There are few beverages on this planet that enthusiasts take more seriously than espresso. Aficionados care about and tune everything from steam pressure to bean roasting temperature. But espresso machines that provide both accurate and precise adjustments are very expensive — easily several thousand dollars. Fortunately, you can tackle the Gaggiuino project to upgrade an affordable Gaggia espresso machine to something comparable to a high-end machine.
Gaggia espresso machines cost less than $500 and they’re quite good for that price point, but they aren’t a match for something like a $6,000 La Marzocco Linea Mini. However, the building blocks are there; Gaggia espresso machines have high-quality parts, they simply lack precision electronic control. Gaggiuino addresses that shortcoming with a handful of affordable components. For around $100 worth of hardware, you can dramatically upgrade your Gaggia Classic or Gaggia Classic Pro to create an exceptional machine.
The hardware required for the Gaggiuino upgrade includes an Arduino Nano board, a 2.4” Nextion touchscreen LCD, a thermocouple, a solid-state relay (SSR), a pressure sensor, and a dimmer module. A few 3D-printed enclosures and mounts help to secure those components. After performing this upgrade, you’ll get a ton of great features. Those include: steam control, sensor graphs, manual flow control, a descale cycle, an auto shot timer, user profiles, and a nice UI to access and configure everything. Thanks to the new hardware, those functions all operate with great accuracy and precision, so you can dial in your perfect brew and get the same results every morning.