Gaggia Classic Pro Review [Model- RI9380/46]

Getting an espresso machine for their home is something many coffee addicts consider. As a fellow coffee lover myself, I understand why someone would want to get one. It would be seriously convenient and save you a lot of bucks in the long run.

However, espresso machines are an expensive purchase.  But the original Gaggia Classic is famous for being one of the cheapest espresso machines you can get. What’s more, it performs pretty well for the price. Can the new, upgraded Gaggia Classic Pro continue the legacy?

That is what we are going to explore today in this Gaggia Classic Pro review.

Gaggia Classic Pro

Overview of Gaggia Classic Pro

The Gaggia Classic Pro is an improvement of one of the best & most popular semi-auto entry-level espresso machines in the market. It comes with a commercial steam wand that will texture milk effortlessly for the perfect velvety microfoam needed to do beautiful latte art.

This steam wand is accompanied by another commercial-grade part- the 58 mm portafilter. It will filter your espresso nicely in the single of the double shot basket, as per your preference.

And if you wanted to use ESE pods or pre-ground coffee, you can do so with this machine’s pressurized basket.

All of these parts are housed in a modern, sleek, stainless steel housing. Lastly, it will brew away quietly thanks to the enhanced pump mounts.

Key Features

Now, let us break down the main features;

The Design

At first glance, this Classic Pro version of Gaggia will look very similar to its predecessors. But it does have small altercations that make it look more modern, such as the rounded off edge of the drip tray.

The new Pro steam wand and the pressure overflow pipe both come with anti-burn covers, which makes it more professional & safer.

On the metal framework’s side, a slight cut-out has been made so that the user can see the water tank level. Again, this is a nice touch that adds to the efficiency of the device.

The overall housing comes in a rugged brushed stainless-steel design. This looks modern but very similar to the older version.

Bottom line is, this device looks very similar to the classic version, with some minor tweaks to the design for added efficiency &a slightly more modern feel.

Return of the Solenoid Valve

Some of the older Gaggias had ditched the solenoid valve in favor of a mechanical valve, but it is back once again. This machine sports a 3-way solenoid valve.

While mechanical valves need less maintenance than solenoid ones, they are less powerful.

Personally, I prefer the power of a solenoid valve, even if it means a bit more maintenance. So, I give this change a thumbs up.

Also, most domestic espresso machines that do contain a solenoid fail to have a three-way one, which results in sloppier pucks. This one will create drier ones that are more satisfying to knock out from the portafilter.

Aluminum Boiler

The classic Gaggia had a larger boiler made of stainless steel. But this new Classic Pro goes for a smaller, aluminum boiler.

This boiler is most likely anodized, which means the water will not actually have direct contact with the aluminum thanks to a coating. However, if you keep using hard water in the machine, then over time this coating can get damaged, resulting in the water having direct contact with the aluminum.

To prevent that, always descale your water if the water in your area is hard water. Alternatively, you can use bottled water in the machine.

Gaggia makes descalers that go with their machines, so if you buy one, get that.

This smaller boiler heats up faster than the previous versions. It will get to the optimal temperature in only about 45 seconds, which is something I appreciate. The faster I get my coffee, the better.

Do not worry about getting less steam power because of the smaller boiler. The trick is to start steaming after 7-8 seconds have passed from turning the feature on. This way, you will have enough steam power for the perfect milk texture.

The Updated Steam Wand

The Classic Pro comes with a proper, professional-quality steam wand. In my opinion, this wand alone makes this device a huge improvement over the older versions and worth buying.

The domestic espresso machines usually come with a Panarello wand, which fails to provide full control. It makes thick cappuccino foam, sure, but what if you want to make another drink that does not need this thick foam?

Well, with this commercial-grade wand, you have full control and variety to make any coffee drink you want. Now you do not have to feel restrained to only a particular type of drink anymore.

This steam wand has two holes on its tip as opposed to the generic single hole tip, which helps to distribute microfoam evenly throughout the milk and get the milk spinning.

The Drip Tray

This drip tray comes in an all-chrome finish, which is nicer looking. As stated before, it has rounded front edges, which look more modern and nicer.

Also, this tray is low profile, so you can directly place tall cups on it instead of having to pour the shots from shot cups to tall glasses. As always, it is just more convenient to use.

The Water Tank

This water tank is the same as the older models, with a 2.1-liter capacity. So, there is not much to say about it except that it holds a pretty good amount of water.

In the previous version, under some lighting conditions, it was tough to see the water level of the tank by looking at it. Gaggia eradicated that problem by adding cut-outs on the main body. So, now you can properly see the water level and know when it is time for a refill.

The Metal Splitter

In espresso machines, you will always find a splitter that divides the espresso flow into two. The Gaggia Classis had a plastic splitter. But in this version, it has been replaced with an all-metal one.

This change, although a minor one, adds to the aesthetic of the entire ‘sleek polished’ vibe this machine is going for. I prefer the metal splitter, and I think it is a nice addition.

The All Brass Portafilter & Group Head

Some of the older Gaggias had plastics to help in the locking of the device’s portafilter, which this classic pro does not. The group head and portafilter are both made of all metal brass.

Personally, it did not make that much of a difference to me. I do not mind having some plastic, but I also prefer the all-metal parts more. So, it boils down to your personal preference.

Standard and Pressured Baskets

When using an espresso machine, you will come across two types of baskets – the traditional ones, and the pressurized ones meant for the perfect crema.

The pressurized baskets were made to help the at-home coffee makers in making better quality espresso. Commercial espresso machines and home barista machines come with traditional baskets. On the other hand, domestic coffee machines come with pressurized baskets.

This machine comes with both. So, if you prefer to just use grounded coffee beans and not get too involved, you can use the pressurized baskets to get perfect results from them.

And if you prefer to roast and grind the coffee beans yourself, then you can use the standard basket instead. So, you will have options for both depending on your mood, and available time.

The Buttons

In this Classic Pro version, Gaggia has gone back to the more traditional rocker style switches, instead of the buttons in the Classic version.

Gaggia Classic Pro Buttons

Also, each of the buttons come with their own light. Previously, the power button had its own light; the coffee and the steam buttons shared one light. Now, all three have their own separate light indicators, which is again, more convenient for the user.

These switches are also easier to use by comparison.

The Pump Mounts

The vibration pump on this device has been mounted in such a way that reduces the amount of sound made by absorbing vibrations. So, with the Gaggia Classic Pro, you will get the same excellent quality coffee without having to be annoyed by the loud sounds of the machine.

The Over Pressure Valve (OPV)

In the Classic version, you could adjust the OPV valve to match the brewing pressure. But in this machine, the OPV is fixed to the pump’s top, so you cannot adjust the pressure with this one.

However, there is a simple and inexpensive mod that can allow you to tweak the valve down a bit. All you have to do is to get a spring mod and follow the instructions that come with it. This will cost you less than 10 dollars.

The Price

To the uninitiated, the price of the Gaggia Classic Pro will seem like a lot for a home appliance. But in reality, it is relatively inexpensive. You will not get a home barista machine with this level of performance for any cheaper.

So, I think it is a great entry-level espresso machine to buy. With the proper care, it will last for decades and save you a lot of money that you would otherwise spend on coffee. So, it is a great deal.

The Power

The original Gaggia Classic had a power of 1425 watts. Over time, the power dropped to 1300W, and then again to 1050W. This Classic Pro brings the power back up at 1300W.

The added power, coupled with the aluminum boiler, helps this machine heat up way quicker compared to the older models

Pros

  • Powerful 3-way solenoid valve added
  • Spectacular value for money; perfect for beginners
  • Makes less noise thanks to the vibration absorption
  • Professional grade steam wand for versatile performance
  • Availability of both standard and pressured baskets
  • The switches come with their own indicators
  • Low profile drip tray allows taller cups
  • Easier to check water level thanks to the new design
  • Sleek, modern design in a rugged brushed stainless steel

Cons

  • The OPV needs mods if you want to adjust it
  • May get affected if the wrong descaler is used
  • Does not include new technology such as preinfusion or PID

Recommended article for you: Nespresso Vertuo Next review And FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where is the Gaggia Classic Pro made?

All Gaggia machines are made in Milan, Italy at their Robecco Sul Naviglio factory. Only the 2015 Gaggia Classic version was made in Romania. Every other Gaggia machine, including the Classic Pro, is made in Milan.

  • Should I use drinking or distilled water in the Gaggia Classic Pro?

Distilled water can harm most general espresso machines, so you should not use them. Filtered water along with BWT pads would be the safest choice for coffee machines. You can also use Gaggia descale attachments to filter water.

  • Can I use descalers of other brands with the Gaggia Classic Pro?

It is not advised to use descalers from other manufacturers with the Gaggia Classic Pro. They can actually damage the machine if they are not compatible with it. So, if you are using descalers, get the ones made by Gaggia.

  • Should I use packaged coffee with the machine?

Because of the dual pressure baskets available, you can use any type of coffee you like with the machine – packaged, pre-grounded, whole beans grounded by yourself, etc.

Final Verdict

If it was not apparent already, then I would like to reiterate that this Gaggia Classic Pro is a great improvement over the Gaggia Classic. It has many minor tweaks and replacements that make using it far more convenient and gives it a sleeker, more aesthetically pleasing design overall.

The solenoid valve, fast heating time, lower profile drip tray, and professional steam wand all make this machine worth the purchase. So, if you love your coffee beverages a latte(pun intended), do not skip this.

That’s all for today. Hope my Gaggia Classic Pro review has helped you in making up your mind.

Hope you enjoy all of your future coffees!

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