Gaggia, A well established Italian manufacturer of fine coffee machines with a proven track record of quality and innovation have many super-automatic espresso machines on offer, but at the top of the list sits the Accademia. So, What's so special about the Accademia?
Starting with the stainless steel boiler, actually It's boilers as the Accademia has two using up to 1500 Watts of power. The advantages of having two boilers means that there is no waiting in between brewing an espresso and steaming milk to turn that espresso into a cappuccino, each boiler is ready to do It's job, meaning less time waiting around when making a couple of coffee's at lunch. Inside the machine you will also find the Ceramic bur grinder, the ceramic burs ensure the ground coffee is not over heated. Above the grinder on top of the Accademia is the bean hopper with a capacity of 350 grams, another handy feature on the machine is the airtight bean hopper ensuring your coffee stays fresher for longer. Inside the bean hopper is where you will also find the 7 changeable grind settings for your coffee grind and the bypass chute. The bypass chute is a great feature that lets you place pre-ground coffee directly into the brewing group circumventing the beans in the hopper, Really handy if you or a guest would prefer a decaffeinate brew. The pump fitted inside the machine is able to produce full 15 bar pressure, crucial when it comes to making a proper espresso just like on a commercial machine. The removable brewing group where the espresso is extracted from the ground coffee is a Gaggia innovation in itself, the removable group needs only to be removed from the machine and quickly rinsed under a tap and dried on a weekly basis to keep it operating properly.
When it comes to choice and control over what to drink, the Accademia is unmatched on selection and ease of use. The Large colour LCD display makes selecting your preferences a breeze. You can choose between seven programmable drink buttons with options such as temperature, Extraction time, the amount of ground coffee in each drink, how fine the coffee is ground, and the style and temperature of the milk. All this lets you choose just how you would like your coffee made For example if you would like a strong Americano you would select the maximum dose of ground coffee, a fine grind for maximum extraction along with pre infusion, then select a long extraction to fill a mug. Or if you would prefer a less intense Americano, you would go with less ground coffee with again a long extraction and perhaps a more course grind. The pre infusion feature mean maximum extraction of flavour and aroma from the ground coffee, it works by moistening the ground beans before the full 15 bar of pressure from the pump is activated. This means the grind is evenly moistened helping the even flow of liquid and flavour. The Accademia is easily capable of making short to long espresso's, Cappuccino's, Latte's to name a few.
The milk frothing system on the Accademia is also a cut above the other machines on offer from Gaggia and other branded machines of this type. When you select a cappuccino or a latte the machine will brew the coffee to your liking then the milk frother will dispense the perfectly frothed milk directly in your cappuccino or latte cup, the innovative design means that no milk enters the machine, rather the fully removable milk carafe has steam delivered to it where it then is mixed with the milk and poured into your cup. The advantages of this system are many, the milk carafe can simply be picked up and placed into the fridge when not in use, milk never enters the machine meaning less chance of spoiled milk causing a nasty taste, the circuit the milk is brought through from the carafe to where it meets the steam is then cleaned with steam and drains into the drip tray via a separate circuit ensuring clean and fresh tasting drinks every time!
Maintenance and up keep are also practically taken care of. The Accademia will alert the user via the LCD when the machine needs Water, coffee beans, descaling, or when the drip tray or spent coffee puck compartment needs emptying. The machine prefers filtered water and is compatible with brita and other filter types. But if this is not possible standard tap water will suffice, it will just mean more frequent descaling.
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