For the last couple of weeks we’ve been extensively road testing a Philips Gaggia Grangaggia Espresso Coffee Machine. I feel like I’m progressing. I’ve made it from instant, to pods and now to bona fide proper coffee made from ground beans. I do like my coffee, although only in the morning, as it tends to make me a little hyper and I have trouble getting to sleep in the evening if I have too much after lunch.
Given that Danger is attempting to force some teeth through at the moment, our nights sleep are rather interrupted. Coupled with an endless supply of coughs and colds that the new school year has ushered in, being able to have a hot mug of strong coffee in the morning* has been a real godsend. There is literally nothing quite like the aroma or hit from your first strong black coffee of the day.
In terms of operation, the Gaggia attempts to be idiot proof and does a fairly good job. We flooded the worktop once by not pushing the water tank in properly after filling it but to be fair, the instructions are fairly explicit about how far down to push the 1L tank and there is a useful guideline on the side of the cavity. Blame it on not enough coffee.
The Gaggia has 3 buttons on the front, one is an on/off, the second is a “push the hot water through the filter to make some coffee” button and the third enters the mystical world of the milk frother. I’m not a latte drinker so I had to defer to wifey on how well the milk frothed. She said it took a bit of practice but in the end she got the knack of steaming the ice cold milk into an acceptable cup of milky froth.
In terms of authentic coffee making, the device even has a Portafiltro, which means you can pretend to be a genuine barristo from your favourite shop. Whether that means you wander off and take ten minutes to make a simple espresso depends entirely on which chain you regularly frequent of course but the result is pretty much the same if you put the right blend of beans in. It does 15 bars of pressure and lets you bang the grinds out on the side of your sink like a proper pro.
All in all, if you want a near perfect cup of coffee and are willing to put a little bit of effort in, I really can’t fault the Gaggia in the slightest. Do I drink all of my coffee from it’s hallowed bowels? The answer to that is no. I don’t stoop to instant but occasionally when I’m in a hurry, I pop a pod in our machine. It’s good but you can taste the difference, which sums it up nicely I think. Good things tend to take that little bit extra effort- like the difference between oven chips and getting out your deep fat fryer for some proper chips.
The Philips Gaggia Grangaggia Espresso Coffee Machine retails for £169, which works out as 68 medium sized lattes from a well known coffee chain. I’ve taken to buying beans from our local coffee van, Soko Coffee, since they do their own unique blend. How cool is that? I feel like a proper coffee connoisseur!
*pre 7am is now sadly classed as morning. I wistfully remember the days when 5.45am would have been classed the middle of the night.