Anita has been a steady companion for me every morning. Although I haven't tried other machines, I'm very happy with Anita.
Positive Product Points
- Good reputation (both manufacturer and vendor)
- Aesthetically pleasing to look at
- Large water reservoir and drip tray
- Heat exchanger
- Dual gauges
- Easy to adjust brew pressure
Negative Product Points
- Cover is difficult to re-install (screw holes don't lineup and screws are too short)
- Basically the differences between the Anita and Andreja Premium (Steam arm gets hot, no direct plumb option, downgraded valves, etc).
I've had the Anita for about 9 months now, and am very happy. Usually I pull 1 double per day, and would buy this machine again.
It's funny how "upgrade-itis" can creep up on someone. It started about 10 years ago with a cheap $25 Mr. Coffee steam machine. When I got married 5 years ago, I got a $100 Krups espresso machine as a wedding gift and thought I was in heaven.
Tired of going to $tarb****$, I found Coffeegeek.com and got sucked in to some real espresso. I started to read the forums and other people's questions about "Which espresso machine should I buy?".
Initially, I was looking at the Rocky and Sylvia combo. My drink preferences are more towards caps and lattes, so I wanted to go with a heat exchanger machine. Due to budget constraints, I placed that a heat exchanger machine on the back burner. As luck would have it, some additional funds fell into my lap and I could now look at the heat exchanger machines and a good grinder. Which espresso machine should I get??? I narrowed it down between the Quickmill Andreja Premium and Anita.
Now the question: is the additional $400 for the Andreja features (upgraded valves, direct plumb option, no-burn arms, etc) worth it? It was a tough decision, but I elected to allocate the money toward a Mazzer Mini grinder. Because I'm the only one who drinks espresso in our household, I figured that the Anita would hold up fine. After 9 months of daily use, I've been very happy with its performance.
Do I wish I'd gotten the Premium? Sometimes (especially when I burn my hand on the arms, the swiveling steam arm to get that "perfect angle" when frothing milk, better valves).
Many times I'd buy a cheap item, only for it to breakdown later and realize "You get what you pay for". I thought "Why not get a Premium" and not worry about upgrading later? Well, the difference was $400.....and I could get a great grinder with that money. I likened it to a middle model of a Toyota Camry versus the top-end Camry model: they're both Camrys and should match my needs just fine, but do I really need the leather seats with sunroof and GPS navigation???? So, I decided that the Anita would meet my needs just fine and I'd get a Mazzer Mini with the extra dough.
Anita has suited me well this past year, and I look forward to her continued faithfulness.
Chris Coffee was a smooth buying experience and their customer support was one of the main reasons I bought from them. Good communication and followup emails from them.
How often do you get an email several months after your purchase asking how everything was going???? :)