The Good: An entry-level espresso machine that doesn’t suck and isn’t overpriced. If this is your first espresso maker, you simply cannot do any wrong here as you get all of the basics, a few extras and more quality for less cost than you would with any of their competitors.
The Bad: Aluminum boiler susceptible to corrosion
Tip:Don’t use hard tap water. Use bottled water instead
The Bottom Line: By far and away, this is the best budget semi-automatic espresso machine currently on the shelves. Not only are you getting quality that is far higher than the price would suggest, you are also getting pricing that is far below what they should be asking. Scoop this one up quick before Gaggia figures out the Euro to Dollar conversion rates because when they do, this steal of a bargain will be long gone!
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Gaggia 14101 Classic Review
To come right out and say it, this is the absolute best bang for your buck that you’re going to get in an espresso machine on a budget. If you aren’t looking to break the bank open but still want a classically designed, high-tech espresso machine for your home system, the Gaggia 14101 is the way to go. While it might not have all of the commercial aspects that some of the higher-end home kitchen espresso machines have, it certainly has more than any of its same-class competitors.
That’s because the 14101 Classic is straight out of Italy, designed by one of the most trusted names in espresso, Gaggia. When it comes to espresso, Italians don’t mess around—the guys at Gaggia are no different. Using the industry standard 58 mm filters typically only found in higher-priced models, you can make a fully brewed, professional tasting rich espresso right in the comfort of your own home.
Complete with stainless steel housing, a 17 ½ bar pump, high-voltage boiler and an independent expansion valve, if you didn’t know any better, you’d think this was straight out of an Italian espresso house’s kitchen. On top of that, there’s a 3-way solenoid valve that instantly releases the pressure from the brass group head, giving you instant access to the porta-filter for immediate re-shot filling. And as if that weren’t fast enough, you can make two shots of espresso at once while still warming up hot water for tea, an Americano or frothing crema while warming up your cup for the most authentic espresso you’ve ever had.
With 72 ounces of water reserve, a commercial grade coffee tamper and a double-shot stainless steel filter, you have everything you need to spend a morning or evening in Italy—except the actual country!
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What Features Make the Gaggia 14101 the Ultimate Budget Espresso Buy?
Of course, there has to be much more to the Gaggia 14101 if it is going to claim prize to the title of best budget semi-automatic espresso maker—and there is! Check out some of the amazing features you get with this competitively priced and designed espresso machine direct from Italian design houses:
• The porta-filter handle and style is commercial grade and commercially designed. The larger 58 mm diameter helps the water distribute evenly over the entire surface, giving you a better brew even with the finest, most tampered grounds.
• A chrome-plated brass filter keeps the machine’s temperature steady and constant for the extraction and brewing process, giving you the highest quality espresso you can get each and every time
• Chrome-plated marine brass brewing groups lock the porta-filter into an optimally heat-stabilized compartment for efficiency, control, consistency and longevity.
• The 14101 has a super-conductive aluminum boiler heated from two exterior elements on either side of the boiler. This ensures equal heat distribution, especially with the low-volume/high-wattage set up (meaning quicker heatup times)
• Three rocker arm switches for full control, complete with temperature indication lights and a steam switch. You’ll always be able to quickly tell where in the extraction and brewing process your espresso is with just one quick glance
• A true espresso is served in a preheated cup and the Gaggia gives you a cup warmer big enough to preheat 5 cups at once. Since the heater is passive, it doesn’t take any extra power, instead working on the residual heat created in the boiler
• The Pannarello steam wand makes brewing the perfect steamy froth as easy as pie.
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