The Gaggia 16100 is firstly an espresso machine with a solid track record and secondly, carries with it the precision engineering of the Gaggia brand. There are a number of things to like about the Gaggia 16100:
- The first thing is it’s current price point of around the $200 mark. This is the most affordable Gaggia product I have come across.
- The second thing to like is the simplicity of it’s functionality. The machine has a one button touch for warm up; one button touch to produce steam espresso shots; and a one button push to produce froth for the wand. On this last point, the wand pressure is extremely powerful heating up 7 oz. of milk to 140 degrees in less than a minute.
- The third thing to like is it’s speed of use. Because the Gaggia 16100 has a fully integrated 17.5 bar pump and a dual element boiler, the first cup of espresso was ready very quickly.
- To counteract any noise the machine may make, Gaggia have supplied this model with anti vibration mounts which, once secured, enables the machine to run with minimal sound.
In terms of the aesthetics, I’ve always loved the look of these black, steely devices at my local coffee house. However, the Gaggia 16100 would not look out of place in any home kitchen.
Getting back to the practical side of the model, I was pleasantly surprised to see how easy it was to fill the water tank of the machine by just sliding out the container section and filling it with water. With other models this can take a lot of jerking and pushing. Another thing that impressed me about this machine was the amount of thought that had gone into the frothing pipe. For example, the pipe on this model contains little air bubbles which have the effect of creating perfectly frothed milk every time for your espresso.
If you are a newbie to espresso machines then you are well catered for with this Gaggia. It’s supplied with a clearly laid out and comprehensive instruction manual that cover every aspect of getting the Gaggia 16100 up and running. I also the CD that is supplied with the manual particularly useful in this capacity.
A couple of things that could be improved on:
I’d like to see the machine supplied with a larger water tank. Currently you have to replenish the water every 3 to 4 days, whereas on other Gaggia models this could be done every 5 to 6 days. The other thing that could be improved on is in the area of the cup warmer which sits on the slanted top of the 16100 and only moderately heats the cups. This again is not a major issue as the cups can be preheated with hot water.
In terms of the coffee that goes into the Gaggia 16100, use a burr grinder if you don’t have one. This will break your coffee down into the best consistency. A blade grinder will not be as effective. Here’s a burr grinder worth looking at.
If you can’t afford a burr grinder then use fine ground coffee, available here on Amazon.com.
It has great taste and will work well with the machine.
So, in summary, the Gaggia 16100 provides a nice cup of espresso with a lovely froth. It’s a great machine for beginners or master coffee makers alike!