This, I believe, will be my first review that I have ever written anywhere. So please bear with me as my grammer and puncutation may not be the best.
So, I guess I should start from the beginning. It all started back at Christmas of 2005. I was trying to decide what to get my wife. My son and I were driving down the road and I saw a starbucks. I thought, Karen "My wife" really loves coffee and I've heard her saying she would like an espresso machine, so in I went. After talking with the manager I decided that this was the gift, so I bought one. I walked out as happy as I could be, because I knew I found the perfect gift.
On Christmas, Karen ripped the gift open and was excited, probably as much as I was and I don't even drink coffee. We read the instructions, plugged in the machine and set off to make perfect espresso's and cappa's.
Reality set in after a few weeks and we concluded that our perfect drink was not coming from this machine, so back to starbucks it went. "I know some of you saw this coming."
My next stop would be williams and sonoma. We saw the Kitchen Aid several months earlier, but I really didn't want to spend that much, but I said what the hell, lets do it. So once again we set off to make our perfect drink.
We arrived home, read the manual "if you have not seen a manual from a kitchen aid proline series product, let me tell you, they rock." After about a week, I wasn't impressed with the steaming ability of the machine, for $800.00 we should be happy with every aspect of the machine so, as much as I hated to, we took the machine back. I really liked the kitchenaid proline, I tought the looks were killer. The quality of bulid, I thought, was high, but it is still not what I would call a perfect machine for us. On a side note, I kept my proline grinder and I'm still using it to date.
This is where coffee geek comes in. I read in here like there was no tomorrow and after reading some reviews on the Anita I decided to call Chris. Boy was that an experiance, He gets really excited about his job. That is something you don't see every day. "Chris if you are reading this, Don't ever change what you are doing. It works. Your awesome on the phone." we talked for about an hour I'd guess. He will not recommed anything that he feels is not for you. We talked about several machines and he kept re-directing me back to the Anita. He could have easily upsold me but he didn't, he felt that Anita, would serve me fine. so the next day I called and placed an order with Mary.
The machine arrived rather quickly, 3 or 4 days I believe. when I arrived home from work and saw "My Wife's Machine :0)))))" sitting on the counter I was amased. The build quality is everybit and more of what you've read on these forums. The thing is really heavy compared to what we've had. All I wanted to do was fire this bad boy up and see what it was made of.
Espresso was the best we had by far. The crema was not like anything the other machines could ever produce. we are talking almost a full shot glass here. umm good.
Steaming - the other machine's didn't even come close in comparing with the Anita here. I was able to produce some really thick microfoam within a couple of days. This machine will steam it's butt off, but beware, that wand will get hot.
A couple of dislikes - the steaming wand gets too hot along with the group. The top of the water container is open and the top cover of the machine has several openings on it and it sits right over the water container, so things can fall down into the water if your not careful.
Overall, I really like the Anita, If I had it to do over I would still do buisness with chris but I would have gone with the Andreja Premium for the direct hook up and the no burn steam wand, which is a big concern for me.
The build quality is superb, the drip pan is real heavy and cleans very easily. I can steam and pull a shot at the same time, the machine heats up quick, and is fairly quiet. All of our friends drool when they see it. and It is completely capable of making some really yummy drinks.