This play list was created by Gaggia for Mothers Day 2020. We are thinking of all mothers at this difficult time when their sons and daughters are fighting for freedom.
Coffee is an experience made up of aromas, scents, sensations, emotions and sounds. And that’s exactly through music that we want to give something special to all moms, signed by Gaggia Milano.
We have a machine model called the Gaggia Naviglio. People have asked me what Naviglio means. Here goes....
Our tour goes on in one of the most lively and suggestive neighborhoods of the city. Let’s take a stroll on the banks of the Naviglio!
HistoryHere we are, in the Navigli district. Before becoming one of the buzziest areas of Milan, it used to be a long and navigable system of canals. It connected Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, so Milan had an access to Switzerland and to the Northwest Europe. The construction of the first navigable stretch of the Naviglio dates back to the second half of the XII century.
This system of channels, nicknamed “Lombardy’s Venice”, served for the transport of various goods, from food to marble for the construction of the Duomo. In order to ensure correct water flow, the Navigli have their own dam system, perfected by the great Leonardo da Vinci, at the request of Ludovico Il Moro (lord of Milan). Navigation on the Naviglio was an excellent method of transport, abandoned only from the first half of the nineteenth century when the system was replaced by railways.
Did you know that even today it is possible to travel on the same route, thanks to special boats? It is an experience you cannot miss!
NowadaysThe so-called “Navigli” of Milan include Naviglio Pavese, Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Martesana, which are three of the five canals that have survived to the present day.
At the beginning of Naviglio Pavese we find “Ponte del Trofeo” (Trophy Bridge). It takes its name from a monument built in Spanish times, commonly called the “Fuentes Trophy”. This appellative originates from the governor of the State of Milan, Don Pietro Enriquez de Acevedo Conte di Fuentes, who revived this area.
Leaving the Ponte del Trofeo behind, you will find an ex-brick kiln on the right. It is now home to the Mu-Mi: Ecomuseo Milano Sud, currently open only for virtual tours.
Walking for another 500 meters, you will find the Conchetta, the first lock of the Naviglio Pavese: a kind of “lift” for boats sailing the canal. It allows to overcome the existing height difference of almost 3 meters.
On the left of the Conchetta, there is the Sacrestia Farmacia Alcolica, a very picturesque and curious place,. There, you can enjoy excellent drinks and a delicious aperitif. The unusual name of this building (translated to English it’s Alcholic Sacresty Pharmacy) is due to a story that dates back in the early 1900s. It is said, in fact, that the building was a “Pleasure House” for Milanese gentlemen. Then, at the end of the 1950s, it was transformed into a pharmacy. Today’s owners, to pay homage to this legend, wanted to revive the past atmosphere. In fact, the place is furnished with vintage fabrics, peculiar sofas and chandeliers.
Alleys and the “Darsena”Here you can also find a historic alley: “Vicolo dei Lavandai”. It owes its name to the lavandai (launderers) who, in 1800, took care of washing the clothes. They constituted a real trade association. Here you can also admire “el fosset“, a stream that receives water of the Naviglio Grande. It was the exact place where the clothes were soaped on a wooden board, called “brellin“.
At the confluence of the Naviglio Grande and the Naviglio Pavese, there is the “Darsena” (dock). It is the place of connection of the entire system of canals and the area where boats once landed. The word Darsena, of Arab origin, means “harbor”. It indicates the covered shelter of boats. In the past, this area was full of places for sailors such as taverns, pubs and inns.
The last boat docked at Darsena on March 30, 1979 and, since then, left over boats were converted into floating bars and restaurants. Today, this nice area is the home of the Municipal Market and a place to meet for youngsters.
The “Alzaia”You might have noticed the presence of the term “alzaia” (towpath) in the name of many streets. But why? The alzaie were very important streets that flanked all the five Milanese canals. Back in time, horses, donkeys and oxen used to tow boats against the current, along the various canals. The term “alzaia” actually identifies the rope that was used to tow boats: one end was tied to the boat, the other to the animal.
Nowadays, these streets perfectly blend tradition and modernity. The New York Times included them amongst the 12 most beautiful ones in Europe.
The courtyardsTogether with the beautiful streets that attract both locals and turists, here in the Navigli district you can also find many nice home courtyards. Immersed in a magic atmosphere, they are amazing hidden spots in which time stands still. They usually have well-kept gardens characterized by a lush and varied vegetation, and small enchanting art galleries.
The surroundings: art & museumsIf you keep walking, surrounded by beautiful climbing plants, you will find the Engraving Center. Here, you can relive the magic of a now lost manual art.
Right on Naviglio Grande, in via Magolfa 32, there is also the “Alda Merini’s House of Arts-Space“. The space on the first floor houses the reconstruction of the poet’s bedroom. The furniture and personal effects are authentic, taken from her previous house near Porta Ticinese.
In addition, not far from here, in Tortona, there are several museums where once there were old factories or farmhouses. The most famous and visited one is “Armani Silos“. Originally the granary of a big international company, today it is the fashion art museum dedicated to the famous stylist Giorgio Armani, opened to celebrate 40 years of his career.
Then, a very historic place: the “MUDEC”: the Museum of Cultures, located in Via Tortona 56. It opened in the 1990s thanks to the contribution of the Municipality of Milan.
Armani Silos’ innovative neighbor is “BASE“, located in Via Bergognone 34. It is a great project of cultural contamination between arts, businesses, technology and social innovation. A true cultural pole.
Food & leisureEvery last Sunday of the month, there is the Antiques Market. Here, you can find all kinds of vintage objects: furniture, ceramic objects, clothes, books and many other.
For a bike ride, just coast the Naviglio Martesana. It leads you outside Milan, across parks, fields and villages, wonderful villas and ancient farmhouses.
Over the years, the canals have also become a glamorous area of Milan. There are many places where you can experience the Milanese nightlife. For a typical aperitivo, just stop at Capetown Café or at Fonderie Milanesi. This used to be an artistic foundry located in a courtyard, now transformed into a very nice place.
For dinner, what about an authentic risotto at Trattoria Madonnina? It is open since 1908. If, on the other hand, you are a meat lover, you should book a table at Antica Marmeria. Then, why not to stop at Al Coccio, for a selection of home brew beers? Another place for great cocktails surely is Rita, with a very nice location.
For a well-deserved midnight snack, Panificio Toscano Romagnoli, open 24/7.
And, now…time to go home!If you decide to bring home a croissant (or brioche, as we say in Milan), for the next day’s breakfast, you know that the perfect match is a good espresso! With our series of automatic Gaggia Naviglio machines you will live an amazing coffee experience.
Resistant, reliable and really immediate to use, they are perfect to make authentic Italian espressos, prepared as if you were at the bar!
Just like the Milanese Navigli, there are three models in this range, designed for the needs of different consumers. Not only excellent espresso with freshly ground coffee beans: the focus is also on cappuccino. Naviglio Deluxe, Naviglio Milk and Naviglio Black are in fact ideal for preparing this great classic of the Italian barista tradition, in three different ways.
Deluxe has an auto-cappuccinatore with a cyclonic chamber, Milk is equipped with the innovative one-touch CappinCup system – and Black has the “pannarello” for budding home baristas.
The Naviglio range embodies true quality and passion. A few simple gestures, to live a truly special experience, in the comfort of home.
Coffee Strength and Taste
In this blog I would like to share my thoughts about the strength, body and taste of coffee that you can produce using a bean to cup machine. I am confining myself to the Gaggia bean to cup machines but you may find it useful to apply these to other brands as well.
All our models of bean to cup machines are fitted with ceramic grinders for grinding the beans. The number of grind settings vary from 5 to 18 settings. If you look at the 5 setting grinder, '5' will be the coarsest setting and '1' will be the finest setting. On a 18 setting grinder, '18' will be the coarsest and '1' will be the finest. Usually the factory setting will be '3' on a 5 setting grinder and '6-8' on a 18 setting grinder.
Depending on the coffee you use, you can adjust the grind setting to suit the fineness you want. Finer the grind the slower the flow. This is because, the water will have to wet more particles of coffee and infuse the coffee for a longer time. If the grind is coarser the water will flow quickly through the coffee. This in turn will weaken the coffee that is produced.
The coffee strength can also be affected by the type of roast that you select. A darker roast produces a stronger coffee than a light or medium roast.
You can also vary the strength, taste and body of the coffee by selecting a blend that produces more body and strength. The mix of blend, depending on how much Arabica and Robusta coffees are in the bag of coffee, will have an influence on the strength, taste and body. Robusta coffees have more caffeine, earthy qualities and bittnerness. Arabicas have more sweetness and acid depending on where it is grown and how it is roasted.
Some of our machines have a 3 strength setting [ Naviglio, Brera, Accademia] and others have 5 strength settings.
Depending on the strength you select, the machine will grind an amount of coffee :
3 Strength setting Machines
[1 bean] 6.5g-7g of coffee
[2beans] 8.5g-9g of coffee
[3 beans] 10.5g-11g of coffee
5 Strength setting Machines
[1 bean] 6.5g-7g of coffee
[2beans] 7.5g-8g of coffee
[3 beans] 8.5g-9g of coffee
[4 beans] 9.5g-10g of coffee
[5 beans] 10.5g-11g of coffee
Please note that Gaggia machines have an 'opti-dose' system which measures the pressure it applies to the grind and the revolution of grinder and adjusts itself using an algorithm. This can therefore take a few coffees to get to the optimum dose needed.
The amount of water and the quality of water used in a drink can also have an influence on the taste of the coffee. The quantity of water in the cup can be about 10% lower than the amount the machine dispenses because some of the water is retained in the coffee puck. For example, on the Gaggia Magenta and Gaggia Cadorna, the screen says 40cc but you will get only about 36cc in the cup.
Another variable to watch is the temperature of the coffee. This can be adjusted on some of the models.
The following blog was written and published on LinkedIn by a customer of ours, Berris Charnley. https://www.linkedin.com/in/berris-charnley/
"You should be able to fix the machines you buy. This idea has been gaining ground in recent years under the banner of the right to repair movement. Repair and maintenance are interesting cousins of intellectual property. They operate on the same boundaries of remaking and making, openness and closedness, and sharing or protecting ideas.
Various figures have emerged to champion the idea that repair is a right, they range from journalist/author Cory Doctrow <https://pluralistic.net/> and computer technician Louis Rossman, <https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl2mFZoRqjw_ELax4Yisf6w> who point to the fortresses being constructed around big tech using intellectual property; fortresses that make it harder and harder to fix a laptop, over to Tesla rebuilders <https://www.vice.com/en/article/qvm3z5/rich-rebuilds-tesla-repair-and-salvage> and tractor maintainers <https://www.wired.com/story/john-deere-farmers-right-to-repair/>. As tech-focused news media such as Vice and WIRED have covered these stories the narrative is often told as one of evil corporations, looking to use secrecy, patents and sealed units to stop rebel repairers from fixing their own devices. The strong impression that this telling creates is that customer repairs are bad for business.
But what happens when companies encourage repairs? Is it true, as Louis Rossman puts it, that, “You will not go out of business if you share with other people how you did a repair”? I recently had to fix a coffee machine. I’ve been using the same Gaggia Classic for nearly 12 years and it started to leak. I got in touch with Gaggia Direct <https://www.gaggiadirect.com/>, my local UK Gaggia distributer. Surprisingly I was invited to have a zoom call with the company’s owner. He talked me through the fault, gave me a likely diagnosis, and then told me where I could buy the gasket I would need. The website he directed me to – Mr Bean to Cup <https://www.mrbean2cup.co.uk/> – provided blowup schematics with details of the gasket. With the new part in hand, I went back to Gaggia Direct’s website where there were links to instructional videos to help me with the installation.
What was happening here? Gaggia Direct has taken an explicit decision to enable people to do repairs for themselves. Their thinking is that trusting their customers will help their customers to trust them. My own experience points to a couple of additional benefits. As I attempted the repair it immediately became obvious that while it might have seemed simple, there was a lot of know-how that I was missing. Various threads had seized, and it wasn’t entirely obvious, even following along with an instructional video, how much pressure to put where, or what was important. The experience of attempting the repair myself strengthened my respect for the Gaggia Direct technicians’ expertise. And thinking more deeply about trust, I had found myself dealing with a company that was willing to help me try and keep a 12-year-old machine running. When that machine eventually dies, I want to buy from a company that will help me keep the next machine running this long. In summary Gaggia Direct has chosen to have a better relationship with its customers because they think that will be better for their business. Speaking personally that seems to be a good decision and the company’s reviews on Google and Trust Pilot suggest that other customers feel the same way.
On a more theoretical level the Gaggia Direct example points to something that intellectual property scholars have been suggesting for a long time: registering and working strong intellectual property is only one of several business strategies and it is not one that every business manager sees as important and useful. More generally, the Gaggia Direct case points to the benefits of maintaining an open relationship to knowledge and adds an interesting extra wrinkle of complexity to the right to repair story. Opening up is something some businesses are choosing to do themselves, precisely because this way of operating seems more profitable. Finally, the Gaggia Direct example points to the importance of know-how. It is not just the technical specifications which matter, but also the expertise which goes around them. This is a point of direct relevance to several intellectual property focused debates ranging from discussions of the Tesla patents to the Covid TRIPS waiver. Making the intellectual property available, whether that is schematics from patent filings or sequence information, is only the start of the process of knowledge transfer.
For those who have like a Black coffee machine in their kitchen, we have put together a coffee station. It consists of the Classic Pro in Thunder Black, the M2D Macap Grinder in black and a black matt finished knock out box. Although they are not a perfect match in the finish, they look great together and can be an ideal set for the barista in you.
I am going to describe my way of using my Gaggia Classic. It is not the only way but might be a useful guide for those starting off with the Classic for the first time.
I switch on the machine, check the water tank [fill if necessary] and wait until the light comes on for the coffee. This means that the water temperature in the boiler has reached a lower level of the limit, ie about 70 degrees C. At this point, I run a bit of water through the brew head and hold the portafilter [filter holder] under it to warm the holder. I also open the steam wand the steam knob on the right, with the coffee button still on. This draws the water through the steam pipe. Once water comes through the steam wand, I close the wand and stop the coffee button. There will be some drips from the wand. You can release any excess water by opening the steam knob again to release this.
I then leave the machine to get up to the max temperature, ie until the light turns off. This means that the coffee thermostat max temperature has been reached.
During the time I prepare to grind the coffee and tamp etc. Before I engage the portafilter, with the coffee in the basket, on to the brew head, I press the coffee button, just enough to release a little bit of water. Then I immediately engage the portafilter and press the coffee button again to start the brew for a second or so, and then stop, and then start the brew again after 3 seconds. This is to pre-infuse the coffee with some water. Once I get my desired amount of coffee, I stop the coffee button. Pre-infusion can give you a better coffee, in my opinion.
Modding the Classic is something that has gone on for many years by Gaggia enthusiasts. You may have seen Rancillio Silvia steam wand fitted to the pre-2015 models. This was quite common. This, of course, is no longer necessary as the 2019 Classic has the professional steam wand as standard.
Another common adjustment, rather than a modification, that users carried out on the pre-2015 model was the adjusting of the Over Pressure Valve. On the 2019 model the
OPV is on the top of the pump rather than being fitted to the boiler. It is not as easy as the older model. It seems to be a question a lot of enthusiasts seem to ask. I find that enthusiasts somehow find a way of adjusting things on the Classic. As a manufacturer's agent we need to warn against any internal adjustments or modifications as this will invalidate the manufacturer's warranty. The machine's default pressure for opening the solenoid is 9 bar. This is what the factory setting is. This is what you have even on professional machines. It is therefore not necessary to change this unless you want to perform unusual trials . Yes, it can have an impact on achieving different results on coffees depending on the fineness of the grind. I personally am happy changing the grind or the pressure I apply when tamping the coffee or increasing or decreasing the amount of coffee you put in to try out different tastes in coffee. Pre-infusing the coffee also can help.
Another modification I see done is, fitting a PID controller. This is probably a good thing as it keeps the temperature range at a smaller range – say 85 -90 degrees, rather than the normal of 72 – 92 degrees. Fitting a PID is not something that you can easily do at home. Any modification can invalidate the warranty on the machine.
There are some simple modifications which can make a big difference to the quality of coffee. Two of these simple modifications are fitting a filter seal for the brew head and a professional shower disc. We now have a E61 silicone seal [blue] and a professional shower disc on our website. They are £5 each and they are both excellent. What it does is that it gives a bit more flexibility when you are fitting the portafilter on to the machine. It is easier to fit. You can put 18-19g of coffee in a 16g basket and still manage to fit the portafilter with relative ease because the silicone seal is springy and flexible.
The pro shower disc has 2 layers – a metal layer with larger holes and a mesh layer. This allows the water to flow in a more controlled way from the brewhead.
Both items are available to buy on this website. If you need further advice, why not come and see us live and talk to us on Zoom.
How do I get a good milk froth on a Gaggia Classic 2019 Pro?
It is a question I get asked many times. I think some of you are finding it harder than the previous models of the Classic which had the pannerello frothers. The Pannerello Frothers have a simple sleeve that allow air to always go into the milk, when you insert it into the jug. As you probably know, that air is main ingredient in stretching the milk. If you are a person who wants a flat white or a more controlled micro foaming, then the sleeve on a pannerello frother [the one you find on all the other models we do] can be a non starter. I usually take the sleeve off [on a panneello frother] and foam the milk using, just the tip of the wand and get great results. When you do this, you will find that 'you' have to add the air. This will come with practice. I tend to put the tip of the wand [without the sleeve] about an inch into the milk and open the wand fully by rotating the knob fully. The force of the steam will create a depression and a vortex in the milk and the milk should start to go round.
The Classic 2019 has the professional steam wand. This means that there is no air added by the frother. It just has the 2 holes on the nipple of the wand and therefore you have to control the air intake. It is therefore similar to foaming without the sleeve on a pannerello frother. If you use the right jug and practice a bit with the directing of the tip and adding of air, you can produce some great results. When I say, using the right jug, I think a lot of users who are used to the pannerello frother find it difficult to change to the Classic 2019 wand because they are trying to use the same jug that they had before and doing it the same way as before.
Remember, different jugs can give different results. I quite like the straight jugs that we do, as they keep the swirling and gives more control by pushing the milk to the bottom. If you are using a V shaped jug, you will find a different result. There are obviously different sizes available. If you are wanting milk for a one or two cups, the 12oz [350cc] jug is ideal. Once you get used to this, you should be able to get a good micro foamed milk for flat white and latte art. If you add more air you can stretch it to about double the quantity in the jug. If you want a better pour for latte art, then have a look at the Motta Jugs.
Let us know how you are getting on.
We have introduced an app on our website to enable customers to compare different models of our range easily. Look for the above sign on the top left hand corner of the product page and just click on it to select the product for comparison. You can then compare all the products you have selected for comparison. You can clear your selection as many times as you want. I hope this is useful for you.
Hello, my name is Raj Beadle. I am the author of this blog. I am the owner and managing director of Caffe Shop Ltd - Gaggia UK. We represent Gaggia spa in the UK and are the exclusive distributor of Gaggia in the UK. We also directly retail via our website www.gaggiadirect.com and also through our own retail shops.