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Quick Mill Alexia - Martin Poulin's Review
Posted: October 13, 2008, 8:56pm
review rating: 9.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Quick Mill Alexia Espresso Machine
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More About This Product
Arrow The Quick Mill Alexia has 15 Reviews
Arrow The Quick Mill Alexia has been rated 9.27 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since October 22, 2007.
Arrow Quick Mill Alexia reviews have been viewed 87,439 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Bill Miano 9.50
Martin Poulin 9.00
Phil Greene 8.00
Mark Botta 8.00
Marc Bronzetti 7.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.4
Manufacturer: Quick Mill Quality: 10
Average Price: $1,195.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $1,195.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Ebay Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 6 months Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: breville cafe roma
Bottom Line: WIth PID, this is a trully great machine for espresso only, strongly recommend a bottomless portafilter
Positive Product Points

Ease to use
big drip tray

Negative Product Points

Few tweaks required to reach the next level.
noisy pump

Detailed Commentary

It's been slightly more than 7 months since I've been using my PID Quick mill Alexia.

Upgrading from a Breville cafe roma, I have to say that I was amazed by the improvement in my shot.
The 47 pounds Quick mill deliver great look and great performance in the same package.

After some time, I've noticed few tweak could be done to fully exploit the potential of the Alexia.

Having a PID, the temperature is extremely accurate but the display show boiler temperature instead of the group head...
I realized that I needed to find out the group temp and I've added a electronic thermometer in my e61 group.
The website here show about what I've done...
Click Here (coffeetime.wikidot.com)
For the record, my setting is 99.2degrees at the boiler witch yield 92.3degrees at the group head.

Then, I realized that when I do a shot, the PID start to pulse with an increasing duty-cycle.
This is normal but the on/off switching of the powerful element vary the voltage at the pump creating a non constant brew pressure.
According to the gauge, the pump pressure move from 9 to 9.5bar depending if the element is on or off.
(OK, I'm living in a apartment and the power outlet I have can be weak causing much of the problem)
Since I can't have a dedicated breaker to my Alexia, I had to fix that pressure variation.
My solution cost me little less than $10 and required me about 45min of work.
I have inserted a diode in serial with the element. That cut half the voltage to the element reducing it's power value by half.
Now, My element deliver about 700watts. The current draw from the power outlet is cut in half too reducing the voltage fluctuation to be insignificant.
Yes, the warm up time is longer by few minutes but when I brew a shot, my pressure gauge doesn't move at all even if the element switch on/off.
This really  increased the quality of the shot.
If like me, you want to add a diode, use an "International Rectifier 40hf100" or similar (it's a bit oversize but I wanted to be safe).
Click Here (parts.digikey.ca)
Of course, the steaming mode isn't affected by the modification so I still have 1400Watts for steam mode.

Then, with the brew pressure being constant, I tried few brew pressure to find the optimum.
This is highly personal but I'm using 8.5bar.

Lastly, to be sure every shot is perfect, a bottomless PF is the only way to go.
Even with good timing extraction, once I've switched to a naked PF, I've realized that I had channeling very often.
It's easy to correct your tamping problem when you see the mistake you do.
With a BL PF, your shot will get better and you won't have the rookie "hit and miss"
The taste of the bottomless pf don't change much but the crema level is greater and the mouth feel is somewhat better.

Last thing, to improve the consistency even more, I've find that the Espro tamper are the way to go.
Precisely calibrated to 30 pounds, these device remove the guesstimate pressure variation yielding a even better espresso.

That about it. Now My Alexia now deliver great shot time after time.
Steaming is good  and the stock 2 holes tips does the job to create a good microfoam.
As with any other single boiler machine,  the cool down from steam to espresso mode is long (add to this that my boiler is insulated to prevent heat to destroy the PID controller) and if steaming is required, it's a must to pour the espresso shot before going in steam mode.

Buying Experience

No Problem buying online with Ebay. (seller ID: Dave713)
Quick delivery and great price.

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review rating: 9.0
Posted: October 13, 2008, 8:56pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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