Quickmill Anita vs. Alexia vs. Vetrano

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
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TimEggers

#1: Post by TimEggers »

I have a few items up for sale on ebay, and pending their sale I'll be in the running for a serious espresso machine. I'm looking at the Quickmill Anita, Alexia and the Vetrano.
Tim Eggers
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LMWDP #202

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Compass Coffee
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#2: Post by Compass Coffee »

Based on your consumption style and machines you're considering I'd likely go a PID'd Alexia. Since you primarily make only straight shots with only occasional weekend milk based drinks for SO why mess with HX and requisite temp surfing at all?
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
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Beezer

#3: Post by Beezer »

Wow, Tim, sounds like you and I are on a similar path. I just upgraded from a Gaggia Classic and Rocky Doserless to a Quickmill Anita and Macap M4.

As far as which machine to buy, I'm somewhat biased but I think the Anita is the best deal for the money. Having the convenience of brewing and steaming back to back is a real blessing. If you get a PID'd Alexia, you'll get great shots but steaming will be painful. I thought that doing cooling flushes would be a hassle, but it's really no big deal. My shots started out OK but not great, but I was having some trouble with distribution and tamping leading to channeling. The machine's OPV is also set a bit high at 10 bar, so I'm going to lower it a bit. But even so, my shots have already improved a great deal just by paying more attention to dosing and distribution.

Steaming without any delays and having ample steam for a big pitcher of milk have also been very nice perks. My microfoam is better than ever with the new machine. It's creamier and seems to float on the surface of the crema much better than before, and I never run out of steam in mid-pitcher like I used to with the Gaggia. Very sweet. Also, you should note that the newer Anitas now have swiveling steam and hot water wands, so they're very easy to use. The old ones would swing up and down, but not side to side.

The only complaint I have so far is that I have to refill the water reservoir pretty often, maybe every other day. I can see how having a plumbed in machine would be a real advantage just so you don't need to constantly refill that reservoir. But I couldn't do plumb in since we just got granite counters, so I have to live with having a pourover. Even so, it's really no big deal. I haven't had the machine run out of water during a shot yet. Knock on wood.

Given your current choices (Alexia, Anita, Vetrano), the Vetrano is clearly the nicest with the rotary pump and plumb in features, but it is almost $500 more than the Anita. The Alexia with the PID is almost the same price as the Anita, but lacks the convenience of the HX for steaming milk drinks. So I think the best deal is the Anita. Alternatively, there's also the Bezzera BZ02S or the Expobar Pulser for about $800. I nearly got the Bezzera, but my wife liked the shiny look of the Anita more. From what I hear, the Bezzera is a great machine for the money.

Good luck with your search.

Eli

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HB
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#4: Post by HB »

Compass Coffee wrote:Based on your consumption style and machines you're considering I'd likely go a PID'd Alexia. Since you primarily make only straight shots with only occasional weekend milk based drinks for SO why mess with HX and requisite temp surfing at all?
Single boiler E61s don't escape entirely from "temp surfing" (of sorts). If the Alexia performs similarly to the Isomac Amica that I PID'd, the grouphead will idle cool and require one or two "warm up" flushes with a pause between them to nail the brew temperature.
Dan Kehn

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#5: Post by Compass Coffee » replying to HB »

Agreed group would likely require a warming flush from idle, just like with a Brewtus. But not a critically timed flush & count like HX surf.
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

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TimEggers (original poster)

#6: Post by TimEggers (original poster) »

The sale went through. I'm getting a new espresso machine! :o

Many thanks you guys, you have sealed the deal. I think I'm going to go with the Anita. I don't mind flushes (I do a 4-5oz flush on my Gaggia now). Plus I thought a PID would completely eliminate the need to flush (I stand corrected) and since I'm going to be flushing anyways I might as well gain the ability to steam right away. And for filling, I have to fill my Gaggia at least twice a day, so once every other day or heck even once a day wouldn't phase me. Plumbing in like I have said just isn't a great option for me.

After all my daughter will be having birthday parties this fall and my extended family loves my lattes...

Thanks guys. :D
Tim Eggers
http://www.facebook.com/TimEggers
LMWDP #202

JimG

#7: Post by JimG »

HB wrote:If the Alexia performs similarly to the Isomac Amica that I PID'd, the grouphead will idle cool and require one or two "warm up" flushes with a pause between them to nail the brew temperature.
Maybe not the case for Alexia.

With no flushes before (or between) shots, I pulled 8 consecutive 2.5 oz shots in 18 minutes. For the first 5 shots, the average shot temp was 202.7F (measured with Scace device).

For the first 5 shots, highest average temp was 203.3F, lowest 202.0F. All within a ± 0.7F band.

The first shot was the "coolest" of the 5, but was only 0.7F below the average. Maybe this is also what you found on the Amica but I probably would forgive a variation that small.

(I have since dialed the temperatures down a little, but am seeing the same level of consistency at my preferred 200F shot temperature).

Jim

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Compass Coffee
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#8: Post by Compass Coffee »

jggall01 wrote:Maybe not the case for Alexia.

With no flushes before (or between) shots, I pulled 8 consecutive 2.5 oz shots in 18 minutes. For the first 5 shots, the average shot temp was 202.7F (measured with Scace device).

For the first 5 shots, highest average temp was 203.3F, lowest 202.0F. All within a ± 0.7F band.

The first shot was the "coolest" of the 5, but was only 0.7F below the average. Maybe this is also what you found on the Amica but I probably would forgive a variation that small.

(I have since dialed the temperatures down a little, but am seeing the same level of consistency at my preferred 200F shot temperature).

Jim
I'd be curious to see if a quick ~2oz flush before the first shot in a series completely stablizes the first shot in the series, ie brings the group solid up to temp. This is what I understand the recommended procedure is for the Brewtus and what I observed the few days I had one to play with last year.
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

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TimEggers (original poster)

#9: Post by TimEggers (original poster) »

It's official...I have $1150 and an itchy mouse finger. I hear http://www.chriscoffee.com calling my name...

Man I can't wait!

Question: Is the p-stat upgrade worthwhile? It comes down to the p-stat or the bottomless porta for an extra. Which one though?
Tim Eggers
http://www.facebook.com/TimEggers
LMWDP #202

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Compass Coffee
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#10: Post by Compass Coffee » replying to TimEggers »

Upgraded pstat likely not to make much difference in the actually performance initially but should have better long term performance and life expectancy.

Before clicking that mouse I'd give Chris a call and see what/if they have any buyers remorse etc. machines. Chris gave me a steal of a deal on my Bricoletta. I'm talking a $1499 regular price and sale priced forever at 1st Line for $1349 for $800 inc. s/h! (not a buyers remorse, extremely slightly bent front of frame drip tray area)
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com