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.
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.