Quick Mill Andreja Premium Espresso Machine Review
Are you looking for a durable and affordable heat exchanger espresso machine that packs a powerful punch of steam and delivers top-notch espresso? Does that sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not. It exists, and it’s called the Quick Mill Andreja Premium Evo Espresso Machine.
In this review, we’ll look at what makes the Quick Mill Andreja stand out from the crowd, as well as what features they’ve done away with to keep costs so low. There’s always a trade-off regarding affordability, so let’s find out how well this machine stacks up in terms of value.
Summary: The Quick Mill Andreja Premium Evo
- Semi automatic heat exchanger espresso machine with 1.8 litre copper boiler
- Commercial grade E61 group head with automatic pre-infusion
- Handmade in Italy with exceptional build quality
One of the things that I’ve come to appreciate from the Andreja is the ample water capacity. I’ve been able to crank out up to a dozen great shots in short order at a dinner party without breaking a sweat.– Rick, Customer
The Full Quick Mill Andreja Premium Evo Review
In this portion of the review, we’re going to do a deep dive into the details. We’ll cover everything from the brewing capacity and internal components to the steam wand and exterior styling. So keep reading for an in depth look at all the pros and cons of this popular espresso machine.
Brewing Capacity – 4/5
The Quick Mill Andreja Premium is a semi-automatic prosumer espresso machine with a heat exchange boiler. It’s the bigger and pricier of Quick Mill’s two popular heat exchanger espresso machines. Still, if you’re a lover of milky drinks, you’ll find it worthwhile to drop a little more money for the extra capacity.
The Andreja has a 1.8-litre T.E.A. coated copper boiler with an insulating wrap. The smaller model is the Anita, which is similar in most respects but has a 1.6-litre copper boiler. The patented T.E.A. coating means you never run the risk of metal leaching into your brew water, and the wrap helps the boiler maintain its temperature, which improves energy efficiency.
A powerful 1400 Watt heating element heats the boiler. This is higher than what we commonly see. One result of that is that this espresso machine comes to temperature relatively quickly. But perhaps more importantly, it also allows it to recover quickly after making a drink — perfect if you’re making latte after latte for a crowd of guests.
The boiler temperature is controlled by a Sirai pressure stat, a brand known for its longevity, rather than the increasingly popular PID. Though typically more expensive, we see PID temperature control used more and more often for dual boiler and single boiler espresso machines because it provides more accurate and precise temperature control.
However, in a heat-exchanger espresso machine like the Quick Mill Andreja Premium, it’s less clear that a PID offers enough benefits to outweigh the cost. It’s because the brew temperature in heat exchangers is essentially a function of boiler design. Instead, it’s best to manage the temperature in an HX machine through cooling flushes.
The Quick Mill Andreja Premium Evo espresso machine is equipped with a 52-watt Ulka vibratory pump. Generally, vibration pumps are considered inferior to rotary pumps as they are louder and don’t allow you to plumb to a water line. Although, they do have the advantages of being smaller, less expensive, and easier to repair.
In the case of Andreja, however, you get the best of both worlds.
You can purchase a kit to plumb this machine directly, and the vibratory pump has been given some nice upgrades to alleviate the other concerns. It has a pulsar installed, which reduces both noise and pressure fluctuations, and it has brass rather than plastic ends, which increases its durability. It also has thermal overload protection, so you don’t need to worry about it overheating.
The front of the machine sports the iconic E61 group head, a hallmark of many prosumer and commercial espresso machines in the last 60 years (1). In an E61 group, hot water is continuously circulated from the boiler to the group head and portafilter to keep everything consistent. Its design has remained super popular for this many decades. That’s a testament to its functionality and practicality (2).
With the E61, you start and stop a shot using a lever on the side of the group. This is a different tactile experience than machines that start and stop with a button. If you fancy yourself a home barista, you’ll probably enjoy the more professional feel.
The E61 group on this model also offers automatic pre-infusion, which serious espresso lovers will know is a crucial feature (3). No less a figure than James Hoffmann, former World Barista Champion and current internationally recognized coffee expert, has this to say:
Pre-infusion promotes evenness of extraction and equals a better-tasting coffee.
Such eveness results from the low-pressure pre-wetting of the grounds ensuring that the coffee puck is perfectly primed for extraction, yielding richer and sweeter shots.
User Friendliness – 3.5/5
If you’re new to prosumer espresso, you will likely find that using a heat exchanger machine comes with a bit of a learning curve. That being said, if you fancy yourself an expert barista in the making, you’ll probably appreciate the necessary hands-on time with your machine (4).
A semi-automatic espresso machine, like the Quick Mill Andreja Premium, is the right choice for anyone who prefers to be engaged in the process of espresso making. You don’t want things to be too simple. You want the best possible espresso, even if that means you have to work for it. If that doesn’t sound like you, we’ve suggested some alternatives below.
However, the Andreja does have some excellent added features that make it a real pleasure to use. First off, there’s the three-position power switch, a unique aspect of the Quick Mill brand. It has On, Off, and Fill, the third mode, but the heating element doesn’t turn on. Using this position during the initial turn-on removes any possibility of damaging the boiler by heating it when it’s dry. Red and green LED indicator lights to keep you apprised of both the boiler and heater status.
The water reservoir has also been upgraded in the latest edition of the Andreja. It now fills from the bottom without needing silicone tubes, making it easier to fill and avoids unwanted bubbles. It’s a hefty 3 litres, so the average home user shouldn’t need to refill it more than once a day.
The water reservoir is also equipped with not one but two low water level alarms. When the water begins to get low, it will beep to let you know it needs a refill. And if it is empty, it will let out a steady alarm to let you know you risk damage if you brew. Of course, you can always opt to purchase the plumbing kit for this model, in which case you’ll never need to think about the water tank — or emptying the drip tray, for that matter.
Any bells and whistles?
A nice final touch on this model is the relatively large 12.5-cm cup clearance, whereas many other machines in this class have more like 9 cm of clearance. Not only does this allow you to use larger mugs if you’re so inclined, but it also makes it easy to slot a scale underneath your cup to monitor shot output by weight. If you watch the pros in action, you’ll see they prefer the accuracy of brewing by weight.
While pulling a shot or steaming milk, you can watch what’s happening inside your machine using the two pressure gauges on the front. One measures steam boiler pressure while the other measures pump pressure, keeping in mind that the pump pressure gauge is only relevant while pulling a shot. Both gauges are given a beautiful deep blue background, which is new for this model and adds to aesthetic appeal.
The only thing lacking on this machine from a user-friendliness standpoint, in my opinion, is an automatic shot timer. Of course, it’s easy enough to keep a stopwatch nearby or to purchase a coffee scale with a built-in timer. But these days, it’s increasingly common to see espresso machines with timers that start automatically when the lever is pulled, and it helps to make the workflow more seamless.
Milk Frothing – 4/5
Heat exchanger espresso machines tend to have large boilers and thus excellent steam pressure and the Quick Mill Andreja Premium Evo is no exception. If you love lattes and macchiatos, you’re going to love this espresso machine.
It easily achieves upwards of 1.5 bar of steam pressure, more than enough to churn out the perfect creamy microfoam for latte art.
The steam wand is stainless steel and fully articulated, so regardless of the size and shape of your frothing jug, you’ll be able to find a comfortable position. It’s a double-wall, no burn steam wand, which means that the outside of the wand won’t get hot enough to burn you. Though, of course, be aware that the tip still gets pretty steamy (no pun intended.)
The Quick Mill Andreja Premium comes with both a 4-hole and 2-hole steam tip, and it’s worth experimenting with both to see which best suits your demands and skill level. The 4-hole tip allows you to steam faster, but if you’re still a novice, you might prefer the slightly slower 2-hole steam wand tip until you’ve mastered your technique.
Conveniently, especially if you’re a lover of Americanos, there is also a separate tap for hot water. The steam and hot water taps are operated using knobs rather than joysticks, though you can pay to have this switched according to your preferences. Joysticks are nice because they allow for instantaneous on/off and short bursts of steam. On the other hand, knobs allow you to ease on the steam slowly, which might be preferable if you’re new to working with this amount of pressure.
Build Quality – 4.5/5
Build quality is rarely something you’ll need to worry about when buying a prosumer machine from one of the longstanding brands, Quick Mill models included. The Andreja Premium Evo espresso machine is built like a tank, evident from its 20-kg weight.
The inside frame is stainless steel, as is the polished exterior wrap. Quick Mill has a long history of steelwork, evident from the graceful curved edges on this model.
Each Andreja is handmade to exacting specifications and then tested extensively before it leaves the factory.
The choice of copper rather than stainless for the boiler is not a sign of more inferior quality. Copper is both more expensive and has better thermal properties than stainless steel (5). Its only downside is that it is more prone to the build-up of scale, so it’s imperative to use filtered water in this machine.
I wouldn’t call the Quick Mill Andreja a small machine — there are more compact options on the market, like the Lelit Mara or Rocket Appartamento — but it is a reasonable size given its functionality. It has very little wasted space, measuring 41.5 cm tall by 25.5 cm wide by 48 cm deep.
You will be able to slide it under your upper cupboards, but that probably won’t leave much room to take advantage of the cup warmer on top. It also has adjustable stainless steel feet that give you a little leeway in terms of the height and levelling of this machine, not to mention a nice style.
With this machine, you get two portafilters, which is always a treat to find in anything priced under $2000. You get both a double spout and a single spout, each with a matching stainless filter basket. The portafilters are the hefty commercial-style made from chrome-plated brass and measuring 58 mm in diameter, so you’ll have an easy time buying accessories.
Although, if you don’t feel like dropping even more cash on accessories, you’ll be happy to find that the Andreja comes with a good quality metal tamper with a wooden handle, rather than the throwaway plastic tampers we see depressingly often.
Cleaning and Maintenance – 4/5
The Quick Mill Andreja Premium Evo espresso machine is essentially identical to the competition in terms of cleaning. Any semi-automatic prosumer machine will have the exact requirements. Of course, if you’re coming from a super-automatic machine with an automated cleaning cycle, you might find it tiresome to do everything manually. But the trade-off is that a well-maintained prosumer machine can last decades without significant service.
A stainless steel backflush disc is included, and you should backflush with water regularly. Usually, weekly is enough, depending on usage. You should also back flush with a proper espresso machine cleaner less frequently, as per the manufacturer’s advice, typically a few times a year or after a certain number of shots.
As I already mentioned, Andreja’s copper boiler is a bit more prone to scale than stainless steel boilers. Additionally, its water tank doesn’t come with any built-in water filter. So it will be essential to use filtered water when brewing. If you live in a region with hard water, you may want to consider softening it as well (6).
Descaling a boiler on a prosumer espresso machine is not an easy task, often requiring a skilled technician, so preventing the build-up of scale in the first place is a far better option. That said, a nice aspect of Andreja’s design is that it’s effortless to drain the boilers if you need to have it serviced.
While the mirror finish on the stainless steel exterior of this machine is undeniably beautiful, it shows dirt, dust, and fingerprints. So be sure to keep some microfibre cloths on your hands to give it a quick wipe down after use.
Don’t Buy the Quick Mill Andreja Premium If…
You want something super easy to use: As I said earlier, the Andreja is a semi-automatic espresso machine, which means that some skill is required on the part of the barista to get the best results. If you don’t feel like getting into the nitty-gritty of espresso expertise, opt for an automatic or super-automatic machine that does more of the work for you.
Sticking with the same brand, you can check out the automatic Quick Mill Evolution 70. Or, if you’d prefer a super-automatic, there are some great options from another iconic Italian brand, Gaggia.
You want PID temperature control: If the idea of PID temperature control is too tempting to resist, consider Quick Mill’s dual boiler, the Vetrano 2B. This will be especially valuable if you’re enthusiastic about specialty coffee and experimenting with different roast levels. If you want to stick with a heat exchange boiler, there are a few models with PIDs. Check out the Rocket Mozzafiato Cronometro or the Profitec Pro 500. In all cases, expect to spend a bit more money.
You don’t make milky drinks: If lattes and cappuccinos don’t appeal, or if you only drink them rarely, you can save a lot of money by opting for a single boiler dual-use machine. These don’t allow you to steam milk and pull a shot simultaneously, but that’s not an issue if you’re mostly making espresso.
Check out our Quick Mill Alexia review for a great, affordable single boiler option. Or read our Quick Mill Silvano review for a look at a unique machine that uses a separate thermoblock so that it actually can steam and brew simultaneously, even though it’s priced like a single boiler.
The Quick Mill Andreja is an excellent buy if you want to make barista-quality cafe-style drinks at home. Its steam power is top-notch, the E61 with automatic pre-infusion guarantees delicious espresso, and it’s built to last. Sure, you’ll have to work a little harder than you would with a super-automatic, but the results more than justify the effort.
- Stamp, J. (2019, June 19). The Long History of the Espresso Machine. Retrieved from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/the-long-history-of-the-espresso-machine-126012814/
- Burton, G. (2011, January 11). The E61 Group Head: An Oldie but a Goodie. Retrieved from https://fivesenses.com.au/blogs/news/the-e61-group-head-an-oldie-but-a-goodie/
- Lee, J. (2017, April 28). Espresso-Making Skills: What’s Pre-Infusion? Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2017/04/espresso-making-skills-whats-pre-infusion/
- Grant, T. (2020, July 14). A Guide to Dialing in Espresso. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/07/a-guide-to-dialling-in-espresso/
- Daily Coffee News Staff. (2019, May 29). Heat: Understanding an Age-Old Problem in Espresso. Retrieved from https://dailycoffeenews.com/2019/05/29/heat-understanding-an-age-old-problem-in-espresso/
- Hoffmann, J. (2019, December 28). Water for Coffee Resources. Retrieved from https://www.jameshoffmann.co.uk/weird-coffee-science/water-for-coffee-resources