This is less a semi-automatic espresso machine than a work of art that makes exceptional espresso. Beautifully, brilliantly designed, and built to last.
Recommended for: Large households, busy offices, and power coffee drinkers. Purists will be especially appreciative of its features.
Table of Contents
- 1 An Overview of the Quick Mill Andreja Premium
- 2 Easy to Use, Easy to Clean
- 3 Pros & Cons of the Quickmill Andreja Premium Espresso Machine
- 4 Quick Mill Andreja Premium Review Conclusion
An Overview of the Quick Mill Andreja Premium
Is aesthetic important to you? Do you love making coffee magic yourself, crafting drinks, rather than simply letting a machine do most of the work for you? Most importantly, do you live in a large household with multiple coffee drinkers?
The more of those questions you answered yes to, the more you’re going to love our detailed Quick Mill Andreja Premium review. It’s not just an espresso machine. It’s a work of art that gives you all the tools you need to make any specialty coffee drink you can imagine.
Having said that, this machine won’t be for everyone.
If you’re looking for one-touch convenience, or a highly automated “bean to brew” experience, this isn’t the machine you want. If you don’t drink much coffee throughout the day, the Andreja is serious overkill, but for the right person, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better model.
In the sections below, we’ll cover everything this exceptional machine can do. It doesn’t really have any shortcomings per se, but we’ll also outline the reasons why (as defined by specific features) it may not be a good fit for you.
Let’s get started!
Form Factor, Footprint & Aesthetic
The first thing you’ll notice about the Andreja Premium by Quick Mill is how beautiful it is. This model has a striking, decidedly Old World appearance. It looks like something right out of a Steampunk movie set, with its dials, levers, and gauges.
If you like that aesthetic, it’ll grab you right out of the gate, but it’s a lot more than just interesting to look at. With its solid stainless steel construction (inside and out), high polish, and rounded edges, you can tell at a glance that this model is robust and rugged. With proper care, it will be the last espresso machine you ever own.
It's also worth noting that this isn’t a mass-produced machine. Curves like that can’t be machine-pressed, they have to be hand-tooled, so you’re not getting some cookie cutter machine here. This is pure craftsmanship.
For a machine designed for home use, it’s fairly substantial, measuring 16” x 11.5” x 17.5.” but for a machine that’s verging on commercial capability, its footprint is fairly modest. And it’s got heft, weighing in at a solid 55 pounds thanks to all the stainless steel used in its construction.
If you have a small kitchen or limited counter space, this probably isn’t the machine for you, and given that it can support a dedicated water line, this isn’t a machine you’re going to want to move around once you find a home for it.
Before we leave this section, we should note that because of its high polish finish, keeping the unit looking as good as the day you took it out of the box is going to take some work. Every fingerprint is going to stick out like a sore thumb on its mirror-like surface.
As power drinkers, the size of any machine’s water tank is of particular interest to us, and there’s no such thing as too big, as far as we’re concerned. In this case, the Quick Mill Andreja Premium delivers in style, boasting an impressive top-loading, 3-liter (101.4-ounce) reservoir.
Of course, if you opt to run the dedicated water line to the machine, this feature doesn’t matter, because the water supply is essentially unlimited.
Note that the water reservoir doesn’t have or use a water filter. That means you’re going to have to do one of two things:
- If you’re using a dedicated water line, you’re probably going to have to resign yourself to periodic descaling.
- If you’re filling the tank manually, then you can either use distilled water or water that’s been previously filtered via some other means and dramatically reduce your need to descale.
This will be a short section because the Andreja Premium espresso machine is a semi-automatic, rather than a super automatic. As such, it does not have an integrated grinder, so you’ll have to purchase a standalone.
Broadly speaking, grinders come in two basic types: Bladed and Burr. Of the two, blade grinders are considered to be markedly inferior. They don’t grind your beans as much as smash them to bits. The resulting grounds are highly inconsistent. You’ll get some that are quite fine, and others that are very coarse.
This, of course, is far better than using pre-ground coffee, but a burr grinder is far and away the better choice. After all, if you’re going to spend the money to get a great espresso machine, you don’t ‘want to pair it with a sub-standard grinder!
Where burr grinders are concerned, again, they come in two basic types: Stainless steel and ceramic. Of the two, ceramic grinders are considered superior. This is because stainless steel grinders can heat when used, which can burn your coffee grounds and utterly ruin the flavor of whatever drink you’re making.
Bottom line: When shopping for a good grinder to go with your Andreja, spend a little extra and get a ceramic burr grinder.
Pro Tip: One limitation of super automatic machines is that most of them don’t do well with oily beans. You’re limited to having to use Medium Roast beans, lest you run the risk of shortening the life of your grinder motor and increasing machine maintenance.
That’s not a concern with standalone grinders, especially if you get a manual one. That means you get to use whatever beans you like, regardless of roast!
The Boiler System
The Quickmill Andreja Premium espresso machine utilizes a single, rapid heating boiler. Without going into too much detail about the guts of the machine, the big thing to note here is that every component of the boiler is made from top-end components that are not only designed for longevity, but also for ease of repair.
This makes the model quite appealing to dedicated do it yourselfers, who love tinkering with their equipment and making incremental repairs to keep everything in peak operating condition. Even if you’re not a do it yourselfer, any competent repairman can take a look at the user manual and easily repair anything that goes wrong with it.
Telescoping Coffee Spigot
This will be another short section in our Quick Mill Andreja Premium review, because again, as a semi-automatic, the Andreja doesn’t have telescoping spigots. The coffee spouts are at the bottom of the portafilters that come with the machine.
You get two with your purchase. One for a single shot, and one for a double. You’ll need to buy a high quality, all metal tamper to prepare your shots. When you’ve got the puck made, you load the portafilter into the machine, flip the switch, and wait for the coffee magic to happen!
The Brew Unit and Control System
This is the heart and soul of any espresso machine, and the Andreja Premium is no exception. Unlike super automatic machines that typically feature computerized controls, everything on this machine is old school: Switches, dials, and gauges. This is proof positive that you don’t need fancy computer controls to get excellent, in-depth information about what’s going on with your machine.
The power switch has three stages. Off, on, but no heat to the boiler, and on with heat to the boiler.
The off position does just what you’d expect it to do, of course. You’ll turn the machine on, with no heat to the boiler when you want to load the water tank, and use the fully on position when you’re ready to pull a shot. Simple red and green lights indicate the machine’s power status.
There’s a lever to control the steam wand activation (covered in more detail in a later section), and two gauges. One of these is a measure of the pressure inside the boiler, and the other is a measure of the pump’s pressure. Of particular interest is that the control system includes a knob you can turn to adjust the pump pressure to taste.
To understand why this matters, we need to say a few words about how espresso is made. If you’re new to the world of specialty coffee, the next section will contain good information. If you’ve got experience using espresso machines, then you already know the information in the next section, so just skip over it.
A Few Words About Espresso
If you’re new to the world of specialty coffee, then you’re probably coming from the drip-brew world. Drip brew machines use gravity to convey coffee from the grounds chamber and into your waiting cup or pot.
Espresso machines use pressure, and pressure is measured in bars, where one bar of pressure is equal atmospheric pressure at sea level. It takes at least nine bars to make a good espresso, and the Andreja’s pump is rated for up to sixteen bars.
Thanks to the gauge, you can tell precisely what pressure your pump is operating at, and can make incremental adjustments as needed. It’s well worth experimenting with this feature to try new extraction techniques, and the gauge is a handy and convenient way to ensure that every shot you pull is a world class one.
The Milk Frothing System
As with most semi-automatics, the Quickmill Andreja Premium uses a steam wand for milk frothing. Again, this is something coffee purists will love because it allows you to precisely control the milk temperature, as well as the quality and quantity of the froth you produce.
If you’re new to the world of specialty coffee drinks, do not be intimidated by the frothing wand! Yes, it takes time, practice, and patience to use, and you can be assured that your first three or four milk-based drinks won’t turn out quite as you’d planned.
On the other hand, once you master it, you’ll be the envy of your friends, and can impress them with your mad Barista skills!
Cup Warming Tray
The Andreja espresso machine has a generously sized cup warming tray, as well as a guard rail to help keep them in place. The cup warming tray is important, and in many ways, can be seen as the unsung hero of the specialty coffee world. The reason? Heat loss.
Specialty coffee drinks were meant to be enjoyed at temperatures lower than most Americans like their coffee. If you dispense your drink into a cold cup, you make the problem worse because of the heat loss. Pre-warming your cup will go a long way toward reducing this problem, and add several degrees to your drink.
If you’re skeptical, try an experiment. Brew two of your favorite drinks, dispensing one into a cold cup, and the other into a pre-warmed one. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!
Easy to Use, Easy to Clean
Most semi-automatics are fairly easy to use, but the Andreja Premium distinguishes itself in both of these areas, thanks to its superior design and construction.
Everything is exactly where you’d expect it to be, and you can tell what most of the components do just by looking at them. If you’re unsure, the user manual is short, but concise, and filled with hard-hitting, useful information.
Even if you’ve never used a semi-automatic espresso machine before, you’ll get the hang of this one in no time, and you’ll quickly come to appreciate some of the finishing touches under the hood.
For instance, the water reservoir has two different alarms that will sound. One, an intermittent beep, when the tank begins to run low on water, and two, a long, continuous tone when the tank is dry.
Obviously, you won’t hear either of these if you’re using a dedicated water line, but it’s nice to know that those features exist!
Another thing to point out here is that when you buy the machine, it comes with a backflushing disk.
Backflushing is to semi-automatics what cleaning the brew group is to super automatics. It’s just one of those bits of periodic maintenance you need to perform. About once a week, backflush your machine.
This involves creating a puck of gentle cleanser and activating your brew pump a number of times, consecutively.
In a similar vein, it should be pointed out that while keeping the machine clean is easy and straightforward, because this is a semi-automatic, none of the cleaning routines are automated. You’re going to have to manually perform all the maintenance tasks. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s something to be mindful of.
If you’re looking for something with automated rinsing and cleaning routines, then you don’t want a semi-automatic.
Pros & Cons of the Quickmill Andreja Premium Espresso Machine
There’s a lot to like about the Quick Mill Andreja. It’s beautiful, sturdy, and provides reliable service. The components are all easily accessible, and if anything does break, you’ll find that if you’re even marginally handy, you can replace and repair it yourself.
For instance, we can gripe that there’s no integrated grinder, but this is a semi-automatic. If you want that feature, you’d be looking at a super automatic machine in any case.
All that to say that we really have no complaints about this model, including its price. It’s a tremendous value for the money and is built to last.
Quick Mill Andreja Premium Review Conclusion
And that brings us to the end of our Quick Mill Andreja Premium review. We love the machine and regard it as being close to perfect. Having said that, the Andreja clearly isn’t for everyone.
If you’re looking for one-touch convenience and a “bean to brew” experience, you want a super automatic—not this model.
If you’re a casual coffee drinker or live in a small household, the size of the water reservoir of the machine can be an overkill.
On the other hand, if you’re a power drinker or live in a large household with several coffee drinkers, and if you’re looking for a machine that will allow you to play an active role in crafting your drinks, this machine is ideal.
The option to connect a dedicated water line even makes it a solid choice for busy office environments, and of course, is a great perk for big, busy households, too.
If you fall into any of those categories, we highly recommend this model. If not, then as good as this machine is, some other machine is almost certain to give you a better fit.
Note: There's an upgraded version of this machine, the Quick Mill Andreja Premium Evo. Click here for more details.