Quick Mill Alexia Review: For Home Baristas or Mad Scientists?

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

I’ve been planning to write this Quick Mill Alexia review for quite some time, for one reason: lever espresso machines are just so dang cool.

I’ve been planning to write this Quick Mill Alexia review for quite some time, for one reason: lever espresso machines are just so dang cool.

Here’s a secret: It has always been my dream to be an old school Italian barista slinging shots in the streets of Rome. What better way to accomplish that dream than by testing out a modern, prosumer iteration of a lever espresso machine?

While I wait for the Alexia Evo to arrive on my doorstep, I decided to get a bit ahead of myself and write this initial review. Keep reading my Quick Mill Alexia review to learn more about this cool home espresso machine!

Classic design

Quick Mill Alexia Evo

Ideal for espresso nerds

High quality build

Stunning design

58mm portafilter

PID controller

Professional steam wand

Can’t steam milk and make espresso simultaneously

Overview: Quick Mill Alexia Review

Quick Mill is an Italian manufacturer that’s been producing coffee machines since 1945. Based in Milan, they make all kinds of coffee equipment, including espresso grinders, super automatic espresso machines and commercial espresso machines.

As it happens, all Quick Mill machines are designed in Italy and made with quality materials at their Milan headquarters.

The Quick Mill Alexia Evo is a lever style prosumer espresso machine. Its compact size and high quality construction makes it a win-win for espresso fanatics looking for a small and durable home espresso machine that’ll last for years to come.

With that said, keep in mind that I wouldn’t recommend this espresso machine to latte lovers. In fact, there’s a two minute lag time between pulling a shot and steaming milk. This is because the boiler takes time to heat up to steaming temperatures.

Still, the stainless steel single boiler performs beautifully for espresso and occasional milk drinks. Plus, the multi-directional anti-burn steam wand is great for latte art.

What’s more, the Alexia’s PID controller enables you to choose your ideal brewing temperature. This feature, especially when paired with the thermosiphon circulation in the commercial 58-millimeter group, means you’re looking at a future of perfectly extracted shots.

If you’re a techy sort, you can even adjust the pressure in the vibratory pump by taking a screwdriver to the expansion valve adjustment screw underneath the stainless steel cup warmer.

Finally and most importantly, lever machines make you feel like a super cool home barista. Besides, isn’t that what we’re all after?

With a $1550 price tag, the Alexia Evo certainly ain’t cheap. That said, it represents good value for many when compared to other prosumers in its class. Even better, a two-year warranty should help ease any doubts about buying this time-tested gem.

Quick Mill Alexia Evo Features

Now that I’ve gone over the basics of this Quick Mill Alexia review, let’s break it down further.

Size and Design

The Alexia Evo is a compact machine, with a 9-inch (22.9-centimeter) wide footprint, a depth of 17 inches (40 centimeters) and a height of 15.3 inches (38.7 centimeters).

Despite its small size, this espresso machine is quite heavy, weighing in at 38 pounds (17 kilograms). And that doesn’t even include the water weight in the 101-ounce (3-liter) removable water reservoir or the 46-ounce (1.3-liter) capacity of the drip tray.

Still, there’s a good reason for the Alexia Evo’s heft: the design includes an abundance of stainless steel. This includes the body and frame, as well as the single boiler, drip tray, portafilters and steam wand.

What’s more, this lever style espresso machine has a very functional design. For example, the top of the Alexia Evo doubles as a cup warmer, while the anti-burn multi-directional steam wand is great for frothing milk. Plus, the vibratory pump is supposedly pretty quiet.

Okay, now let’s talk style. This espresso machine is gorgeous, with sleek lines and an industrial vibe. You can tell this is a high quality machine just by looking at it!

That said, I’ll admit that I find the Alexia Evo overwhelming to look at.

I gave you a hint to how I feel about this machine’s aesthetic in the title of this Quick Mill Alexia review. There’s so much going on in the front of the machine that it looks a bit like something from a science laboratory.

What’s more, the mirror-like stainless steel body reflects all these bits and pieces, making it doubly busy.

At the same time, I recognize that a busy design like this is a classic look. In fact, it’s possible I’ve gotten too accustomed to the minimalist designs of more modern espresso machines.

User Interface

Quick Mill Alexia User Interface

As I mentioned, the design of the Alexia Evo is a little much. Unfortunately, this translates to a mildly confusing user interface too.

The user interface consists of a brew lever, lots of switches, a PID controller with buttons, a pressure gauge and some lights. I suppose that sounds simple enough, but I suspect it’ll take some time for all that information to become second-nature.

Honestly, just the fact that I had to read through the manual a few times to figure out what all the switches and lights mean says a lot about the lack of user-friendly controls. I much prefer working with more intuitive home espresso machines that don’t require me to study instructions.

Lucky for you, I’m here to share what I learned.

First, there’s a three-way power switch to turn the machine on, off or to fill the boiler. Below that is the pump switch, which you turn on to get a stream of hot water from the steam wand. The last switch on the front of the Alexia Evo is the steam switch, which heats the boiler to an adequate steaming temperature.

There are three lights next to the switches, but they don’t exactly match the switches. From top to bottom, these lights represent power, heating and steaming.

Fortunately, the rest of the user interface is pretty straightforward. There’s a knob for the steam wand, a manometer to monitor the pump pressure, and a brew lever to pull the shot. 

Finally, there’s a brew switch underneath the removable drip tray and a PID controller with a display and arrows to change the brew temperature.

Admittedly, I can’t figure out from the user manual what the brew switch does. I suppose I’ll find out when the Alexia Evo arrives at my doorstep.

Group Head

The Quick Mill Alexia Evo features a commercial-style 58mm E-61 group head. Since that’s a pretty standard size, you can switch out your portafilter for something more stylish if you’d like. Plus, it’d be easy to replace the included tamper with a nicer stainless steel one. More on that in a bit.

What’s more, thermosiphon circulation keeps the group nice and toasty. This technology is a hallmark of prosumer and commercial espresso machines. In short, it helps maintain thermal stability in the group head by cycling hot water through the group.

Meanwhile, a PID controller ensures that the water entering the group for extraction is the correct temperature.

All in all, this stainless steel group head leads to impressive thermal stability and is a big contributor to the Alexia Evo’s prosumer status.

Portafilter

Quick Mill Alexia Portafilter

The Alexia Evo comes equipped with two 58mm stainless steel portafilters with black handles: one single spout portafilter and one split portafilter. Plus, an included backflush disc is ideal for cleaning the group head.

While I’m on the subject, I might as well mention the included cleaning brush. Though it’s not the best quality, it’ll work just fine to keep your portafilter, shower screen and group head squeaky clean.

While I would’ve liked to see a bottomless portafilter, I appreciate the convenience of the split portafilter for splitting shots. I’ve also come to prefer the style and comfort of portafilters with wooden handles, though I admit wood doesn’t quite fit with the Alexia Evo’s design.

PID Temperature Control

Like pretty much all mid-range and top-shelf home espresso machines on the market, the Quick Mill Alexia Evo features PID temperature control.

Standing for Proportional-Integral-Derivative controller, a PID is a fancy gadget that enables you to choose precise brewing temperatures.

I’ll admit that I’ve seen nicer PID controllers. This one has a pretty small screen with blueish-white numbers that look like they belong on a microwave.

That said, the navigation for the PID controller is very simple, so I can’t complain too much. You can set the brew temperature with the up and down arrows, and even switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit.

Even better, the PID controller display automatically turns into a shot timer while you pull a shot.

Boiler

Latte lovers will be disappointed to hear that the Quick Mill Alexia Evo has only a single boiler.

Since this isn’t a dual boiler or heat exchanger machine, home baristas won’t be able to pull shots and steam milk simultaneously. Even worse, there’s a two minute lag time between pulling a shot and steaming milk, since the boiler has to heat up to an adequate steaming temperature.

A bit of math: if you’re a two person household making four milk drinks a day, that’s a total of 56 minutes per week spent waiting for the boiler to heat up. Needless to say, that time is better spent elsewhere.

That said, I still consider this to be a great espresso machine for espresso fanatics who enjoy an occasional milk drink. Importantly, the 25-ounce (750-milliliter) stainless steel insulated boiler is durable and well-made.

Oh, and I should mention that the Alexia Evo takes about 30 to 45 minutes to thoroughly heat up for brewing.

Though the boiler is on the small side, a 101-ounce (3-liter) removable water reservoir makes up for that.

Still, you’ll want to take care not to let the water levels drop too low. In fact, a magnetic sensor in the Alexia Evo will even cut power to the boiler if it detects low water levels. While this can be annoying, boiler protection is typically a good thing in my book.

Fortunately, the low water sensor will beep at you to alert you to a low water level. And when it’s time to fill the reservoir, the tank is easy to remove from a hinge door in the top of the machine.

Finally, keep in mind that it’s safer to always remove the reservoir before filling it in order to prevent damage to electrical components.

Steam Wand

For those occasional milk drinks, the Quick Mill Alexia pulls through with a commercial style steam wand.

This milk frother is made of durable and anti-corrosive stainless steel. Plus, a no-burn design keeps your fingers safe. Even better, the multi-directional steam wand means you can make competition-worthy latte art with ease.

Meanwhile, two holes in the steam wand tip ensures premium steaming pressure for perfectly textured milk.

What’s more, the steam wand doubles as a hot water dispenser for americanos, tea and preheating cups. Simply switch on the pump switch and open the steam wand knob to start a flow of hot water.

With that said, remember to always put the pump switch back to its original position when you’re done with it. You definitely don’t want to try steaming milk and instead end up shooting water into your milk pitcher!

Tamping

My apologies for repeating my espresso tamper rant today, but it must be done.

With such a high price tag, I expected to find a higher quality tamper in the Alexia’s espresso accessories. Well, imagine my shock when I discovered that Quick Mill gives you a cheap 2-in-1 tamper and coffee scoop with your new prosumer espresso machine. What’s worse, it’s made of flimsy plastic.

Honestly, I was on my way to being enamored with the Alexia Evo until I found out about the tamper. This stunt makes Quick Mill lose a few brownie points in my eyes.

For so many reasons, your espresso preparation deserves a high quality tamper. For one thing, heavier and more durable tampers make it easier to tamp with firm and even pressure. 

What’s more, tampers with ergonomic wood handles are much easier on your joints. Do you know how many professional baristas have carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis from improperly using a low quality tamper?

So, a note to all espresso manufacturers: can we move on from this unfortunate trend, please?

Oh, and before I forget: if you’re using the single spout portafilter, you won’t be able to rest the portafilter spout on the counter to tamp. This’ll result in a lopsided mess in your basket and uneven extraction.

So, it’s a good idea to invest in a non-slip tamping mat and only rest the edge of the portafilter on the counter. Otherwise, simply use the split portafilter to pull shots.

How to Use the Quick Mill Alexia Evo

I’ll explain this process more thoroughly in my hands-on Quick Mill Alexia review. As I mentioned, the user interface is a wee bit complicated and I want to make sure I get it right.

Still, I’ll do my best to give you a brief introduction.

As always, wash and thoroughly dry all removable parts before your first use. This includes the water reservoir, drip tray and portafilter. Next, check in with the dreaded user manual to learn about the initial start-up process, including filling the water reservoir.

When that’s all said and done, turn the three-way power switch to the fill setting. This will fill the boiler and get it ready to preheat. Then, move the power switch to the on setting and wait about half an hour while your espresso machine heats up to brewing temperatures. The heating light will let you know when the boiler is at the right temperature and ready for brewing.

By the way, at this point you can set your preferred brew temperature using the PID controller. If you’re new to this and unsure which temperature to choose, not to worry. Incidentally, 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 degrees Celsius) is the Alexia Evo’s default temperature and is a good starting point for most espresso beans.

Once the machine is heated up and ready to go, you know the drill. Dose, grind and tamp your espresso grounds, then put the portafilter into the group head. Next, tare an espresso cup on a coffee scale and place them on the drip tray.

When you’re ready to brew, raise the brew lever. Once your shot gets to your desired specs, lower the brew lever to stop the shot.

If you want steamed milk, switch on the steam switch and wait two minutes while the boiler heats up.

Quick Mill Alexia Cleaning

In my guide to cleaning and descaling coffee machines, I offer a thorough tutorial on cleaning espresso machines. So rather than repeat myself, I’ll focus the end of my Quick Mill Alexia review on some preventative maintenance.

First thing’s first: always use filtered water. A prosumer espresso machine like the Alexia Evo is a big investment, and filtered water will help keep it clean and working properly for years to come.

What’s more, always rinse your portafilter and group head immediately after pulling a shot. Not only does this ensure your next shot will taste just as good as the first, but it also prevents a build-up of coffee oils that would require a deeper clean.

Plus, spent coffee grounds are great for gardens and composts. Personally, I’ve used them for everything from fertilizing houseplants to keeping cats out of my garden.

What’s more, some innovative folks use their coffee grounds to grow mushrooms. Aren’t you eager to get your espresso grounds out of your portafilter and onto their next life?

Anyway, you’ll need to backflush from time to time in order to keep your group head, shower screen and gasket free of coffee residue. For what it’s worth, I like to backflush with water every couple days and occasionally run espresso machine cleaner like Cafiza through the group.

Finally, it’s good practice to wipe your steam wand with a damp microfiber cloth immediately after steaming milk. This prevents sticky milk residue from building up on the wand tip.

Quick Mill Alexia Technical Specifications

Quick Mill Alexia Evo
Manufacturer

Quick Mill

Model number

0970-A-CEVO

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

101.4 fl oz / 3.0 l

Number of boilers

1

Pump pressure

15 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

1400 W

Weight

38.0 lb / 17.2 kg

Dimensions

15.9 x 9.5 x 17.5 in
40.4 x 24.1 x 44.5 cm

Warranty

1 year

Notes

Included Accessories: User manual, single portafilter, double portafilter, 2 x filter baskets, blind basket, group brush, coffee scoop/tamper

All specifications

Verdict: Quick Mill Alexia Review

Classic design

Quick Mill Alexia Evo

Ideal for espresso nerds

High quality build

Stunning design

58mm portafilter

PID controller

Professional steam wand

Can’t steam milk and make espresso simultaneously

So there you have it, my Quick Mill Alexia review. I can’t be more excited to try this prosumer espresso machine out. What’s more, I’m betting the style and user interface will be a little more appealing in person!

If you’re considering this purchase, make sure to check back soon for my updated review.

What do you think of the Quick Mill Alexia Evo? Do you have any particular questions for my next look at this prosumer beauty? Let’s nerd out in the comment 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

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Table of Contents