Gaggia 90951 Platinum Vision Automatic Espresso Machine with Milk Island, Platinum
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- Automatic espresso machine with simple touch-screen controls
- 15-bar pump pressure; stainless-steel-lined boiler; built-in ceramic burr grinder
- Bypass doser for preground coffee; cup warmer; removable brew group
- 57-ounce removable water tank; Pannarello steam wand and Milk Island included
- Measures 12-3/5 by 16-1/3 by 14-4/7 inches
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Combining advanced technology with ease of use, this fully automatic espresso machine grinds the right amount of coffee, doses, and brews, all at the simple push of a button. The unit's innovative Espresso Plus System allows for adjusting the strength of coffee, from mild to strong intensity, making an infinite variety of coffee drinks possible from just one machine. Whether an Italian "ristretto" or a long coffee, it maintains a truly unique creamy finish. Its drip tray can be raised or lowered electrically with a simple touch, allowing the use of different cup sizes. Even more, the unit's 15-bar pump provides plenty of water pressure for authentic espresso extraction, while its stainless-steel rapid-steam boiler system reduces the time between coffee and steam delivery to just a few seconds. Its exclusive steamer swivels 180 degrees and produces hot water for tea, coffee, or instant soup, plus makes quick work of frothing milk for hassle-free cappuccino and lattes even a novice barista could master.
In addition, the espresso machine features a touch-screen digital LCD control panel with programming information and alerts, an 8-4/5-ounce bean hopper with adjustable ground-coffee dosage from 7 to 10-1/2 grams, and a built-in ceramic burr grinder with adjustable grind settings. Other highlights include a 57-ounce removable water reservoir, a pre-infusion option, an Aqua Prima water filter, a stainless-steel actively heated cup warmer, the ability to make two cups of coffee at the same time, a Gaggia Milk Island accessory connection, and a removable brewing unit for easy maintenance. Housed in impact-resistant ABS plastic with a stainless-steel-finished front panel, the attractive appliance will look great on any kitchen counter. Designed in Italy by Gaggia, one of the most respected names in the industry, the 1500-watt espresso machine measures 14-3/5 by 12-3/5 by 16-2/5 inches.
From the Manufacturer
| Gaggia’s 90950 Platinum-Vision automatic espresso machine has a wide assortment of features that set it above other machines. To make programming and adjustments simple and sophisticated, the it uses a digital touch screen to display icons and menu options. It also boasts many features seem on the Gaggia Titanium series, such as the E. Plus beverage strength system, temperature control, and a stainless steel front panel. Its stainless steel lined boiler assures rapid steam for easy brewing and steaming without the wait. The Gaggia Milk Island connects to the steam system to automatically froth and steam milk. |
This classically designed machine features an active cup warmer, an electronic cup life, a bypass doser, a quiet and reliable ceramic burr grinder, the Aqua Prima water filtration system, and more. Use the menu to turn pre-infusion on or off, adjust coffee volume, program water hardness, perform rinsing and descaling cycles, and change the coffee dosage for each drink. Even the display itself can be customized to display words or icons, and the contrast can be increased for easier viewing. The Gaggia Platinum Vision speaks of great espresso, high end design, and luxury.
Features and Specifications
Top customer reviews
1). it leaks - big time (I think at the brewing group). Changed all related O-rings - didn't help. Ordered new brewing group, should arrive soon. Worse, according to customer service, it's normal. To pay $1300 for something that leaks as normal operation mode?! I consider this an insult. They should put it into machine's description: "starts leaking after few months of use" and see how many people would buy it.
2). Service non-existent. Call the service number (IMPORTIKA) and was told that I will have to ship the machine and they will look at it. Numerous charges apply (hourly rate of $66 or so plus one time fee etc.). Time required: 5 - 6 weeks, but I think that's what they tell customers (which is way too long as is!), while in reality it's much longer. Not an option for me.
Positives: Looks cool. Providing you have good beans, machine makes good coffee. Not "WOW!" - just good.
Conclusion: don't buy it, look for something better. Company (or their representatives) that says that their coffee machine suppose to leak should be driven out of business.
The first thing to go, 2 weeks in, was the milk island. It's a poor design vulnerable to small drops of milk that get inside the island and literally short it out. The small circuit board actually melted inside the plastic housing. Annoying, but given the well-functioning steam wand, not a huge problem.
Over time water started leaking from under the machine while coffee was being brewed. This got progressively worse until scalding hot water pours out the steam wand during the brew cycle, which renders the $1400 unit useless unless you like wet counter tops. Looking online one sees that there is a known problem with steam valves routinely failing on Gaggia machines. Of course, you can't service it yourself, and Gaggia/Importika are of little help. In the end, you have to find someone who can fix it at substantial cost and inconvenience.
For $1400 one would expect better reliability or at least easy access to replace worn parts.
We certainly won't buy another one of these despite the wonderful convenience and quality coffee it produces. I have learned that it's better to buy a "prosumer" grade semi-automatic with user-serviceable parts and better materials (steel, copper, nickel) to start with. Yes, you pay more up front and lose one-touch convenience but you gain much longer life and even better quality beverages.
All those stories about Italian electronics appear to be true. VERY unreliable. Throws error messages constantly.
Can take 10-15 minutes to make a cup of espresso with all the errors and false starts.
When it worked, it worked well. Within months however, the errors started. Gaggia does NOT stand behind the items as their service is not acceptable. The unit came back with the same errors it had when I sent it out.
Would NEVER recommend their products to anyone. Wasted over $1,000 on a very attractive paperweight.
You have been warned.
The machine is fairly idiot proof. I don't drink coffee, but Laura does, and I wind up making the lattes for her. I'm told that my product is better than an average barrista, and I really don't know what I'm doing. Laura is a technophobe, but once configured, the touch screen interface is intuitive and efficient enough for her to run without incident.
The container sizes are a bit small. There are containers for water, ejected grounds, bypass water, and a hopper for the beans. I find that the machine needs to be fed or emptied fairly every couple of days, only making 2-3 espressos/day. We're short on counter space, so a smaller machine was all we could fit, but I find this a little annoying.
The milk island works pretty well. Seating it can be a little finicky, and it can become unseated if you do a poor job of installing it. The base needs to be well supported, and you need to lean on it, while rotating the carafe to make sure it seats well. Cleaning the carafe fairly thoroughly each day is important. If the works get gummed up, it doesn't foam the milk very well any longer.
The error messages can be pretty cryptic. I suppose this is why I'm writing this review, to provide a little troubleshooting advice. Today, when the machine did its power up rinse cycle, the touch screen provided the error "Prime Water Circuit", and emitted clicking sounds. It would do the same when asked to brew coffee. The message is nowhere in the manual, and I couldn't find an interpretation anywhere on the web. The milk island would foam milk, so water was getting to the boiler successfully. Cleaning the brew group made no difference. Eventually I found that the strength control knob on the front of the machine made a difference. It must provide some back pressure, and the knob was at it's strongest setting. Apparently, it had completely shut off the machine's ability to emit coffee, and the "prime water circuit" was it's way of telling me that. Once the strength knob was backed off a little bit, operation returned to normal.
UPDATE - 9/27/11
We've now lived with the machine for 10 months, and it's still working great. I was a little nervous about buying something with a ton of working parts, but it's been solid for us.
UPDATE - 1/23/13
After about 10 months in service, the machine developed a leak in the valve that switches between the milk island and the steamer. The pooling water caused corrosion in the milk island itself, and it wouldn't interlock properly with the Gaggia. We sent the machine back to the US distributor for a warranty repair. We did have the original packaging, but the shipping (we had to pay both directions) was relatively pricey. The machine came back after 3 weeks, and has worked flawlessly since.
The milk island wasn't really repairable, so we've given up on using it. The frother actually does a better job. If you have the choice between a machine with the milk island and one without for $100 less, go cheaper.
UPDATE - 1/3/14
Our Gaggia soldiers on. It's gotten daily use for 3 years now, and aside from the repair noted above, has been pretty solid.
UPDATE - 1/20/16
I'm now surprised at how long we've had the machine, especially in the context of all the negative reviews above. After the first repair, we've had no issues, and the machine is literally used every day, multiple times/day. I'm probably Jinxing things by writing this review.