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Gaggia Carezza

This machine is awesome! My wife and I received a silver Giggia Carezza as a Christmas gift about four years ago and it has run flawlessly ever since. We use it daily and it has always kept us jacked up on espresso. The machine makes great shots (when the beans are ground at about 3.5 at Starbucks) and the foaming wand makes great foam.

The box included a little primer on how to best use the machine and I highly recommend looking it over. As long as I follow those simple instructions (grind the beans correctly, tamp them sufficiently, heat the machine completely) and keep the machine clean it never gives me problems. What it does give me is killer espresso.

On the downside, if the milk is cold from the fridge foaming milk seems to drain the reservoir of steam. To work around this I warm the milk in the microwave and then finish it with the steam wand.

The machine is also loud. I guess that’s to be expected but the pump that pulls water into the heating chamber is only slightly quieter than a downshifting semi-truck. That’s a bit of an exaggeration but it does cause the whole machine to vibrate slightly which makes the shot glasses (used to capture that sweet nectar flowing from the portafilter) wander around.

I would definitely recommend this machine to anyone looking to make their own espressos. It has been as solid as a rock and has saved us some serious cash. If we paid Starbucks for all of the espresso we’ve made we would be out of house and home. This machine has literally (well, not quite literally) kept us out of foreclosure!

- Flawless operation
- great foam

- Steam can run out
- loud pump

5 out of 5

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Oct 19, 2009
4 Year and Counting
by: Anonymous

- inexpensive
- 58mm basket

- Steam wand placement is low
- No cup warmer tray

The Gaggia unites affordability with quality in their Carezza espresso machine. Many other machines are very expensive and do the same job that this machine does. And it does its job well. We have used our espresso machine almost every single day for the last 4 years and it continues to preform beautifully.

There are many benefits to this machine. First, as mentioned previously, the price. For $200 you can get a machine that functions as well as the $800 models. Not bad. I also love that the basket in the portafilter is 58mm. Even some of the expensive models don't offer this commercial grade basket.

It also is easy to refill with water. You can open the top and fill it up or take out the whole reservoir and fill it up at the sink. No longer do you have to guess how much water is left in the machine. The Carezza heats up quickly, and even offers hot water instantly. This machine easily and consistently puts out great shots.

There are a few cons that I will mention as well. First, the steam wand is in a very awkward place, it's located low on the machine. It helps if you elevate the entire machine or move it to the edge of a counter to fit your cup underneath. We rarely use our steam wand because of this but we actually wouldn't use it much anyway.

Also, there is no cup warmer tray that are usually built in on the more expensive machines. Another complaint is the drip tray is too shallow and has a tendency to overflow. We have worked a solution around this to put another cup under it when we remove our shot and it works out pretty well.

Also, because of the price, one thing you will be sacrificing is the exterior. This machine is made out of plastic as opposed to metal. The weight of the machine is lighter because of this and so you may have to steady it when removing and tightening the portafilter.

All in all, it's a great machine. Even though it's plastic, it still has a nice look to it and it definitely works well. I have been happy with this product for the last 4 years and hope to still be happy with it in 4 more.

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