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QuickMill Andreja - Jim Conant's Review
Posted: October 28, 2004, 4:10pm
review rating: 7.4
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
QuickMill Andreja
Where to Buy
Arrow CoffeeWishes
Arrow 1st in Coffee
Arrow Chris' Coffee Service
 List your business site here.
About "Where to Buy"

More About This Product
Arrow The QuickMill Andreja has 82 Reviews
Arrow The QuickMill Andreja has been rated 9.25 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since September 29, 2004.
Arrow QuickMill Andreja reviews have been viewed 461,768 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Bob Yellin 9.21
Teemu Pihlatie 8.90
Pal Cabral 8.75
Don F. Reitz 8.66
Z B 8.66

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.6
Manufacturer: Quick Mill Quality: 10
Average Price: $1,249.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $1,049.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Chris' Coffee Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 1 month Overall 10
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Gaggia Espresso
Bottom Line: A stunning beauty that produces a high quality espresso at a very competitive price.
Positive Product Points

A very good value. The Andreja Premium's robust HX system delivers great espresso shots and powerful steam with no intervening wait.  I rarely get as good of product at commercial espresso stands/houses.  The polished stainless steel construction is structurally sound and a real eye pleaser.

Negative Product Points

The only negative concerns refilling the water reservoir: it's a little difficult to see the water level and initially easy to overfill. But this is minor and easy to accommodate with a suitable water pitcher and adequate light.  A direct water connection may be in my future.

Detailed Commentary

I am taking the time to write this review for three reasons:

  1. I hope to help others who are in the painful research phase of purchasing a commercial grade "prosumer" machine for the home - a decision most of us will do only once or twice in a lifetime.

  2. Repay an indebtedness to CoffeeGeek.com for all the valuable information I got from them in my research.

  3. Share the pleasure I've experienced with my purchase of the Andreja Premium.

There is so much good information available describing the mechanical and aesthetic considerations one must make in the espresso machine purchasing decision that I don't think I can add much of value to that data pool. However, because I found consumer reports on the factors affecting their buying decision very helpful,  I will confine my comments to the conclusions and decisions I made after digesting some of the abundant information available.

My "journey" commenced after deciding my 14 year old Gaggia Espresso was on its last legs. I wanted a replacement that would constitute an upgrade.  I began by reacquainting myself with the basic principles for making great espresso (i.e., machine temperature stability, fresh beans properly ground and tamped, proper water infusion, and if you're making cappuccinos or lattes, adequate supply of powerful dry steam) and learned a few tips that actually improved the lattes I was making with the Gaggia, but not sufficiently better.  Further research led to the determination that a commercial grade machine was a must (i.e., a Rancilio Silvia wasn't a sufficient improvement). That decision thankfully narrowed down the suitable selections, but also upped the price range.  

After much reading on Whole Latte Love, CoffeeGeek and other web sites, I got down to weighing the respective merits of the Rancilio S24, La Valentina, La Pasquinni Livia 90, and the Wega Lyra, with a bias toward HX machines. I eventually eliminated the Rancilio because it was too big and ugly for the home; the La Valentina because of reported construction, noise and rattling concerns; and the Livia 90 because of many different reported concerns.

I was on the verge of purchasing the Wega Lyra because it is a HX machine, has the revered Faema E61 brew group and ISO 9002 certification along with rave reviews about its solid construction. My Lyra purchase was halted by a Euro currency adjustment that had taken my purchase price expectation from just under $1K (based upon May 2004 reviews I saw on the Lyra) to $1,500 in Sept. 2004 when I was ready to purchase.  I froze.  I am very sentimentally attached to my hard-earned cash.

Fortunately for me, my cheapness paid off.  A few days later, as I was surfing the web looking for an acceptable alternative to the Wega Lyra (a machine whose only objectionable quality was its recently raised price), I stumbled on to the special Andreja Premium price offering on Chris' Coffee web site. It had all the features I was seeking in the Lyra (HX with respectably sized boiler, E61 brew group, commercial grade components) but had the brew group mechanical lever instead a switch operated pump - a feature about which I was uncertain.  

I called Chris' and spoke with Mary at length, got comfortable with the reseller and the manufacturer, and two days later made the plunge with a purchase. Truly an act of faith. And it's been a very gratifying choice.  I can now make delicious espresso shots that are nearly as good as the best I've had in Italy. And the brew group mechanical lever? I now consider it a desirable feature.

Even though I can afford it, to me, spending over a grand on an espresso machine is not a trivial act that you want to end up regretting because you didn't fully understand what you want or need.  There's no getting around having to do the research and determining what features, functions and aesthetics are important to you.  Producing excellent espresso that is drinkable by itself, much less great for cappuccinos, was my most important demand.  If that, plus good looks, quality construction and price value are also on your list of criteria, I can't imagine anything but your total satisfaction with purchase of the Andreja Premium by Quick Mill.

Buying Experience

Mary at Chris's Coffee was patient and thorough and didn't try to hard sell me.  The machine arrived when expected and in excellent condition. Chris' additional instructions were a welcomed addition to those of the Italian manufacturer.  I've called them for additional information and they've been quite helpful.  Chris' Coffee is a quality outfit.

Three Month Followup

Acutally, this is a 6 Month Followup. I'm still very satisfied with my purchase and would buy the Andreja Premium again. My shots are as good as I've gotten anywhere. The water reservoir filling issue is of little concern at this point.  I must say that Chris' Coffee has been outstanding. They sent me a new redesigned drip tray grate at no charge,   I occassionally take my old Espresso Gaggia on short overnight trips and really miss the quality shots to which I've become accustomed.  Don't settle for medicocre espresso. Invest in a prosumer grade machine. Life is too short!

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review rating: 7.4
Posted: October 28, 2004, 4:10pm
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
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