Great espresso machine. I can't see any reason for the home barista to look beyond the Andreja Premium.
Positive Product Points
This is an extremely well made machine with overall fine build and finish quality. The E61 group and heat exchanger design provide a simple to use and stable system for the home barista. I've been using the machine for about 4 months now and have only once had espresso served to me out that came close to what I'm making at home.
Negative Product Points
Minor annoyance with a poorly positioned product label front and center on the face of the drip tray upon receipt. When brought to Chris' attention, they immediately shipped a replacement label, and a free bag of their superb Black Pearl espresso beans.
A 30 to 40 minute wait is required upon start up prior to making the first shot, but frankly this can be scheduled or worked around with a timer.
All the upgrades featured on this system as described on the Chris' site are well thought out and offer real benefits to the user. The lever mechanism, dual pressure gages, and massive, thermally stable E61 group head are fully commercial quality, and polished to a high gloss finish. This is an impressive system to be seen on your kitchen counter.
The learning curve on this system is actually quite short. I was making fine shots within an hour. A good tamper is an absolute necessity and quickly pays for itself in quality shots. Repeatability of results benefits greatly from the use of a well made pro-consumer grinder. I added a Ascaso I1-D several weeks after buying the Andreja and now couldn't live without either.
Having used simpler Gaggia consumer system for years, it's now a pleasure to make any espresso drinks for one, two or a dinner party full of friends. The HX design allows for unlimited and instantly available steam when making any milk added espresso drinks. The steam power and design of the frothing tip allow for total control of the process; micro froth is a snap even with skim milk.
All of this is accomplished without the need for a 20amp or 240VAC circuit. This is a very efficient system, a joy to use daily, and I expect it to be the last espresso machine I'll ever buy. I use only ultra pure reverse osmosis water, and expect to have no scaling problems; (don't put hard/tap water into this machine!) I am fully satisfied with the purchase and know that Chris' will be there to support any problems if they ever occur.
Chris' couldn't have been better in pre- and post-sale support via the phone. I developed total confidence in them during the buying cycle... in fact I originally was planning on buying a different machine from another seller, but my research with them leading up to the purchase swayed me. Everyone I dealt with at Chris' impressed me with their knowledge and willingness to help.
Three Month Followup
I've actually owned the Andreja now for ~16 months and all is well: see 1 year follow up comments.
One Year Followup
1 year plus into ownership and using 3 - 4 mornings/week + a few shots weekend afternoons the Quick Mill Andreja Premium is still performing like new. I continue to use only ultra pure RO water, backflush with water ~weekly, and with Cafiza monthly at my usage level...all is fine with the Quick Mill everytime I pull shots. This is one solid machine that fills my needs perfectly. I expect a fine lasting relationship with this beautiful and durable machine. Plus, I remain comfortable knowing Chris' Coffee is there should any service issues arise.