large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition Review

Verdict

rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star
Trusted Reviews Recommended

Well built and simple to use, the Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition is a true celebration of this well-known coffee machine. With this model you get quality espresso and excellent milk frothing, combined with a true statement piece. As far as mid-range manual machines go, this is truly an excellent choice.

Available direct from Gaggiadirect.com for £499

Introduction

There was a time when the Gaggia Classic was king of the home espresso machines. Robustly built, capable of producing excellent espresso and sporting excellent design, the name Classic was fitting. Today, we have the Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition, which retains the same quality of machine packed inside a funky new design.

It’s a model of outstanding beauty, and a great mid-range machine for anyone who wants quality results with the minimum amount of hassle.

Design and features

  • Solidly built
  • Fun new design
  • Useful water tank filler

This limited-edition model features exclusive acrobat artwork by Italian artist Pierpaolo Gaballo on the machine’s sides. The illustrations are brilliant, bringing that Italian flare back to the well-known coffee machine. Buy this edition of the Gaggia Classic and you’ll also receive an exclusive bit of artwork that you can frame.

While a lot of higher-end coffee machines – such as the WPM KD-270S – are quite big, the Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition is relatively compact at  380 x 230 x 240mm. It’s small enough to squeeze onto a kitchen counter without taking up too much space.

There was a point in Gaggia’s life, after its acquisition by Philips, that its construction was a little on the cheap side. Fortunately, these days are way behind the company.

The Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition is ruggedly built and feels tough. Most importantly, the rocker switches are back. Each one (power, espresso and steam) audibly clicks when you hit it, with feedback excellent. This is what I loved most about the original: that industrial feel and feedback to let you know you’ve hit a button.

Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition rocker switches

With a hefty group handle, this machine feels more professional, too. In the box, you get a choice of three portafilters. There are two regular ones –single and double – plus the Crema Perfetta filter and accessory. These are designed to deliver perfect espresso with less than perfect coffee.

Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition Crema Perfetta

It’s an option, but the only way to make truly great espresso is to get the right grind, using a proper grinder, and then tamp properly. It’s good, then, that the Crema Perfetta is just an option.

With the handle in place, there’s only room beneath for a 7cm mug. If you want to make lattes or use taller mugs, you may need to make a shot of espresso first and tip this into a different cup.

There’s a 2.1-litre water tank that pulls awkwardly out of the front of the machine. To get the tank back into place, you have to drop in the two hoses, then slide it back. It’s a little clumsy, but you shouldn’t need to remove the tank often, since there’s a flip-up lid and filler hole at the back, allowing you to fill the machine in-situ.

Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition water filler

Coffee quality

  • Espresso can pour fast
  • With the right tamp you can get good results
  • Spot-on temperatures

To get the best out of the Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition, you need to use freshly ground coffee. It’s important to get the grind, right, too. I started off with too coarse a grind, and hot water was run through the coffee far too quickly.

Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition pouring espresso

Going for a finer grind and high-pressure tamp, I could slow the flow of coffee, getting my double shot in just under 30 seconds, which is about right. The result was a dark shot of coffee, topped with a golden-brown, oily crema. 

Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition final espresso

Taste was pretty spot on, too. My Fairtrade Peruvian coffee has a bold, acidic taste, which was delivered in full here. At 62.3ºC, the espresso was just the right temperature, too. I’d say that you’d have to spend a lot more money to get anything better.

Milk frothing

  • Simple to use
  • Able to purge the wand before and after use
  • Good milk frothing results

Milk frothing is often the area that lets many a coffee machine down, but the Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition does a decent job. There’s a single boiler in this machine, so you can only steam milk or pour coffee. And, once you’ve steamed milk, you’ll need to run the machine to get its water back down to coffee temperature.

Using the switch on the front, you can pre-heat the Classic to milk temperatures. There’s then a steam dial on the side to control output. The advantage of this system is two-fold: you can purge the wand of water and milk residue at the start and end of frothing, and you get fine control over the steam output.

Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition steam dial

Thanks to the professional steam wand, it’s relatively easy to get a jug of milk with a fine texture. It’s a little frothy to start off, but a gentle tap of the jug and swirl to mix things means that I could produce a decent flat white, with a good pattern to the drink.

Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition cappuccino

Maintenance

  • Basic cleaning is required
  • Descale regularly

Aside from topping up the water and cleaning out the drip tray with soapy water, there isn’t much in the way of maintenance with the Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition. 

It will need descaling regularly, although you can’t set a water hardness level to have a light come on when it’s time to clean. Instead, follow the instructions in the manual to keep the machine working in its best condition.

Latest deals

Available direct from Gaggiadirect.com for £499

Should you buy it?

If you want quality results without paying top-end prices, this fun and quality espresso machine is a great buy.

You’re paying extra for the artwork, and if you spend more money elsewhere, you can get a more powerful and customisable experience.

Final thoughts

The Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition looks absolutely fantastic: it’s a real statement piece. Fortunately, it isn’t style over substance; it’s a great mid-priced coffee machine, capable of producing excellent espresso and steaming milk well. If you want the best results and more customisable espresso dispensing, then you’ll have to pay a fair bit more for one of the alternatives on my best coffee machine list.

Trusted Score
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Sign up for the Trusted Reviews Newsletter

How we test

Unlike other sites, we test every coffee machine we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Used as our main coffee machine for the review period

Tested for at least a week

We roast our own beans for regular coffee machines, so we can fairly compare each machine; pod machines are tested with a variety of compatible capsules

Depending on capabilities, we test each machine’s ability to make espresso and cappuccino

FAQs

What do you get with the Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition?

You get exclusive artwork on the outside plus an art print in the box.

Can you steam milk with the Gaggia Classic 30 Year Limited Edition?

Yes, it has a steamer wand.

Full specs

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
CA RRP
Manufacturer
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Model Number
Coffee Machine Type
Cup warmer
Maximum mug height
Pump pressure
Number of boilers
Milk frothing
Water capacity

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.