Friday, May 27, 2022

SIDE BY SIDE – $500 Gaggia Classic Vs. $5,000 Linea Mini

When it comes to buying an espresso machine you can essentially spend as little or as much as you'd like and some will even argue that a 500 machine does the exact same thing as a 5 000 machine and to a point that's true in the simplest of terms both apply pressurized water to ground coffee resulting in espresso .

But the same argument can be made about most things like when it comes to cars a honda and a porsche can both take you from point a to point b but i'm sure you'd likely agree there's a little more to the story than just that one single aspect so in today's video i'm going to be comparing the gaja classic pro which is .

A 500 machine to the la marzocco linea mini which is a 5 000 machine and take a closer look at their differences and similarities beyond the price tag as well as a blind taste comparison of shots pulled on each machine but first a quick word from this video's sponsor standart magazine nothing goes .

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Yourself to a year subscription of copy and coffee delivered to your doorstep nearly anywhere in the world on paper they don't come across as massively different and neither machine is a treasure trove of exciting or impressive features i mean once you start listing a cup warmer that's literally just radiant heat coming off .

The machine or an led that sits by the group you've pretty much ran out of ideas but for the price the main difference between the two is the dual boilers on the mini that let you steam and pull shots at the same time and its factory installed pid to ensure temperature stability .

But i think where the gaja really comes alive is its broad and approachable aftermarket options for a pretty reasonable price you can change pressures add pre-infusion and temperature control among a wide variety of baskets screens and other accessories on the other hand modifying functions on the mini in a similar way will cost you .

Significantly more and the installations are much more advanced so i think this comparison and a large price difference doesn't really come down to individual features themselves and more so under that somewhat nebulous word quality even with the wide gap in pricing both .

The gaja and the mini fall into the same category known as prosumer which essentially means it's a consumer or customer facing product with professional capabilities and parts but as you likely can guess there's a wide variety of machines in the prosumer category and just by looking at each of these you can definitely tell there's .

Some material differences outside of each machine having mostly metal bodies the most obvious difference you'll notice right away is their size which is underscored by their weight the gaja clocks in at 20 pounds while the mini top's just over 70. this leads us to talking about why there is that difference and what's inside each .

Machine of course looking inside both machines you'll see tubes valves and fittings but the mini has a lot more metal brass and insulation also the mini has two stainless boilers one for steam and one for brewing the gaggia on the other hand has a single aluminum boiler .

The gagia uses a vibration pump which is less expensive and less consistent in terms of applied pressure compared to the rotary vane pump inside of the mini the fact is i could sit here and go through the entire spec sheet of each machine and just tell you all these little marketing points they put in there but none of these things really .

Tell you if or why one makes better espresso than the other which kind of leads me to the next chapter so now that we've covered the material quality the features and many of the differing aspects between these two machines it's time to get into what you're really interested in the main event the espresso out of the box the .

Gaja runs a lot of pressure around 15 bars which is more than double what i'm running on my mini which is currently set to 6. but this extra pressure isn't necessarily holding it back from performing when tested i was able to get 20 plus percent extractions from the gaja but the difference in taste was .

Notable using the same coffee and the same recipe the gaja produced shots that tasted quite a bit harsher in terms of a lack of sweetness and overall balance while the mini shots were much more palatable with a balance between sweet and bitter that presented a much smoother shot .

So in an effort to really try and figure out those taste differences i decided to level the playing field a bit to do this i swapped out the standard shower screen with the same ims nano coated version i used on the mini then i swapped out the standard basket with a vst and i also installed the 6.5 bar open pressure valve spring to bring it .

Much closer to what the mini is cranking out lastly to keep out any possible bias i also asked my friend siri to come by and pull me shots on both machines while i waited in the other room and after tasting both shots of espresso one stood out over the other surprisingly they actually tasted very .

Similar but the shot that i preferred had an edge not a massive one but enough of an edge in terms of its upfront flavor to stand out it was slightly sweeter and brighter and that shot was brewed on the gaja doing a comparison like this is difficult because it's hard to find a .

Balance i don't want to come across like i'm bashing the less expensive machine all in favor of trying to justify the cost of the other one that's the last thing i want to do every machine has its merits its pros and its cons its own genesecua an unspoken thing that's hard to put your finger on hard to explain but for me it's a feeling that i always .

Described as barista tingles and coming from a service and cafe work background i've grown very accustomed to the heft of the tools and machinery on a commercial bar and the gaja just feels really delicate by comparison the term heirloom quality has been bouncing around a lot lately and i think in the end each machine's included .

Tamper really illustrates their differences the mini's heavy etched in polished stainless steel versus the gaja's slightly flimsy black plastic the mini is intended to be on the counter for a decade plus while the gacha comes across as somewhat disposable .

That's not to say there aren't 10 year old gaja classics floating around out there somewhere still pulling shots but i don't think that's the lifespan that gaja planned for based on its internals and its accessories so in the end the true differences between a 500 and 5 000 espresso machine lands on more than just budget and .

Espresso quality much like coffee on its own there's a lot of personal preferences in the mix aesthetics performance reliability brand reputation and so much more and these factors are all for you to decide not for anyone else to judge or to dictate personally as someone who's owned a mini .

For over five years now i had a lot of fun with the gaja opening it up and rooting around inside it just felt a lot less intimidating now i'm sure some people out there are waiting for me to make a verdict give a hard answer give a winner and a loser but i really don't think it's that cut and dry .

So to come full circle all the way back to the intro in the simplest of terms both machines make good espresso and if that's all you're looking for why pay 5 000 when you can pay 500 but if you have the budget and you're looking for something that's more than just point a to point b the mini or maybe something else even higher on the prosumer food .

Chain maybe more your speed and with all that said i think it's time i wrap this one up and pass the conversation on to you do you have experience with both or either of these machines where do you land on this topic and of course if you had to choose one which would you prefer and why drop your answers to those questions and any others you may have in .

The comments section down below and i'll see y'all next week thanks for watching don't forget to like share and subscribe hit that little bell button for notifications of new videos posted every friday check out my instagram that's prometheus for content throughout the week my blog it's .

Prometheus.com mycoffee littlegiant.coffee and as always stay caffeinated ponyboy

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