Has the feel- and performance- of a true commercial machine. Huge boiler with relatively quick warm-up time. Consistent shot quality. Plenty of steam for numerous milk drinks.
Negative Product Points
Even with its large reservoir, you'll find yourself refilling often. A direct connect option is available from Chris' Coffee, so it's really a non-issue.
Hats off to Chris for taking a very good machine and tweeking it into a real gem. I was considering a Millenium or an ECM machine, but after discussing Chris' dream machine with him, I decided to wait. I couldn't be happier that I did. The machine arrived double boxed and ready to go. I ordered a Mazzer to go with it, and was able to dial in the pair within a few shots!
The Andreja has plenty of steam power. Steaming time is alarmingly quick, and the addition of full sized steam and water knobs and cool touch fixtures only further demonstrate how well thought out this machine is.
This is my first E61 machine. Once I learned the magic of the cool down flush, shots were dead-on. Andreja features a huge drip tray which allows for this flush volume, plus leaves plenty of room for draining after shots are pulled. The lever style brew switch feels old school, much more intimate than some push-button set up. All the romance of a lever machine- none of the drama.
I am considering plumbing the machine in, but the combination of a huge boiler and a good sized reservoir make this an option rather than a necessity. The addition of a magnetic float switch to kill power when the water level drops too low is a nice touch for those of us in the, "Now where did I leave my keys....?" camp.
Comes with two 58mm portafilters and a blind insert for backflushing. The portafilters have a good heft and seat with no difficulty.
Pump noise is negligible. The first few times the boiler begins to autofill might startle you, but the machine sounds as solid as it looks. C'mon- how much fun would it be if it made no noise?
Adjustments seem to be easy. I've not yet had to get to the pressure stat, but it's nice to know that if I do, I won't have to disassemble the whole machine.
Andreja's three lights are simple as can be: Power (Green), Boiler heating (Red), Boiler on (Green) and no boiler lights means no water.
Expect to see other makers introduce machines to compete with the Andreja Premium, which will be quite a task, especially at this price point.
Chris and crew know their stuff. I called to ask a couple of questions about Isomacs and ended up talking to Chris for 45 minutes or more. He detailed the Andreja Premium for me, and since purchase has followed up with e-mailed usage tips and satisfaction queries. A new style drip tray cover has been designed and comes on new machines. Chris showed his attention to his customers by ordering extra and making those available to current owners as an upgrade.
Three Month Followup
It's been way more than a year, but still.... Andreja is standing up very well to daily use. There was a scare a few months ago when the float switch got stuck in the up position, allowing the pump to just run and run with no water in the reservoir, but after a good cleaning, everything was back in order. For new purchasers, I would recommend upgrading to a better pressurestat at the time of the sale. The base stat is fine, but tricky to adjust.
About two years into ownership, I got a bit itchy in regards to upgrade fever and looked around and found nothing I wanted better, whose price I could justify to myself. Anyone considering Andreja as a plumb-in, would do well to look at the Vetrano. For pour-over E61, the Andreja is going to be tough to beat.