The Andreja Premium is a well built machine with great looks, is easy to use, and produces great shots
Positive Product Points
Looks great Fairly large reservoir Direct connect kit available Insulated boiler No-burn steam wand Hot water dispenser
Negative Product Points
Have to clear cups off warmer to refill Wish the drip tray was a bit bigger Kind of noisy
This is my first real espresso machine. I've owned a couple inexpensive steam pump machines in the past that have long since been put out to pasture. I spent considerable time researching the different machines out there, and through the course of research, decided that I wanted to invest in something that I wasn't going to feel the need to upgrade for a very long time. When I purchased the Andreja, I purchased a high quality grinder at the same time.
It was quite a shock to see how big the machine was in our kitchen once I got it unpacked and on the counter. It is quite the beast to lift out an onto the counter top. After reading through the setup and following the instructions carefully, I was pulling my first shot in about 2 hours. The first shot was quantum leaps beyond anything I had made at home before... but it pulled a little fast. Tweaked the grinder a little more and had an even better shot - better than any *$ shot that I've ever had! Initially I was turning the machine on when I woke up, make my Americano (2 double shots) just before I headed out the door. Sometimes this didn't work out well if I slept in a little - so I added a timer, and have the machine turn on and off a couple times during each weekday, and have the machine on pretty much all day on the weekends. Before I added the timer I had also just left the machine on 24/7. Figured that I would be a bit more responsible using a timer.
With it's frequent use, and especially since getting the Andreja plumbed in, I find that the drip tray fills relatively fast. Typically I have to empty it once a day - more if we have guests over. I know that the tray is pretty large compared to some.. but I still wish it was a bit bigger. Perhaps as my skills and technique improve, it won't fill as fast. Or maybe I'm just being nit-picky ;^)
Bottom line: The Andreja Premium is a very well built machine, that looks great, and I thoroughly enjoy using it!
I purchased this machine along with a La Cimbali Jr. grinder from Joe at CaffeTech, here in Edmonton. It was important to me that I was able to find a local supplier, so that I wouldn't have to deal with duties, brokerage fee's, etc. Also, I wanted to buy from a local supplier for better after sales service and support.
Joe was extremely helpful in assisting me with my purchase. At no time did I ever feel pressured into buying anything. Before taking the machine home, he had it set up in their workshop, and made sure everything was 100%, making any necessary adjustments to the pressure, etc. Any questions that I had were promptly responded to and addressed either over the phone, or via email. Two thumbs up!
Three Month Followup
The one thing I found is that I use the machine even more than I had expected. This created a problem in that I found I was refilling the machine pretty much every day - and if we had company over, sometime 2 or 3 times in an evening. So, I ended up direct connecting the machine a lot sooner than I had planned. The direct connect kit took some time to install - this is when I discovered how tricky the cover was to remove. However, there are some pretty good instructions on the Chriscoffee site (although the photos could be bigger for these older eyes) that helped make the installation a success. I also installed a water softener in the house, as our tap water is too hard to have run directly into an espresso machine. Considering that I direct connected the machine just a couple months after purchasing it, I occasionally wonder if I shouldn't have bought the Vetrano instead, but after going back into CaffeTech and looking at the machine, I'm happy with the choice I made. The Andreja Premium looks good, and I enjoy using it every day.
One Year Followup
The Andreja Premium has been faithfully working everyday for me - I'm finding that I don't have to empty the drip tray on a daily basis anymore - must have been something I was doing differently back then when I was first learning how to use the machine. The hot water dispenser is great for tea, instant soups, packets of hot chocolate etc - find that the whole family uses it - so the Andreja is being used for not just coffee.