Chris's design improvements have elevated the Andreja way above the other E61 machines.
Positive Product Points
The Andreja is functionally identical and matches the ECM Giotto Premium that I have owned for 15 months, feature for feature. It costs less and represents better value. The craftmanship, quality and appearance are first class. The drip tray is far easier to remove and has much greater volume than the Giotto. The increased volume helps contain the "cooling flush". The group pressure gage is a useful tool for monitoring performance and long distance troubleshooting given that I live in a remote location.
Negative Product Points
I bought an ECM Giotto Premium after owning two Livia 90 machines. The Giotto has performed perfectly and represents a substantial improvement over the Livia. I believed my "work in progress" coffee obsession had been answered. However after giving the two Livia 90 machines to my grown children, I started looking for a machine for my daughter in France. I decided on the Andreja but wanted to try one out to compare it with my benchmark Giotto. (I know this is not a rational argument for most people, including my patient wife.)
I have operated the Giotto and Andreja side by side for about six weeks. The machines are operationally and functionally identical. There are differences however. The biggest difference is cost; the Andreja is about $400 less than the Giotto Premium. The excellant fit, finish, design, and and quality of the Andreja is fully equal to the Giotto.
My wife has never mastered the maneuver needed to remove the drip tray in the Giotto. She has no problem with the Andreja. The increased volume of the drip tray in the Andreja is very useful. I now have enough tray volume to handle cooling flushes and making coffee for much larger groups.
The group pressure gage is a nice addition. It provides more operating information for my operational comfort and to enable long distance trouble shooting if it is ever needed.
I had three initial problems with the Giotto. The boiler pressure gage needle keeps sticking. The supplier promised to replace the gage and to pay installation costs but did not follow through. After a long wait and many calls I eventually settled for an extra filter handle. The top panel had several scratches. It was quickly replaced, no questions. The reservoir had a manufacturing defect. It was quickly replaced also. After getting past the inital problems with the Giotto, it operates flawlessly. except that I tap the pressure gage occasionally.
I have had no problems with the Andreja to date. After comparing the two machines side by side, I selected the Andreja as my favorite. The selection is totally subjective since we had long since resolved the infant problems of the Giotto.
My buying experience with Chris' Coffee has been flawless. The special bonus is that my long conversations with Chris have substantially improved my whole coffee experience.
Three Month Followup
The Andreja is absolutely rocksolid; Chris could rename it Gibralter. I dwelt on comparing the Andreja with the Giotto in my initial review. That detracted from concentrating on the Andreja, a big mistake! The Alydreja is a superbly engineered/designed product. The Chris has made substantial improvements over the other E61 machines. Some of the changes are very subtle and take time to fully appreciate. It all adds up to a great machine and I couldn't be happier.