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Gaggia Naviglio coffee machine review
Pros: great price point, good tasting coffee
Cons: grind adjustment is manual
Star rating: 4.5/5
Those on the hunt for an entry-level machine will like this one from Gaggia. Granted, it isn’t much to look at – it’s made almost entirely from plastic and doesn’t have the suave design of some – but it’s sturdily built and reassuringly heavy enough to feel robust.
One of the greatest perks of this machine is that it’s relatively small and all the important elements of it, including the grounds drawer, bean hopper and water tank, can be accessed from the front.
Much like the other machines, once taken out of its packaging the machine fits together fairly intuitively but you will want to spend some time looking through the instruction manual to familiarise yourself with the somewhat ambiguous button symbols on the buttons and indicator lights.
The large central dial is easy enough to understand, giving you a choice between three different coffee strengths, and the buttons not too arduous to push, despite being a little spongey to the touch.
Though the hopper at the top has the capacity for an entire bag of beans, in order to change the consistency of the grind you will have to attach the plug-in tool.
Many bean-to-cup machines come with an inbuilt grind adjuster but this one, being an entry-level option, does not. This is a little fiddly to set up but once you’ve decided on your preferred consistency, you don’t have to do anything.
Once the settings have been navigated, you’ll be on your way to producing that first cup of coffee. This machine gives you the option to make one or two at a time – a pretty nifty feature for the price – meaning you can promptly churn out a round of coffees without standing over the machine for half an hour.
Though you can opt for a lungo – a longer shot – we preferred the taste of the espresso, which was less watery and held the thick crema on the top for longer.
For milky coffees, the easiest method is to dispense the milk into a mug, froth it up then add the espresso after. Some patience is required to use this tool as the steam can take a few minutes to get hot enough to use. Also, as with any steam wand, it does require something of a knack to yield the kind of frothy results you’d find in a coffee shop.
Cleaning the machine is something of an effort. Though the basics – the drip tray and grounds drawer – can be easily removed and cleaned, descaling the whole system or cleaning the inner brew unit requires more attention. Descaling should be done once a month or when the indicator light comes on and, thankfully, the instruction manual provides ample clear direction on how to do this.
All in all, considering the price of the machine and what you’re able to do with it, the Gaggia Naviglio offers excellent value for money, particularly for coffee novices who understand the quality that can be yielded from a bean-to-cup machine but don’t necessarily have the time or inclination to fiddle about with one for hours to get it working to their preferences. Well-priced and of good quality, this is a safe investment.
Read our full review of the best bean-to-cup coffee machines
Functionality rating: 4.5/5
Results rating: 5/5
Ease of cleaning rating: 4/5
Value for money rating: 5/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5
Dimensions (HxWxD): 340 x 440 x 256mm
Power: 1850 watts
Water capacity: 1.5 litres
Adjustable grind: yes
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This review was last updated in November 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.