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MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine Review: Advanced Features on a Budget

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

Our review process | Our team

It’s hard to find a budget espresso machine that’s actually worth your money. That’s why I decided to write this MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine review. This baby is affordable, sleek and supposedly great at its job: brewing quality espresso.

It’s hard to find a budget espresso machine that’s actually worth your money. That’s why I decided to write this MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine review. This baby is affordable, sleek and supposedly great at its job: brewing quality espresso.

Without further ado, let’s look at what could make the MiiCoffee Apex a great budget- and beginner-friendly machine!

Great value

MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine

Punches above its weight

Very affordable

Sleek, minimalist design

Dual heating system

Advanced features

Hard to adjust some settings

Overview: MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine Review

The MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine is a beginner-friendly espresso machine with a handful of adjustability features.

As it happens, the basic model of this espresso machine has been around the coffee scene for years, sold under different names in different countries. In this case, the machine is produced in China and sold under the name MiiCoffee.

With a $499.00 price tag, the MiiCoffee Apex is very affordable, especially considering that it has a dual heating system. 

MiiCoffee also sells an affordable single dose coffee grinder, the MiiCoffee DF64. Get both products and you’ll have an espresso grinder and a home espresso machine for less than $1,000.

Needless to say, that is a huge bargain for what you’re getting. Even better, the MiiCoffee Apex isn’t your average entry-level budget machine. Rather, it’s got an adjustable preinfusion time, optional manual and automatic settings, shot control and a PID controller.

Plus, as I mentioned, the Apex features a dual heating system, with a stainless steel brew boiler and a designated thermoblock for steaming. In other words, the MiiCoffee Apex offers high end features in a compact and affordable package.

While some of these features are a bit inconvenient or difficult to access, I’m just grateful that MiiCoffee offers them in the first place.

MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine Features

Now that you know the basics of this MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine review, let’s break it down further.

Size and Design

The MiiCoffee Apex is a compact home espresso machine with a minimalist design. It has a width of 9 inches (22.9 centimeters), a depth of 11 inches (28 centimeters) and a height of 15 inches (38.1 centimeters).

Still, it would be best to avoid placing the Apex beneath overhanging cabinets. This is to ensure access to the removable 57.5-ounce (1.7-liter) water tank, which lifts up from the back and can be filled through a hinge door on the lid.

MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine Size and Design

On that note, the water tank is transparent to allow you to monitor water levels. This is important seeing as there are no sensors to alert you to low levels. However, the removable plastic and steel drip tray does have a red float to remind you to empty it out.

The Apex is heavier than you’d expect from a budget machine, coming in at 23 pounds (10.4 kilograms). That said, there is a good bit of stainless steel in the design. This includes the brushed stainless steel appliance body, which is boxy and modern.

Other design features on the Apex include a stainless steel cup warmer and black plastic accents on the portafilter handle, steam wand and steam knob.

Plus, the buttons, PID display and portafilter handle tip are all ringed with shiny metal pieces, which look really nice.

All in all, the design of the MiiCoffee Apex is very simple yet sleek, making the Apex look more expensive than it is.

The only big downfall I can see in the design is the small cup clearance beneath the portafilter spouts. More on that a bit later in this MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine review.

User Interface

The basic interface of this baby is pretty simple. There are three buttons on the left side of the machine: power, manual extraction and automatic extraction. The bottom two buttons flash while the machine warms up. Incidentally, the icons next to these aren’t the most intuitive, but you can figure it out pretty quickly.

Importantly, the automatic button is where all your settings for brew time and preinfusion time are saved. Allow me to emphasize that last part: there is no preinfusion in the manual mode, only in automatic mode.

Beyond the buttons, there’s a LED display for the PID controller, which you navigate via plus and minus buttons. Plus, there’s a manometer and a steam wand knob. 

Simple and easy enough, right?

Well, as soon as you want to make adjustments to your brew recipe it’ll get a bit annoying. In particular, adjusting the preinfusion time is confusing. I’ll get to that in a bit. What’s worse, setting the brew time for the automatic shot is a real pain.

Let’s say you want to set your brew time for 35 seconds. Well, you have to press and hold the automatic button for the entire 35 seconds. I’ll admit that doesn’t sound like a long time, but when you’re standing there motionless, your finger pressing on a hard and cold button for 35 seconds, it’ll feel like a long time!

My advice? Stretch your fingers, get into a comfortable athletic stance and make sure you get a good grip.

PID Temperature Control

MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine PID Temperature Control

Unlike many budget machines, the MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine features PID temperature control. In fact, there’s a generous range of 85-102 degrees Celsius (185-215 degrees Fahrenheit) for the brewing temperature.

Admittedly, I don’t know anyone who wants to brew espresso at 102 degrees Celsius (215 degrees Fahrenheit), and I’m doubtful that it’s even possible. But kudos to MiiCoffee for the offer!

What’s more, the PID controller has an LED display and is easy to control. Simply press and hold the plus button to get into programming mode, then navigate using the plus and minus buttons.

Even better, the PID display automatically turns into a shot timer and steaming timer when you pull shots and steam milk.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like you can switch the temperature unit to Fahrenheit. So, those of you that were brought up with the Imperial system will need to have a Celsius-to-Fahrenheit calculator on hand.

Dual Boilers

Technically the Apex doesn’t have dual boilers but rather a dual heating system. Still, this is one of the biggest pros of this budget espresso machine. After all, you don’t often find a dual heating system in a machine in this price range.

Anyway, the MiiCoffee Apex features a 18.6-ounce (550-milliliter) stainless steel brew boiler and a dedicated thermoblock for steaming milk.

This is great because it means there is no lag time between pulling a shot and steaming milk. Plus, you can trust that your brew temperature will remain stable, without fluctuating after you steam milk.

Still, with only one small pump the machine can’t perform two functions at once. Consequently, those looking to pull shots and steam milk simultaneously will need to look into a heat exchanger espresso machine or dual boiler.

On another note, these heating systems boast a lightning-fast heat-up time of only 5 minutes. Of course, I’d still recommend preheating for at least 15 minutes if you have the time.

After you’ve brewed your morning cup, the Apex will go into Eco Mode after a period of disuse to save energy.

Pre Infusion

Before I get into this, I’ll briefly discuss the pump pressure.

The vibratory pump doesn’t have an over-pressure valve (OPV), so you can’t adjust the pressure itself. Rather, to manipulate the pressure you change the water flow rate with the set screw above the manometer.

While the set screw is easy to access, this is already a bit complicated and not user-friendly. Now, enter the preinfusion function.

It’s nice that this budget espresso machine offers an adjustable preinfusion setting at all. That said, the process is confusing, not intuitive and a little inconvenient. I guess you get what you pay for.

This MiiCoffee Apex allows you to change two aspects of preinfusion: preinfusion time and preinfusion delay or pause. I’ll be honest, I had to look the difference up and I still don’t quite understand what this means for your final shot. I suspect I’ll get a better idea once I’m able to play around with the Apex myself.

Basically, the Apex’s preinfusion works by turning the pump on with low water flow for a set number of seconds. But then, the pump also turns off and stops dispelling water for a set number of seconds.

Incidentally, you can customize both these times separately using two different buttons. But I’ll admit doing so is a bit complicated. For the preinfusion time (how long it drips water into the basket), press and hold the center button.

Then for the preinfusion delay time (the pause between pre infusion water flow and renewed flow for full extraction), press and hold the minus button on the PID controller.

Since this process is kinda tricky, I won’t say much else about preinfusion in this initial MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine review. After all, I need to figure out the Apex’s quirks before I tell you about them.

Portafilter

MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine Portafilter

The MiiCoffee Apex comes with a split 58mm stainless steel portafilter. It seems pretty sturdy, even with the plastic handle. Plus, there’s a nice silvery bit on the tip of the handle that looks pretty stylish.

That said, the handle unscrews, so you can always replace it with a wood handle without having to buy a whole other portafilter.

Even better, since the portafilter is a standard size, the world is your oyster – at least in regards to espresso accessories.

Honestly, I’d even recommend investing in a bottomless portafilter. Importantly, a bottomless portafilter allows you to see your shot as it pulls and check for extraction inconsistencies.

What’s more, the Apex has a pretty limited cup clearance with the split spouts hanging down. If you like pulling shots on a coffee scale, your favorite espresso cup may not fit under the split portafilter.

Finally, before I move on to the next section of this MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine review, I should mention that there’s a 3 way solenoid valve in the group head. Fortunately, this valve prevents a soupy mess in the portafilter basket and makes clean-up far easier.

Steam Wand

With a designated thermoblock for steaming milk, it’s clear that quality milk froth is a priority in the Apex’s design. That said, the steam wand leaves a bit to be desired.

I’ll start off by saying what’s nice about this steam wand. For one thing, it’s stainless steel with a one-hole steam tip. As it happens, the Apex used to come with a three-hole tip but several customer complaints over poor steaming quality brought an end to that design pretty quickly.

With this upgrade, the end result of the Apex’s steam wand is thick and creamy microfoam. What’s more, since there’s a separate thermoblock there is no lag time between pulling shots and steaming milk. You still can’t perform these actions simultaneously, however.

All that seems pretty standard and good, right? Still, I’m left with a big complaint: the steaming process is quite slow on the MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine.

It takes a bit for the steam wand to get going. While I always recommend purging the steam wand for a second or two before steaming milk, this step is absolutely necessary with the Apex.

In fact, you really need to purge for several seconds before steaming milk for your first drink of the day. Otherwise, the steam wand ends up dribbling hot water into the milk pitcher while the pressure and temperature ramp up.

Once that process is done, you’ll still need to stand at the wand for a minute or more to steam a standard 12-16 ounce (354-673 milliliter) drink.

Admittedly, a one minute steam time doesn’t sound too bad. Still, what about when you’re exhausted, late for work or find yourself making several milk drinks a day? That time adds up fast.

Accessories

The MiiCoffee Apex is seriously punching above its weight class with this loaded accessory kit.

A little spoiler: MiiCoffee even gives you a metal tamper! Plenty of espresso machines that cost three times as much as the Apex will only include a plastic tamper, so this feels pretty special.

Admittedly, the tamper isn’t the best quality; it seems to be a little loose in the basket and the plastic handle won’t survive much force for long. Still, a metal tamper is certainly a nicer gift than a plastic one. Plus, it’ll work well enough until you invest in a proper espresso tamper

With that said, I’ll get on with this MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine review. Here are the extra goodies you can expect in your box:

  • 58mm split portafilter

  • Single basket

  • Double basket

  • Backflush disc

  • Tamper

  • Cleaning brush

  • Plastic coffee scoop

How to Use the MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine

I’m going to save the initial start-up and the programming processes for my hands-on MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine review, since these steps can be a bit complicated.

Instead, I’ll just say that using this thing in its basic manual mode is pretty straight forward. In fact, even newbies should be able to get the hang of it pretty quickly.

MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine How to Use

In short, grind some espresso beans in an espresso grinder, then tamp with firm pressure and place the portafilter in the group head. Next, tare an espresso cup on a coffee scale. Don’t forget to use a short cup so it fits under the spouts.

Finally, press the middle button to start the shot. At this point, keep an eye on the shot timer and your scale, and press the button again to stop the extraction.

Since the Apex has a dedicated thermoblock for steaming milk, you can begin steaming right away.

MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine Cleaning

As always, I’ve already got a thorough guide to cleaning and descaling espresso coffee makers. Consequently, I’ll save my (virtual) breath and leave that explanation to my past self, 2022 Arne. He was a great guy and had lots to say. For what it’s worth, the guidelines haven’t changed much since then.

All jokes aside, MiiCoffee includes a backflush disc and cleaning brush to give you a jumpstart on your cleaning journey. Plus, you can always use the included plastic coffee scoop to measure out cleaning products like Cafiza.

After all, your coffee beans deserve better than a cheap coffee scoop!

MiiCoffee Apex Technical Specifications

MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine
Manufacturer

MiiCoffee

Model number

Apex

Product category

Manual espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Color options

Stainless Steel

Milk frother

Steam wand

User interface

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

1

Portafilter size

58 mm

Tamping

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

57.5 fl oz / 1.7 l

Number of boilers

2

Pump pressure

11 bar

Maximum cup height

3.5 in / 8.9 cm

Grinder

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

N/A

Specialty drinks

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1450 W

Weight

23.0 lb / 10.4 kg

Dimensions

15.0 x 9.0 x 11.0 in
38.1 x 22.9 x 27.9 cm

Warranty

1 year

Notes

Included Accessories: User Manual, 2x filter baskets, single hole steam wand tip, group brush, coffee scoop, tamper

Current price on Amazon

$499.00

All specifications

MiiCoffee Apex vs Gaggia Classic Pro

Gaggia Classic Pro Overview

Given the Gaggia Classic Pro costs $399.00, these two machines are in the same general price range.

What’s more, both are budget and beginner-friendly espresso machines with modern designs and basic features. So, which should you pick?

Importantly, the Classic Pro has been around for over 30 years and is still considered a reliable and excellent home espresso machine. In comparison, the Apex is still taking baby steps through the espresso world.

That said, the Apex has some extra features under its belt: a dual heating system, adjustable preinfusion time, automatic shot control and a PID controller with an adjustable brew temperature.

Meanwhile, the Classic Pro has only a single boiler and no extra bells or whistles. Despite this, the Classic Pro continues to be one of the most popular espresso machines on the market. Maybe all these high end features aren’t so important in the long run?

Basically, here are my two cents: if you want all the fancy gadgets, the obvious choice is the MiiCoffee Apex. But since this is a new budget machine, these features don’t work all that well and may not stand the test of time.

With this context, it could make sense to start with the time-tested Classic Pro and invest in an actual prosumer espresso machine down the road.

See Also: Gaggia Classic Pro Review

MiiCoffee Apex vs Gaggia Classic Pro Comparison Chart

MiiCoffee Apex Espresso MachineGaggia Classic Pro
Manufacturer

MiiCoffee

Gaggia

Model number

Apex

RI9380/46

Product category

Manual espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Color options

Stainless Steel

Black, Chrome, White

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

User interface

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

1

Memo function only

Portafilter size

58 mm

58 mm

Tamping

Manual

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

57.5 fl oz / 1.7 l

71.0 fl oz / 2.1 l

Number of boilers

2

1

Pump pressure

11 bar

15 bar

Maximum cup height

3.5 in / 8.9 cm

3.3 in / 8.4 cm

Grinder

N/A

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

N/A

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

N/A

N/A

Specialty drinks

1

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

No

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1450 W

1450 W

Weight

23.0 lb / 10.4 kg

18.7 lb / 8.5 kg

Dimensions

15.0 x 9.0 x 11.0 in
38.1 x 22.9 x 27.9 cm

14.2 x 9.5 x 8.0 in
36.1 x 24.1 x 20.3 cm

Warranty

1 year

2 years

Notes

Included Accessories: User Manual, 2x filter baskets, single hole steam wand tip, group brush, coffee scoop, tamper

Included Accessories: Tamper, Coffee scoop, 4 x Filter baskets, Instruction manual.

Current price on Amazon

$499.00

$399.00

MiiCoffee Apex Espresso MachineGaggia Classic Pro
Manufacturer

MiiCoffee

Gaggia

Model number

Apex

RI9380/46

Product category

Manual espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Stainless steel

Color options

Stainless Steel

Black, Chrome, White

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

User interface

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

1

Memo function only

Portafilter size

58 mm

58 mm

Tamping

Manual

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

57.5 fl oz / 1.7 l

71.0 fl oz / 2.1 l

Number of boilers

2

1

Pump pressure

11 bar

15 bar

Maximum cup height

3.5 in / 8.9 cm

3.3 in / 8.4 cm

Grinder

N/A

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

N/A

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

N/A

N/A

Specialty drinks

1

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

No

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1450 W

1450 W

Weight

23.0 lb / 10.4 kg

18.7 lb / 8.5 kg

Dimensions

15.0 x 9.0 x 11.0 in
38.1 x 22.9 x 27.9 cm

14.2 x 9.5 x 8.0 in
36.1 x 24.1 x 20.3 cm

Warranty

1 year

2 years

Notes

Included Accessories: User Manual, 2x filter baskets, single hole steam wand tip, group brush, coffee scoop, tamper

Included Accessories: Tamper, Coffee scoop, 4 x Filter baskets, Instruction manual.

Current price on Amazon

$499.00

$399.00

Verdict: MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine Review

Great value

MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine

Punches above its weight

Very affordable

Sleek, minimalist design

Dual heating system

Advanced features

Hard to adjust some settings

Now that we’ve come to the end of this MiiCoffee Apex Espresso Machine review, I’m even more curious to try the machine out myself.

Are the advanced features like the adjustable brew time and preinfusion time really all that they seem to be, or are they a budget mimicry of prosumer features?

Check back soon for my updated review and we’ll find out!

What do you think of the MiiCoffee Apex? Have you used the DF64 grinder? Let’s nerd out in the comments section below!

Your coffee expert
Team Image
Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

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