An outstanding high end single boiler machine for the straight espresso drinker.
Positive Product Points
Easy to use. Consistent, excellent espresso, Fits under the cabinets and takes up minimal counter space, huge drip tray.
Negative Product Points
Design: Access to adjustable interior controls could be easier (rather than removing the entire cover). Perhaps a simple cutout like that for the PID. Operation: A failed heating unit about one year after purchase. Replacement was straightforward with outstanding support from Chris' Coffee.
I've had my Alexia for about two years, after owning a LaCimbali Domus for approximately 6 years prior to that. I drink straight espresso only and I'm the only user in my house. I've used the frother feature about three times in two years, once to test that it worked, and a couple of drinks for my mother-in-law. Otherwise, it's straight caffe' for this machine. I use a LaPavoni grinder.
I called Chris' Coffee to ask about the machine and others based on my drinking preferences. With their input, I decided to buy the Alexia without the PID feature (I do have the PID cutout on the front plate). The results in two years of usage have been outstanding. For me, I see no need for a PID. The machine makes consistent espresso day in and day out. With the grinder and brand of beans that I use, I can consistently predict if I need to make adjustments to how I make a given dose. It gives me great espresso, and I don't feel I've overspent at all.
After about one year, the machine stopped heating. I called Chris' and with my voltmeter, we determined over the phone and an email or two that the heating element had failed. Since I was just past the warranty period, Chris' offered to send me a replacement at no charge if I was willing to change it myself, or to send it in and I would pay shipping only. I chose to give it a try, and despite a VERY tight element from the Quickmill factory, I got it off and the replacement was easy. There is an access panel at the bottom of the machine to get to the element with a socket wrench. The new heating element is a year old and doing fine. It uses a big 30mm socket. Getting a deep socket would be best if you ever have to replace it. I have a shallow one and had to break off the connector blades to get it on.
Expert advise, and flawless documentation and packaging. No issues.