The Gaggia Factory lever espresso maker tested

Longing for the return to the traditional? Do you have a hankering for the basics? In the world of espresso coffee there are essentially two types of brewing options; Pump powered espresso and lever powered espresso.
You have to admit, the concept of eliminating all the bells, gears, switches, whistles and pumps in the modern espresso machine seems romantic enough. But wait, hombre, this simplicity comes with a price, and that price is your devotion to detail and precision!
Gaggia traditional lever espresso machines combine old-world craftsmanship to deliver superior results with low maintenance. Lever machines are still very popular throughout the world today.

The lever machine is "functional art" and will appeal to the coffee enthusiast as well as those looking for a more hands-on espresso experience! Polished chrome finish accents the highly efficient lever design which dates back four decades!

The Gaggia Factory G105 and G106 are identical to the la Pavoni Europicolla and Professional respectfully and use the same replacement parts for the lever group, boiler,sight glass, base etc. The smaller G105 incorporates a dual element and a 2-position power switch.

altThe first position is for espresso brewing and the second position turns on the secondary element to raise the boiler temperature for steaming. Because the G106 model has a larger boiler it has more steam reserve available and therefore uses a simpler on/off switch.

This means steam for frothing is available at anytime. In addition, the G106 sports a handy boiler pressure gauge to quickly determine when the G106 is ready. Both machines utilize a boiler sight glass with protective cover to determine boiler water levels.

Raising the lever lifts the piston which then allows pressurized boiler water to fill the piston cylinder and come into contact with the espresso grounds. Lowering the lever forces the water through the espresso grounds. Up to 8 espressos can be made at one time on the G105 model and 16 espressos with model G106. The design incorporates the best of modern technology such as a nickel plated non-corrosive brass boiler, long life element, pressurestat and a reset safety thermostat. Triple plated for years of beauty and tested to meet the standards that have kept Gaggia the #1 name in the industry.Each machine is designed to last decades if properly cared for, and provide tasty espresso with every pull of the lever!

We used a digital thermometer as well as a clamp-on ammeter to snoop the behavior of the Gaggia. The boiler temp. was a touch high but that was okay because the Gaggia Factory lever espresso has an adjustable boiler temperature! We tweaked it down to about 205 to 210F for the boiler temperature and the corresponding brew group temperature was an almost perfect 198 degrees(F). Unlike the Pavoni professional, previously tested, we could draw shot after shot without burning any of the espresso. It should be noted that the smaller of the two Factory models is not really king where steam is concerned. The bigger of the two models has more headroom in the boiler for more steam and therefore it steams milk more effortlessly.

Where to buy? EspressoTec.Com Canada