If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, and are looking for a basic super-espresso coffee machine, this is probably the one you want.
Recommended for: Anyone on a budget, looking for a basic espresso machine that gets the job done.
Table of Contents
- 1 An Overview of the Gaggia Syncrony Logic Rapid Steam
- 2 Easy to Use, Easy to Clean
- 3 Pros & Cons of Gaggia Syncrony Logic Rapid Steam
- 4 Gaggia Syncrony Logic Rapid Steam Review Conclusion
An Overview of the Gaggia Syncrony Logic Rapid Steam
Are you a coffee lover, interested in creating your own specialty coffee drinks at home but can’t afford those expensive high-end machines?
If so, then you’re going to love our Gaggia Syncrony Logic Rapid Steam Review. This value-priced unit proves that cheap doesn’t have to mean low-quality. While it’s true that this machine can’t do all the things that a mid-range or high-end super-automatic can do, it’s got the core functionality down cold and will deliver consistently good espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes.
If you’re willing to live with a few limitations, this one could be perfect. Let’s take a closer look at what the Gaggia Syncrony Logic RS can and can’t do.
This is a decent looking machine, but you should know upfront that sacrifices were made here. It’s constructed from black and silver ABS plastic, which is relatively sturdy and durable enough for casual use, but of course, it can’t hold a candle to more expensive, metal units on this front.
Provided that you take good care of it, there’s no reason it shouldn’t give you years of reliable service though, and the silver coloration gives the illusion of a brushed metal appliance which should fit in seamlessly with most home décor.
Form Factor and Footprint
One of the first questions most people ask is some variation of “Is the Gaggia Syncrony digital?”
The answer to that question is no, and we regard that as a positive that adds to the longevity of the device if used with proper care.
Digital control panels are nice but can be twitchy on low-priced machines, which tend to use lower quality components. Thus, they tend to break down more often. So, we regard Gaggia’s decision to use simple push buttons and twist knobs to be an excellent one. Plus, it gives the unit a bit of a fun, retro feel.
The unit is almost shockingly small, weighing just twenty pounds (owing mostly to less metal and more plastic) and measures 13.5”x13.75”x15.25”. It can fit in almost any spare piece of countertop real estate you have available.
Even better, the unit offers a fun innovation that’s actually quite handy. It can pivot on its base, so you don’t have to physically move the machine to reposition it – you can simply spin it toward you. We’re shocked that more Gaggia Syncrony Logic reviews don’t mention this, but we find it to be an excellent, surprisingly useful feature we wish more models would adopt.
It’s not often you find little innovations like these in value-priced machines, which makes this one all the better. Way to go, Gaggia!
Our Gaggia Syncrony Logic Rapid Steam Review wouldn’t be complete if we wouldn't call particular attention to this feature, as it’s one of the unit’s strongest, especially if you’re a power drinker.
If this is to be your first super-automatic, and you’re used to brewing coffee by the pot, then you should know it’ll take some getting used to. You’ll be brewing by the cup with this new system, although you can order a double shot, each up to six ounces, giving you a total maximum coffee output of 12 oz. in one go.
That’s not bad, but it’s certainly not a pot.
One of the major drawbacks that some super-automatics have is a smallish water reservoir, and if you’re a power drinker, it means that you’re going to be spending a lot of time refilling the machine to get your daily fix.
The Gaggia solves this by offering an impressive 58 oz. water tank. That’s not as big as some on the market, but it’s certainly enough to satisfy even the most hardcore coffee drinkers and will keep you from having to run back to the sink after every cup of coffee to refill the device.
Note that for best results, use distilled water. Tap water may contain minerals which could build up in the boiler and require more frequent cleaning. Using distilled water can easily cut your cleaning needs in half.
The Syncrony Logic RS has a surprisingly large bean hopper, which holds up to twelve ounces of your favorite coffee bean. Note here, though, that it doesn’t do well with oily beans. This isn’t unique to this model, but is true for most super-automatics, so a medium roast bean is recommended for best results.
Besides the large hopper, you’ll be thrilled by the fact that the grinder has a total of 18 grind settings from super coarse to super fine and everything in between.
Proper grinding is one of the keys to a great cup of coffee, and speaking in general terms, the finer the grind, the stronger the coffee. This is something you’ll want to play with to find the right balance of beans per shot, shot size, and grind setting, because every person’s tastes and preferences are different.
The good news is, with so many different grind settings to choose from, you can dial in the precise setting and flavor you prefer.
Because the machine is made of plastic, it isn’t well-insulated against noise, so the grinder can be a bit louder than usual. This isn’t a deal breaker for most people, but it’s something to be aware of. The first time you use it early in the morning while you’re half asleep, it will probably scare you awake!
Final Note: In addition to the grinder, the Syncrony RS comes with a bypass doser that accepts ground coffee. Most people don’t go back to ground coffee once they get a super-automatic, but some keep a small stash of decaf on hand for a quick cup in the evenings, and this is an ideal use of the bypass doser.
If you do decide you want a cup of coffee, and you either run out of beans, or just don’t feel like taking the extra step, the bypass doser is the answer! It’s located on top of the unit, next to the bean hopper and grinder, and comes with a handy scoop. All you have to do is open the hatch, add your grounds, and push the button.
The Syncrony RS uses a double boiler system, and while some value-priced units don’t allow for the simultaneous brewing of coffee and frothing of milk, this one does, which is another nod in its favor.
You should know upfront that the company cut a corner here. The boilers aren’t all stainless-steel. They’re stainless-lined aluminum which is one of the big reasons the machine costs so little. A pure stainless boiler pair would have raised the price of the unit considerably.
Having said that, as the name of the machine implies, the heating elements work very quickly, and there’s no significant delay between powering the unit on and its being ready for use.
Sometimes, even on a relatively pricy machine, you’ll find yourself waiting several minutes for the machine to be ready. That’s not the case here, and if speed matters, then you won’t be disappointed!
The heating magic happens thanks to the brew unit, which can be easily removed for periodic cleaning (this is something you should check on a regular basis and clean as-needed).
Telescoping Coffee Spigot
This is a neat feature, and while it’s common to see super-automatics offer a spigot that can be adjusted up and down, depending on the size of the cup you’re using. The Syncrony RS offers that, but the spigot can also be moved backward and forward slightly, to adjust for different cup widths. A small thing, but very handy.
Pro Tip: If you want a creamier cup of coffee, place the spigot quite close to the lip of the cup.
At this point, we should say a few words about the drip tray too, since it’s where the cups will be sitting as they get filled with your latest coffee creation. There’s not much to say here except to note that it’s easy to remove and clean.
This is another area where the company cut a corner. The Syncrony RS doesn’t offer a conventional steam/frothing wand. What you get instead is a piece of rubberized tubing and a spigot. There’s no wand.
You place the tubing into your milk container, it sucks the milk into the second boiler to heat it, and steamed milk/cream comes out of the milk spigot. Again, with a dedicated boiler for this purpose, there’s no real wait time, and you can be frothing your milk while your coffee is brewing.
You can buy a proper Pannarello wand if you want, that will work with the machine if you’re looking for more control over the process.
If you’re familiar with super-automatic machines and specialty coffee, you can probably skip this section. If you’re used to drinking coffee by the pot, from a drip-brew coffee maker, you’ll want to pay particular attention here.
There are a lot of differences between a coffee maker and a super-automatic espresso machine.
For one thing, you can make significantly stronger, more robust coffee out of a super-automatic. Partly, this has to do with the way the coffee is brewed.
In a drip system, you put your grounds in, add water, push the button, and the water floods into the reservoir with the grounds, slowly dripping out, letting gravity do all the work.
Espresso machines use a totally different brewing system that relies on pressure, as measured in bars (atmospheric pressure units, where “1 Bar” equals atmospheric pressure at sea level). A good cup of espresso needs at least 9 bars of pressure, which squeezes the water through the grounds.
The Syncrony Logic offers 15 bars, which is significant pressure and will guarantee you a fantastic cup of coffee.
When you add that to the other variables super-automatics allow you to control, like how much coffee to use per shot, how much water to use, and grind settings, you can create some amazing coffee. With a conventional coffee maker, you basically get what you get, and you don’t have much control over it.
Cup Warming Tray
Here, we need to talk about another important difference between conventional coffee makers and super-automatics. Temperature.
Specialty coffee drinks just aren’t as hot as “regular” coffee, and because of that, if you’re coming from the “brew by the pot” world, you may be disappointed that your first few cups of coffee aren’t hot enough.
There’s an easy fix for that, and it lies in the cup warming tray, located at the top of the unit.
Put your cups up there to warm them up while you’re doing your prep work.
The reason that matters is that if you brew your shot into a cold cup, it’s going to lose temperature as it comes out of the spigot. If the cup’s already warm, though, that loss is minimized, and you’ll wind up with hotter coffee for drinking.
Easy to Use, Easy to Clean
The Syncrony Logic is very easy to use. There are only three buttons on the unit itself, and two knobs, one located on the front face of the machine, and the other in the grinder, which is used to select your grind setting.
The controls are simple and intuitive. There are no digital components to break, and no real learning curve here. You can control your grind, you can control how much coffee is used per cup, and you can control how much water you get per cup.
That’s it. It’s pure simplicity.
Having said that, because it is so simple, you also don’t get things like memory settings, auto start times, and adjustable shut-off times, so if those are features you’re looking for, then this machine isn’t the best fit for you.
Note: Some components are accessed via the back of the machine, most notably the hopper that collects your used grounds and the water tank.
In most super-automatics, this would be problematic and would require you to physically move the machine to get to them. That’s not the case here because remember, the Syncrony RS has a swivel base, so it’s a simple matter of turning it appropriately to access those elements when you need to. Extremely handy and convenient!
Pros & Cons of Gaggia Syncrony Logic Rapid Steam
As you can see from our Gaggia Syncrony review to this point, this is, on balance, an excellent machine.
The company obviously cut a few corners to deliver their product at such an attractive price, but the real secret of the Syncrony's success is its simplicity. It doesn’t try to do too much.
Instead, it focuses on the basics and tries to do those few things really well, and by overwhelming margins, it succeeds.
If we had one complaint, we’d love to see a better implementation for milk frothing, and the inclusion of a proper frothing wand. Although this is by no means a deal breaker, each time you use it, you are reminded of the fact that you’ve got a value-priced machine. It’s just not the best implementation.
Gaggia Syncrony Logic Rapid Steam Review Conclusion
We love this machine for its sheer simplicity. It succeeds brilliantly at delivering consistently good specialty coffee drinks, and plenty of customization options where they matter most.
If you’re just getting into the world of specialty coffee, this is probably the ideal machine for you. Yes, eventually you’ll outgrow it, and when you do, you can pass it along to someone else, but in the years it will take for that to happen, it will provide you with tons of great coffee. An excellent machine offered at an amazing price.
Sources & Resources
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