Price (RRP): $1,599
The Gaggia Titanium is a smart looking, solid machine, with a stainless steel body and large metal buttons that click on and off positively. It also has some very smart features, including a swivel base for easy access to all sides of the machine, plus a clock and timer to set the machine for an early morning wake-up coffee. The downside of the stainless casing is that it could be a little harder to keep this machine looking shiny as the metal finish shows up fingerprints easily.
The printed manual for this machine is not as well designed as some of the other models we’ve tested, like the Sunbeam Intuitive Digital EM8910 and Krups Espresseria XP7200A2manuals. It contains a lot of tiny print, with small diagrams that aren?t always near the appropriate information. While this machine is still fairly simple, set up was slightly more involved than it could have been, and there were a few more steps required to get started than were needed.
It wasn?t as easy to pull apart either. Gaggia recommends the internal filter be cleaned once a week. This operation was a bit fiddly, requiring the use of a plastic key to remove the filter. The little diagrams in the manual aren?t very clear.
Space on the drip tray is a bit limited but is adequate for normal coffee cups and latte glasses. As with all four machines reviewed, the dispenser spout is height adjustable.The water tank has a handle which makes carrying to a sink easy. It can also be filled in place from a jug or bottle.
To activate the steam wand, it is a simple process of just turning the control dial. Cleaning the nozzle is simple too as it just slots on and off. If you need to raise the steam wand for a larger milk jug, this can be a little fiddly as you have to lift a little door in the side. If you always use a large jug, you could just remove the door.
The Gaggia has the largest range of settings for grind control so this would be a good feature for those who like to have more control over this aspect of the process. The LCD menu informs the user of what is happening at every stage.
While making the brew, the machine made lots of clunking noises just before it started pouring the coffee. Unlike the other three machines, coffee was dispensed in several short sharp bursts. The results, however, were excellent, with a superior coffee coated in a rich crema.
The steam control dial allows the user to vary the strength of the jet. This machine produced a good strong steam jet and a consistently good froth. The impressive fast heating and the power of the jet is due to the double boiling system. This is the only machine reviewed here with two boilers.
The sleek look of this top-of-the-range Gaggia was its initial attraction but it truly excels in the production of very good quality coffee and strong steam. If your budget allows, and if you?re a bit more serious about your coffee quality, then this is a top automatic coffee machine.
Reviewer: Sarah Cumberland