When it comes to sleek Italian design coupled with commercial grade stainless steel construction and cafe quality coffee, the Gaggia is an espresso machine that ticks all the boxes.
Let’s just get straight down to business and talk about some of the features that sets this great espresso machine above the rest.
Gaggia 14101 Features:
17.5 Bar pump pressure: Most other espresso machines boast a 15 bar pump. Now, for the best result espresso is normally pulled at 9 bars of pressure. The reason machines have 15 bars is that it gives them the ability to pull at 9 bars and be well within their operating limits.
To put it in other terms, if you compare a car with a top speed of 150MPH against one with a top speed of 90MPH, they can both drive at 90MPH but which one is going to do it more comfortably?
Many people say that having more than 15 bars of pressure is unnecessary as you’ll never pull your espresso at such high pressure. Our opinion is that even though it is true that you’ll never pull at say, 17.5 bars, a machine with this upper limit is going to be more comfortable pulling at 9. Hence it should last longer and produce great coffee for longer without putting it under as much strain.
High voltage boiler: Gives the Gaggia 14101 the ability to heat the water up super fast.
3-way solenoid valve: Please excuse the jargon. This is a fancy way of saying that the machine features instant pressure relief so that you can remove your portafilter immediately after pulling a shot, leading to faster loading up of your next one.
Brass portafilter and grouphead: For excellent temperature stability.
It is clear that with the Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine you are getting a very well designed, classic espresso machine with features that put it a cut above many of the other consumer level machines out there.
What others are saying
The machine has an average customer rating of around 4 out of 5 stars from various online stores. We’ve highlighted a handful of points that some people have raised:
- Well made and substantial parts, comparable almost to multi-thousand dollar commercial machines
- Easy to use and to create beautiful shots every single time
- Robust and very long lasting (decades in some cases!)
- There have been mixed comments about the steam wand attachment not being up to scratch. This is a replaceable part if you are not happy with it though. Others say that it produces perfect frothy milk
- You can only fit espresso cup, not mugs, under the machine. (hello – this is an espresso machine!)
- Stainless steel water tank will not last as long as a copper water tank (we are still talking years of use though)
There are many more opinions from people who directly contradict each other in their online reviews - for example one person will say it creates the best ever steamed milk, and the next person will say it’s terrible.
The overriding feeling that we get from browsing hundreds of customer reviews online is that people will complain about anything! This machine has suffered from negative reviews simply because the users haven’t followed instructions correctly, or are comparing it to machines that are more than twice it’s price.
Because this is a step up from your entry level espresso machine, it attracts a different type of coffee maker. People who are used to using professional machines are looking at this and comparing it to what they are used to. Since it still is considered a consumer machine, it of course is not going to match professional machines on every level.
However, for the majority of people who like making espresso at home the Gaggia 14101 will be an amazing step up from what they are used to with their $100 machine – and if this is your first espresso machine then you will also not be disappointed.