There are a few coffee machines which are as easily recognizable as the Gaggia 14101 Classic. The history of this machine dates back a few decades ago, although the reviewed model here is the newest version of it. It is better in some ways, and slightly worse in others, but overall it’s a great improvement by an even greater company.
Gaggia Classic Review
The Gaggia Classic espresso machine has so much experience behind it that it makes all the other reviewed units look like up and coming youngsters. It can handle huge volumes of work and produces one of the best cups of espresso you can get. That, in our opinion, is the basic blueprint for a successful small coffee shop.
The portafilter has a commercial design, with the exception of it being extra wide (around 2.3 inches). That allows the water to be evenly distributed over a wider surface area, thus producing a richer taste. Its handle is made of high-quality plastic too. The chrome-plated brass filter holder maintains the heat stable during the whole brewing process.
The group is made out of chrome-plated marine brass. This gives you overall better brewing conditions via its incredible heat stability. The material is also very long-lasting. Using quality materials was one of the very reasons why the old model could outlast a whole generation of baristas.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the boiler of the Gaggia Classic, though. The system is very unique and is constructed of a highly conductive aluminum, packing two separate heating elements.
Now, in all honesty, aluminum isn’t great, as we pointed out in our Buyer’s Guide, but it has excellent heat properties, which represents the core-values of Gaggia, and that is proper heat control.
Another great thing about the heating system is that it has the highest possible wattage combined with a relatively small boiler (around 3.5 ounces). That generates great heat control and quick heating up.
Since this machine doesn’t have a built-in tamper you can go ahead and add one to your purchase, as it will come in handy.
Gaggia Classic Brewing Quality & Performance
The most recognizable feature of the Gaggia Classic is the retro-styled rocker arm switches. They control the power, the steam and the pump. There is also a built-in light on the power and pump buttons. They all work pretty fast. Pressing the middle steam switch heats up the boiler to heat temperature in a matter of a few moments.
To brew your espresso, just press the right (pump) button and it will initiate the espresso-making process. There is another light which shows you when the boiler has reached its operating temperature.
In terms of the actual temperature, you aren’t in control as much as you are in some other espresso machines, such as the La Pavoni PA-1200 Napolitana, but Gaggia believes that they have got the right one for you and fixed it there.
Pros & Cons
✔ Great value
✔ Classic, easily recognizable design
✔ Can handle high espresso output
✔ Sturdy construction built with quality materials
✔ Dead-simple to use
✔ Practical size
✔ Ideal for small coffee shops
✔ Makes the perfect cup of espresso
✗ Kind of inflexible
✗ The Pannarello steam wand (which you can replace if its too much of a downside)
Baristas are divided into two camps when it comes to the Pannarello wand, used for steaming and frothing. All in all, we think it’s up to the personal preference of a person whether he likes it or not.
Gaggia 14101 Alternatives
We compared and reviewed 5 commercial espresso machines and analyzed the differences. People who are looking for the best performance usually choose the Rancilio Silvia or the Breville BES920XL. Those machines have a reasonable price tag, they are a bit bigger than the Gaggia machine though.
If you are on limited budget and want something even smaller, you can go check out the Delonghi EC685M DEDICA. It does wonders for your home-brewed coffee but fails to deliver when it comes to commercial use (unlike the Gaggia Classic).Table could not be displayed.
Gaggia Classic Espresso Machine Conclusion and Rating
If you are planning on opening a small coffee shop, or simply want a user-friendly espresso machine at your house, which will brew the perfect cup every time you turn it on, and won’t require much maintenance, the Gaggia Classic is ideal for you.
It comes at an affordable price and doesn’t have a huge body which eats up on your kitchen space. We gave this product a four out of five stars.
Hi my name is Larry, a coffee aficionado from the US. I have already visited Colombia, Sumatra, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ethiopia and Jamaica in my pursuit of finding the best-tasting coffee beans. I currently write from Bali and enjoy the relaxed life that you can only find in Canggu. Welcome to my coffee world!
Last update on 2023-05-31 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.