The difference is in the details. A very well thought out and well built machine that offers incredible consistency.
Positive Product Points
Looks way better in person. I keep noticing little details that make me appreciate the machine more and more.
Negative Product Points
If I used the machine as much as I'd like, I'd be a nervous wreck never sleep. Label is slightly misaligned - I doubt this would be an issue for most people.
I considered a number of other machines when nobody seemed to be able to repair my Isomac Millennium. I looked at the Fancy Elektra machines, the Expobar Brewtus II, The Astra machines, the ECM Giotto Premium, the La Marzocco GS3 which still doesn't seem to actually exist, and literally eight or nine consumer machines I bought and then returned. I wanted the best machine I could buy that would look as good a the Millennium. As an Artist, aesthetics were a huge part of it for me. It also would occupy a fairy prominent space in my kitchen. The Andreja Premium edged out the competition largely because of what Chris had written about the machine on his website. Most of the machines seemed to get about the same amount of praise with minor differences from machine to machine. Again aesthetics played a big part of my decision, and i was reluctant to buy anything without seeing it, but that didn't seem to be an option because of where I live. This became less of an issue when I was able to see another Quickmill machine at a local shop. It wasn't one of the higher end machines, but I could see the finish was pretty good. There were some details I didn't love but, Chris' recommendation convinced me. I ordered the machine for next day delivery so it would be here by Thanksgiving. From the moment I took the machine out of the package, I was impressed. My wife actually likes the looks of the Andreja Premium better than the Millennium. I might also. The machine is substantially built and the finish is as good as anything I've seen. The more I use the machine, the more I appreciate the attention to detail. Chris' website has all the technical information so I'll mention a few of the things I've noticed. The knobs, which I didn't really like at first, function better that that of the Millennium. The steam and hot water wands don't get hot despite the hot water and steam they produce. I've ordered the direct connect kit which I expect within the week so I've been filling the tank manually. I couldn't help but notice how relative little water I needed to add to the carafe. As it turns out, the excess water drawn from the tank that isn't used for a shot, drains back to the tank so filling it is somewhat less frequent. It also makes emptying the drainage tray less of an issue. The dual gauges are a nice touch, I have a much better sense of how the machine is performing. I think it's interesting to watch how the pre-infusion works - very consistent and seems to be very specific at what it does. I'm not sure why it does what it does, but it's the same every time. Overall it looks and feels like the top notch machine it is and happens to make great espresso every time - way more consistent than the millennium during it's functioning days. If I had to register one complaint, it would be the price of the direct connect system. Chris' website refers to something about the direct connect that made me think it was included. After rereading that portion of the site, I realized I had misunderstood what it was saying so I can't really fault them. I just think the wording was a little unclear.
As with any time I've dealt with them Chris' Coffee was a total pleasure to deal with. I actually looked at other machines that Chris' Coffee doesn't carry, but wanted to but from them because my past experiences were so good. Outstanding customer service every time.