If you buy this machine and have a bad espresso, it is you or the bean and not the machine.
Positive Product Points
Aesthetically beautiful. Paired with my HG One Hand Grinder, it is definitely pleasing to see in the kitchen. Keeping the SS spotless is a tough job but well worth the effort. Easy to fill reservoir with the option for plumb-in. Consistent shots after the first pull. The first pull is bad because the water is too hot. Even after doing a flush, the first shot tends to taste more bitter and metallic compared to all shots after that.
Negative Product Points
For the price, I wish it came with a naked portafilter. I prefer the extraction with the third party naked portafilter than I do with the ones it came with. I also realized that each portafilter requires different grind settings/dosage.
In regards of coffee/espresso experience I would rate myself as an amateur. I did a lot of research before purchasing an espresso machine. I wanted something that would last for a long time and do a consistent job making great coffee. I paired the Quick Mill Andreja Premium with the HG One grinder and the combination has been amazing. I have to admit when I first got all the equipment, it took quite a few shots before I was able to get a good cup of coffee. Several factors were in play here. First, the grinder needed to be properly seasoned before shots would be consistent. Until the burrs were seasoned, I would get channeling and espresso shooting from the side of the naked portafilter.
I do not regret my purchases whatsoever. Over the past several months, I really enjoy drinking my morning espresso. With the knowledge of the coffee forums on the internet, it doesn't take much effort before you start dialing in your espresso to your own liking.
In regards of how I setup my espresso, it seems like everyone has their own preference. I would dosage my doubles out anywhere from 14.5g-16.5g. Personally, I never had great success with 18g and above, the espresso ends up being too strong/bitter for my liking. When I asked the barista how much they put in their double espresso, they stated 20g. I tried it but I could never find the right grind to get the taste to my liking. I was aiming for 2-2.5 oz pours in 25-35 seconds. Long story short, the espresso I make with this machine is far better than the coffee please selling the same roast!
If I'm trying out a new roast, it would take me about 3-5 shots to dial in to the flavor profile I was looking for. I don't want my espresso to be bitter and it would be great if there was some tang to the shot.
Maintenance on the machine is a breeze. Daily I clean the drip tray and refill the reservoir. The reservoir would last me 2-3 days maximum, I hate the dreaded buzzing noise the machine makes when it is low on water so I tend to just top it off daily. Moving the machine around the countertop was not difficult and slide around quite easily. I would use a plain water backflush after my shots and every month I'd use a cleaner to clean the group head.
It looks amazing in the kitchen.
Chris' Coffee buying experience was nothing but positive. I did my research here and on HB and had a few questions about the Andreja Premium. Shipment came quickly and well packaged. No issues with setup whatsoever. Has been working fine since. Hopefully no repairs will be required as it is a heavy item.