I had bought a Gaggia Classic (2012 or 2014 model I think it is), with all the necessary mods already in place (PID, OPV fitted, Rancilio steam wand).
For a while I used it regularly but then I put it away and used my bean to cup exclusively.
Recently went to my cousin’s house who has a Sage Barista Express and he made me coffee (Union Roasted Christmas blend, Baked Apple, Cinnamon, Cocoa notes). It tasted miles better than what the bean to cup produces, not a surprise. What was a complete surprise though was it looked like it would be awful tasting. Shot ran really quickly, water, and he had absolutely no clue about ratios.
That gave me an incentive to dig my Gaggia out again. Recently bought the cheap single dose SPTK 38 grinder based on Dave’s review of it, to use with the Gaggia.
I’m pulling decent ratio (1-2.5), in about 30 seconds. Liquid pours after about 7 seconds. But it tastes meh. I’ve tried various different adjustments, sometimes I get a nice result, sometimes not. What I have noticed consistently is that the temperature on the PID display drops mid shot. But this drop varies from shot to shot. Sometimes 1-2 degrees, sometimes 3 degrees, sometimes the drop occurs slowly, sometimes quickly.
When I bought this Gaggia, it was always only as a stepping stone to a better espresso machine. Recently I’ve been eyeing up the Lelit Mara X2. Would I get better results with the Lelit?