Coffee is a pretty vital part of my everyday life. Yet, it can be challenging to find the exact right cup to satisfy that need. This is when I started researching different lever espresso machines. I have to say that I was immediately sold upon first glance of the Gaggia Achille espresso machine.
I’ve seen quite a few different modern style espresso machines over time, but this epitomises what a beautiful machine should look like.
It’s sleek, gorgeous, and stainless steel – what more could you possibly want?
To add onto the attractiveness, Gaggia chose to make this model a single lever action. So not only are you given a genuine coffee shop feel, you also have a little bit of extra to add to the initial appeal of the Gaggia 11400 as a whole.
Yes, first impressions were more than good for this machine. So I dug a little deeper to see if the performance of this machine matched its stylish looks.
I wanted to find out whether the Gaggia Achille espresso machine lived up to the Gaggia name or not…
Gaggia 11400 Achille Espresso Machine Specifications and Features
- Editors Rating –
- Average Price – Est. $560
- Machine Class – Manual, Lever
- Power – 1250 watts
- Pump Pressure – N/A
- Housing – Heavy gauge stainless steel and chrome plated
- Boiler – 28 oz Chrome plated brass boiler
- Water Tank Capacity – 67 oz, removable
- Weight – 19 lbs
- Dimensions – 21.8 in – 9.7 in – 17.8 in
- Warranty – 1 year parts and labour
- Comes With – Both double and single-shot filter baskets and a Turbo-Frothing steam wand
The Gaggia 11400 Achille certainly does not fail to perform when it comes to providing quality coffee. It really does make a brilliant cup of coffee.
Unfortunately, the brew time is considerably longer than many other machines. It’s also very important to ensure that the coffee grinds are tamped really well before brewing, or the quality is greatly reduced. This is a shame.
The single lever-operated Gaggia does look spectacular and will definitely make a stylish addition to any kitchen. Unfortunately, in an attempt to keep manufacturing costs to a minimum, it appears that they’ve taken some short-cuts with quality of parts.
A prime example of this is the plastic steam wand that has a tendency to warp over time and cease working.
The stunning 28-ounce removable water tank is a very positive feature, and there is the option of double or single shot filter baskets.
Espresso Making Performance
It seems that the people at Gaggia aren’t really sure what their desired result is for this machine.
On one hand, if you’re prepared to really tamp down the coffee grounds hard, the machine will draw more pressure into the shot. Unfortunately, this action alone has caused numerous complaints of making the machine leak.
On the other hand, if you remember to only tamp down the coffee grounds lightly, the quality of the resulting espresso just isn’t good.
This design fault, along with far too many plastic parts really need to improved by Gaggia before expecting customers to be happy paying more than $500 for what they hope will be a high quality machine.
I must point out that the time of writing this review the La Pavoni espresso machine has a far superior build quality and is unquestionably a better choice until improvements are made on the Achille.
One of the problems that has been noted in reviews from multiple people who own this machine is one that could easily be fixed, if Gaggia’s customer service was up to par.
Within only a few weeks of use, people have complained that the water basin begins to leak. This can very easily be repaired and the product can be replaced, but first users will have to play phone tag and sit through endless sessions of elevator music in order to get a hold of a representative.
To date this machine has received 1 five star ratings on Amazon and averages 3 stars overall from a total of 7 Gaggia Achille Espresso Machine consumer reviews on Amazon.
When it comes down to the wire, the Gaggia 11400 Achille really is a gorgeous machine. It’s sleek and stylish with its stainless steel finish, and makes a great addition to any kitchen decor.
Unfortunately, with a price tag over $500 and numerous consumer complaints about coffee quality, machine reliability, and leaking water basins, it seems there may be better options available on the market. It should also be noted that many of the interior parts to the machine are plastic, so it definitely isn’t made to last.
There is also the worrying problem of the notable lack of customer service from Gaggia for those customers with valid complaints.