This review comes with a caveat and requires further research, my screen arrived warped and never seemed quite right which turned out to be the warp preventing it from sealing, this appears to be a common problem if you search online. With my machine still under warranty I had to hold on the the theory that the 9 bar opv mod would fix it for the best part of a year, no bueno.
I aired my frustration in a review for the Ricambi screen which is old fashioned with a heavy lip for a proper seal, it ain’t pretty, it gets dirty but it works and is a cheap upgrade over captain corrosion that ships with the machine. I need to clarify my frustration, I waited a year to find out I’d. been pissing into a strong breeze for nearly a year, espresso is challenging enough without losing an arm before you even start.
That’s not where this story ends though, I was convinced the slight change in dimensions of the new stainless steel dispersion block had made the IMS more prone to failing, but I’ve seen catastrophic failure with the brass plate too, so what’s going on, is it just a QC issue at IMS or is there a difference in the placement of the 4 dispersion holes with regard to how close they are drilled to the edge? I’ve looked at the images on this website and they are quite different. The problem is these are stock photos so I have no idea if there was a slight tweak with the block at some point with all the different iterations of machine, or Gaggia have a small margin for error when drilling dispersion holes in order to keep costs down. If this is read by the staff and you have these handy for comparison it might finally clear up this issue as it’s looking likely it’s a compound problem and isn’t just down to IMS. The Gaggia is a $600 machine, the stock baskets are terrible, the stock screen corrodes, it wouldn’t be that surprising as to go sideways but for build quality and a bit more steam pressure, the Silvia is nearly twice the price.
I will undoubtedly outgrow the Classic and not for the lack of PID , I fundamentally have issues with their dispersion technique so there’s an E61 in my future, but it would be nice for all those budding baristas out there to be able to focus on making great coffee, that’s why we’re all doing this after all.