Quickmill Andreja Premium
Steaming Performance

The profiles of the three E61s shown in the chart in How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love HXs are compelling evidence for the argument that temperature stability is not a distinguishing characteristic among prosumer E61 espresso machines. In terms of espresso performance, the similarities didn't stop there. After some minor adjustments and using the same portafilter baskets, all three machines used the same grind setting and produced similar double espresso shots.

I've read time and again a new espresso enthusiast's laments about the difficulties of frothing milk. Often other members suggest replacing the stock tip, leading me to ask myself in frustration, "Why can't manufacturers provide a stock tip that works for the home barista?!?" The good news is that all three of the espresso machines below are well capable of producing excellent microfoam. The speed with which they accomplish it varies dramatically, as shown in the table below.

8 ounces

10 ounces

12 ounces

Andreja Premium




Giotto Premium




Isomac Rituale




    Seconds required to heat water from 40 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (boiler pressure of 1.2 bar)

The Andreja and Giotto Premium have the same swivel "no burn" steam arms and swivel water taps. They also have similarly-sized boiler, although Andreja's is oriented vertically and the Giotto's is oriented horizontally. The different boiler orientations and water levels likely account for the Giotto's slight speed advantage, although it is barely perceptible in practical use, especially when comparing their performance while the boilers are actively heating. The Rituale, in sharp contrast, froths slowly in comparison.

Some owners actually prefer a more modest steaming pace since it gives them additional time to "finesse" the development of microfoam. My personal preference is fast and rocking frothing, which the two top performers delivered, nearing the stretching and texturing ability of a commercial machine. Their stock tips are also good choices, allowing for both fine microfoam and thicker, airier microfoam by adjusting the time and depth of the stretching phase (if these terms are unfamiliar, I recommend The Milk Frothing Guide as an excellent reference).

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