Well, a lot of things have been said about this machine and I can only emphasis on the details I like - Looks defenitly great. - Insulated boiler - Magnetic water level sensor that doesn't stop the pump when the machine runs out of water - Unit is easy to clean and I don't see why it won't look as good as now in 10 years - Forgiving machine - Commercial grade taps
Negative Product Points
- My biggest concern right now is about reliability. See below for the problems I had so far with the machine - A bit noisy in the morning but I guess all vibe pump machines are the same. I'll have to upgrade to a rotary pump to avoid that. - The box rattles when the pump is on. Makes me feel like driving and old car...
As some other people, this has been my first machine. I wanted to avoid the upgradishh fever. As a result, I can't compare this machine to anything I've previously owned.
The journey began 3 months ago when I had the machine delivered for free on a saturday at four O'clock. As you can guess I was pretty excited. However, the excitement quickly transformed in disapointment since the machine's boiler woudn't fill up even though the pump was runing. When it finaly filled up, the heating element had died. I had to wait until monday to have the unit replaced. The old one apparently had electric problems...
With the new machine set up and working, I quickly enjoyed the espresso preparation process and within 3 days, I was brewing ok espresso. The learning curve I had anticipated was much gentler and my habilities has improved since to the point that great shots are the norm. Unfortunatly, I can't say the same of my frothing accomplishments wich so far have been pretty much inconsistent. I know it's my fault though since I've achieved great microfoam and nice late art on some occasion. Unfortynatly, everytime I think I have the hand on it, i can't repeat the same result.
Then came the days when the machine began to hum when the pump reaches 9 bar (one week ago). I had the machine repaired once again and the service was above all expectations once more. They even came to pick up the machine since I don't onw a car. After one testing day, the technician blamed the pump. It was too inconsistent. I should have notice this since the pressure gauge was showing the problem. Since I had no experience, I couldn't know.
So once more the machine is back and I hope they fixed the problem but I'm unsure about that. I had some more strange hummings this morning while brewing my espresso. For now, all I can say is that the espresso flows nicer with this new pump.
That brings me back to my bottom line. I defenitly love the machine and it's been great fun to use. I just hope it would be as solid as what I had expected cause so far I'm desapointed. Should I have to buy a new machine, i'd buy this one if I was sure about its reliability. I didn't have any buyer remorse since this morning when I found out the machine still has the same strange noise.
I might be the exception cause all of the people who wrote a review about this machine didn't have half of the problems I encounter. However, this is the second Andreja and it's not performing flawlessly...
At first, I was considering buying the machine from christ coffee since so many people were raving about him. I was afraid I couldn't get the same service here in Montréal. I was completly wrong and I'm glad I bought the machine from Café Union. Those guys gave me a service so far wich is above my expectation and they've handled all the problems I had with the machine quickly, called me back to make sure I was satisfied and apologised for the troubles. If you're living in Montréal or nearby, buy from them, you won't regreat it!
One year followup
Still no problem with Café Union. The folks are nice and helpfull.
Three Month Followup
One Year Followup
1 year using the machine on a regular base has pretty much confirmed the impressions I had when I wrote the first review. The small details that I tought would give it an edge over the other choices defenitly did: the no burn steam wand is extremely easy to clean, the magnetic sensor left me finish my shot many times, it doesn't get too hot in the kitchen while I haven't notice a diference on my electricity bill because of the insulated boiler, the taps haven't leaked yet. I consistenly have good shot and occasional god shot when using great blends.Andreja is easy to keep clean and shiny and it still looks as good as new.
Furthermore, I finaly got the hang on micro foam. It turned out the pitcher I was using was to big for the amount of milk I was trying to steam. I started getting good result consistently when I bought a smaller and bell shaped pitcher.
However, and that's a big however, the machine still hums and shows some pressure variations. I cannot tell if it's caused by a bad distribution or if the occasional channeling is the result of the puck being disturbed by the pressure variation.I had some more discussion with the dealer about the issue and the faulty part seems to be the opv. This impression was confirmed by some people on Home Barista since the noise seems to be caused by quick mill desing. I should bring the machine back to the store soon (was waiting for the summer) to test it and see if there's is anything we can do. I hope so cause it defenitly bothers me. It's like driving a brand new porsche making strange noises...