I just got my Gaggia Classic after a few months of researching, reading posts and watching videos on Youtube. That's how I ended up reading Glenn's great article "Gaggia Classic - step by step" after I finally decided to get one for myself - many thanks Glenn for clearing so many things for me. I followed the steps regarding priming the machine very carefully and managed to do the job alright. However, being new to this particular espresso machine and its nice rocket switches I was smart enough to mess up a tiny bit (I guess). Well, nothing happened - at least of what I noticed. What I did was leaving 1ST (POWER) and 2ND (STEAM) switches on with the STEAM KNOB close tight and then hit the BREW SWITCH. With other words, I just wanted to flash the brew head but completely forgot to turn the middle switch off. It went on for less than 5 seconds, I heard the pump noise going lower than usual and noticed that there was no water coming out of the group head before turning brewing off. I guess I did some kind of steaming-backflash, hopefully I didn't screw anything up, still wondering ... I really appreciate if someone could clear this out for me..
Next thing I grind some old stale beans with my brand new Ascaso I-mini I2, tamped the grinds in 7 gram pressurized filter with the plastic tamper that I found in Gaggia box (my 57,5 stainless steel Motta tamper along with non-pressurized baskets are arriving tomorrow afternoon, I swear ). It seemed that the grinding was close enough to what I was looking for but I actually managed to choke the machine.. another backflash! Well, dialing in a stepless grinder can a real pain, I gotta tell you .. it finally worked out but I definitely will go on tomorrow with fresh beans, a normal tamper and a non pressurized basket
Thanks for the kind words.We aim to please.
The Gaggia is built like a tank. Rest assured you did not hurt it! When you actuated steam mode but closed the steam knob - the steam had no place to go!. I've done that a few times while wandering around in a 6:00 am fog. You are doing the right things - a new tamper and new basket. Single shots - 7 -8 g are pretty challenging for a beginner. I am inclined to start with the double basket and master technique first.