Adding Gaggia Classic Pro to Cafelat Robot setup?

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
YeetSkeeterson

#1: Post by YeetSkeeterson »

Hello,

I recently got a Lagom and I'm really enjoying the quality compared to my Kinu M47. I basically haven't touched my Kinu but I'm keeping it for rainy days. I think I just like flat burr profiles, the quality is better, not necessarily the mechanization.

With that said, I was simply browsing, after mechanizing my grind workflow, and wondered, "hmm, maybe I should try mechanizing my espresso workflow entirely."

I am 100% satisfied with the Lagom/Robot setup. But this hobby is never-ending, as is my curiosity and desire to waste money.

Is it worthwhile adding something like a Gaggia to my counter? Besides workflow, will there really be any advantage? Taste, profile? I am vegan (please, no comments) and don't drink milk. Yes, there are all sorts of alternatives now and "barista-focused" alternative milks in the supermarket, but I pretty much make all my milks, almond and oat mainly and use them in recipes. I never really drink them. Steaming is of no benefit to me, maybe once a year I'd drink an oat milk espresso drink if I had a steam wand.

Bit of a sale going on too so now would be the time for me to snag one.

What do you think?

YeetSkeeterson (original poster)

#2: Post by YeetSkeeterson (original poster) »

Not a single thought on this one?

mikelipino

#3: Post by mikelipino »

I'd say outside of academic interest or a modding project, without the need for steam the Pro is a step down from the Robot. With a stock Pro, you're at something like 15 bar or pressure and will have to temp surf to get consistent temperatures. You can mod the OPV to 9 bar and add a PID to stabilize boiler temp, but those are DIY projects and added cost. But even then you'll end with a typical flat pressure profile that might struggle to extract lighter roasts. Interesting to compare against a lever like the Robot, but I'd wager you'd prefer the Robot shots most times. And for workflow, unless you're pulling multiple-multiple shots (something that the Pro will struggle with anyways), including setup and cleanup the Robot will be faster.

I'm in a similar boat to you with a Robot, and was thinking about getting a Silvia mostly for steam, but found a used Europiccola instead that produces excellent declining-pressure espresso, actually has trouble staying cool so it can take the light roasts from the Robot, and allows me to learn steaming.

YeetSkeeterson (original poster)

#4: Post by YeetSkeeterson (original poster) »

you're right, just what I needed to hear... maybe I'll be a lever-machiner for life. I feel like they're the best options for home baristas. Anything beyond requires serious dedication and funds, I'm not interested in either.

Cremina, Londinium Compact, Argos, Strietman, LP... maybe I should take a look into those/wait.

Thanks for the advice.

mikelipino

#5: Post by mikelipino »

No worries! For me any upgrade really needs to address a specific need. Because with a Robot and a solid grinder, our baseline is good lever espresso. Semi-autos get us the ability to pull more shots back to back quickly, but for me this is an edge case rather than a daily need (what, maybe twice a year? Guests can have excellent Moccamaster coffee then :D ). A boiler with a saturated or E61 gets us higher group temps to help extracting lighter beans, but Robot users have preheating tricks that work well for all but the lightest beans and aren't needed for darker beans, but might be annoying if you primarily drink light roast espresso. Lastly is steam, and this will be tough for Robot users without an add-on. Good thing many espresso nerds like their espresso sans milk!

I likewise am fighting the upgraditis itch, but I'm thinking about going in whole hog with a Decent DE1Pro. That would get me access to so many (Decent would argue all) machine profiles, rock solid and adjustable brew temps, steam, and shot volume (knowing that I will never need to pull multiple-multiple milk drinks back to back, because I am not a cafe). It's a coffee tinkerer's dream.

YeetSkeeterson (original poster)

#6: Post by YeetSkeeterson (original poster) »

That's true ... as a hobbyist, there's no final goal but something like a Decent... and for me, that's where I draw the line as I have too much other stuff I enjoy doing.

Needing to preheat an entire boiler for one shot, usually I make two MAX, and that's not often, temp surf and do all sorts of other things for any espresso machine isn't for me. I think something like an Argos is my limit. It's not a big machine, it's aesthetic, it offers something similar in nature to my Robot but goes about it differently.

There's a fine line where constantly tinkering crosses over to the unenjoyable. The complete satisfaction I often have with my Robot might be gone, after the first sip of every espresso I'd make with an electric machine I would think "damn, I wonder what I could've done better", instead of "damn, this is good".

I'm sure you'd love a DE, I'm sure I would, but ignorance is bliss. I will spend my money exploring coffees rather than machines, as I have for months now with my SR800 and extension tube home roaster.

mikelipino

#7: Post by mikelipino »

Haha I think you and I are on the same trajectory. I picked up a SM Popper in October, and I've been all in learning to roast. I've worked out some repeatable techniques for light and medium roasts, for washed and natural beans. I'm currently working on a medium espresso profile that's working fairly well on the Robot and EP. What's nice is that the SM Popper acts similarly to the SR800, so I've been taking notes from The Captain's Coffee series of videos (if you haven't watched them, definitely do). A P64, a Robot, and an SR800 is plenty to explore, no need to get a semi-auto for now!

YeetSkeeterson (original poster)

#8: Post by YeetSkeeterson (original poster) »

Yes, very similar because I love that guy. I've watched all his SR videos. He's just chill to listen to. Some coffee people can be high strung, is it from the coffee? The world may never know...

We'll see how the Argos and Londinium go. I'd love a Cremina...

Now I feel like roasting coffee with a washed process I saw on the Captain's channel. I just got a whole shipment of organic coffee from Burman Coffee Trader's... 8lbs, was running low from my previous purchase.