85 years of heritage
Viale Premuda, Milan, 1930. Achille Gaggia works as a barista in his family’s coffee shop, named “Caffè Achille”.
He is a tireless and committed worker, trying to satisfy his demanding clients. At that time, coffee was made by “column-style” machines that produced a bitter, dark, and burnt beverage, that was not highly appreciated by people. Achille, who has always been fascinated by the engineering and functioning of the machines, decided to study a way to improve the taste and texture of coffee, experimenting in his family’s coffee shop.
With the support of Antonio Cremonese, an engineer, Achille could perfection his idea to enhance the process of making coffee.
He developed a prototype of espresso machine that used the pressure of hot water instead of steam, that was used back at that time. With that system, hot water passed through ground coffee at a high pressure, extracting coffee oils and making a drink with a rich aromatic body and a delicious taste, with a layer of hazelnut-colored cream on top. Achille deposits the patent n.365726 on Sept. 5, 1938 for what he called “Sistema Lampo” (Lampo System).
It was thanks to that invention that the famous and beloved Italian espresso with “crema naturale” (natural cream) was born. It is called “natural” because it naturally originated from the passage of hot water under pressure through ground coffee.
STORE COFFEE IN A COOL DARK PLACE
Our coffees have a best before date on the bag, usually they have best before date of about 18 months after production date. Once opened, the coffee will deteriorate rapidly, unless you keep it air tight and in a cool dark place. My advice is to keep it in the bag it came in. Take out the air, by tightly squeezing the air out, and then keep it tightly wrapped with a rubber band.
You can also get resealable bags which have a valve. The advantage with the valve is that, it lets gasses out but does not allow air to enter. The original bags, the coffee comes in, has that valve for that purpose.
STORING COFFEE IN A REFRIGERATOR ?
In my opinion, storing coffee in the refrigerator is not a good idea, because, it can absorb smells from other food items in the fridge and also give out coffee odour for other food products in the fridge. If you are keeping it in the fridge, make sure that you wrap the airtight bag in more wrappings before you put it in.
STORING COFFEE IN A FREEZER ?
If you are going away for a long period of time, it might be worth putting used beans in an airtight bag, with plenty of wrapping and leaving it in the freezer. Once you take it out, you need to dry it, of any moisture before using it. You can also leave un-opened bags of coffee this way.
STORING COFFEE IN A TIN ?
Leaving coffee in tins is not a good idea either, as there is an amount of air in the tin that you cannot take out. It is the air that does most of the damage and therefore the following advice is a good starting point :
1. Buy only what you need for the month or two. If you do not need too much, you can buy them in small pack sizes. Eg 500g instead of 1kg.
2. Store the unopened or opened coffee in a cook dark place.
3. Un-used coffee beans should be in a bag [ preferably with a valve], with air squeezed out of the bag and wrapped with a rubber band
4. Keep as little coffee in the bean hopper as possible
5. Ground coffee once opened should be used within about 7 days. Always keep it airtight.
TRULY ITALIAN ROOTS
Finally, the “TRULY ITALIAN ROOTS” book can be yours! An incredible collection of 13 stories of Italian excellence, across different territories, to tell of mastery, emotions and values of characters who honor the Italian traditions, reinterpreting them in a contemporary way.
Available now in the UK
Harmony in music comes from a collection of elements combined with balance, a perfect equilibrium that expresses itself in a sort of musical alchemy that requires knowledge and sensitivity.
The pleasure coming from executing and the bliss originating from listening are the emotional responses to this balance. It is not easy to find, but the protagonists of this story committed to this challenge. The EVE Ensemble is a group made up of three youngsters: Elena Poleni, a cellist, Elena Vittoria Vincifori Troili, who plays violin, and Virginia Genovese, soprano, who first met at the Conservatorio Gaetano Donizetti in the city of Bergamo.
Elena Poleni wanted to study piano at first, but she was immediately caught by the rich and mellow sound of the cello. She thinks of herself playing harmoniously with other musicians, more than solo that, she says, “doesn’t fit her personality”.
“Music makes me feel good” – she tells us – “To feel the instrument, to have it in your hands, it is a satisfying physical sensation”.
Between rehearsals, to balance the efforts, commitment and dedication, there is always time for a break, to rejuvenate with a nice espresso or with a warm and creamy cappuccino. So, this moment becomes an occasion to meet, socialize, know each other, and personalities and attitudes get together in harmony.
Gaggia classic 2023 vs 2019
The Home Barista VIDEO REVIEW
Further to my blog about the new 2023 Gaggia Classic, please find a video review by 'The Home Barista' - an accurate and useful explanation. Thank you Anthony.
Gaggia classic modifications
I have written a blog on this subject before and I felt it was time to give you an update on my thoughts. More and more people are getting modifications done on the Gaggia Classic, as people learn more about the benefits of controlling every part of your brewing process. We have started to work with a UK company who do these fittings. They buy the machines from us and modify them and give their own warranty on the machines and the parts they fit.
I therefore felt confident on referring people who come to our website, to go to The Home Baristas website to get more information about modifying the Gaggia Classic. Anthony who runs The Home Baristas is very knowledgeable about the Gaggia Classic and has worked with us in the past two years.
He sent me a picture of the Gaggia Classic 2019 version with the PID and Guage fitted. I must say, it looks fabulous. Why not click on the picture and get more information from The Home Baristas Website.
Gaggia classic 2023
CONTINUOUSLY EVOLVING TRADITION
Gaggia continuously evolves their production and assembly processes while improving the quality of products.
The Gaggia Classic 2019 is considered one of best coffee machine in its class and has won accolades and positive reviews from Expert Review, Kevin from Coffee Blog, James Hoffman and other important experts in the field of Coffee. Gaggia Classic has been around for over 30 years and, largely, the external parts and accessories and the internal boiler have remained the same.
The 2023 model retains the best features of the 2019 model and makes it fit for the next 30 years by improving the model further.
The main external parts that you see are the Stainless Steel Body, the Filter Holder and the Brew Head. The Filter Holder [portafilter] and the Brew Head were made out of brass and chrome plated externally on the older model. on the 2023 Evo model this has been changed.
The Filter Holder on the 2023 Evo model is now made out of Stainless Steel, similar to the metal used in the Ash handled filter holder, we introduced a couple of years ago and is of professional filter holder quality. The weight and the heat profiles remain the same and is lot more pleasing than the one we had before.
Chrome Plating has been around for a very long time and although the end products are perfectly safe and compliant, manufacturers are going away from plating, as the process involved in chrome plating can be harmful for those involved in the process. Gaggia has taken the decision to change some of the parts to more modern and safer alternatives.
The Brew Head is also going to be Brass (CW510-Lead free brass*) *Compliant to Section 1417 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
The Boiler inside is the same traditional boiler but coated with non stick coating, rather than the previous anodized coating.
The Pro Steam wand, that was introduced in 2019 model, is the same on the new model.
CARE FOR PEOPLE
The new pump and heating system pre-assembled and the simpler wiring connection make the production more ergonomic for workers, and any intervention on the machine is easier and quicker.
CONSCIOUS AND COMPLIANT
The company adopts a conscious and responsible approach to develop products that are fully compliant with the new rules, and to guarantee sustainable processes.
Classic Vs bean to cup
I am frequently asked by customers whether they should go for a Gaggia bean to cup machine or for the Gaggia Classic. So, here goes : my thoughts on this question.
Gaggia Classic is a traditional coffee machine. This means that you use coffee that is already ground, using either a suitable grinder or buying a finely ground coffee from your supplier. Gaggia Classic comes with two traditional baskets and a perfect crema basket. If you are using a grind that is not very finely ground, you will find that it comes through too fast and not give you the right extraction. The perfect crema basket, somewhat corrects this by exerting pressure inside the basket with two layers. One layer has lots of holes and the other has only one hole, thus producing a nice crema, without trying hard.
On the other hand, the traditional baskets have only one layer. This means that you have to use a finely ground coffee. You also have to tamp it hard so that you are restricting the flow to get the right extraction. The right consistency of grind and even spread and the right amount, play a major part in producing that perfect coffee. Once you have perfected your grind and tamping etc, you will certainly get a better coffee from a traditional machine like the Gaggia Classic. So be prepared to have to put in the effort, by getting the right grind, right tamper, and even use techniques from experts to get the best. eg try pre-infusion, temperature surfing, right amount of coffee, weighing your coffee, evenly distribute the coffee etc. Preparation and developing your own methods to perfect your shot becomes a vital part to be a good home barista. Not easy, but very satisfying!
If you are a person who is not too fussy and will be happy with a nice crema and taste of coffee and prepared to learn, the Gaggia Classic can be still good for you and you can use the perfect crema basket initially and start learning how to go to the next level with the Classic, once you have learnt the basics. You can then add a the right grinder to the mix, try different coffees and enjoy the experience of learning to make coffee like a barista. Gaggia Classic is demanding, but is your friend for life.
The Bean to cup machines are much easier to operate and give you a good coffee without trying hard. I suppose, it is similar to using the perfect crema basket with the Classic. The machine does everything for you. You have the added advantage, that you have a 'built-in' grinder to do the grinding, every time you press a button to make a coffee. There are also other advantages : programming, cleaning, removable brewing unit etc.
For a person who does not have the time to go through the intense ritual of making the coffee, the bean to cup machine gives you a whole load of advantages. The coffee is pretty decent but the advantage of easy operation and the features that the machine provides for programming, grinding, cleaning, outweigh the benefits of a perfect espresso that you will get on a Classic. My wife will press a button any day, to make a coffee for me, rather than go through the process on a Classic.
I must admit that I do the same, most of the time when I am working.
When it comes to bean to cup machines, there are so many options. It is good to know what you want. For example, you can go for a traditional frother, fully automatic frother or something in between, that will allow you to do both.
We also have machines where you have profiles, to save your own parameters, such as : temperature, single or double shots, coffee strength, quantity of water etc.
Have a look at the range and feel free to come on zoom and talk to us.
As coffee gains favour worldwide, its consumption is only ever-growing. The Perfect Daily Grind's report on coffee consumption found that the global market was expected to total 170.3 million 60kg bags in 2022, with Europe and North America accounting for half of the total use. In particular, people passionate about coffee are considering speciality-grade coffee, also known as "gourmet" coffee.
The Specialty Coffee Association's grading scale highlights how this coffee is grown in optimal conditions and cared for by farmers to be sold at a premium price. For quality coffee, indigenous communities are becoming reliable sources— allowing people worldwide to have sustainable options and support local farmers. Listed below are four indigenous coffee products you have to try that are available in the UK.
The origins of commercialized arabica coffee can be traced back to Yemen as early as the 15th century when most trades passed through the port of Mokha. As the beginnings of coffee, it has also become the namesake of different inventions such as mocha, chocolate-flavoured coffee, and the Moka pot. Depending on the time of day, Yemen drinks coffee in several ways, such as the kisher or qishr, less caffeinated coffee, or ginger coffee mixed with cinnamon and other spices.
In recent years, Yemeni-American coffee entrepreneur Mokhtar Alkhanshali organized the National Yemen Coffee Auction in London. This event supported Yemen farmers in connecting with coffee connoisseurs and businesses, enabling them to set higher prices than on a traditional market. This also allows them to earn without growing khat— a narcotic that would have otherwise been their cash crop.
Benguet coffee originates from the northern part of the Philippines. For over 80 years, the indigenous community of Igorot people has cultivated the Typica variety from the Arabica species. Depending on your preferences, Benguet coffee can come in medium and dark roasts as well as a selection of flavour blends like vanilla and caramel. These are often sold through drip coffee bags or single-single pour-over coffee— making them a simple but affordable way to enjoy a freshly brewed cup without needing a coffee machine or elaborate equipment. In London, Muni Coffee Company has integrated Benguet coffee as a critical part of their menu to support indigenous farmers.
Vietnam is the world's biggest producer of Robusta coffee, producing nearly $31.1 billion worth of coffee exports in the first nine months of 2022. This has continued to supply the European market, which consumes coffee at a 39% rate worldwide. In particular, the European market drinks coffee at a 39% rate worldwide. The UK is its fifth-largest coffee consumer, seeing as much as a 13.6% increase in coffee imports from 2021 to 2022.
However, compared to well-liked arabica coffee, robusta produces a smoky, bitter taste when brewed. To make up for the flavour, the Vietnamese have taken unique approaches to their coffee-drinking culture, with many adding sweetened condensed milk and other ingredients such as egg yolks. In most cases internationally, robusta is used to make instant coffee. On the other hand, brands like Black Insomnia and Death Wish are taking advantage of the coffee's high-caffeine content as part of their business.
While fair-trade coffee has become the standard for supporting farming families, mass farming can make it challenging to improve environmental sustainability efforts. But in the case of the indigenous Mayni community in Peru, they are able to cultivate organic, shade-grown coffee within the Amazon rainforest without clearing the land. Rather than maximizing yields and income, Peruvian farmers work hand-in-hand with UK coffee roaster Easy Jose Coffee Roasters to produce coffee in the most sustainable way. Given the rising interest in speciality coffee, these smaller-scale productions also have become economically sustainable– providing the farmers with a viable way of life.
If you're interested in learning more about coffee, make sure to visit James Hoffman and Professor Tim Spector's discussion on its implications on health and nutrition.
Written by Aleah Kristen Caple
Exclusive for gaggiadirect.com
A good video by James Hoffmann about brew pressure.
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.