Vegan Kitchen Tools
Gaggia Platinum Swing Super Automatic Espresso Machine with Milk Island
I’m generally a control freak about “doing it my way,” so a super automatic espresso machine never really appealed to me. But when I experienced the push of one button to get the same perfect, fresh ground cup of espresso over and over -- without preparation or cleanup hassle -- I was glad to relinquish control. For me and the Gaggia Platinum Swing Super Automatic Espresso Machine, it was love at first sip.
Gaggia founder, Achille Gaggia, had a passion for the perfect coffee taste. In 1938 he applied for a patent for the first modern steamless coffee machine. His revolutionary concept of pressured water flowing over rich coffee grounds is what gives us the magnificent steaming golden crema that denotes the perfect cup of espresso. It was from this patented coffee machine that a whole new commerce and café society was born.
For over 60 years Gaggia has produced the finest commercial coffee machines found in cafés all over the world. The Gaggia name is synonymous in café culture to represent a unique combination of traditional quality and reliability coupled with state-of-art technology and performance.
The Gaggia company was founded in 1947 and formally formed in 1948. It first produced machines for commercial use, but in 1977 Gaggia produced its first machines for home use, which has become its dominant area of production. The company continues to produce quality espresso machines from classic manual machines to the innovative super-automatic models recently added to the line.
More detailed Gaggia history, photos & history.
Knowing Gaggia’s history, it’s no surprise that they have invented a plethora of choices for those of us seeking our own idea of the ultimate espresso coffee machine for home or office use. Gaggia is an expression of this understanding — providing editions whose design focuses on the strength of clear lines, the sophistication of digital technology, and the perpetuation of espresso tradition.
The Gaggia Platinum Swing Features
Stainless steel gleams on the Platinum Swing! This fully automated machine is classically modern in design for that high-end look on any countertop. The exterior is easy to clean and swivels on its base for easy access to both sides of the machine—water reservoir on the left and brewing unit on the right.
Rapid Steam Boiler System
Switching back and forth between steaming and brewing is assured by Gaggia’s Rapid Steam Function. Fifteen bars of steam pressure is produced for each cup brewed with the perfect temperature to prevent bitterness. The system allows you to switch from brewing to steaming without having to wait! You will find this invaluable when creating coffees for dinner parties or when friends show up for a quick cup. And what about offering cappuccinos to clients that arrive for a meeting -- VIP service for that client you want to impress!
Programmable Digital Touch Controls
The LCD screen, touch circle and touch buttons provide a complete programmable menu for standard or customized settings for your favorite coffees. It took us a few re-reads of the manual, but once we understood the dynamics, we created two custom coffee selections for particular cup sizes and espresso strengths.
The center touch click wheel is noted by the coffee cup. The center confirms what is dialed by rotating your finger on the rim of the circle and displays the selection in the LCD panel. This area is the main control of the machine.
The Gaggia Platinum Swing produced excellent crema and froth for a perfect cappuccino every time the button is pushed.
The first icon touch button to the right of the click wheel is a steam cloud icon. Touching it selects the steam function for activating steam for pitcher frothing or the milk island. The button beneath it is a water droplet that allows you to dispense hot water for teas or hot chocolates. To activate the steam or water feature you will have to dial the knob on the left-hand side of the machine to the steam icon for the function to begin. Remember, the LCD screen will show you exactly what has been chosen or what to do next.
My first Platinum Swing Super Automated Espresso Machine Cappuccino.
The icons to the left of the click wheel is the M-menu button for programming your favorite drinks, levels, temperature, etc. The coffee bean button provides access for the by-pass doser or coffee dosage.
Again, read your manual to make sure you understand all the features that you can choose for the Platinum Swing.
Lift Adjustment Cup & Drip Tray
I L-O-V-E the adjustable “cup lift”. With other machines, I’d have to pour the espresso from a cup that would fit under the portofino into my favorite cup and I’d lose all the flavorful crema! With the Gaggia, I can use my assorted cups and get them to fit with a simple pull of a lever to adjust the height of the drip tray. The tray may be adjusted to the height of 3 inches to 4.5 inches. And the machine will alert you to clean and empty the drip tray if you forget!
Espresso Plus System
It’s simply a twist of the manual dial above the drip spouts creates another level of taste intensity to each espresso. This dial allows me to dial-in a more intense coffee while it is brewing without adding bitterness!
Gaggia’s Milk Island is an automatic milk steamer and frother. If you are just making one cup of espresso, it’s easier to froth just the amount of milk you need holding the frothing cup. But at a dinner party or in an office full of coffee lovers, it’s an asset. It creates a great creamy froth and clean-up was fast and easy. The total milk capacity of the Milk Island is .4 liters. The other reason I prefer not to use it is the space it takes up on my coffee counter. And I love the look of the machine without it sitting on the side.
How to Attach the Gaggia Milk Island
In order to attach the Gaggia Milk Island, you will have to turn the machine on its side to access the bottom of the Gaggia Platinum Swing. Before attempting this attachment, read these sets and the manual that comes with the Gaggia Milk Island.
Turn the Power OFF
Turn the Gaggia Platinum Swing Espresso Machine OFF and unplug the cord.
Remove the Right and Left Compartments
Remove the water reservoir on the left side of the unit and the Spent Grounds Box and Water Catcher Unit on the right side.
Turn the Platinum Swing on its side to expose the black bottom. You will note the plastic lever covering the round connection for the Gaggia Milk Island. You may be able to swing the lever over with your finger, but I had to use a coin in the slot to twist it to the left to expose the connector circle.
This is the area on the bottom of the Platinum Swing that you want to focus on for the Gaggia Milk Island Attachment.
HINT: If you completely remove the slide cap, be sure to put it in a spot where you can re-install it if you decide to remove the Gaggia Milk Island in the future. It is important to cover the circle again to prevent dust or any water or debris from contaminating the prong holes.
I used a quarter to help move the lever to the right to expose the Gaggia Milk Island Connector on the bottom of the Gaggia Platinum Swing.
Now the Gaggia Milk Island Connector is exposed and ready to receive the Stand Attachment.
Attach the Gaggia Milk Island Base
The Gaggia Milk Island Attachment has a black lever on the side that has a spring action. Pull back on the button and press the prongs into the circle plug on the bottom of the Platinum Swing.
Simply push on the black rectangular button before pressing the pronged end into the circle connector on the bottom of the Platinum Swing.
Attach the Gaggia Milk Island Cup
Now, it is time to carefully put the Gaggia Platinum Swing back in its upright position.
Install the water reservoir and spend grounds attachments.
Plug the machine back into your electrical source.
Press the Gaggia Milk Island Cup onto the Milk Island Stand by pressing it snuggly into the prongs and rubber coupling.
On the bottom of the Gaggia Milk Island Cup, there will be two fittings that will plug into each of these protrusions. Press the cup snuggly against these two prongs and you can begin the FROTH cycle.
The fully articulating Pannarello Froth Wand delivers hot water or steam for specialty drinks. The ball joint allows me to froth in any size pitcher. A convenient silicone handle keeps fingers from getting burned when maneuvering the wand inside frothing pitcher.
The Froth Wand will also dispense hot water if you select the water droplet button on the left of the circle at the bottom right. This provides hot water for teas or hot chocolates. It works great to froth the hot chocolate after it’s fully mixed by selecting the steam button and then frothing the mixture. Give it a try and see how beautifully it enhances a hot chocolate presentation!
Hint: 140-160 degrees is the recommended temperature for milk or soy milk creamer used for frothy cappuccinos.
Ceramic Coffee Grinder
Coffee beans travel from the hopper to the ceramic burr grinder where they are ground by a rotating and a stationary burr. The ceramic burr coffee grinder is quiet and performs a consistent grind each time a coffee is selected. Inside the area where the coffee beans are stored on the bottom of the hopper, there are three dots that allow for adjustment of the grind. The largest dot is coarse, followed by medium and fine for the smallest dot. We choose the finest setting for our Kona Joe Trellis Coffee. There is a small grind setting tool enclosed with the unit that allows you to make the adjustment without harming the machine. We found that you have to press down and twist to get the tool to make the adjustment. Read the directions BEFORE you attempt the adjustment.
Update: Now that we live in the coffee roaster capital of the United States, we use Trailhead Coffees.
Three small white wheels on the base of the Gaggia Platinum Swing Espresso Machine allow it to rotate for easy access to the right and left sides of the machine.
Removable Water Reservoir
The entire Platinum Swing swivels on three small white rollers on the bottom of the machine. This allows easy access to the 57 ounce water reservoir from the left side of the machine. The reservoir is made of durable plastic and comes with an Aqua Pima Water Filter that removes impurities from your tap water. We only use fresh bottled water in our machine so that each cup is perfect. The Gaggia Platinum machine alerts you when the water tank needs to be refilled so you never have to worry about running out of water.
Removable Brew Group and Spent Grounds Box
The brew mechanism is removable for easy maintenance on the right-hand side of the machine — rinse it under running water to clean out any coffee oils and residue at least once a week. Made of sturdy black plastic, it locks back into place for consistent brewing. Each Gaggia Platinum Swing includes a brew group lubricant to keep the component running smoothly. See your manual for details.
The right-hand side of the Gaggia pulls out revealing the grounds and rinse water compartment. Pull the tray completely out to access the Brew Unit for cleaning.
Inside the pull-out right-hand side of the Gaggia Platinum Swing.
Upon opening the right side of the machine, you’ll view the left-hand compartment where the used grounds were formed into “pucks” that are emptied into a box compartment and the other side will have a small amount of water that is used to clean the brewing mechanism between each brew. Again, the Gaggia Platinum Swing will alert you on the LCD screen to empty the grounds and dirty water so you don’t have to worry about overflow!
The coffee ground from an espresso looks like a small puck.
This feature alone is worth the entire price of the Platinum Swing! The only clean-up is to rinse the froth pitcher and clean the froth wand. One espresso or cappuccino after another can be created with little or no mess!
The little known secret of thick crema is a warm cup! So the passive cup warmer shelf is indeed a great asset to the machine. We use the cup warmer located on top of the machine to display and pre-heat our Bodum cups before brewing. The cup warmer is heated by the boiler beneath the stainless steel shelf. The machine also dispenses a small amount of hot water into the cup just before it grinds the coffee beans. This also helps to preheat the cup and you will want to empty it before the espresso starts to flow.
I don’t know about you, but I often forget to turn things OFF. The Platinum Swing provides an Energy Saver Option under the M button for turning off the machine after 15 minutes or any time up to 180 minutes. This makes sure the machine turns itself off after leaving home or the office.
Imagine, this machine allows you to adjust the amount of coffee for each cup. Select 7 to 10.5 grams of coffee grounds used in each brew. The change is made by pressing the coffee cup button, use the touch-wheel on the outside ring and scroll to the desired setting. Again, read the manual to completely understand the procedures.
By pre-grinding decaf or specialty coffee beans, I can create a decaf espresso or another specialty coffee by using the bypass doser. This doser allows me to brew a coffee while bypassing the whole beans in the hopper.
Coffee Bean Hopper
The Coffee Bean Hopper holds 8.8 ounces of your favorite whole beans. The coffee beans in the hopper stay completely FRESH because there is a silicone rim around the entire lid to keep the beans fresh! It is even sealed around the Bypass Doser, so your beans stay fresh!
Before You BREW
Please take time to read and re-read the directions before pushing the first button! Take your time and get familiar with the machine BEFORE you begin to BREW!
The Gaggia Platinum Swing will include:
Gaggia Milk Island
Grind Setting Adjustment Key
Instruction Manual File Size: 1.85MB
Aqua Prima Water Filter
Lubricant for the Brew Group
Water Hardness Tester
Overall Size: 14.6”H x 12.6”W x 16.4”D
Power: 1300 watts/ 120 volts
Power In Standby Mode: 1.3 watts/jumps once in a while to 163 watts to reheat the water in the boiler and then back to 1.3 watts
Weight: 21 pounds
Warranty: 1 year
Clean & Care: Wipe with a soft, damp cloth
Chez Bettay's Espresso Bar
And if you are someone who stands in line at the crowded, noisy, coffee shops so you can pay $4 for a cup of something special -- that doesn’t really taste so special -- this is your chance to make yourself the perfect cup and even share it with your circle of special friends and family. It’s time for a super-automatic home espresso machine.
Help your nation become energy independent. Think of all the gas you save by not having to drive somewhere to get that ultimate cup.
Employers, you can increase productivity and improve morale with by installing a Gaggia Platinum Swing Super Automatic Espresso machine in each department.
At a time when we buy large LCD screens, thin laptop computers, full featured iPhones, and titanium golf club sets, isn’t it about time to get a serious automatic espresso machine?
BUY the Gaggia 90851 Platinum Swing Automatic Espresso Machine with Milk Island, Silver and Black.
Update: I prefer the cost, size, and ease-of-use with the Gaggia Brera. Check out my review.
Vegan Cappuccino: Soyatoo Whipped Topping, cocoa, and Wildwood Soy Milk Creamer Frothed.
Specialty Coffee Names & Descriptions
Equal quantities of black coffee and hot milk (without froth)
normally served in a glass.
One third coffee to two thirds hot frothed milk served in a cup
and can be sprinkled with chocolate.
DOPPIO OR “DOUBLE” ESPRESSO
Double serving in a small glass or cup made with twice the
amount of ground coffee.
ESPRESSO OR SHORT BLACK
A black coffee served in a small glass or cup approximately
A very short or “restricted” espresso. The flow of espresso is
reduced thereby producing an even denser cup of espresso
than the norm.
Espresso served with a slice of lemon.
No Froth... One third espresso coffee to two thirds hot milk served in a cup or glass.
Tall glass, half-filled with strong espresso coffee, topped with
chilled milk. Finished with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.
Fill a glass with hot frothed milk and slowly add a short black. The
coffee will color the milk down the glass but there should still be
a layer of white froth at the top.
A double serving of black coffee, filling 2/3 of a regular-sized cup
A double serving of black coffee filling 2/3 of a regular-sized cup
or glass with a small quantity of hot or cold milk added.
An espresso or short black coffee that has a small quantity of hot
or cold milk added.
Dilute a spoon of hot chocolate with a little hot milk, then proceed
as cappuccino method.
SHORT AFFOGATTO (BLACK COW)
An espresso or short coffee poured over a scoop of vanilla