It's a great machine, built with care and craftmanship. Should be easy to keep the outside clean since it's food grade SS and with a great finish. As for being loud, it seems to be quieter then the Gaggia Baby that it replaced.
Positive Product Points
I like the three way power switch, especially when you do the first start up it just powers the pump and nothing else. I also like the fact that it has a boiler drain if you need to drain it. I like the looks, how sturdy it's built and the quality of the material used
Negative Product Points
none that I can think of right now
I ordered it on a Tuesday evening from Chris Coffee and was told I should receive it the following Monday but UPS was good to me and got it that Friday. It was double boxed and after getting it home and unpacked it sure is a monster of a machine compared to the Gaggia Baby it replaced. What I like about the QM is the three way power switch, once I got the tank washed and cleaned out as per instruction I tested the water for hardness and it was good so I filled the tank and turned on the machine. It isn't any louder then the Gaggia in fact it seems a tad quieter. Once it got up to operating temperature I ground some Deep Cello Nostromo and pulled a double, and all I can say is WOW and with a ton of crema. I did a lot of research on this and the Izzo Alex II and even though the Alex has a bigger boiler and has a PID, I just liked the looks of the QM and it's features. The only draw back it has and other HX machines is that you have to do a cooling flush which with the QM it usually takes 4 to 5 oz before I get just water and not steam. When I get around to it I'll install one of the thermometers that gos into the group head. I live in a rural area of NC and on a well, the water is good for washing, some cooking if your going to use the water in boiling something, it has a sulfur smell to it and a little funny taste. So for drinking water we use bottle water. I usually drink two doubles every night, so every other night I do a fresh water back flush and since I've only had it a month I've used Cafiza twice to back flush the unit. Anyway it just looks good setting next to my Cimbali Junior which I've had for two years. With proper care it should last for years or before I get upgraditius I'm still trying to get use to frothing the QM has a 4 hole tip and were as the Gaggia had just a single hole so right now I just getting hot milk with little foam......... :^( guess it will just take practice
After deciding on the machine I wanted I called and talked with Mary at Chris Coffee. It's the second high dollar item "to me" from them. The first was my Cimbali Junior and had great service from them, when I first got it two years ago the bean hopper was cracked and when I called them they sent one out no questions asked and got it two days later. Now that's customer service, and not customer no-service so that's why I when back with them, and when I've had any question they're always helpful. So if anyone asked for a company to do business with for any coffee related matters I'll refer them to Chris Coffee.
Three Month Followup
It's been a great machine, I'm still trying to get the hang of frothing milk. Even though I drink mostly straight shots it would be nice to have a milk drink now and then. The only draw back is having to do a cooling flush since I don't have it hooked up directly to a water source and use the storage tank so I'm having to add water to it every other day. To make sure that I have soft enough water I've got an in tank water softener / filter. The water I've been getting has been in the 3g range which I check often with the test strips I get from Chris