Review: Is the Gaggia Classic Pro Still Worth It?

How professional is the Gaggia Classic Pro? In this review, we take a close look at the updated espresso veteran.

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Asser Christensen

Licensed Q Arabica Grader, M.A. Journalism

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The Gaggia Classic is known for being one of the cheapest espresso machines that will produce so-called god shots.

It’s also famous for being a reliable and easy to repair workhorse that can last for decades with just a tiny touch of tender loving care.

After many years as the undisputed entry-level workhorse, the Gaggia Classic has had a rough last decade with various changes in both ownership, production, and as one might expect; quality control.

In this review, I’ll look at the features of the modern Gaggia Classic Pro as well as the most recent upgrade, “The Evo Pro”, and expain who this machine is for and, more importantly, who it is not for. 

Gaggia Classic Evo Pro

The ideal espresso maker for the tinkerer

White gaggia classic on white background

The Gaggia Classic Evo Pro is a powerful, but simple espresso maker.

If you’re not afraid of a learning curve and care mainly about espresso quality, then this is a a solid option. However, it’s not among my personal favorites for 2024.

Amazon Gaggia

About the brand

Gaggia is a true Italian icon when it comes to espresso machines. The company has a long history that goes all the way back to the 1930s when founder Giovanni Achille Gaggia first started tinkering with espresso.

Gaggia’s stroke of genius was to create a machine that forced water through the coffee grounds at a high pressure, which resulted in the beautiful crema that we now see as the hallmark of a perfectly pulled shot. This innovation was nothing short of revolutionary at the time.

The first few decades saw Gaggia expand rapidly, with machines popping up in cafes and bars all over Italy. However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the company. In the 1980s some financial troubles led to the company changing hands to an Austrian-American businessman.

In 1999, Gaggia was acquired by fellow Italian company Saeco, which in turn was purchased by the dutch company Philips in 2009.

Manufacturing has mostly remained in the Italian factory, although some production was moved to Romania, including the Gaggia Classic.

Many long-time Gaggia Classic fans were unhappy with the changes first introduced by Philips.

However, in 2019 the company responded to the complaints and introduced the Gaggia Classic Pro, which was seen as a significant step in the right direction. Then in 2023 the Gaggia Classic Pro got another facelift and the new name the “Evo Pro” – this change was two step forwards in some sense, but one step back in other aspects.


The most obvious thing about the redesigned Gaggia Classic Pro starting from 2019 and onwards, is of course, the range of new colors.

My version is a lovely matte white, which looks much more stylish than the original chrome version. 

Let’s be honest; looks are vital when choosing an espresso machine. I think the Gaggia Classic Pro strikes a nice balance between looking minimalist and modern while still retaining some Italian art deco vibes.

The logo has also been moved and redesigned compared to the original version. 

The buttons are also more prominent and more sturdy on the new Pro.

New logo, new color, and new buttons on the Classic Pro

Steam Wand

The Classic now also has the “Pro” moniker because the steam wand has been updated to a more legit type.

The previous model came with a Panarello steam wand, which is not suitable for frothing microfoam milk for latte art. 

Many people had to install a Rancilio Silvia steam wand on their unit due to this issue.

The solenoid valve will clear excess brew water into the drip tray

I’ve noticed that the new steam wand is a significant improvement. It’s capable of producing frothed milk of excellent quality. However, there are machines with more steam pressure and larger boilers available on the market. If you’re only making two cappuccinos or a large latte, this steam wand should suffice.

Solenoid Valve

The Gaggia Classic Pro now includes the solenoid valve, a feature that sets it apart from cheaper espresso machines. This valve, without delving into technicalities, aids in cleaning and regular use. Specifically, it helps flush out excess water from the puck, resulting in a dry and easily removable portafilter.

It also allows you to backflush the machine. It sounds fancy, but it just means that the machine’s hot water can be used to clean the group head when a blind basket is inserted to the portafilter. 

What about the Pro EVO? 🤔

Since my first review of the Gaggia Classic Pro, the company has launched an updated version, the so-called “Gaggia Classic Pro EVO.”

While some of its new features are welcome, they don’t significantly alter my overall impression of the machine. The majority of these updates are minor, except for a key change in the North American version: the introduction of a 9-bar OPV.

However, a downside is the the Evo Pro has problems with its boiler due to a new special coating.

Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of the EVO Pro:

  1. 9 Bar OPV Spring: The most significant enhancement is the 9 Bar OPV spring in the North American model, which is ideal for “real” espresso. This feature eliminates the need for the popular OPV-Spring Mod from Mr Shades, which voided the warranty on older models. However, it appears that this update will not be rolled out globally, leaving coffee enthusiasts outside North America wondering.
  2. Updated Finishing and Colors: The EVO sports a new painted finish, offered in a variety of colors or in classic stainless steel. However, the previous model also had several color options, so it’s not a big change if you ask me.
  3. Improved Portafilter and Group Head: The portafilter now boasts polished stainless steel, enhancing durability and appearance. Similarly, the group head has been upgraded with polished stainless steel and brass, improving its thermal properties and longevity. While these are appealing improvements, they are unlikely to change the quality of your espresso shots.
  4. Improved Pump Setup: The pump in the EVO is now mounted more securely, which should result in quieter operation during brewing – a subtle improvement.
  5. The Aluminum Boiler: It now features an internal coating designed to reduce scale buildup. On paper, it sounds good, but there have been numerous reports about this coating flaking off. This phenomenon even has a name online: “boilergate”.

What do I like? 

So the updates compared to the 2015 machine are all pretty great. The solenoid valve, new colors, and better steam wands are all nice to have. 

There’s also a smaller aluminum boiler than the previous one, which was made of stainless steel. I’m not qualified to say which one is better long term, but in daily use, the new boiler configuration is heating super fast, which is very convenient.

You can find a ton of information when it comes to hacks, upgrades, repairs, accessories, and so on.

The Gaggia Classic is also famous for being one of the cheaper models available, which sports a commercial-sized 58 mm portafilter

Pro tip: I think the greatness of 58 mm is slightly overrated. It’s still relatively easy to find espresso accessories such as baskets and levelers in less standard sizes, such as 51 or 53 millimeters.

Also, it’s worth pointing out that many naked 58 mm portafilters (such as the ones made for E61 machines will not fit the Gaggia Classic.

naked portafilter vs regular gaggia portafilter
A naked portafilter really clears up a lot of space on the drip tray.

However, 58 mm means that you can have a thinner puck of coffee, which theoretically means a better extraction. 

Getting a Gaggia Classic also means buying into an ecosystem where countless people have paved the way before you. You can find a ton of information regarding hacks, upgrades, repairs, accessories, and so on. There’s even a whole subreddit dedicated to the Gaggia Classic. 

All this is great if you want a new hobby. But that begs the question: Is the device still worth it if you don’t want a hobby? 

But that begs the question: Is the device still worth it if you don’t want a hobby? 

Shot quality?

The Gaggia Classic Pro is capable of pulling some truly fantastic shots. After I had dialed in the grinder (I used the Eureka Mignon Specialita), the shots tasted great. 

The machine is set to 15 bars out of the box, which is too much, but if you’re pulling more traditional darker roasts for milk-drinks, I don’t think you’ll notice it. 

It’s challenging to get a perfectly even extraction with such high pressure, so most people will get the spring mod kit. 

I also used a precision basket (IMS Competition) and a naked portafilter, and along with the lower pressure, I have had some fabulous pulls.

The main issue when brewing espresso is that the temperature is so unpredictable. The machine tends to overheat and push steam out of the brew head, so purging a lot of water is necessary to get to an acceptable temperature. 

You need to get a careful temperature surfing routine down to a science, or you’ll have to live with the occasional bad shot.

On the flip side, it heats up remarkably fast, which is excellent in the morning when you’re busy. I know some people will disagree, but I sometimes pull shots after 2-3 minutes. 

I’m not a big milk drinker, but the steaming capabilities were also adequate in my tests. It goes from espresso to steaming in around 30 seconds, which is fine when you’re just making for one or two people. 

The steam power is nothing exceptional, but you should be able to get some decent microfoam with practice.

What I don’t like

The Gaggia Classic was introduced in 1991. That’s a long, long time ago. And it hasn’t substantially changed in the meantime.

If you look at it from one side, it must be good for something to remain the same for thirty years. 

On the other hand, one can also wonder about the absence of new technologies such as PID and preinfusion

Out of the box, you can get pretty good espresso from the Gaggia Classic. 

If you’re a little bit laissez-faire and don’t want to obsess over small details, the coffee will likely be good enough for you. 

However, if you want to treat espresso as a science and measure all the small details, then the Gaggia Classic is a bit limited out of the box: 

  • Pressure: First of all, the machine’s pressure is too high. It’s set to 15 bars from the factory. It’s made this way so the device will give a better result with a pressurized basket. If you use a single wall basket, it becomes more of a problem – especially if you want to use a naked portafilter. 

    Luckily, you can buy a cheap spring kit from Mr Shades, which is pretty easy to install; however, having to do something like that is a bit disappointing when you buy a machine that prides itself of being a “Pro.”
  • Basket and Tamper: The basket and tamper that come with the machine are cheap and flimsy. I think most people would want to upgrade ASAP. 

  • Single boiler: Since the machine has one boiler responsible for heating water for espresso and steaming, it can be frustrating. You must purge a lot of water to get the machine down to espresso brewing temperature.

    Simultaneously, you must also be aware that the brew temperature is not too low. Many people end up installing a PID to overcome these frustrations. A PID is not easy to install and will save you at least $100. 
espresso shots gaggio classica
Shots have great texture and mouthfeel with the Gaggia Classic

Overall, the Gaggia Classic Pro EVO brings some notable enhancements to the table, particularly for North American users. However, for most, these changes may not be compelling enough to warrant an upgrade from the previous model.


The Gaggia Classic Pro Evo has recently been hit by a controversy that’s been dubbed “Boilergate” by some users online. It seems that a significant number of machines have been shipped with a serious defect.

The issue relates to the machine’s boiler, which is made of aluminum with a special protective coating. It appears that this coating has a tendency to start flaking off into the water after just a few months of use. Definitely not what you want in your morning espresso.

Reports of this problem started popping up frequently on Reddit and coffee forums last year. Some users even claim that Gaggia has been aware of the issue for a while.

To their credit, Gaggia and their US distributor have responded by offering to replace any affected units free of charge or offered to send replacement boilers that users can install on their own.

But for a machine at this price point from a reputable brand, this really shouldn’t be happening in the first place.

How safe is it to buy a Gaggia Classic Pro at this point? My guesstimation is pretty safe. Most affected units still in warehouses should have been sent back and updated with a new boiler. On the other hand, it would be annoying to have to go through a refund or replacement process.


  • Espresso Connoisseur: If you’re about to get serious with your espresso, and also want something a better workflow than what a single boiler can offer, then the Miicoffee Apex hands down is the winner for me. It has a built-in adjustable PID and a dedicated brew boiler + a thermoblock for steam. Check out my review of it here.
  • Latte Lovers? When it comes to feature-packed entry-level espresso machines, it’s impossible to not mention the offerings from Breville. The closest rival is Bambino Plus, which has better temperature stability, preinfusion, and auto-frothing straight out of the box. I think it’s a better option for people who are new to espresso and especially if milk frothing is an essential part of your espresso routine.


The Gaggia Classic Pro has both undergone a facelift and major internal surgery. IMO, all of these things are great. At the same time, it’s still the old and trusty espresso maker that has won so many fans over the years. 

With proper care, it should last you a decade or two. If you can’t repair it yourself, one of the local espresso technicians certainly can.

While all this is great, it’s becoming evident that other manufacturers are way more progressive tech-wise. Nowadays, you can get Breville machines with PID around the same price as the Gaggia. Or even the way more advanced Apex-machine.

In the same way that specialty coffee has pushed manual brewing forward, espresso has also changed. Stuff like preinfusion, temperature profiling, single dosing, naked portafilters, and so on are becoming mainstream. To be a “Pro” rather than just a “Classic,” you must support those things. 

Learn more: Gaggia Classic Pro vs Rancilio Silvia

I think the single-boiler temperature surfing workflow is too cumbersome for most people. It’s almost 2024, and we are used to advanced technology in our kitchens. Many electric kettles have PID technology now. I think that should also be standard among espresso makers.

With enough time and patience, you can make modern espresso with the Gaggia Classic Pro, but the key here is to take that time and effort. It’s not just plug-and-play. 

If you have the patience and want a new hobby, this is still a good option for people who heritage products as much as they like tinkering.

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Our expertise & Credentials

  • Asser Christensen earned his Q Grader license (certified coffee quality grader) in 2018, with recertification in 2021.
  • The Q Grader exam requires passing rigorous blind tasting cupping protocols, as well as tests for identifying green bean and roasting defects.
  • He has served as a sensory judge at roasting and coffee brewing competitions.
  • Over the last 5 years, he has tested more than 100 different coffee and espresso products, as documented on this blog and his YouTube channel.
  • This review is based on long term ownership of the Gaggia Classic Pro.
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Asser Christensen

Hello, and welcome! I'm the editor & founder of this site.
I have been a coffee geek since I started home roasting more than a decade ago. Since then, coffee has taken me on countless adventures: From ancient coffee ceremonies in Ethiopia to the volcanos of Sumatra.
My background is in journalism, and today I'm also a licensed Q Grader under the Coffee Quality Institute.