[easyazon-image asin=”B0041G2OZ8″ alt=”Gaggia Accademia Espresso Machine” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NmQlvf4mL._SL160_.jpg” align=”right” width=”160″ height=”160″]Espresso, some feel, is the embodiment of Italian essence. The qualities bringing obvious complimentary parallels. Strong, dark, and rich in character and the like. So with the name Gaggia, there is a bit of built in emotion because in 1948, Italian Achille Gaggia gave the world the first “steam-free coffee with cream” espresso machine.
On September 5th, 1938, Gaggia filed patent no. 365726, for his lever machine, and created the method which we now refer to as “pulling” a shot. Many consider this to be the superior method for producing the perfect coffee.
Gaggia, today, is a manufacturer of high quality espresso makers like the for the home, including super-automatics, like the Accademia as reviewed in this article and high-end machines for restaurant and shop owners. If you look, you will find Gaggia machines used by plenty of professional baristas.
Of note, all Gaggia products are made in their Robecco sul Navigilio plant in Milan, Italy.
Tell Us About The Gaggia Academia
(Amazon’s discount prices change daily so check out the sale price for the Academia right now by clicking here.)
This machine is packed with features! Usually I don’t start off a review this way, but this really is a feature driven product. As with every super-automatic that I have reviewed thus far, there are a couple of downsides but I’ll get to those in a minute.
I’m a stickler for really hot coffee and hot coffee drinks, and it’s common for super-automatics to be more “miss”, rather than “hit”, in this department, almost always, with regards to the milks temperature. The Accademia, however, having a steam wand, in addition to the integrated milk dispensing carafe, allows for additional heating should you so choose.
This is the only super-automatic with this feature that I am aware of, and it’s such a great idea, it makes you wonder why others don’t have it. Self-cleaning before, and after each drink is handy as well.
Bomb Proof Machine
According to my research, the Accademia is a very durable machine, with the term “bomb-proof” coming up more than once. Indeed the cabinet hinges look extremely stout.I also like that the brew-group is removable. Simply take it out and rinse, again a nice feature others don’t have.
There is a screen and coordinating buttons for easy programming to set up six different coffee drinks including, espresso, caffe, caffe lungo, cappuccino, latte, latte macchiato and also hot water for an Americano or tea.
The look of the machine, like all machines, is subject to the buyers preferences. Honestly, I prefer the look of some of the competition.
There is nothing wrong at all with the Accademia design, it’s just that this is a very expensive, high quality machine, and I would have preferred less plastic, although the front panel is made of a nice fingerprint-proof stainless.
Isn’t It Expensive?
On the downside, this machine like the competition, is expensive, there’s just no getting around that. Though what you get for your money is impressive, and it is, after all, made in Italy. Some of the competition, the Saeco Xelsis Digital ID, for instance, is a bit more high-tech. Whether or not you care about things like finger-print identification for 6 individuals saved settings, however, is up to you.
What Are People Saying About it?
As mentioned above, the Accademia received high marks across the board for durability. This is not a “wimpy” unit, and this was one of the first accolades given by people time and again.
I came across a few complaints of low water, and spent puck capacity. This is a common complaint for any super-automatic though. I wonder when a company will design a system that will allow a direct connection to the tap. Water filtration is very good these days, after all.
Anyway, Gaggia claims a capacity of 1.6 liters, which is reasonable, and a vague “16” for coffee grounds, whatever that means. Sixteen pucks I assume? Well, that came from their website, and I’ll get to that in a minute.
SPECIFICATIONS & CAPACITIES
- Weight: Amazon Reports 27.5lbs. Others claim 46lbs. (Amazon lists shipping weight at 47lbs.)
- 15 Bar Pump
- Cup Warmer
- Adjustable Doser: 7-10.5 grams
- Two Circuit Stainless Boilers: One for Coffee/ One for Milk
- Easy Maintenance
- Adjustable Coffee Dispenser: Max 6.6” H
- Ceramic Burr Grinder/8 Settings
- Removable Brew Group
- Made in Italy
W 11” x H 15.2” x D 16.8”
EXPLORING THE COMPANY WEBSITE
Gaggia is a company that strives for perfection with its coffee products. However, their website is of almost no use to those interested in their products. I don’t really mind all that much, as I always say, you are paying for the machine, not a fancy ad campaign, but it would be nice to have some sort of useable information available right from the source.
It’s rather charming, in a fashion, to read the poor English on the site for example, on one page they ask about how much space you have for their machine, and one of your options reads:
“I don’t have like a space but I would home Gaggia for Italian espresso”
It’s actually worse, but I’d have to change the editing options on my computer to keep it from correcting all of the errors. Totally useless, but worth a laugh if you’re really bored.
Note: It should be noted that the instructions that come with the Accademia are supposed to be very good, and thorough.
WHERE CAN I BUY THE ACADEMIA AND HOW MUCH SHOULD I PAY?
The Gaggia Accademia can be found here at www.Amazon.com. The Accademia is in the same price range as its competition and the list price is $2999.00
Aside from a couple of little things, I think the Accademia is a really solid machine. I’m not really sure what, if any, “trickle-down” there really is for companies that make both commercial and home machines. If there is, in this instance, with this company, that would be a really good thing.
I’ve noticed one Portuguese shop that I frequent uses Gaggia equipment. I wouldn’t go there if the product wasn’t excellent. The ambiance helps too, of course, but if I was in the market for a commercial machine I would take a good hard look at Gaggia, and for that reason, I would look to their home products as well.
The story doesn’t end there though, because the truth is that in all of my many hours of research time devoted to espresso makers the Accademia scored as high as any other super-automatic in the price range where it resides.
Gaggia is a thoroughly Italian company. Sure, they may seem a little quirky when viewed from our side of the monitor, but they take espresso seriously, and if you’re reading this, then so do you. They say in their mission statement, that part of their goal is “Constantly evolving tradition.”, and if you measure this with the Accademia, then Achille Gaggia would no doubt be proud.
Read More –> Gaggia Accademia