Had my Gaggia Espresso Pure and Baratza Maestro grinder for a month now, and love them.
Commercial 58mm heavy non-pressurized portafilter, which is great if you want to learn how to make shots manually; tamping, grinding and dosing properly is lots of fun. Using close to the finest grind the Maestro can do, heap filter, tap to settle in some extra grinds, and tamp (with that icky plastic tamper that comes with the machine - I know, I need to upgrade that :$) is yielding consistent 25 second shots with beautiful crema.
Steam wand is a big issue though; it comes with the panarello gizmo, with is a sleeve with an air intake that slides overtop of the 1/2 inch wand underneath, and blasts massive amounts of air into the milk. Great thing for beginners to make some voluminous (is that a word?) foam, but if you're after proper microfoam it's not gonna work. However, there is a $20 upgrade you can get which is a Saeco "latte art" panarello wand, which still has the removable sleeve, but the wand underneath is about 2 inches long, so you can remove the outer sleeve (and throw it away and use the wand to make reasonable microfoam. It still only has one hole at the bottom of the wand instead of multiple ones like a commercial wand, so it's a bit touchier getting air into the milk but with practice it works. This picture shows the length of the upgraded wand (in my hand) vs. the one that comes with the machine. WORTH THE $20!
Good entry level burr grinder, got the portaholder attachment which allows me to grind into the portafilter hands free while I get other stuff ready (it does spill a bit once the filter's almost full though). The grind for espresso is perfect at about 5 notches from the finest setting, but finding the coarsest setting is still not quite coarse enough for non sludgy french press though.
Whole package was $500 including delivery, so pretty decent bang for the $.
The "Color" is the same machine as the "Pure" except it's red. Even comes in the same box. The "Dose" is the same machine again, but it has the ability to dispense a chosen shot size (3 oz, etc) of water, so it turns off automatically instead of having the user have to watch the amount and turn it off manually.
Quick question: I've read about users of other Gaggia machines replacing their steam wands with a Silvia wand, but the Espresso Pure isn't referenced; when you test out your Color machine, can you take a look and let me know if you think it could be done on that machine as well? Here's the article: coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1126833848
I just got the Pure as well- i'm a novice to all of this, but this machine was easy to use. Still working on getting the right ratio of espresso to milk for my lattes though. I still love it though!
If I use the one shot filter, and put in one scoop, this will give me about one shot- correct? How long do I let it run for? I often times find it quite watery. I like mind a bit stronger. I've tried the 2shot filter with 2 scoops, but found this gave me indigestion (sorry TMI)... Any suggestions..
Hi Rain! The manual does say to use the scoop for measuring; I would recommend ignoring the scoop entirely, you need way more coffee than that.
Here's what I do for double shots (the same theory should work for singles with the single size basket). Fill portafilter completely and heap a bit more on top. GENTLY (the portafilter has plastic spouts) tap the portafilter on a rag padded counter - this will settle in some of the heaped coffee. Then use the flat edge of a knife to flatten the top. Then use the tamper to tamp the coffee down. Then wipe off the top edges (this keeps the machine cleaner).
Get a little timer of some sort or use a watch. A double shot should take about 25 seconds to yield 3 oz; a single is also about 25 seconds to yield 1.5oz
If the shot takes too long:
- you used too much coffee and(or) you tamped too hard and(or) the grind is too fine: the coffee will taste bitter
If the shot is too fast:
- you didn't use enough coffee and(or) you didn't tamp hard enough and(or) the grind is too coarse: the coffee will taste weak
Getting the right feel for the grind, the tamp, and the amount of coffee takes some time and lots or trials, but you'll be rewarded at the end! I would recommend starting by using more coffee; I used the scoop as the manual said and it only filled the double shot basked about 3/4 which is nowhere near enough coffee.
Thanks so much for this. As I was reading your message; I thought to myself how can I get more coffee into the basket, as it's full to the max already...then it dawned on me... Now- I feel pretty stupid admitting this; I was using the basket for the PODS!!! It looks like the small basket (just bigger), so I assumed it was for 2 shots.
SOOOO, I just made myself a latte (with the POD filter), it passes as an ok coffee (besides don't have time to make another right away); but this afternoon I will certainly try again with the correct basket- I will let you know how it goes...
Feeling "not like the smartest thing in the world"