Gaggia coffee machines, are they good?

The short answer is yes, Gaggia coffee machines are very good.

If you’re new to the Gaggia brand, then the first thing to be aware of is that it makes both manual coffee brewing machines (like The Gaggia Classic, which we’ll come to shortly) and fully automatic bean-to-cup coffee machines.

The Gaggia Classic

The Gaggia Classic is a true example of Italian style. It combines timeless design and fantastic usability – what’s not to love?

This marvellous machine launched in 1991 and has been delighting coffee aficionados ever since. For those of you seeking a traditional barista experience, look no further! Here at Cracking Coffee HQ, we prefer a manual coffee brewing machine with a grinder, so always opt for the Gaggia Classic. It’s our go-to coffee machine for one reason: consistently delicious espresso.

Insider Tip: The latest evolution of the Gaggia Classic has launched! And guess what? Cracking Coffee is one of the first to stock it, being one of Gaggia’s favoured sellers has its perks! Why not take a peek?


A Brief History of Gaggia Coffee Machines

Back in the 1930s, a man called Achille Gaggia became obsessed with finding the perfect espresso (we can relate, right?) It’s thanks to him that many of us have one of Italy’s most iconic brands on our kitchen counter: The Gaggia.

The Gaggia was the first commercial espresso machine ever created. This traditional manual espresso machine made its debut in Milan, Italy and remains an industry favourite to this day.

Inspired by fashion, design and culture of the day (and, of course, “La Dolce Vita”), Gaggia produced elegant, timeless machines year after year. Now, more than half a century on, Gaggia continues to supply both bars and homes with innovative, state-of-the-art coffee machines.

1952: The Home Coffee Machine Revolution

In 1952, one of the first Gaggia coffee machines was launched for domestic use, The Gilda. The aim was to offer people the same standard of espresso they’d find in bars, within the comfort of their own home. The Gilda was completely (and painstakingly) handcrafted and activated by piston pressure.

What’s so special about Gaggia espresso?

Gaggia espresso is unique. The clever mechanism inside Gaggia espresso machines extracts the natural coffee oils and creates a delicious creamy layer – Crema – on top of the drink. It’s thanks to Gaggia that we have this characteristic soft layer of “crema naturale”- imagine what a revelation it was in the late 1930s!

How to make the perfect espresso using a Gaggia Classic

different types of espresso and latte

Before we start, let’s be clear on the difference between a single shot espresso and a double shot espresso. A single shot uses the small basket, a double shot uses the large basket.

Right, here’s how to make an espresso that Achille Gaggia himself would be proud of …

First of all, prepare your coffee beans. If you use pre-ground coffee, then you can crack on. If you prefer to grind the coffee beans yourself, be sure to use a good quality grinder. We highly recommend this electric coffee grinder or the classic manual coffee grinder.

Position a preheated shot glass under the spout of the portafilter and turn on the brew/pump switch. This is the switch on the far right. You’re aiming to get a total of about 2 ounces (60ml) of espresso in around 25 – 30 seconds.

Top tip: If you’re going for a 25 second shot, turn the brew/pump switch off after 25 seconds. Then, measure how much espresso there is. If you’ve got more than 2 ounces in 25 seconds, your grounds are too coarse. If you got less than 2 ounces in 25 seconds, your grounds are too fine. It’s worth doing this several times until you can ‘dial in’ your perfect grind.

If you take your espresso black then sample your shots as you go. The key thing to look for is crema (the caramel-brown foam that sits on top of the drink). If there’s no crema, there’s no espresso!

It you take milk with your coffee then transfer the espresso shot into a cup, ready to add your hot milk.

Top tip: Once you’re confident pulling a single or double shot, make sure you start pulling your shots directly into a pre-warmed (we recommend using boiling water) cup. The reason you do this is to keep your espresso nice and hot and retain that delicious crema!

And there you have it, a perfect cup of espresso. For a truly Italian experience, treat yourself to a biscotti to enjoy with your coffee.

cup of gaggia classic espresso with almond biscotti

If you’ve been unsure which Gaggia coffee machine to buy but are now in love with the Gaggia Classic (perfectly understandable), you can buy one from us, if you like.



As an official Gaggia retailer, Cracking Coffee ensures you always get the best out of your Gaggia coffee machine. Thanks to our great relationship with Gaggia, you can rely on us tap into their outstanding aftercare service for you.

With decades of innovation and heritage, when you buy a Gaggia Classic coffee machine, you buy quality – enjoy!