Boilergate: Gaggia Classic Evo's Flaking Boiler

Written by
Chris Caruso
(we're on a mission)

Read the March 2024 Update

Boilergate - Gaggia Classic Pro Evo's Flaking Boiler


In 2023 Gaggia released the Gaggia Classic Pro Evo (GCP), an incremental evolution of the famed home espresso machine, the Gaggia Classic Pro. Among other minor updates, the GCP Evo was designed and built with an updated boiler with a Teflon-like goating to help reduce scale and improve boiler longevity.

Unfortunately, within a few months of the first units shipping out, new Gaggia Classic Pro Evo owners started to see tiny black flakes coming out of their machines. Some curious home baristas began to open up their boilers to inspect, and in turn, opened up a controversy that became known as Boilergate.

In this news spotlight, we'll covert why Gaggia Classic Pro Evo has a new boiler coating, what the coating is actually made of, the problem with the new design, and how Gaggia has responded to the issue.

Let's get brewing!

Table of Contents

What is the Teflon-like Coating?

Alright, so let's take a step back - what is this Teflon-like coating, and why is it on the Gaggia Classic Pro Evo in the first place?

Aluminum Boilers & Scale

The previous model of the Gaggia Classic Pro was designed with a single boiler designed out of aluminum. And while aluminum is an excellent substance for building an affordable and compact boiler, it is not without its downsides.

The greatest weakness of aluminum boilers is their susceptibility to scale build-up. Scale, a shortened version of limescale, is the build-up of a white chalk-like substance that forms inside a boiler that is exposed to 'hard' water full of minerals. While there are methods to de-scale an espresso machine, scale build-up is a common thorn for all home baristas.

The Teflon-Like Coating

In an effort to reduce the likelihood of scale and reduce their consumer pain point, Gaggia designed their Classic Pro Evo with a coating inside the boiler to resist the build-up of scale.

The inner coating is not actually Teflon but rather a compound EXELIA 3010/B242, an FDA-reviewed coating that is approved for food contact. The plan was to coat the aluminum boiler with a thin layer of this EXELIA film to protect the boiler and expand its lifespan.

Trouble Begins

With this updated coating, Gaggia started producing and distributing their Gaggia Classic Pro Evo, primarily through U.S.-based retailer Whole Latte Love.

Peeling Boiler Gaggia Evo

Initial Reports

Within a few months of the initial shipment of the Gaggia Classic Pro Evo, whispers started on potential problems within the internals of the GCP Evo.

Ground zero for these individual reports was on Reddit - specifically the dedicated subreddit community /r/GaggiaClassic. Users started to post photos of small black flakes coming out of the boiler's steam wand and brew group.

As more and more users started to highlight issues with the Gaggia Classic Pro Evo, some home baristas began to open up their machines' boilers and found the inner coating peeling from the aluminum.

Growing Complaints

Unfortunately for Gaggia and the owners of the Classic Pro Evo, the problems with the inner coating were not limited to a single batch or production run.

Within the first two weeks of 2024, over 60 confirmed defective boilers were noted on the Gaggia subreddit pertained to the peeling coating - either as photos of their own experience, with questions on how to rectify the situation, or as megathreads to discuss potential responses by Gaggia and Whole Latte Love.

Like all good controversies, this design flaw and subsequent fallout had to be named, and within a few short weeks, Boilergate was in full swing.

A Faulty Coating

So, what actually caused the peeling inside the aluminum boilers?

Faulty Gaggia Classic Boiler 2024

Design and Testing

According to Whole Latte Love - during the design and development of the Gaggia Classic Pro Evo, Gaggia worked with an accredited independent institute, EUROLAB, which specializes in performing chemical compliance analysis.

Through testing, EUROLAB attested that the coating was in compliance with the EU Commission Regulations (No 10/2011 and 2020/1245) pertaining to plastic materials and articles intended to come in contact with food.

Defective Polymerization

Upon research into the faulty coatings, Gaggia collected evidence that pointed to failed polymerization during the coating process. As of January 21, 2024, Gaggia is still analyzing the evidence to determine the root cause.

Although the actual cause is still under investigation, the result is a peeling coating that breaks off from the aluminum as it cycles through heating and cooling cycles. These small flakes find their way through the rest of the system and out through the brew group or steam wand. And although the coating is deemed food-safe, there are still concerns over the idea of actually ingesting any chemically-bourne, plastic-like compound.

Note: Espresso Setup Builder cannot comment on the actual risk associated with the coating. For more details, please reach out to Gaggia directly.

How are Gaggia and WLL responding?

As of January 2024, Gaggia and Whole Latte Love are working together to replace all faulty Classic Pro Evo machines at no cost to the user.

Gaggia Classic Pro Evo Response 2024

Old Machines, New Boilers

Whole Latte Love has noted in consumer communications that while the replacement machines may still be manufactured in 2023 (when the defective coating Evo was produced), all machines have been opened, and the boilers have been replaced with new ones that have undergone the new coating process.

Replacement and Exchange

Whole Latte Love is currently offering two options to rectify this issue.

Option 1 is for consumers who still have the original packing. Whole Latte Love has offered to provide an electronic shipping label so that consumers are able to return the defective product. Upon receipt of the original machine, WLL will dispatch the replacement unit.

Option 2 is for consumers without the original package. Whole Latte Love will pre-emptively send the replacement unit, and then consumers can use the replacement unit's packaging to return the original item. Note: A credit card is required for this item, but it will only be charged if both machines are kept.

Flaking Confidence

Although Gaggia and Whole Latte Love have been clear, communicative, and proactive in rectifying this issue, many users (namely in the /r/GaggiaClassic community) have had their confidence shaken.

Luckily, Whole Latte Love is also offering a full refund for consumers who would like to return the machine and wash their hands of the entire situation. While many users are opting for a replacement unit, some more skeptical consumers have decided not to move forward with the replacement.

In addition, although Whole Latte Love has been good about rectifying outlying issues, they have no notice of the ongoing issue on their homepage nor on the Gaggia Classic Pro Evo product page. In fact, there is only one mention of the word "flake" on their product page:

Contact Gaggia

If you purchased a Gaggia Classic Pro Evo in 2023, it is worth reaching out to Gaggia via support to confirm if your order batch has been affected.

Contact Number (U.S.) 1 (888) 389-4123

Customer Support Contact Link

Linked Threads

Thread WLL Statement Jan 20

Thread WLL Statement Jan 19

Thread How Will Gaggia Respond Discussion Jan 16

Thread Report to Consumer Product Safety Jan 13

Thread Flakes Safety Thread Jan 11

Image Flakes in Water

Image Defective Boiler

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