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Published on May 26, 2012

I have made a few simple mods to this old Gaggia. This model has a much larger boiler than the newer models - it also has a 3-way valve and quality OPV. So even though it is called "Coffee", it is the model that evolved into the Classic and is not at all like the more recent Coffee model.

I have modified to give variable pump power for variable pressure/flow control. I have the incoming water re-routed so the OPV doesn't bleed hot water from the boiler during a shot. I've modified the standpipe inside the boiler so it only takes hot water from the top of the boiler (same as newer models) - I've lowered the brew t-Stat to 107C from the stock 112C which was way too hot after making the previous mods so those sources of boiler cooling were removed. This does NOT have a PID, I have a simple, inexpensive thermometer mounted with a TC bead pressed against the side of the boiler. This allows me to use the steam switch to adjust to my target temp prior to starting the shot.

In this video I pull several back to back shots while measuring with my homemade ThermoFilter. The temp stability during the shot is totally due to the large size of this old boiler (3 times larger than a modern Gaggia Classic) and my mods that eliminate the two design flaws that caused this model to lose heat.

In order to get the temp set for the following shot, I am hitting the steam switch at the end of each shot for a set count, then waiting a few seconds before starting the second shot. My boiler thermometer helps me see when to start the next shot. I could easily prepare 6 double baskets in advance and then pull 6 back to back shots (or as many shots as you like, until the water tank is empty) with proper espresso brew temperatures. Something that most everyone else will tell you is impossible with a Gaggia.

Another mod that isn't shown here - and this is another serious design flaw on this old model - I have modified the dispersion block above the shower screen to give an even dispersion of brew water to the coffee puck.

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