Brew pressure gauge kit (inc adaptor) - for TopBox and case mounting

Gauge in TopBox closeup

Brew pressure gauge kit (inc adaptor) - for TopBox and case mounting

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This Shades of Coffee branded 40mm black and chrome brew pressure gauge is designed to fit the TopBox, but could also be used within any other 40mm hole in a Classic (eg cut into the case) if required.

This kit INCLUDES our brew pressure gauge adaptor and other associated hardware for installation and fitting, as shown within the CONTENTS tab

It is a true brew pressure gauge - providing a display of pressure being experienced at the puck.  Most (if not all) other Gaggia Classic pressure gauge kits are tapped into the pump-to-boiler pipe, or elsewhere, and provide only a pump/boiler pressure - rather than actual group pressure.   Due to the flow restrictor within the solenoid valve, the pump/boiler pressure can be quite different to the actual group pressure.

Most other pressure gauge kits also require you to cut pipes or otherwise damage the original machine.  This kit can be installed and removed without signs of it ever being present, and without damaging the original machine in any way (if mounting within a TopBox).

To match the Classic and TopBox colouring, the gauge has a black face, surrounded by a bright chrome ring and shows 0-16 bar pressure.

Our gauge is constructed entirely of metal and does NOT have any glycerin or liquid filling - as this isn't required and is often unsightly.

The kit includes all necessary parts for fitting, along with instructions for installation within a TopBox.

You'll need basic tools for fitting within the TopBox, including:

  • Spanner/wrench
  • Pliers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Allen keys

IMPORTANT NOTE that the standard valve adaptor may not fit "pre-Philips" machines with a larger solenoid valve and some larger solenoids fitted.  If you have such a machine (typically pre-2007) you will need our slightly different version of this kit with a "wider / lower" brass adaptor - which you can find here.  If you have a 2007-2010 machine then send us a photo of the solenoid valve, if you're in any doubt, and we'll let you know.

Not seeing 9 bar?  We receive numerous emails from customers who have installed our OPV mod and 9 bar spring, who are concerned that when extracting espresso they are seeing much lower pressures than 9 bar.  This is because the OPV sets the MAXIMUM pressure (which will be limited to around 10 bar of static pressure with the 9 bar spring) - whereas the ACTUAL brew pressure is generated by the resistance (to water flow) of the coffee puck.  If you're seeing lower pressures on the brew gauge then your puck resistance is lower, and to increase the puck resistance (to water flow) you need to either dose more and/or grind finer.  With greater resistance to flow, the pressure will increase - up to 9-10 bar (but at 10 bar it'll probably be choked).  Much lower pressures will be prevalent in "gushers", where the puck resistance is much too low and the water runs through far too quickly.

This kit contains:

Our pressure gauge kit contains everything you need, except for the few basic tools that are shown as being required on the "Description" tab:

  • Shades of Coffee branded 40mm black 0-16 bar pressure gauge with 60cm coiled plastic coated capillary tube
  • Brass solenoid valve adaptor
  • Replacement o-rings for solenoid valve and adaptor
  • Mounting bolts for solenoid valve and valve adaptor
  • Heat-break fitting for valve adaptor
  • Heat-break fitting for pressure gauge
  • 10cm of PTFE heat-break pipe

A link to the installation documentation, for installation within a TopBox (other than the actual mounting of the gauge within a hole, this is also relevant to the mounting of the gauge in a 40mm case hole)

MANUAL DOWNLOAD  - Some people appear to miss the fact that the manual for the gauge kit is downloaded from the URL that is written on the label on the box that the gauge comes in.  It's not small, it's not inconspicuous, it's typed in black text on a white background, on the only label on a small white box and it starts with "Manual:" in bold text... it's not difficult to find!   For recent customers, a digital download link to the manual should also be sent to you when you checkout.

DISCLAIMER:  The installation of any of our parts or kits, and any modification of any espresso machines undertaken by reference to our installation and/or user guides, should only be conducted by persons with proper electrical safety knowledge who are capable and qualified to undertake such work and modifications.  Many of the components within espresso machines operate at high temperature, high pressure and with mains electrical voltages at high current in the presence of water – any of these could cause serious personal injury, shock, burns, fire, explosion, other property damage and possibly death.  We shall hence not be liable for any damage to property, personal injury or other loss caused by the improper or incorrect use of the aforementioned installation and/or user guides or the provided kit(s) or any of those kit’s component or constituent parts.  By commencing installation of our kit(s) you agree to accept all liability associated with the modification of your espresso machine, and agree to hold us in no way responsible or liable for any loss, damage or injury howsoever, wherever or whenever caused.  You further agree to indemnify us and our agents, officers, directors and employees, immediately and on demand, against all claims, liability, damages, costs and expenses, including legal fees, arising out of any installation, use, misuse or failure of any of our kits or component parts thereof.

Pretty easy to install, maybe 2 hours. Just need little hands, as there's not much room to swing the Allen key even after moving the pump out of the way. There were a lot of little red gaskets in the package, Had 2 fat ones, 4 thin ones and 1 little one for the brass connector from the gauge. Decided to use the two fat ones for the adapter block. So far no leaks. I mounted the gauged with magnets to the side of the machine with a 3D printed case:


Excellent upgrade. I had a portafilter gauge and always struggled with getting a seal and accurate reading. This one looks great in the topbox and works perfectly.


Excellent mod with excellent installation instructions. It arrived quickly to the US. I ended up drilling into the front of my 2017 classic to mount this thing and I think it looks spectacular. Used it to dial in my OPV and am now sitting here at 8pm trying to convince myself not to pull a shot.


Well, here I am again. I got the PID kit and top box about a month ago, and I couldn't help myself. I had to get the pressure gauge kit as well. I have to say, this is just awesome. I had live feedback as I was brewing, and I also put in a dimmer along with this kit, and the pressure gauge allows me to do all kinds of weird pressure profiling. Another top-notch product. Very happy with my tricked out GCP


Excellent gauge. Stable, accurate and very legible. To mount it, I cut a hole in the front casing of a 2017 NA version Gaggia Classic to the left of the Gaggia logo. It looks very good there. No issues with the installation. Just followed instructions. With a dimmer, I can now do all sorts of pre-infusion and pressure profiling. Very pleased overall.


This kit made it easier to brew consistently, especially useful when dialing in new beans.


Best thing ever! Always a pleasure dealing with SOC :)


Like the analog look of this gauge. Really like the white numbers on black dial. Helps to play with pressure profiling. I release pressure with the steam valve to achieve this. Looks like it belongs on the GCP.


I purchased this pressure gauge kit a while ago but have delayed fitting it until I changed the old Gaggia Classic boiler for a new one, as I wanted to install it in the case rather than a Topbox unit. The components are all excellent quality and the instructions are very easy to follow, as with the Shades PID kit which I fitted about a year ago. If you’re using the Shades Topbox then most of my comments below won’t be relevant, but there are a few points I noted that may help whether Topbox or case-mounting is chosen. Because I opted to fit it into the front part of the case, between the left-hand edge and the Gaggia logo obviously a hole needed to be cut. This (and the actual fixing of the gauge) is why removing the boiler and group assembly is really essential - clearly, you don’t want to risk damaging the boiler, and fixing the gauge bracket in place is much easier with the boiler out. I found that a hole centre approx. 50mm up from the front lower edge of the case was right, as it ensured the 40mm diameter gauge does not touch the lower part of the boiler or the upper part of the group casting. Drilling the stainless steel is quite hard (especially on the older Classic’s which I believe use thicker steel). Ideally, a slow-running drill and good metal-drilling bits will help, together with some cutting oil to keep things lubricated and cool. I cut the 40mm hole with a Q-Max hole punch which needs a large (12mm) hole to take the bolt which forms part of the punch tool. The hole punch works surprisingly well, but it does need the leverage of a long-handled 10mm Allen key to turn the bolt. Also, note that you will still need a good round metal file to open the hole a little more, as the gauge seems to be slightly over 40mm diameter (or the hole punch is slightly under 40mm?). Once the ‘heavy’ work is over, fitting the gauge in place is easy, as is the brass adaptor and ‘O’ rings that go between the existing solenoid valve fitting and the group casting. I would note that fitting this is also easier with the boiler/group removed. Because the two stainless steel fittings need to be fixed very tightly to both the adaptor and the end of the capillary tube, in each case I held the brass parts in a small metal vice to ensure each steel fitting was very tight before fixing the gauge and adaptor in place. Once the gauge, brass adaptor and solenoid valve are all in place and the boiler refitted then connecting the end of the capillary tube to the solenoid valve unit is just a case of pushing the short length of plastic tube FULLY into each stainless push-fit unit. The tube is quite slippery and it is important to make sure it really is fully home in each unit - one end of my tube obviously wasn’t as I discovered a small leak when under pressure. Fortunately, this is covered in the manual - just trim off a small amount of tube with a very sharp blade (I used a new scalpel blade) and re-fit the tube. Pushing a small and slippery piece of tube into place can be tricky and I found that by gently gripping the centre part of the tube with a small pair of needle-point pliers helped push the tube fully in place - because of various wires and fittings it’s not that easy to get hands/fingers into a position to grip the tube. The finished result is excellent, installed in the Gaggia case it looks like it was a factory-fitted gauge, if such a thing were available. The size is just right, easy to read but not so big it dominates (and would makes fitting more difficult). Readings are absolutely steady, just a slow climb up to the set pressure (9 bar in my case) and if it is necessary to alter the pressure it only takes a few minutes to adjust.


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from Lukas Peters

Your question:

hello! the Brew pressure gauge kit you have for sale, is it compatible with the pre2015 Gaggia Classics or just the newer version? thanks!
Our answer:
Our brew pressure gauge kit will work with any Classic (other than the 2015-18 EU model RI9403) - so it's fine with a pre-2015 or 2019+ model.  We should have stock of these some time in early June .

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