix the cleaner/descaler according to the manufacturer’s directions.
    4) Return the water reservoir to the machine.
    5) Turn the machine on.
    6) Place a large container underneath the steam wand to collect the decalcifying solution.
    7) Place another small container underneath the brew spout to collect more of the decalcifying solution.
    8) Set up your machine so that hot water -NOT steam- will be emitted from the steam wand when the steam valve is opened.
    9) To start the decalcifying process, press the "brew" button (some models must have the brew and steam buttons pressed in order for water to exit the wand only).
    10) While pressing the "brew" button, open the steam valve.
    11) Allow about 8 oz of water to be dispensed from the machine.
    12) Turn off the brew button.
    13) Close the steam valve.
    14) Allow the machine to sit for the amount of time specified on the cleaner packaging. If no time is specified, 5-6 minutes is usually enough.
    15) Repeat steps 9 through 14 until all of the decalcifying solution has drained into the containers.
    16) Remove the containers and discard the collected liquid.
    17) Rinse the water reservoir thoroughly and then fill it with your usual water for brewing.
    18) Place the water reservoir back in its normal position.
    19) Rinse out the decalcifying solution by repeating steps 6 through 10 until the water reservoir is empty again. You can repeat the rinsing cycle if you wish.

    Your machine should now be ready to brew again.

    Why Decalcify?

    Cleaning Products page

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Question Submitted by daniel harris
How can I get the best grind for espresso? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • I would recommend a more powerful grinder that can offer a consistent, finer grind. Many grinders under $50 can grind for the occasional espresso, but should be used primarily for drip coffee and French press. Prices for heavier-duty espresso grinders start at about $70, and usually have a low-speed, gear-reduction motor or a low-speed, direct drive motor. For an espresso grinder that can offer the consistency that you need to get the great shot that your espresso machine is capable of providing, you should consider the Gaggia MDF. This is the grinder designed to match Gaggia machines. For more information on the different types of grinders, please read our article I have attached below, titled "Coffee Grinder Buying Guide."

    As an alternative, you could buy vacuum-sealed containers and have someone grind your espresso into those for you to try and keep your ground coffee as fresh as possible.

    In regards to your question about the perfect crema device, it has been discontinued due to its inconsistency, as it required quite a bit of adjustment before it yielded ideal results. For the best espresso, follow what we call "The Golden Rule," which I have attached for you below. One final note- if you haven’t already, I recommend investing in a 58mm tamper. This will also help you to get a more even shot.

    Coffee Grinder Buying Guide
    The Golden Rule
    Tampers
    Vacuum Coffee Saver
    Gaggia MDF

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Question Submitted by Michael Moore
What is the warranty on refurbished machines? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Refurbished machines, excluding Capresso models, come with a six-month warranty covering limited parts and labor through Whole Latte Love. Before a machine can be offered through the Outlet, our technical staff carefully inspects it to ensure it is in perfect working order, so you can always be sure you’re getting the best in quality and performance. Each refurbished machine comes complete with all components that are necessary for proper use.

    Capresso refurbished machines come with a full one-year warranty and all repairs will go directly through the manufacturer. Before these machines were made available for resale, Capresso’s own technicians carefully inspected each machine to ensure it is in perfect working order. Each refurbished Capresso machine comes complete with all the accessories that normally come with a new product.

    For more information on our refurbished machines, please read the article linked below and visit the Whole Latte Love Outlet.

    Whole Latte Love Refurbs

    Whole Latte Love Outlet

    Comments (1)


    09/28/09 at 08:10 PM by rino venditti
    my machine says "ventilate" every once in a while, and i have to run hot water for a while, sometimes 2 cups before it is ready. why?

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Question Submitted by Erik Langsjoen
Can it make 2 cups at a time? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The portafilter on the Gaggia Classic has 2 spouts, making it possible to brew your shot into 2 cups at a time. However, it will simply be splitting your shot into 2 cups, not actually brewing 2 separate shots.

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Question Submitted by Ricardo Legazpy
The grounds are sticking to the shower screen. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • It still sounds like you’re adding too much coffee to the portafilter. Make sure you’re using level scoops of coffee, as a heaping amount will prove to be too much. In addition, you should only add 1 scoop when you’re using the single shot basket and 2 scoops when you’re using the double shot basket.

    Add A Comment


Question Submitted by Kevin Ahern
Can I leave it on when I'm not using it? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • I would probably recommend turning the machine off if it will go unused for more than an hour or so. This is because the machine does not have an auto-fill funtion on the boiler, so as the water evaporates over time the machine will not refill itself, which can potentially cause some serious issues. However, the Classic does heat up fairly quickly (about 6 minutes), so reheating shouldn’t be a huge time problem.

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Question Submitted by Nigel Gan
The coffee isn't very hot. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • There are a few things that will help get your espresso hot. The first, which you mentioned, is letting the machine heat up a little longer before you use it. Make sure that the temperature ready light comes on before you try to use the machine. After the machine says its up to temperature, you’ll also want to run a "blank shot". This is simply activating the brew function while the empty portafilter is in place to allow hot water to come through the brew group and portafilter. In addition, you should preheat the cup you’ll be brewing into with hot water. Cold brew groups, portafilters, and cups will absorb the heat from your espresso, making it colder and reducing the amount of crema you get. Preheating all of these components prevents that from happening and helps you to get the perfect shot.

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Question Submitted by Kathleen Biro
Will using bottled water reduce the need to decalcify? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Not all bottled water has a low calcium content - you’ll want to read the label to be sure. However, no matter how much calcium is in the water, it is still recommended that you descale the machine every 3 months or so depending on use. This is will simply help to keep the machine clean and prevent problems down the road.

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Question Submitted by David Barrett
How do you switch between brewing with ground coffee and pods? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • To brew using pods with this machine, you’ll want to make sure the single shot filter basket is in the portafilter. This basket has been specially designed to accommodate both ground coffee and ESE certified pods. However, make sure you’re not using the double shot filter basket for pods, as it will not be able to brew with them properly and is only designed for use with ground coffee.

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Question Submitted by Michael Caruso
My shot brews too fast. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Assuming that you’re using the appropriate amount of ground coffee (14 grams for a double shot, 7 grams for a single shot) and consistently tamping with 30 lbs of pressure according to the Golden Rule, you would want to change your grind to a finer setting. If you are using a preground coffee and are unable to change the fineness of your grind, you will want to tamp with more force. For more information on the Golden Rule and other troubleshooting tips for brwing espresso, follow the links below to our articles on the subject.

    Articles

  • Golden Rule
  • Rituals of Making Espresso
  • Add A Comment


Question Submitted by Dennis Farrall
Water leaks from where the steam wand meets the machine. click to open/closeopen and close answer
Question Submitted by Ed Buzalsky
Is there a stainless steel frothing tip available? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Unfortunately, we do not have any stainless steel frothing tips that would fit the Classic.

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Question Submitted by Bill Puetz
Gaggia Baby D vs. Gaggia Classic click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • There are 2 main differences between these machines: their brewing controls and their housing materials. The Baby D has 2 programmable brewing buttons that allow you to program the machine do produce a specific liquid volume of coffee and then stop the brewing process automatically. On the other hand, the Classic features rocker switch controls that you press once to start brewing and again to stop. However, you can also have this type of manual control over brewing with the Baby D as it features a manual brewing button as well. In addition, the Baby D has a sparkly silver ABS plastic housing, whereas the Classic features a stainless steel housing. The rest of the components in each of these machines is identical, and since neither of their distinguising features will make a difference in the quality of coffee you can produce, your decision between the machine should be based on which of the features we mentioned here is more appealing to you.

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Question Submitted by James Culley
Can I run the pump for more than 25 seconds? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Although leaving it on for 60 seconds or so won’t really hurt the pump, it can make for some sub-par espresso. I would recommend being extra careful with your tamp pressure or using a preground coffee to compensate until you can purchase another grinder. However, please keep in mind that leaving the pump running for extended periods of time can cause major problems - specifically if it drains all the water from the boiler and runs dry. And when you’re ready to buy, take a look at the Gaggia MDF - It will work perfectly with this machine. You can learn more about the Gaggia MDF by following the link below.

    Products

  • Gaggia MDF
  • Add A Comment


Question Submitted by LAWRENCE KERNAN
How to make your steam knob easier to grip. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Thank you very much for the great info. This is a great solution that will certainly be useful for other Classic users.

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Question Submitted by Diane Lipman
Only water comes out of the wand when I try to steam. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • When you’re steaming, you only want to have the steam button pressed down before opening the steam valve. This is different from dispensing hot water from the machine, which requires that you press both the steam and brew buttons. When you want to steam, please also be sure that after you’ve pressed the steam button you’ve let the machine to heat to steam temperature (it will let you know it’s ready when the temperature ready light turns on) before opening the steam valve. If the machine isn’t properly heated, it will simply dispense hot water.

    http://www.wholelattelove.com/showVideos.cfm?itemID=35

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Question Submitted by francesca messina
Gaggia Coffee de Luxe vs. Gaggia Classic click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • There are 3 main differences between the Coffee de Luxe and the Classic, the first of which is that the Classic has a 3-way solenoid valve. This valve releases excess pressure and water from the brew group after brewing and deposits it in the drip tray. Since the Coffee de Luxe doesn’t have this feature, you’ll simply need to wait a few seconds before removing the portafilter after brewing to let the brew group naturally depressurize.

    The second difference is that the Coffee de Luxe has an auto frothing attachment in addition to its Turbo Frother. The Classic is only equipped with the Turbo Frother. The third difference is the housing material for each machine - the Classic has a stainless steel body, whereas the Coffee de Luxe is housed in enameled carbon steel.

    None of these things will have an effect on the quality of the coffee these machines can brew - internally they’re virtually identical - so your decision will come down to which features will suit you best.

    http://www.wholelattelove.com/Compare.cfm?next=1

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Question Submitted by Dale Saffir
Can you use it in a retail setting? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • This machine is intended for home use only and would not be able to handle the capacity you would need for a commercial setting. We do not currently carry any machines that would handle the volume you’d be expecting, but I would recommend contacting a manufacturer like Rancilio at 877-726-2454. They produce a full commercial line and would be happy to provide you with all the information you’ll need.

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Question Submitted by Beth Taylor
I can't get milk hot when I steam for my second cup. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • It sounds like you may not be letting the machine refill and reheat after steaming the first time. Since the Gaggia’s boiler has only a 3.5 oz capacity, this will be necessary between steaming. When you’re done with the first cup, close the steam valve. When the temperature ready light comes back on, you should be all set to steam for your second cup.

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Question Submitted by Brian Kaplan
Can you brew with 2 pods at once? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Pod filter baskets are only designed for use with one pod at a time, and if you used 2, the results would be sub-par at best. I would recommend brewing 2 separate shots, as this will produce the best results with the pods.

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Question Submitted by Abraham Eastwood
Where can I get a replacement steam knob? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Steam knobs are available directly through us. You can order online by following the link below or call us at 888-411-5282 to place your order.

    Products

  • Gaggia Steam Knobs
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Question Submitted by Robert Vitalis
What size tamper should I use? click to open/closeopen and close answer
Question Submitted by katie umekubo
Can you remove the Turbo Frother to froth manually? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Unforutnately, this would not be possible due to the design of the Gaggia Turbo Frother. When you remove the frothing wand, you are left with a tip that is too short for steaming or frothing.

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Question Submitted by raul vega
What grinders would work well with this machine? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Since the Classic has a commercial style portafilter, it will be particularly sensitive to the fineness of the grinds you’re using. To make sure you get a grinder that will have the range of grind settings you’ll need, I would recommend taking a look at the Gaggia MDF, the Rancilio Rocky, or the Baratza Virtuoso, each of which will work very well with this machine. For more information on these grinders, simply follow the links below. You can also compare these grinders side-by-side when you click on the link to our Compare-O-Matic.

    Products

  • Baratza Virtuoso
  • Gaggia MDF
  • Rancilio Doserless Rocky
  • Rancilio Rocky


  • Compare-O-Matic

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Question Submitted by Eric Goldberg
The screw is stuck in the shower screen. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Since coffee oils come in contact with the shower screen every day, they can sometimes stick that screw into place. I would recommend creating a solution with a teaspoon of Urnex Cleancaf (what you use to descale the machine) and a cup of hot water. Then, using a group brush (or toothbrush), scrub the shower screen with the solution. This should break up any oils and residues that are stuck up there and allow you to remove the screw. If this doesn’t seem to do the trick, please contact us directly at 888-411-5282 for further assistance. You can purchase and learn more about Urnex Cleancaf by following the link below.

    Products

  • Cleancaf by Urnex
  • Add A Comment


Question Submitted by Anders Host-Madsen
The flow rate is too fast. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • It sounds like your Starbucks grinder simply doesn’t grind fine enough for use with the Carezza. Although it probably works well with pressurized style portafilters, the Carezza has a commercial style portafilter that is particularly sensitive to the grind setting you use. As an alternative, we would recommend taking a look at the Gaggia MDF or the Baratza Virtuoso, both of which will perform well with this machine. You can learn more about these grinders by following the links below.

    Products

  • Baratza Virtuoso
  • Gaggia MDF
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Question Submitted by Gary Cooper
Where can I get replacement parts? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Since we’re an authorized Gaggia repair center, we have every part you’ll need. Please contact us at 888-411-5282 to place an order.

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Question Submitted by Brett Kunde
When I leave the machine on, it kicks on and makes noise. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The "kicking on and off" is simply the heating element regulating the temperature in the boiler, and is normal. However, it is not recommend that you leave the machine on for extended periods when it is not being used. This can result in the boiler running dry, which can cause serious problems. We recommend turning the machine off completely if it is not going to be used within half an hour. Since the Coffee de Luxe only takes about 6 minutes to heat up, it won’t take to long to get it going again!

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Question Submitted by Mario Fellini
Gaggia Classic vs Francis X5 click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • If you’re going to be brewing with ground coffee most frequently, I would probably recommend the Gaggia Classic. With its commercial style portafilter, the Classic is designed to work best with ground coffee. Conversely, the Francis X5 was originally developed for pod use, so that is where it really shines.

    There are some other differences between these machines that you may also want to consider. First off, the Francis has a larger boiler than the Classic. However, the Classic has a larger reservoir so you’ll need to refill it less frequently and also features a 3-way solenoid valve that removes excess pressure and water from the brew group after brewing for a drier puck and easier clean-up. And in addition, the Classic has a stainless steel housing versus the Francis’ metal. To see these specs side-by-side, follow the link below to our Compare-O-Matic.

    Compare-O-Matic

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Question Submitted by christopher Davies
The ready light goes out during brewing. Is this normal? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • This is completely normal - it just signifies that the machine is heating the water it’s pulling into the boiler as the already heated water is drawn out for brewing. Once the new water is heated to brew temperature, the ready light will come back on.

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Question Submitted by David Goldfoot
It leaks from the steam wand. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • It sounds like you may need to replace the steam valve. Please call our tech department at 888-411-5282 so that we can thoroughly diagnose the problem and provide you with the appropriate solution.

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Question Submitted by Carole Kuhman
Does it come with an auto frother? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Although the Classic doesn’t come with an auto frother, this is a part you can purchase separately. To place an order, please call us at 888-411-5282.

  • Gaggia Classic
  • Add A Comment


Question Submitted by Darlene Orosz
Where can I get another portafilter? click to open/closeopen and close answer
Question Submitted by John Humphrey
How can I make an americano? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • To make an americano, you’ll pull a double shot and add 6 to 8 oz of water to taste. For information on the types of drinks you can make with this machine, simply follow the link below to our article on the subject.

    Articles

  • What Kind of Drinks Can I Make?
  • Add A Comment


Question Submitted by jennifer franklin
More coffee comes out of one spout than the other when I brew. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • There are several possible causes of this problem. Please follow the instructions below to determine the cause:

    Solution 1

    The most common cause is an uneven tamp. Make sure that you’re not tamping more heavily on one side of the portafilter, as water will try to find its way through the path of least resistance - the more lightly tamped side. If you’ve determined that this isn’t the case, you may want to clean the shower screen. Follow Solution 2 for instructions.

    Solution 2

    The shower screen is located right above where the portafilter attaches to the brew group. It is used to evenly disperse water over the coffee grounds when you brew. As a daily maintenance routine, you should remove the portafilter after brewing and then press the brew button for a few seconds to let the water clean off any grounds that may be stuck to the screen.

    More thorough cleaning should be done about once every other week to keep the machine working at its best. To clean the shower screen thoroughly, follow these instructions:

    1. Use a short Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the screw in the center of the shower screen. The shower screen should fall out into your hand.
    2. Soak the screen and screw in descaler and use an old toothbrush or group brush to clean them. DO NOT push a pin through the holes in the screen. It can cause future clogs because it will enlarge the small holes.
    3. Rinse the shower screen and screw thoroughly.
    4. Replace the shower screen and screw.

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Question Submitted by Lucky Diaz
I get bad shots after steaming. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • It sounds like you may not be letting the machine completely cool back down to brewing temperature after steaming - brewing water that’s too hot will result in an over-extracted and bitter tasting brew. When you’re done steaming, you’ll want to press the steaming button again to exit that function. At this point, you should direct the steam wand toward the drip tray, press the brew/espresso button,and re-open the steam valve to let any remaining steam/hot water out. This is called "purging the boiler". Once the steam turns into just hot water, close the steam knob and wait for the temperature ready light to come back on. The machine should then be back to brew temperature, and ready to go!

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Question Submitted by cynthia phillips
Where can I get my machine serviced? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • We are an authorized Gaggia repair center and would be happy to get your machine up and running again. Please contact our customer service department at 888-411-5282 so that we can arrange for your repair.

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Question Submitted by JOHN MULE'
How should I clean the portafilter after brewing? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Acutally, I would recommend doing both. Rinsing the portafilter first will help to maintain its temperature stability while cleaning out most of the grounds, and wiping it out afterward will remove any straggling grounds and dry the portafilter out so it’s easier to dose for the next shot.

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Question Submitted by will bullard
What are the weight and dimensions? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The Gaggia Classic weighs in at 20 lbs and stands 14.25"H x 8"W x 9.5"D . You can find information like this for any of the machines we carry by following the link below to our Compare-O-Matic.

    Compare-O-Matic

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Question Submitted by mike york
After cleaning the portafilter, my coffee has a bad taste. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The bad taste that you’re noticing is more the likely the cleaning solution that your friend used to clean the machine. We suggest that you flush the machine out with hot water thoroughly, descale it with a cleaner like Cleancaf, and take your brew group apart to clean each individual piece. Once your replace all of those components, flush your machine with hot water again to get everything back to where it should be. We suggest that you at least descale the machine and clean the brew group and shower screen every 3 months or so to keep it in good working condition. You can learn more about Urnex Cleancaf by following the links below. To request instructions on performing any of the procedures listed above, please contact us directly at 888-411-5282.

    Products

  • Cleancaf by Urnex
  • Add A Comment


Question Submitted by allen grossman
Will the all-metal portafilter fit my old machine? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The Gaggia portafilter with the metal spouts we carry we certainly fit your older machine. You can purchase this item on our website by following the link below or by calling us at 888-411-5282.

    Products

  • Gaggia Portafilter Handle w/ Metal Spouts
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Question Submitted by Jennifer Mahon
I'm not getting much crema. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • There are several things that go into getting great crema on your shots, the first of which is the coffee. Grinding your own beans immediately before brewing is the optimal situation and will help to produce more crema. The age of your beans can also be a factor, so you’ll want to take this into account as well. You’ll also want to make sure you’re adhering to the Golden Rule when brewing - for a double shot, using 14 grams of coffee you should get 2 to 2.5 oz of espresso in 20 to 25 seconds.

    However, one of the largest contributors to crema is temperature - a cold cup, group head, or portafilter will dramatically decrease the amount of crema you see. I would recommend both preheating your cups by rinsing them with hot water and running a "blank shot" prior to brewing. To pull a blank shot, simply attach the empty portafilter to the machine and activate brewing for a few seconds. This will ensure the group head and portafilter are up to brew temperature. Combining this with the preheated cups will prevent these components from absorbing the heat (and thereby decreasing your crema) from your espresso. For more information on what goes into the perfect shot, follow the links below to our articles on the subject.

    Articles

  • Golden Rule
  • Rituals of Making Espresso
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Question Submitted by Jake Smith
When I attach the portafilter, it stops left of center. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • As long as you have a tight seal and aren’t getting leakage when you brew, this is okay. The ability to twist the portafilter to center and right of center will come as you use the machine more and the group gasket becomes more pliable. If you’re noticing any leakage during brewing, it may be that the gasket is not seated properly. In this case, please contact us at 888-411-5282 for further assistance.

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Question Submitted by
Which priming option is best? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Gaggia recommends priming through the both the brew group and steam wand. It only takes a few seconds and is easy to do. Priming through the brew group ensures that your first cup of espresso will be brewed with only water, no steam. Priming through the steam wand ensures that the boiler is completly full of water since the tube that leads to the steam wand connects at the top of the boiler. To prime the brew group and steam wand turn on the brew switch and open the steam knob. When you get about an ounce of water through through the steam wand close the knob and run about 1 ounce through the brew group, then turn off the brew switch.

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Question Submitted by
Can you make an 8 oz cup? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • For a cappuccino or latte, you will actually only use a double shot of espresso. A cappuccino is made with a double shot of espresso, about 3 oz of steamed milk, and 3 oz of frothed milk. A latte is made with a double shot of espresso and about 6 oz. of steamed milk. To learn more about the types of drinks you can make with this machine, click on the link below to our article on the subject.

    You can pull as much water through as you would like during the brewing process, however if you were to do so, you would want to use a coarser grind than for a standard shot so that it isn’t overextracted and bitter. This type of drink is actually called a Cafe Crema, and is known as the drink that convinces drip coffee lovers to go for an espresso machine. The Gaggia Classic can fit cups up to 3.25 inches in height underneath its portafilter, so you’ll be able to brew into any cup that is that height or shorter.

    Articles

  • What Kind of Drinks Can I Make? (08/20/03)
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Question Submitted by
Does this machine come in 220v? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Unfortunately, we do not carry any of our espresso machines in 220v. I would recommend contacting Gaggia’s International offices for information on 220v availability abroad.

    Gaggia Italy

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Question Submitted by
What factors affect how soupy my puck is after brewing? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • This variation in soupiness that you’re seeing is a result of changing your grind setting. when a grind is too fine, the solenoid valve is unable to remove as much water as it can with a coarser ground coffee. This result doesn’t really matter, but the change in the grind setting will definitely alter the flow of your coffee and change the timing of the pour. I hope this answers your question and feel free to contact us again with any further inquiries.

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Question Submitted by
Can I put my portafilter in the dishwasher? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • It is not recommended that you put your portafilter in the dishwasher. On a daily basis, you’ll want to rinse the portafilter and wipe it out with a paper towel or cloth after brewing to make sure any coffee grounds are removed. When you go to descale the machine (every 3 months or so, depending on use), you should soak the portafilter head and filter baskets in a solution of hot water and a tablespoon of descaler, like Urnex Cleancaf. This will work well to keep your portafilter clean.

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Question Submitted by
Can I backflush this machine? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Although this machine has a 3-way solenoid valve, the manufacturer does not recommend backflushing and in fact, doing so could void your warranty. To keep your machine clean internally, you should descale it every 2-3 months or so, with a decalcifying agent like Urnex Cleancaf. You can purchase Urnex Cleancaf and learn more about descaling by following the links below.

    Products

  • Cleancaf by Urnex

    Articles
  • Why Decalcify?
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Question Submitted by
Bodum Granos vs. Gaggia Classic and Rancilio Silvia click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • There are going to be a few main differences between the Granos and the Silvia and Classic, the largest of which is that the Silvia and Classic have commercial style group heads and portafilters (58mm). Commercial style portafilters give the user the most control over the final product, but that also means that you need to have complete control over the grind fineness and the tamp pressure you use to brew. The Granos, on the other hand, has a 51mm pressurized portafilter. Pressurized style portafilters reduce the amount of control you need to have over these variables, making it easier to brew with preground coffees. Pressurized portafilters virtually eliminate the "learning curve" that’s associated with commercial style portafilters, but also require you to give up some of the control over the brewing process and in effect, over the final product as well.

    The other major difference between these machines is that the Granos is actually an automatic machine - it has programable brewing buttons that will dispense a set amount of water, whereas the other two machines will require that you press a rocker switch to begin brewing, and press it again to stop. In addition, the Granos’ boiler is slightly smaller than the Gaggia - the Granos holds 3 oz, and the Gaggia holds 3.5 - and much smaller than the Silvia’s 12 oz boiler. This won’t have any effect on brewing quality, but if you are going to be frothing and steaming frequently, you will notice that the Silvia provides better steam pressure for a longer amount of time. I have linked below to an in depth article on the Granos, as well as a straight comparison of the Classic and Silvia for further information.

    Buying Guides

  • Bodum Granos Espresso Machine

    Tips
  • Gaggia Classic vs. Rancilio Silvia
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Question Submitted by
How long does it take to brew an espresso? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Once you’ve filled the portafilter with ground coffee and attached it to the machine, brewing a double shot should take approximately 20 - 25 seconds according to the Golden Rule. You can learn more about the Golden Rule by following the link below to our article on the subject.

    Articles

  • Rituals of Making Espresso
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Question Submitted by
The steam wand is clogged. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The handle can be replaced easily by either following the link below, or by calling us at 888-411-5282 to place your order.  As for the steam wand, you can remove the top of the machine take the entire steam wand off and try to clear it from the inside.  You can also soak the steam wand in a cleaning solution to see if it will break up the sediments that are clogging the wand.  If you would like further instruction on this please give us a call at 1-888-411-5282.  We also have a few service centers around the country - please call us for a list of centers near you.

    Products

  • Gaggia Plastic Handle
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Question Submitted by
Do I only have to use espresso beans, or can I use regular ones too? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Truly, there is no such thing as an "espresso bean". You can use any bean when you brew espresso, however because espresso is pressure brewed (unlike drip coffee, french press, etc), it tends to bring foward different flavor profiles for a bean than it may with another brewing method, so some beans may not perform as well as others with the pressure brewing process. Generally, beans that are roasted with the specific intent of being used for espresso perform the best, but other beans can produce a very flavorful brew as well. You should definitely feel free to experiment to find the beans you enjoy the most.

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Question Submitted by
What is a brew group? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The brew group is basically the portion of the machine that hot water runs through before it meets the ground coffee. The exit point of the water from the brew group is what’s called the group head (located above where the portafilter locks into place), which has a shower screen attached to it. This is the main piece you’ll need to clean. First off, when you remove the portafilter after brewing, you will want to pull a little more water through this area (by pressing the brew button on and off quickly) to remove any excess grounds that may be stuck to it. In addition, you’ll probably want to use a group brush (which can be purchased on our site by following the link below) to scrub it fairly regularly. Every couple of months or so, you’ll also want to remove the shower screen by removing the screw that holds it into place and scrub/soak it in a cleaning solution like Urnex Cafiza (you can learn more about this product by clicking the link below). These steps should help keep your shower screen clog free and your coffee tasting great.

    Products

  • Group Brush
  • Urnex Cafiza Cleaner
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Question Submitted by
Is distilled or RO water ideal? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • In fact, we normally do not recommend using distilled or RO water with semi automatic machines for two reasons. The first is because distilled water does not have minerals in it that positively affect flavor, and therefore, espresso brewed with distilled water generally tastes flat. In addition to that, distilled water can also pit the boiler over time. We generally recommend using water that has been filtered of its calcium content, because the calcium deposits are what cause problems over time.

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Question Submitted by
Do the grounds need to touch the shower screen? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Your grounds should touch the shower screen--if they don’t, the excess water will pool on the grounds and can lead to channeling in the shot. The best way to ensure that the portafilter is filled properly, is to fill your portafilter so it is heaping, and level it off with your finger. Then tamp the grounds. This should provide the right amount of space in the portafilter to accomodate the group head and shower screen. You are correct--the shower screen will need to be cleaned. An easy way to do this is to press the brewing button after the portafilter has been removed, so that water will flow out and carry away any stuck grounds. You can also wipe the shower screen off with a damp cloth. You will also want to remove the shower screen periodically (you can do it when you descale the machine) and soak it in the descaling solution to make sure that it is free of coffee oil and residues.

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Question Submitted by
Gaggia Classic vs. Expobar Office Pulser click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Every time you want to produce steam after brewing, you’re going to have to wait about 35 seconds for the Classic to heat up to brewing temperature--the Expobar has no wait thanks to its heat exchanger boiler. 35 seconds isn’t a long amount of time, but you should also keep in mind that frothing with the Classic will take longer (about twice as long) than with the Expobar because the Pulser’s large 1.8 liter boiler produces better steam pressure. After frothing, it will take the Classic about 15 seconds to cool back to brew temperature, whereas you’ll be able to go right back to brewing with the Expobar. The same goes for pulling back-to-back shots - you will have a bit of down time between shots with the Classic, while the Expobar will be ready to go again immediately. The wait time with the Classic is something you would notice as compared to the Expobar--especially if you’re entertaining. But if this is a rare occurrance and you don’t mind spending the extra couple of minutes, the Classic will perform very well for you.

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Question Submitted by
Is it normal for some water to still be in the portafilter after brewing? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Water will sometimes still be resting on the coffee in the portafilter. Most of the water that was in the brew group when brewing stopped was removed by the 3 way solenoid valve and deposited in the drip tray, so what you’re seeing is only a fraction of what was removed. Sometimes the coffee grounds can be a little hard to knock out, but regardless of how much coffee is sticking to the portafilter, you should always rinse it between every brewing session. Remaining grounds will significantly effect the following shots and can get "baked on" to the portafilter because of the high temperature of the brew group. In addition, rinsing it will help to remove coffee residues and oils that can affect flavor and eventually clog the filter basket and portafilter spouts.

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Question Submitted by
How do I remove the filter basket from the portafilter? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Removing the filter basket can be a very simple process. First, make sure that the portafilter has been removed from the group head, is clean, and has cooled down (you don’t want to burn yourself!). There should be a small gap between the filter basket and the portafilter itself. Using either your finger nails or the back of a butterknife, you should be able to pry the basket up and away from the portafilter, and then it will pop right out. If you’re having any difficulty with this, please feel free to call us at 888-411-5282 for further aid.

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Question Submitted by
How tall is this machine? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The Gaggia Classic stands 14.25" tall, whereas the Solis SL90 is 12.25" tall.  You will also want to keep in mind that you will need about 1 inch of additional height to remove the SL90’s reservoir for refilling.  The Classic’s reservoir is removed from the front of the machine, so you won’t encounter that issue with the Classic.  Specs like these for the Classic and SL90, as well as all of the machines we sell, can be viewed by following the link below to our Compare-O-Matic.

    Articles

  • Compare-O-Matic (08/20/03)
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Question Submitted by
Would this be a good upgrade from my Krups? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • You are definitely on the right track looking at the Gaggia Classic--it is one of the best machines in its class.  I would also recommend taking a look at the Rancilio Silvia, which has nearly identical features as the Classic, but also has a larger boiler to afford you more steam pressure for a longer amount of time.  With either of these machines, you should seriously consider getting a grinder as well.  Some good starting points would be the Rancilio Rocky and the Gaggia MDF.  Both will produce a superb grind for use with these machines.  Without a grinder you would be hard pressed to find a preground coffee that will produce optimal results.  As for cleaning these machines, they should both be decalcified every 3-4 months, depending on how heavily they are used.  We recommend using Urnex Cleancaf.  You can learn more about all of the products I’ve mentioned here by following the links below.

    Products

  • Gaggia Classic
  • Gaggia MDF
  • Rancilio Rocky
  • Rancilio Silvia
  • Cleancaf by Urnex


  • Tips
  • Rancilio Silvia vs. Gaggia Classic (11/26/03)
  • How do I maintain my Gaggia Classic? (07/16/03)
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Question Submitted by
Will this machine automatically stop brewing? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Unfortunately, the Gaggia Classic won’t automatically stop the brewing process. I think the best bet for the features you’re looking for would be the Solis SL90. It is pod capable and shuts off automatically after brewing.  You can also used preground espresso with this machine if you desire.  To learn more about the Solis SL90, just follow the link below.

    Products

  • Solis SL90
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Question Submitted by James Gross
My pump is loud at first then quiets down is this normal? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • This is normal.  The vibration pump in and of itself is a noisy component.  What is happening is that the pump is dry when we first engage it.  Then once water is fed into the pump, it quiets down.  This noise is typical with this style pump and shouldn’t be cause for concern.

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Question Submitted by
Does the steam wand swivel? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The wand on the Gaggia Classic has a wide range of movement and can swivel back and forth. It is not difficult to fit a 20oz frothing pitcher under the wand, however a 24oz frothing pitcher will probably not work well. 

    Between the Gaggia machines, Saeco machines, and the Silvia, all of them will have the ability to froth and steam and are great for home use. The biggest difference you will see between these machines is that the Gaggia machines and the Silvia have a commercial style portafilter, whereas the Saeco’s will have a pressurized portafilter.  Basically, the pressurized portafilters are a little more forgiving about the fineness of the grind and tamp pressure that you use to make espresso.  You can follow the links below to compare the machines side by side, as well as learning more about semi automatic machines and their portafilters.

    Tips

  • Gaggia Classic vs. Rancilio Silvia (11/26/03)

    Articles
  • Compare-O-Matic (08/20/03)
  • Buying Guides
  • Comparing Portafilters (08/24/03)
  • Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines ()
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Question Submitted by
How do I make cafe crema? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • To make a Cafe Crema on your Classic simply continue the water flow through your grounds until you retrieve your desired amount.  Standard amount with a Cafe Crema is between 6 to 8 ounces.

     

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Question Submitted by
Long brewing time with pods click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Illy pods contain 7 grams of coffee, which is the amount needed to brew a single shot of espresso.  A single shot is approximately 1 to 1.5ozs. in volume.  This should brew roughly within 20 seconds.  Pods will not produce the same crema you can get from ground coffee but when the shot is brewed properly you should see some crema.  If you are using the Perfect Crema device when brewing your shot it will slow down the water flow drastically.  If you are not using the Perfect Crema device and are still experiencing this slow flow rate, please call us at 888-411-5282 so that we can discuss more possibilities. 

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Question Submitted by
Do all the Gaggia semi-autos have the same steam wand? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The Gaggia Classic, Gaggia Tebe, and all Gaggia semi-automatic espresso machines are going to have the same Pannarello style frother known as the "Turbo Frothing Wand". 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.

    The Capresso Ultima contains a standard stainless steel steam wand. Just turn the steam knob and in fifteen seconds you will have full steam pressure. The boiler contains enough water to steam for about 90 seconds which is about 8 ounces of milk.

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Question Submitted by
Will it make lattes and cappuccinos? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • You’ll easily be able to make cappuccinos and lattes with the Classic, you’ll just need to use the attached steam wand for your milk. A cappuccino is simply a double shot of espresso with an added 3 oz of steamed milk and 3 oz frothed milk, whereas a latte is a double shot with 6 oz of steamed milk. If you’d like to create flavored drinks, like the vanilla latte you mentioned, you’ll simply need to add a flavored syrups like those we carry from Monin. You can learn more about Monin syrups and all the types of drinks you can make with this machine by following the links below.

    Products

  • Monin O’free Syrup
  • Monin Organic Syrup
  • Monin Syrup 750ml Bottle

    Articles
  • What Kind of Drinks Can I Make?
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Question Submitted by
What is the Golden Rule? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Very basically, the Golden Rule states that using the correct amount of coffee (based on a single or double shot) should produce a shot of espresso in 20 to 25 seconds. Changing the grind setting or the amount of tamp pressure you are using will change how quickly the shot is produced. Follow the links below to find more in depth discussions of the Golden Rule.

    Golden Rule
    Purchasing Coffee & Brewing Espresso PART I
    Purchasing Coffee & Brewing Espresso PART II
    Rituals of Making Espresso

    Comments (2)


    09/12/09 at 05:15 AM by calum swanson
    What could be causing my Gaggia Baby Twin to be cutting out. It comes on as normal and seems to cut out after a few minutes.

    11/20/08 at 09:33 AM by Carrie Nelson
    Please explain benefits and draw-backs of going from Rancilio Silvia to an Epoca. We have used the Silvia for 2yrs, love it, but need more volume.

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Question Submitted by
Problems with Pod Shots click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • It is very important that you pull a couple of blank shots before brewing. With the portafilter in place, without coffee, pump two to four ounces of water to heat all of the components to brew temperature. This will ensure proper brew temperature and should be done after initial warm up and if the machine has been sitting idle for any significant amount of time. This should solve your problem, but if not, feel free to contact one of our representatives at 888-411-5282.

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Question Submitted by Craig Blumer
Too Much Frothed Milk click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • If you feel you are getting too much froth with the Gaggia Turbo Frothing wand, I would recommend purchasing the Saeco Panarello wand.  The Panarello is a little longer and the holes are more toward the bottom of the wand.  This allows you to place the wand deeper into the milk and get more steamed than frothed milk. 

    Products

  • Saeco Pannarello Wand

    Articles
  • Attaching a Pannerello Wand (08/20/03)
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Question Submitted by
Buying a Machine for Americanos click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Gaggia is a great choice for your needs. Gaggia is the only line of espresso machines in the lower price range with a commercial style portafilter and brew group. The commercial style offers the ability to brew the best quality espresso while other machines offer the easier to use pressurized style that produce a less flavorful shot of espresso. The Gaggia Evolution is a beautiful machine and will produce excellent espresso at a moderate price. As you go up in price within the Gaggia line you gain better quality housing, internal construction as well as a three-way solenoid valve (Baby and Classic). The Classic is at the top with stainless steel housing and three-way solenoid valve. The Rancilio Silvia is similar to the Classic with a commercial style portafilter and brew group, stainless steel housing and three-way valve. The two machines differ in boiler material and size. The Gaggia has a 3.5 oz. aluminum boiler and the Rancilio has a 12 oz. brass boiler. Because of the smaller boiler with two heating elements the Gaggia may better suit efficiency requirements. In less time than it takes to dump the spent grounds and refill the portafilter with ground coffee, the machine is ready to brew the next shot.

    Products


    Buying Guides

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Question Submitted by
How much steam power can the Classic provide? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The Classic can produce enough steam to froth or steam about 12 oz of milk before it needs to refill and reheat. If you’ll consistently be frothing more than that, you may want to look at a model with a higher capacity boiler. You could probably get away with the Rancilio Silvia, which has a 12 oz boiler, but if you also like to entertain frequently or think that you may make more drinks once you have a higher capacity machine, any of the Expobars would be a great match. You can learn more about these machines by following the links below.

    Products

  • Rancilio Silvia
  • Expobar Office Control
  • Expobar Office Lever
  • Expobar Office Pulser
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Question Submitted by
What is the boiler capacity? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The Classic’s boiler has a 3.5 oz capacity. Information like this can be found for any of the espresso machines we carry by following the link below to our Compare-O-Matic.

    Compare-O-Matic

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Question Submitted by
The filter baskets dislodge from the portafilter. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • This is a very simple fix.  Simply remove the filter basket and you will find a thin metal spring that keeps the basket in place.  Remove the spring by placing a flat head screwdriver or butter knife behind the spring and pry it out.  Once removed slightly bend the spring opposite its natural curve.  By slightly straightening the spring it should hold the basket tighter.  If this does not solve the problem you can order a new spring for the portafilter. 

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Question Submitted by
How does using pods impact cleaning the machine? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • When you’re using pods, you’ll need to empty the drip tray, refill the water reservoir, and descale the machine just as often as if you were using ground coffee. The biggest difference is seen in cleaning the portafilter. Instead of knocking out the spent grounds, rinsing it, and wiping it out to remove any leftover grounds, you’ll simply knock out the pod and give the portafilter head a quick rinse before you’re ready to go again.

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Question Submitted by Rogelio Gaitan
Can I use the double shot basket to make single shots? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • When using a double shot basket you need to increase the amount of coffe used. If you are making a single shot, use the single shot basket. This will concentrate the grounds closer to the shower screen, allowing more water to be diverted to the drip tray.

    gaggia offers a pod filter basket which would also move the coffee pod closer to the shower screen.

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Question Submitted by Dorota Glinski
How can I look inside the machine without damaging the housing? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • To get inside the housing of the Gaggia Classic simply remove the two screws located on the top of the machine where you pour the water into the funnel.  These two screws hold the top on, once you remove the top you will be able to check for any loose lines. As always, make sure you observe proper care when opening electrical equipment.

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Question Submitted by Anthony Pipitone
Bitter pod shots click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • My suggestion would be when you have the pod in the portafilter and you are ready to brew hit the brew button for 2 or 3 seconds to let some water soak into the pod.  This is considered prebrewing, what this will do is allow some water to soak into the coffee initiating the brewing process.  This should solve the timing problem which will in turn reduce the bitter taste of the espresso. 

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Question Submitted by Carsten Larsen
No steam at all click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Check to see if you can get hot water through the steam wand.  If you can get hot water through the steam wand but not steam you may have a bad steam thermostat. Our technical service staff help further at 1-888-411-5282.

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Question Submitted by Cameron Stephenson
What is the metal tube that came with my Classic? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The metal stick is the blow off tube. It hooks up to the three way solenoid valve and diverts water from the brew group to the drip tray when you turn off the brew button. Look up at the brew group and you will see a chrome nut with a hole in it that is just the left of where the portafilter fits into the brew group. This tube fits into this nut and extends down into the round opening in the drip tray that lines up with it. DO NOT undo the nut, the tube will just slide up into it.

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Question Submitted by Iain Hooley
Location of inner part of the steam wand affects performance. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Thanks for the tip. We recommend that the inner piece is pushed all the way down or you will probably get hot milk with a few big bubbles.

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Question Submitted by Kathy Tanglis
Gaggia Classic vs. Rancilio Silvia click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Both machines can brew a great cup of espresso and have proven themselves to be worthy opponents. They both have Stainless Steel Housings, three way solenoid valves, commercial portafilter and commercial brew groups. The way they differ is that each one fits a different persons needs. The Silvia is for the person who may want to fiddle around a little to get a great shot. It also has very high steam pressure and a commercial style steam tip for those who want to perfect their frothing technique. The brew temperature on the Gaggia is more stable so it is more consistent and easier to use for brewing. It has an easy frothing wand so that any member of the family can use it without having to learn any technique at all. For both of these machines we have instructional CDs to help you with the learning process. We also have tech support people who would be happy to help you learn how to use it to its fullest potential.

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Question Submitted by Scott Garrison
Gaggia Classic vs Solis SL90 click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • The Rancilio Silvia, Gaggia Baby and Gaggia Classic are all very comparable machines. The Solis SL 90 is different mainly and importantly in the fact that this it uses a pressurized portafilter, in which the portafilter is manufactured to allow a certain amount of pressure to build in the portafilter resulting in the proper distribution of espresso. This style machine requires a less finely ground espresso as well as lighter tamp pressure than the other three in comparison. The three others are commercial style machines with commercial quality marine brass portafilters and brew groups. This is most important in that the commercial style machines allow more control, heat retention and reliability, three things extremely important to espresso making. I would go with the commercial style machines if you are looking for the true experience.

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Question Submitted by
Why do I have very wet coffee pucks? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Your machine does have a three-way solenoid valve so it should be pretty dry puck when you are done brewing. It sounds like you have to add more coffee to the filter basket. If there is a space between the shower screen and the coffee when you are done brewing you will get some water left behind. Loosely fill it almost to the top, run you finger back and forth over it to even it out and then tamp it. Also make sure that you are following the golden rule. If neither of these solve the problem then the machine probably needs a good cleaning. Give us a call as we can get you a copy of our “Guide to Gaggia”. It has all of the necessary cleaning and maintenance procedures along with brewing and frothing techniques.

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Question Submitted by
Cooling the Classic after steaming milk. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • They are slightly different but they work pretty much the same way and both will work perfectly fine. The key thing is to run enough water through so that there is no more steam coming out and it is only water.

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Question Submitted by
Do I need the perfect crema device? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Gaggia is going to stop including this disc with their machines very shortly. I recommend not using it and following our Golden Rule to get a good shot of espresso. The Golden Rule is explained in detail in the Guide to Gaggia that we wrote up or you can fine it on our web site in the articles section under “Espresso 101”.

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Question Submitted by
No water through the coffee on the second shot, but the first one was fine. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • From what you are saying it sounds like the machine went from brewing perfectly to not brewing at all in matter of minutes. I am assuming that you used the same coffee at the same grind setting. Please turn on all three switches and open the steam knob. You should get water coming out of the steam wand as normal. If you do then the problem is after the boiler and is probably the three way solenoid valve or a very plugged up brew group. If you do not have water coming out then the problem is before the boiler. It could be a bad pump, the brass elbow on the outlet of the pump can be plugged or the water intake line to the pump can have an air leak. Look in the reservoir to make sure that the rubber tubes are going all the way down to the bottom of the reservoir and are under the water level. If you remove the reservoir for filling and then put it back in, the water intake line may be pushed up and kinked. If so, just take out the reservoir and straighten the line. Please feel free to call us. We can usually walk people through a fix over the phone. 888.411.5282

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Question Submitted by
No crema and the espresso is not hot enough. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • There may be a problem with the thermostat in the machine (it can not be adjusted) but it is so very rare that my first instinct is to look at other things. Please read “Purchasing Coffee & Brewing Espresso:All you need to know to get started on the right foot”. It covers about everything you will need to know to avoid the pitfalls of brewing espresso. At the end is a section labeled, “Don’t blame the machine, yet”. Please take a few minutes to go through it and feel free to give us a call at 888.411.5282. Having a conversation may the quickest way to a solution. Let us know if we can help.

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Question Submitted by
Why is my machine leaking so much around the rim? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • I am wondering how old the machine is as leaking is very unusual with new machines. If it is over 6 months old it is probably a group gasket issue. It may have coffee on it and needs to be cleaned, or it has gotten hard and needs to be replaced. If it is a new machine, it can be caused by adding too much coffee to the filter basket so that it will not tighten down all the way. Or it could be coffee up on the group gasket, make sure it is very clean. See our “Guide to Gaggia” that came with the machine for complete cleaning and maintenance instructions.

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Question Submitted by
I need a pod adapter for my 1 year old Gaggia Classic. click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • Gaggia has just come out with a single shot filter basket that works with ESE sized pods such as Illy and Lavazza. I tested it thoroughly and got shot timing of around 22 to 24 seconds pretty consistently. It is coming in with most new machines but can be purchased at our parts page.

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Question Submitted by
Do you carry Gaggia parts? click to open/closeopen and close answer
  • We are fully stocked with all the parts for the recent Gaggia machines. It is part number CF0115. Just give us a call at 888.411.5282 and talk with the service/parts department.

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Question Submitted by
Heating espresso cups. click to open/closeopen and close answer
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Question Submitted by
Gaggia Classic vs Gaggia Coffee click to open/closeopen and close answer
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Question Submitted by
Gaggia Classic vs. Gaggia Baby click to open/closeopen and close answer
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Question Submitted by
Is the 3-way solenoid valve worth the money? click to open/closeopen and close answer
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