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Showing 1-10 of 46 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 87 reviews
on February 1, 2012
I purchased this machine in February 2011. I share it with 5 co-workers to make our espressos at the office. Our average usage is around 15 runs per work day. We clean and flush the machine regularly, descale when the machine prompts for it.
Before this we had a Saeco Vienna and used it for 4 years before it died. We decided to try out a different brand and went with the Gaggia Titanium.

The machine makes good espresso. It was able to produce 3154 shots in 10 months.
The milk frother was not that good. The steam was often not very strong or was bursty. You also have to let it run 15-20 seconds every time before it starts producing steam instead of water.

The machine looks nice in the picture, but the plastic material got me worried when I opened the box the first time. It is flimsy and thin and does not look like something that can handle serious use. It is also entirely made of plastic - inside and out.
Once we started using it plastic started to peel off from the bottom of the drip tray. The plastic could not handle the hot water, but this was not causing a major problem.

The sensors of the machine are not good. The producer tried to provide electronic "features", but in my opinion this was a shot in the foot.
Every so often the machine will recognize that water needs to be filled into the tank. You can't just fill water while the tank is attached, the machine will not recognize this and will not reset the sensor. You also can't detach the tank and fill it quickly and attach it back. You have to fill it and 'wait' for about a minute. There must be a timer that needs to run out before you put the tank back in place.

Every other week the machine displays the message 'Ventilate' and waits for you to prime it with water. The reasons for this are not obvious. Apparently the most frequent cause is an air bubble that gets into the pump.
We dread this moment and only me and another co-worker were able to develop the expertise to handle this situation without resetting the machine to factory settings. The instructions in the manual are of no use so we had to consult a video on youtube that is posted by the owner of the importer company Todd Salzman: [...]
We had to prime and re-prime a number of times, we would usually spend around 20 minutes doing this until the message disappears, there is water all over the counter, etc..

We had to decalcify the machine 3 times. We bought a product and did it. The final step of the process is to run hot water through the machine until it stops displaying the rinse message. We would run water for more than an hour and nothing would change. In two cases we gave up and reset the machine to factory settings. In the third case we were somehow able to persist and see the message disappear.

After 10 months of use the machine stopped running coffee through the nozzles and was leaking the water from the back right side. Time to open the warranty card. Turns out the importer and service company is called Importika. Later research showed that Importika and WholeLatteLove.com are part of the Salzman Group owned by Todd Salzman.
I called Importika and spoke to a friendly young person. After inquiring about the issue he determined that the machine has to be sent for repair, but no problem - machine is under 1 year warranty and will be serviced for free. There is no local service or pick up of any kind with this company. He would send me a shipping label in the email within a day.

Nothing comes within 3 days, I go on vacation and return. 10 days after the first call I call again to ask about the label. Turns out I was speaking with an intern and nothing is entered in the system. Well, at least I can reach the company. This time we get everything entered. The procedure changes slightly and from free warranty things change to me having to pay for shipment both ways. They take my credit card number, which will be charged only after service for the return shipment ($39). I have to take care of the shipment to them (still unknown amount).

On the next day I receive an email with instructions on draining the machine, packaging, address to send to. Lots of disclaimers that Importika is not responsible for any damages, loss, etc...

I package the machine as good as I can. I use lots of bubble wrap, foam - we are an IT department and have lots of padding from other shipments.
I ship the machine with UPS and it arrives 2 days later (I track) ($39, own packaging, no insurance - UPS will not warrant insurance on packages packaged by customer). 2 days nothing happens and then I receive an email with the subject 'Importika Receipt of Merchandise - Damaged'. The email is generic - it has my name, order number, UPS tracking number and phone numbers of the claim departments of all known carriers. They recommend that I file a claim with the carrier and, once the claim is processed and I decide how to proceed, they would be happy to provide an estimate ($45) to repair my machine.

I call Importika and they say that the entire front panel is broken and the issue is between me and UPS since I am the shipper.

From sending a machine for 'free' warranty service I move on to filing a damage claim and preparing to pay $45 for an estimate.

I file a claim with UPS and hear nothing for 3-4 days. When I call UPS they tell me the claim is under investigation. On the fifth day I go to track my package and see that it is out for delivery in my direction.
The store where I shipped it from also received a fax stating that UPS determined that the damage is not caused during transportation. It also states that the packaging did not pass the 'standard ISTA 3A test'.
I receive the package and open it - it contains an unrecognizable pile of plastic - total damage. Importika is conveniently not involved in any of this.

I try to go over the packaging in my mind and see what I did wrong as I tend to believe that UPS has handled the package like any other package and did not drop it from the third floor and then run over it with their truck. I put lots of padding, the box was big enough, not too big. I removed any parts from the machine that were not required for the service (drip tray, dregs drawer, water reservoir). The email with instructions stated that these should be removed to prevent damage. I think though that removing the drip tray helped the front panel collapse under its own weight during transport vibration, who knows..

Long story short we lost a machine under warranty to total damage. The conclusions (for us):

- This machine is not robust. The materials are cheap and once taken out of the package the machine should not be moved too much.

- If you don't have the original packaging it will be very difficult to package the machine in a way that will survive shipping.

- There is no local service. When the machine breaks you will have to ship it to Importika/WholeLatteLove and assume full responsibility for it to arrive safe. If you have to do this I recommend to have it packaged by the carrier or an authorized service and insure it (you might still go through a hell to get your money upon damage though). This will probably run you around $70 - $80. Then add the return shipment of $39. At the very least you will pay 1/8 of the machine price when you enjoy the free warranty service.

- When the machine is out of warranty you will have to pay $45 fee for a repair estimate. Per their email a 'Tune-Up' is $140, so estimate for yourself how much real repair and spare parts will be.

- Frequent outages and trial and error fumbling due to sensor issues will be a problem and will force you to learn a lot more about the machine's internal operations than you wanted to know.

- If you make anywhere more than 1-2 coffees per day this machine might not last you very long. Not saying it won't but chances are high that it will start leaking or develop other problems. Having it survive service after this is a matter of luck.

- Salzman Group, Importika and WholeLatteLove.com are the same company. They try to create an illusion of a competitive market by selling the same products at different prices on amazon, wholelattelove.com and other online stores. The service they provide is not adequate, but they will talk to you nicely.

- When it comes to espresso machines in this price range we have decided to always buy from a local store where we can put the machine in our car and take it there for service if needed.

- Never again Gaggia.
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on January 2, 2015
I did months of research on which espresso machine I wanted. I ended up purchasing this Gaggia Titanium and I do not regret my decision. The thing is really amazing for how small it is. The heat up time from turning it on, to the time it is ready to brew an espresso is really fast. It actually makes an amazing shot of espresso. Recently I've been making a triple shot, adding some 1/2&1/2, and it's been treating me really well.
The steam wand is one of the reasons I bought this machine. It moves in a full rotation, making it super easy to steam some milk. It also heats up the milk rather quickly. Summing it up, this is a fast working machine capable of delivering an amazing cup of coffee or espresso, latte, or what have you.
There is only 1 negative to this machine - the volume of the noise of the machine during grinding/brewing operation. It is louder than I want it to be. I live in a 2k square foot house and my family can hear it in the morning when I get up before them. That is the ONLY drawback. If that's not issue for you, or you don't care, then this is a FANTASTIC machine.
There are so many cool features it does: such as warming of the demitasse cups up top; brews from ground coffee as well... it does it all.
Plus, it looks sharp. The stainless steel looks great in my kitchen. The size of the machine is perfect, it easily fits on the back of the counter under my kitchen cabinets.
The water tank in back is easily lift able due to an in-tank handle (great idea!).
All in All - I easily rank this machine 5 stars. Without hesitation, as I've had this machine for a year now and it still works as well the day I got it.
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on July 16, 2011
First off we use the heck out of this. No one would believe how many cups we make for home use. The first machine had some kind of catastophy after 3 or 4 months. I couldn't get anyone from importica or Whole latte love (same physical building, but they denied to me they are the same company) to even return my calls. I was willing to pay for service, buy a new part (the brew group)...anything to get it working. They totally ignored me (I forgot about the refurb I got from Whole latte love first...it leaked all over the counter the first day. Returned that and bought from Amazon) so this was technically my second machine.

Anyway, after calling Amazon and just asking for a number since no one was calling me back after a week at importica, they totally stepped up and replaced my machine. This third one has been working great. We have had it 6 months and made 2348 cups. (I told you we use this thing).

So, it took me three tries, but thanks to Amazon (and them alone) I am a happy camper.

Three stars for the item, but one star added for Amazons awesome service. They are my favorite online retailer.

Stay away from whole latte love, they are just not a company I would recommend. They seem like what folks imagine when they think of bad used car salesman, sort of shady. That was my impression since when they told me "you have to call importica" and when I told them Importica is in the same building as their headquarters, (exact same address) the guy was playing dumb like it was news to him..."Maybe at a corprorate level"...sure...very shady indeed.

EDIT: over 17000 shots now! I did have to replace a thermister or something like that on the board. I googled and found a vid telling me what to do and ordered the parts and did the work. That was at about 12000 shots and a year or so ago.
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on October 28, 2012
We purchased this machine in August 2011 and it worked great for about 15 months. Suddenly it broke down. The reason was the safety pressure valve that is mainly built with plastic parts and that breaks down after use for a period. Apparently this is a weak part on these machines. Outside of the one year warranty, I did the replacement myself, discovering that not only was the pressure valve gone, but also the plastic tube from the pressure pump itself. Instead of throwing good money after bad money, we decided to throw this machine and get a new one of another brand.
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on March 24, 2014
When I purchased this machine 6 years ago I would have never thought we would make over 15,500 cups of coffee with it but the digital counter doesn't lie.
In the last three thousand or so cups I had to replace the grinder and in the last 500 cups I bypassed the micro switch that determines coffee ratio and went with a toggle switch and timer (I have the parts to fix it but the micro switch is buried deep in the machine). That's when I started to dread the inevitable replacement option search for a worthy super auto expresso machine, after everything I read I decided it was going to be impossible to find anything better, so I was off to find another Gaggia 90500. Amazon had a used one for an incredible price so I ordered it and was like a kid the day before Christmas, needles to say I was pretty disappointed When I pulled it out of the box and found the door was broken, hey guess what? No problem I have arts machine and 4 screws later perfecto!
I hope they're still making this machine six years and fifteen-thousand five hundred coffees from now, I'll be ordering number three! Wow I did the math (probably wrong) Cost me $.04 a cup to own this machine
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on March 20, 2012
We went into the search for an espresso machine because we determined we were spending way too much money at Starbucks. Also, being the fairly lazy people we are, we wanted to minimize the amount of skill and effort we put into making espressos. Therefore, the super automatic was the logical choice. After a fair amount of research, we settled on the Gaggia 90500. We have not been disappointed. We have now had this machine for over 60 days with extensive use and are fully satisfied. It creates wonderful coffee, great espresso, and enables us to indulge in truly excellent latte's. Given our usage and the amount of money we were spending on Starbucks, the machine has now paid for itself and we are in "bonus land". Time will tell if it holds up for months and years, but we have really used it heavily (12 - 15 cups per day) and it has worked great.

Update 12/26/2012 - it has now been 9 months that we've been using the Gaggia 90500 and it is still going great. We average 10 cups of coffee a day out of this machine and it works as well as when new. Most of the time, the cups are just coffee using the large coffee option. However, about 20% of the time we use the small cup option which is just a shot of espresso -- mostly do a double -- and then use the steamer to complete the latte. Add some dark chocolate mocha syrup and it is truly wonderful. The only maintenance that we do is descaling whenever the indicator comes up. That takes about an hour to complete, so generally do that in the evening when the coffee consumption is done for the day!

Bottom Line - if the machine were to break tomorrow, I would order a replacement immediately and then think about either fixing this or recycling -- it has just been a great coffee making machine!
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on June 10, 2013
I bought this machine in Sept 2010 from Amazon. Great coffee with nice crema, nicely steamed milk with decent froth. At least at first. After ~6 months, with reasonable user maintenance, I got stuck in the dreaded "ventilate" - read some of the other reviews, but basically it happens when something gets stuck in the boiler which blocks the steam from coming out the wand. Typically this happens if you get air into the system, e.g. run out of water, but in my case something was definitely stuck. Unfortunately when you are in this state, you can't really get out of it - trying to run a double dose of decalcifier isn't going to work as it uses the same pipes.

The machine still made great coffee, but I missed my steamed milk, and the plastic on the drip tray was starting to come off, and then one day the coffee spout dropped off (it's detachable) with the plastic nozzles attached (they are not). So I sent it off to Importika, the only authorized service center for Gaggia in the US. Machine was gone ~4 weeks. Fortunately everything except shipping was covered by warranty. Shipping from Importika was $40!! (for comparison shipping to Importika was <$20). All the issues were resolved, though I noticed later that the burr grinder was now set to 0 (finest setting), but didn't produce a very fine ground.

All was good for ~6months, then I got ventilate again.

I could believe that I had a bad model, or that the water conditions are particularly bad, but based on the other reviews on the Internet, I think there is a design flaw with this model. Frankly, I'm surprised that Gaggia/Saeco/Philips are still selling this machine. Perhaps they addressed the inherent flaw, but you'd think that they would change the model name (at least add a Mk2).

In any case, I'm now looking to buy a new super-automatic (after ~8000 coffees, I don't feel too bad about that). I think I'll steer away from Gaggia/Saeco/Philips...
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on April 8, 2014
We had a Gaggia Synchrony that lasted for > 10 years. When it was finally retired, we replaced it with the Gaggis Titanium. Its easier to clean that the synchrony and makes a wonderful cup of coffee/espresso. I've only used the frother once and it worked as advertised. The Titanium also has a built in clock so it wakes up and is ready to make coffee when I get up in the morning. It then goes to sleep after I leave for work. No more waiting for it to warm up before making coffee in the morning.

My only complaint is that the bean hopper does not deal well with my favorite coffee: Peet's Major Dickason's blend. The Major has beans that are a bit sticky from the residual oil. As a result, they do not flow easily from the bean hopper into the grinder. With almost every cup, I have to tap the hopper or stir the beans in the hopper with my finger. Its a bit of a PITA. However, I love my coffee, so I'm not likely to change. I hope they've improved the design 10 years from now when I'm shopping for my next espresso maker.
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on April 23, 2013
I keep expecting the machine to die and it just keeps going. We do almost no maintenance on it, one of our employees broke the door so we Gerry-rigged a hinge. Other than that, we have done nothing. We are now on 11,000 cups ($0.06 per cup). Even with high-quality coffee (we use Lavazza Super Crema) it is less than half the cost of the single-serve coffee, avoids the k-cup environmental disaster, and the coffee quality is excellent.

It is sensitive to the bean you use. High oil beans like starbucks will clog the grinder trap door after ~200-400 cups. This is not a problem to fix, you just need to go onto You Tube and watch the very good step-by-step instructions for cleaning the grinder. This takes a bit of mechanical aptitude and about 30 minutes. So if you just have to drink high oil beans just be ready to do this cleaning every few months. If you use low oil beans it will go a year between major cleanings.

Of course, YMMV but we are extremely happy with how this has performed.
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on November 2, 2010
UPDATE: Worried about durability when I bought it. It's been a year of fairly heavy use (about 6 double shots/day) and it has never missed a beat. Best of several such machines I have owned. Really like being able to get two true double shots with by tapping a button twice

My espresso-brewing journey has taken me from the mostly manual Capresso 121 to the fully automatic Solis Palazzo then to the largely comparable DeLonghi Magnifica. Now, it is the Gaggia Titanium.

Why the Gaggia? Still looking for a fully automatic that lasts more than 18 months. (What should one expect for close to $1,000? - the inexpensive Capresso still goes strong while the leaking DeLonghi and Solis clutter a back shelf in my garage.)

Will it be the Gaggia that lasts more than a year and a half? Time will tell and I will be back here to report. My guess, though, is "no" as, on the inside, the Gaggia looks almost identical to its cousin the Solis Palazzo.

My observations after two weeks of use (and lots of experience with roughly similar machines):

First, some curious comments by others that might scare you off. No need to be. Yes, machine arrives with a few coffee grounds in the innards. That's not a sign of a refurbished machine. As was the case with the other automatics I have used and as is explained in each case in the operating manual or among packing materials, these machines are all factory tested with real coffee prior to clearing quality control.

And, while on a RTFM rant and given comments here by colleagues, the Gaggia does not weigh or otherwise measure the contents of the bin for the grounds. It counts the number of uses. And, it does not know when the bin has been emptied. Do, as the manual suggests, regularly empty bin and tray and, yes, the "bin needs emptying" message is going to come on even when it does not need attention.

The most important concern: can you get a shot with proper extraction and good, thick crema? Certainly as well as any other automatic I have used. Must have the proper basics, of course: freshly roasted beans. Then must really tinker with the coarseness of grind and quantity of grounds controls to get things right. Little adjustments make a big difference. And, must readjust to suit changes in roast or bean. Easy to get complacent once you have it right. Study that flow into the cup with each new bean/roast: not too fast, not too slow.

The Gaggia has the grind/quantity dials inside the roast bin. The DeLonghi had the quantity knob on the front of the machine, a real convenience in tweaking to get the flow/extraction just right.

On the other hand, the Gaggia is the first machine I have had that let me pick water temperature. Higher setting was, for me, just right.

Does allow selection of three size levels - quantity of brew, (not number of shots). I got to like the ability of the DeLonghi to give me a double grind at one push, something the Gaggia does not do. But, doing it twice probably gives more consistent shots.

DeLonghi allowed brew quantity to be set by a dial, allowing much finer gradations than do three buttons. But, each button can be independently set to your needs and I am finding it to my liking. No longer do I want a shot, push the button, and too late realize that the knob on the DeLonghi was set by a prior user(probably me) to yield a full cup of coffee.

Swivel base is convenient. Particularly since normal clearance between counter and cabinet does not allow bean hopper to be fully opened (to refill or adjust knobs). No harder or easier than any other I have tried when it comes to cleaning the innards.

I do like the free play provided in the steam wand. Far more swivel than others I have used. Hated the same in the Delonghi which could only swing out but not up. Steam pressure and quantity are both sufficient.

Makes froth for a European-style cappuccino effortlessly. Not sure why they pack the gizmo (cappuccinatore) for this purpose as any facility at all with a steam wand does the trick (and the cappuccinatore has lots of parts to take apart and clean after each use).

Cappuccinos are fine in the afternoon or evening. But, how about that morning latte? Or, if you prefer, as do I, a cappuccino made with microfoam? Out of luck as the machine comes out of the box. But, so too with the others I have used.

Solution, short term, is to cover the pin hole at the top of the wand fitting with a piece of scotch tape. Can stretch milk for the morning latte. With air intake disabled, hovering the wand tip just at the surface (with a bit of subsequent tamping) yields a microfoam that will allow a lighter afternoon drink (but, got to be more skilled than I am to get microfoam of a quality to support latte art).

Why worry? Taste comes largely from our olfactory senses; the volatile chemicals that give a properly roasted bean real varietal flavor, once brewed, reside in the crema; and microfoam pours through the crema, floating it to the surface where it can hit our nose (rather than burying the crema under froth).

And, finally, I have had no problems with bean feed (although given reviews here, I do periodically stick a finger in the hopper and knock the beans around a bit - have to have something to do while waiting for the brew cycle to conclude). And, no indication of any "ventilation" problem. My machine did come with an extra tool should that problem arise and instructions so complicated I sincerely hope that the problem does not occur.
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