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Thread: Coffee making: Aeropress to Gaggia Classic

  1. #1
    Craftsman smalleyboy1's Avatar
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    Coffee making: Aeropress to Gaggia Classic

    I having been using an Aeropress for the last 2 years to make my daily morning latte and also coffee at weekends. I probably make about 10-12 coffees per week. I use Rave Coffee for my beans which I grind myself and a cheap Von Shef milk frother.

    I get fairly decent results but the espresso has no Crema and the milk tends to be all froth but the coffee is nice enough.

    Iím thinking of moving to a semi-automatic machine like the Gaggia Classic to make better espressos and the machine has a decent steam wand. Iím not interested in a bean to cup machine as I like the ritual of making the coffee and the challenge of improving my technique.

    I know there is regular maintenance, descaling, back washing etc all of which doesnít worry me too much. Has anyone experience of moving from an Aeropress to something bigger and how have you found it? Letís ignore the cost of the machine as that isnít prohibitive.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Lightbulb

    How come only to Gaggia Classic.

    Go the whole hog and go Pavoni Europiccola.
    When the going gets tough, the DAF gets going.

  3. #3
    Master Franco's Avatar
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    La Pavoni is a classic and a great coffee maker. Also, it is built from solid brass, and all service is rare and straightforward. Parts are easily available. And it has good steam.

    Plus has the added bonus that needs some simple careful steps, i.e. a slow approach that will be attractive to somebody who toast his coffee beans. Not one of those “quick to the end” things

    PS: The Gaggia and Saeco machines are part of the same company, and share many components. Differences however do exist and are intentional, to differentiate the brands.
    Last edited by Franco; 9th April 2019 at 08:31.

  4. #4
    Master subseastu's Avatar
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    I'll be interested in what you decide on this. At home we just use a French press for coffee and top off with warm water after grinding beans but I use an aeropress at work and it's great. I take my coffee black, my wife though does like a latte (currently has it flat white) so will follow this thread.

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  5. #5
    Master Franco's Avatar
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    Of course there is the option of the simple italian Mokka, like the Bialetti or Alessi

    https://www.bialetti.com/coffee/stov...-c-1_7_22.html

    https://www.alessi.com/gb_en/espress...0-pc-9090.html
    Last edited by Franco; 9th April 2019 at 09:35.

  6. #6
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    Honestly you cannot go wrong with a 'Classic'. I have two of them, one for work and one for home. If you want a proper coffee maker then the Classic is, IMHO, an excellent starting point. Super coffee and super reliable machine which is all user serviceable. The one I have at work must have done perhaps 8 thousand double espressos (my daily tipple) and the only servicing I've had to do is a regular clean once a month and I had to replace the change over valve... a cheap part. For the money, if you're serious about coffee, then there is nothing that can beat it.

  7. #7
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    The Classic is just that a classic, one thing to bear in mind with any coffee machine with Brass internals (which the classic has) is that they take about 20 mins to warm up properly you can extract earlier but to really get it going it needs to be properly warmed. This is one reason I have moved away from these type machines and gone with the convenience of capsules. I do however miss the wand to make milk.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by L8_M8 View Post
    The Classic is just that a classic, one thing to bear in mind with any coffee machine with Brass internals (which the classic has) is that they take about 20 mins to warm up properly you can extract earlier but to really get it going it needs to be properly warmed. This is one reason I have moved away from these type machines and gone with the convenience of capsules. I do however miss the wand to make milk.
    No to the 20 mins. I'd say 5 mins. Put the switch on hi-temp and within 5 mins it's hot. Turn boost temp off and then run water from it through the portafilter and ready to go. Yes more faff than a capsule BUT a lot better coffee. It depends upon how serious you are.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by smalleyboy1 View Post
    Iím not interested in a bean to cup machine as I like the ritual of making the coffee and the challenge of improving my technique.
    I have a Sage Barista and while it is technically a bean to cup, it's not automated in anyway. You manually control the coarseness of the grind and the weight of your dose and pressure of your tamp. You can re-program temperatures and length of shot. The old school pressure guage always makes me smile.

    If you're interested in improving your technique you will have no shortage of variables to play with! The steam wand is excellent (though I'm jealous of my friends Dual Boiler as it's so much quicker).

    Only issue is it's pricey at around £500.


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by L8_M8 View Post
    This is one reason I have moved away from these type machines and gone with the convenience of capsules. I do however miss the wand to make milk.
    Indeed! Some Nespresso machines have a wand. The wife and I like different coffees: long weak black (Vivalto) vs flat strong white (Kazaar or Roma). We have a Magimix Maestria which has been brilliant over the years. https://www.magimix.co.uk/be/product...esso/Maestria/

  11. #11
    Craftsman smalleyboy1's Avatar
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    Thanks for responses so for.

    The La Pavoni looks interesting and Iíll do some research on it.

    I tried a moka pot previously but because of the way it works, you donít get enough coffee from a one cup and too much from a three cup. As nice as it was, for me it wasnít comparable to an espresso and the AeroPress is better for my needs.

    The Classic gets good reviews, especially the new 2018/19 model that has the solenoid valve and better steam wand.

    I will look into some of the other machines mentioned although Iím put off by the sage having an integrated grinder. Iíd prefer to have a separate grinder and coffee machine so I can upgrade if I want.

  12. #12
    Craftsman skmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franco View Post
    Of course there is the option of the simple italian Mokka, like the Bialetti or Alessi

    https://www.bialetti.com/coffee/stov...-c-1_7_22.html

    https://www.alessi.com/gb_en/espress...0-pc-9090.html
    I did exactly this at Christmas moving on to the Alessi 9090......what a difference!!! Forget the machine, this is all you need for a truly great cup of coffee and has it's own little 'ritual' too.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by smalleyboy1 View Post

    I will look into some of the other machines mentioned although Iím put off by the sage having an integrated grinder. Iíd prefer to have a separate grinder and coffee machine so I can upgrade if I want.
    Sage Duotemp is basically the Sage Barista with the grinder removed and £200 less :)


  14. #14
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    Is the Gaggia Classic now improved again?

    When Gaggia were first bought by Philips/Saeco they changed a lot of parts to make it cheaper? So much so that the pre-Philips machines sell for a premium secondhand

  15. #15
    Craftsman smalleyboy1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scepticalist View Post
    Is the Gaggia Classic now improved again?

    When Gaggia were first bought by Philips/Saeco they changed a lot of parts to make it cheaper? So much so that the pre-Philips machines sell for a premium secondhand
    Yes, all the things that Phillips did to make it cheaper have been reversed in 2018/9 model.

  16. #16
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    This is my set up. Expobar Brewtus double boiler and a Mazzer major grinder.

    I went to this from the Gaggia Classic, which is an excellent machine by the way and easily modded if that floats your boat.

    I use french press at home and work plus Aeropress.

    The idea behind Aeropress is that itís as near as damn it to espresso as youíll get (water under pressure).

    Most importantly is the grinder in a coffee set up, has to be able to give consistency and correct grind size time after time.

    Hope this helps

    Auto


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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Franco View Post
    La Pavoni is a classic and a great coffee maker. Also, it is built from solid brass, and all service is rare and straightforward. Parts are easily available. And it has good steam.

    Plus has the added bonus that needs some simple careful steps, i.e. a slow approach that will be attractive to somebody who toast his coffee beans. Not one of those “quick to the end” things

    PS: The Gaggia and Saeco machines are part of the same company, and share many components. Differences however do exist and are intentional, to differentiate the brands.
    I think you need Italian blood to operate a Europiccola successfully.

    Had one for ten years and used it daily but my results varied wildly, from perfect shots to burnt liquid rust.

    Swapped to a Rancillio Silva and a Rocky grinder and never looked back. Perfect 99.9% of the time.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by smalleyboy1 View Post
    Yes, all the things that Phillips did to make it cheaper have been reversed in 2018/9 model.
    So the new model is essentially the very old model? ;-)

    £200 from myespresso... a good price. ISTR paying £165 for my last one (I have two) perhaps 6 years ago now.

    btw if you're into steamed milk then you need to bare in mind that the classic is a single boiler unit so if you want to steam some milk you have to pull your shot and then wait for the boiler to super heat for steam.... about 2 mins. Then you can steam your milk. If you then want another shot you have to wait for the boiler to cool down. I'll be honest, if I was a steamed milk kinda person I wouldn't go for the classic I'd look around for a dual boiler product. The sage (breville) products seem to be okay for the money.

  19. #19
    Craftsman smalleyboy1's Avatar
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    Solwisesteve - the 2018/9 Classic seems to be circa £380 on myespresso.

    Iím aware of the boiler limitations of the Classic but they have made it slightly smaller in the latest update, so it heats up more quickly.

    Iíll mainly be making single coffees so can live with the limitations of a single boiler.

    My thought is that the Classic will likely do all I need. If I want to upgrade somewhere down the line, then I can sell it and trade up. However from what Iíve read, I suspect it will be good enough for many years.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by j0hnbarker View Post
    I think you need Italian blood to operate a Europiccola successfully.

    Had one for ten years and used it daily but my results varied wildly, from perfect shots to burnt liquid rust.

    Swapped to a Rancillio Silva and a Rocky grinder and never looked back. Perfect 99.9% of the time.
    Straight when I had mine, I broke down the recipe in measurable parameters and worked the variables out from there. As long as Õ do not stray from the routine, the brew is consistent, just right each and every time.
    When the going gets tough, the DAF gets going.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by smalleyboy1 View Post
    Solwisesteve - the 2018/9 Classic seems to be circa £380 on myespresso.

    Iím aware of the boiler limitations of the Classic but they have made it slightly smaller in the latest update, so it heats up more quickly.

    Iíll mainly be making single coffees so can live with the limitations of a single boiler.

    My thought is that the Classic will likely do all I need. If I want to upgrade somewhere down the line, then I can sell it and trade up. However from what Iíve read, I suspect it will be good enough for many years.
    Oh I was looking at the 2017 model.... right. Wow £380....!

  22. #22
    Master Franco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j0hnbarker View Post
    I think you need Italian blood to operate a Europiccola successfully.

    Had one for ten years and used it daily but my results varied wildly, from perfect shots to burnt liquid rust.

    Swapped to a Rancillio Silva and a Rocky grinder and never looked back. Perfect 99.9% of the time.

    Yes John, you may be right
    I hade one when I first moved in Sheffield (1990) and had it going for about 9 years, a bit fiddly, a bit temperamental, but fundamentally great if you take care of it. Then my brother in Italy repaired it and he is still using (and maintaining) it at their seaside house.
    After that I have been using Bialetti and then Alessi mokka machines , and still do very morning
    Ciao
    franco

    PS: Rancilio makes some mean professional machines, and you can see it in many italian bars

  23. #23
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    Hi...

    I have purchased many things from these people. Very knowledgeable and do good deals too...

    https://www.bellabarista.co.uk

    I have no connection to this company other than I buy from them.

    Regards

    V

  24. #24
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    Iíve recently bought a Sage Nespresso creatista plus. You get a great crema on the coffee, it has multiple programmes, you can set the coffee liquid amount and milk temperature/froth too. £450 in the Nespresso boutique but £350 in John Lewis. In fact the staff in the Nespresso boutique said they couldnít price match but told me to buy it from John Lewis (three doors down in Bluewater shopping centre), bring it back to them and they will register it with them so that I got the 3 year guarantee instead of the 2 years at John Lewis.


  25. #25
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    Coffee making: Aeropress to Gaggia Classic

    I bought a Brera Gaggia bean to cup couple years back, £280. Using Tesco bottled water as Iím in a hard water area.

    It doesnít do fancy stuff but Iím happy with the espresso it produces. It was a good price point as I didnít want to spend a fortune. Easy to clean and look after.

    I would buy another without hesitation.




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    Last edited by T1ckT0ck; 9th April 2019 at 17:01.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by vertex View Post
    Hi...

    I have purchased many things from these people. Very knowledgeable and do good deals too...

    https://www.bellabarista.co.uk

    I have no connection to this company other than I buy from them.

    Regards

    V
    Yes ask for Claudette she is very knowledgable and great to talk to.



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  27. #27
    Craftsman smalleyboy1's Avatar
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    Thanks to all who have replied.

    La Pavoni - looks like a piece of art but most reviews acknowledge it can be difficult to master. Iím not at that level yet and may never want to be.

    Moka pot - Iíve tried one before and as nice as it was, it didnít make an espresso.

    Sage coffee machines - Iím going to look further into these.

    Auto - your Expobar Brewtus is a magnificent looking machine but at £1,000 itís more than I need at this stage.

    Vertex - many thanks for drawing my attention to Bellabarista

    Nespresso - I have used one at work and they are certainly handy but I still tend to choose my Aeropress that I keep in the office over the Nespresso.

    Rancilio coffee machines - I need to do some more research into these as they get good reviews.

    Single/double boiler - I understand the limitations of the Classicís single boiler but for my use, I can live with a single boiler machine.

    Bit more research required before I make a final decision.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by smalleyboy1 View Post

    Rancilio coffee machines - I need to do some more research into these as they get good reviews.

    Single/double boiler - I understand the limitations of the Classicís single boiler but for my use, I can live with a single boiler machine.
    When I saw the classic was now nudging four hundred quid I was going to suggest the Rancilio offerings. When the classic was a lot cheaper the Rancilio was always through of as the next rung on the ladder... However when classic and Rancilio Silvia are around the same price I'd be VERY tempted by the Rancilio.

    https://www.bellabarista.co.uk/brand...o-machine.html

    Comments have been passed re. a grinder. For a long time I used the pre-ground beans from Has-Bean and, believe me, this is a lot better than the supermarket stuff which might have been roasted a year ago and ground probably not long after that! The stuff from Has-Bean will be at most a couple of days old! Once you get used to the machine then it's goto a good grinder but a good one will cost at least as much as the actual espresso machine!!

  29. #29
    I have had a Rancilio Silvia and can say that the single boiler will drive one round the bend if one is making lattes. I bought it when it was only £300 or so way back in 2007 along with the rocky grinder which I still use for grinding beans for pour over filter coffee.

  30. #30
    Master Tony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solwisesteve View Post
    Once you get used to the machine then it's goto a good grinder but a good one will cost at least as much as the actual espresso machine!!
    You won't really know how to use a proper espresso machine without a proper grinder. There's no short cut unfortunately.

    My best advice would be buy once and buy well.

    I spent over two grand about four years ago on my machine and grinder, but I'm still happy with what I've got and I don't have a loft full of unwanted equipment.

    I buy my coffee here by the way:

    https://www.rountoncoffee.co.uk/

  31. #31
    Craftsman smalleyboy1's Avatar
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    For coffee Iíve used a few but for past few years, Iíve used Rave Coffee who roast their own beans to order https://ravecoffee.co.uk

  32. #32
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    Gaggia Classic is #1 for me, best price / quality, after testing of many coffee makers finally found the ideal model for me

  33. #33
    Just be careful of the model of Gaggia Classic - in 2015 changes were made to it that are generally disliked. The 2019 model rectified many of these issues, but there are online sites that are selling the 2015 design as 2019, because they were made in 2019 and not because they're the 2019 design!

  34. #34
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    If you go single boiler then you might want to consider a induction milk frother. I have a severin one with adjustable temp and adjusts for flat or frothed milk.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Severin-Ind...c=1&th=1&psc=1

  35. #35
    Craftsman smalleyboy1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    Just be careful of the model of Gaggia Classic - in 2015 changes were made to it that are generally disliked. The 2019 model rectified many of these issues, but there are online sites that are selling the 2015 design as 2019, because they were made in 2019 and not because they're the 2019 design!
    Noted. However there are noticeable differences including the 2019 model has rocker switches and the Ďspoutí where the coffee comes out of is now metal as opposed to plastic. Gaggiadirect have a video comparing the pre-2015, 2015 and 2019 models side by side.

  36. #36
    Craftsman smalleyboy1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Morgan View Post
    If you go single boiler then you might want to consider a induction milk frother. I have a severin one with adjustable temp and adjusts for flat or frothed milk.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Severin-Ind...c=1&th=1&psc=1
    Thanks. I have a similar but cheaper milk frother and they are handy but I donít believe they are as good as a steam wand. Horses for courses.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by smalleyboy1 View Post
    Noted. However there are noticeable differences including the 2019 model has rocker switches and the Ďspoutí where the coffee comes out of is now metal as opposed to plastic. Gaggiadirect have a video comparing the pre-2015, 2015 and 2019 models side by side.
    You've been doing your homework! Just wanted you to be aware of it as I've been looking into these myself for a few weeks.

    I've gone for a V60 pourover as a stop gap!

  38. #38
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    Gaggia Classics are great. Had mine for about 15 years and it is still going strong. For many years I just used Lavazza preground and the 'Perfect Crema' thing which I thought was OK, but a couple of years ago I bought a hand grinder ( Lido E ) = big step up in taste / quality.

    Earlier this year I upgraded the Gaggia with a PID temperature sensor that accurately maintains the boiler temperature and this totally transformed the quality of both espresso and milk frothing. If you get a Classic I would always do the PID upgrade.

    Also the Gaggia Classic is well supported by spares and various upgrades and they are easy to clean and fix.

    If you havent already, have a look at coffeeforums.co.uk.

    Cheers
    jim

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by smalleyboy1 View Post
    Thanks. I have a similar but cheaper milk frother and they are handy but I donít believe they are as good as a steam wand. Horses for courses.
    You might be right, but the option to control temp and foam levels plus convenience of the severin models shouldnít be dismissed.

  40. #40
    Craftsman smalleyboy1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimH View Post

    Earlier this year I upgraded the Gaggia with a PID temperature sensor that accurately maintains the boiler temperature and this totally transformed the quality of both espresso and milk frothing. If you get a Classic I would always do the PID upgrade.

    Cheers
    jim
    Jim thanks for info. I was aware that some owners had done the PID upgrade to the Rancilio Silvia as it appears to struggle to keep a constant temperature. I hadnít heard the same about the Classic, so I shall look into that.

    The Silvia and Classic both seem to be highly regarded based upon the reviews Iíve read. However Iím leaning towards the Classic.

  41. #41
    Silvia is built better than the Classic. Thereís no doubt that itís a step up.

  42. #42
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    I have a Sage the Oracle, very expensive, but very consistent

    I got it when John Lewis were doing it with £500 off

    Makes good espresso, and while I don't take milk, my girlfriend and my daughter both love the latte and cappuccino from it

    I looked at "proper" coffee machines, but found them quite daunting, the Sage having a good compromise between manual and automatic modes

    Cheers

    Kevin

  43. #43
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    I have an older used classic with the low pressure mod and a metal steam wand. I don't do much maintenance, it did need a strip down due to scale early on but has been fine for years since despite rarely running descaler and using it daily. Seems rock solid, makes great coffee (coupled with a decent grinder), was pretty cheap, very easy to strip and rebuild. I picked up a service kit but as it's still working fine then not fitted it yet.

    Do fancy a la pavoni, they look amazing, but our kitchen isn't all that big!

  44. #44
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    Done it the other way if that helps. I have a Gaggia Classic boxed in the loft. I just use an Aeropress or Lattissima now. Too much faff most of the time for the return on the Classic

  45. #45
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Pretty off topic, but what's the correct way to pronounce 'Gaggia'?

  46. #46
    Another Classsic fan here. Mine is 20 y/o and going strong.

    I had a cheap coffee tamp for years that I used with it, but bought a precision one that had 90% off (from £30+) in a closing down sale. This one fits the basket perfectly and tamps right up to the edge. One of those daftly obscure things that actally has a dramatic effect on the quality of the coffee you push out of the machine. Wish I'd known years ago. Seems that the regularity of compaction in the basket is vital otherwise youre sending the water through through only a small fraction of the coffee puck. Who knew.

  47. #47
    Craftsman smalleyboy1's Avatar
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    Now looking at a Lelit Anna with a PID.

    Iím slipping down a rabbit hole.

  48. #48

  49. #49
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    The old model. Though not so bad a price for what you'll get out of it.

    Have to admit, didn't realise the new model was £400. As mentioned above, that brings some very good home enthusiast machines into range

  50. #50
    If you go down the Sage route I would suggest going to Lakeland to get the extended warranty. I had the DTP and whilst it undoubtedly produced good coffee I'm afraid the electrics can be ( not always) a bit iffy. As I said nice coffee though.
    I have a Gaggia baby with Rancillio steam wand and it is good. Little more flimsy than the Gaggia classic!

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