Face it: when the term "baby" is attached to a well-known product -- unless that product is Ron Jeremy -- you expect miniaturization and, well, the short-bus version of the original. So when we scored the new Gaggia Baby Twin Espresso machine for abuse, er, review, we expected (yaaaawn) a smaller, plasticized version of their reg machine.
Our humble apologies and a deep Japanese-style bow.
Ain't nothing baby about this fab machine except its compact, low-riding size. It grips the counter like -- well, you might not have seen that Jeremy movie. The solid filter holder arm, which lets you make two cups at a time, twists and locks into place with the confidence of their professional machine (I know because I was a barista in a past life). The "turbo frother steam nozzle" (a name possibly larger than the machine) froths with the best of them, and the brewing selection panel allows you to brew at will (one strong, two weak, manual pour, etc.). Genius!
Only drawback (unless I misread the instructions -- which, knowing me, isn't out of the question) is that you can't brew two strong espressos at once. But you can adjust the amount of flow for each setting, so if you're not jonesing for a Big Gulp-sized espresso, you can manufacture two fairly macho average-size drinks. (Then you can do the walk of shame. Uh, same movie.)
Lots of other pro touches I won't bore you with, but this machine is a killer downsized version of Gaggia's commercial series.
XXX – Exceptional