Very interesting machine! Does the flex of the Group to Body bother you? What else moves around inside the machine to accommodate the flex when you are pulling the lever?
Very nice looking machine! Thanks for sharing :-)
There's been a few mentions about this machine on the forum, and I just thought I would start a thread about it. I purchased on together with a few other forum members, and I've been very impressed so far.
-Leverprofessionalgroup (It's a Bosco lever group 58mm which means parts and group handles are easily sourced)
-Automatic reloadingof the boilerwithelectronic levelprobe
-Safety thermostat withreignition
-Manometerto control theboiler pressure
-Water tank:3lt with mains connecting switch and fittings.
- Plumbable drip tray
Here's few photos I took recently of my machine. Sorry about the iDevice photos.
QuickMill Vs Ponte Vecchio Lusso
Front, I've raised my bench now to level with the blue ledge at the back, which has improve useage.
These appear to be machine stainless steel?
Plumbable drip tray, which can be change back to move the machine and switch back to tank.
I had to relearn how to tamp, after getting very lazy with my Ponte Vecchio Lusso's 45mm baskets. I love the wands, because they are cool to touch and the taps only take just over 1 turn to fully open. Steaming tip only has 2 holes which means steaming is a little slower but very controllable. I might try a 3 or 4 hole tip later. It's a great machine to use, very easy, just pull the lever down, and prefuse for 6-10 secs. Then lift the lever and watch that beautiful coffee pour. Shots seem to be around the 40ml size.
Here's a video (my very first). It was very early days with the machine, and I've improved significantly since.
The finish is nice and shiny, but I did have to rub of a few marks around the edges. They looks like residue from the cutting process. It just rubbed off with a cleaning cloth so no biggy.
The only issue I have experienced with the machine is a slightly noisy pump. I think the issue is really that something is touching the case, and causing a vibration but considering it only runs for a few seconds to fill the boiler, I haven't found it a massive issue so far. Heat up times, can be as low as 25mins with a flush to start the thermosyphon, but I've had it on a timer and it's nice and warm at the group handle at 40-45mins anyway.
If your considering a Londinium I, I think you should also have a look at this machine. They both use the same group, a Bosco group.
The machine was purchased from Jack at Sorrentina Coffee, he's a great guy to deal with. I purchased my Ponte Vecchio Lusso from him around 18months ago, and found Jack to be very responsive and helpful. Please contact Jack directly if you are interested in the Quick Mill 0996 Achilles. I'll be happy to answer any questions about the machine should you have any.
Very interesting machine! Does the flex of the Group to Body bother you? What else moves around inside the machine to accommodate the flex when you are pulling the lever?
Very nice looking machine! Thanks for sharing :-)
Advising that Jack is sending one over to take up residence on the Talk Coffee bench.
We expect it to arrive in the next week and yes, it will be on demo for any interested.
I purchased one of these a couple of weeks ago from Jack at Sorrentina, who, as always, has provided excellent service.
Like Lacehim, I am very impressed with the machine. I've actually found it quite easy to pull decent shots, but took Jack & other's advice to grind a lot finer from the start. I am only using the standard basket and PF at the moment, so it may be horrific channelling is being hidden by the PF & spout, but I don't think so. I'm also using a blend at the moment, so it may be with a single origin grind things get a little trickier. I've just invested in a couple of EP baskets & Bogav tamper from Chris @ Talk Coffee, and will see how they go.
It's a big thing - and has a strong spring. You can see there's a bit of squat in the frame and flex in the front metal in Lacehim's video, but I'm not worried about it. The steam power is impressive, and the cool touch wands are a bonus. Oddly, the steam tip has only 2 holes pointing in opposite directions which makes it tricky to get a whirlpool going, but it does mean good control in terms of it doesn't boil your milk in a matter of seconds! The boiler is big and keeps the steam coming without losing too much pressure. The taps themselves are easy to use.
The only disappointment has been the noise of the rotary pump. The drip tray buzzes when it's on and there's another buzzing in the machine somewhere. It isn't a major thing though, and Jack is speaking with Quickmill to see if there is any way it can be addressed.
The other thing is that I was surprised at the total volume of shot. With a double basket and a single pull, you get 35mls. I was hoping to get a double's worth (ie 60mls) from a single pull. Instead I've reverted to making two separate shots. Which means I'm getting a very rich shot in my latte each morning.
I've got mine on a timer to come on about 45mins before I use it and once up to temp it seems very stable in the group.
Thanks for your thoughts sniff,
Ours is due tomorrow and my intention is to get it up onto the bench asap.
I am not overly concerned about the rotary pump noise. More often than not it's just vibration and is generally just a matter of making sure that the motor mounts are suitable and that nothing is touching. I think it would be pretty easy to quieten your machine.
I'm really looking forward to seeing this one.
Last edited by TC; 11th November 2012 at 09:01 AM.
Hello fellow Achille enthusiasts- sorry I haven't posted here to date- I have been too busy and haven't had time to jump on the forum.
thanks for the micro-review Lacehim- like you I am also enjoying my own achille very much. I will adress a few of the issues raised here before I go into detail anout my own daily use of the machine.
Concerning the shot size: I think it is normal for a commercial lever group to pump out a shot in the 30ml range as the shot size is tied to the capacity of the piston chamber. Indeed I think the standard 30ml shot size was determined by the first Gaggia and other lever machines. Today's standard is a direct reflection of the original piston capacities of those groups.
However there are two ways to increase shot size: passive (leaving the lever in the down position before initiating the piston) and non-passive per-infusion (aka the fellini maneuver). I think if you are using double or jumbo baskets a fellini maneuver could be the way to get larger volume shots. Also I often leave the lever down for as long as 15 seconds preinfusion with larger doses.
Next issue the pump: on my own sample machine it was quite noisy and caused a few vibrations. I greatly reduced this by tightening the four mounting screws that you can access at the rear of the machine on the bottom. These four screws have rubber mounts above that secure the pump. Two of them are at the edge of cabinet and have washers on them. I think on my machine one of them was a little loose and this caused most of the vibrations. The pump now runs smooth however it is not exactly quiet. I am not sure how it should sound- as being a lever man I have no real experience with rotary pumps. Mine now sounds a bit like when my washing machine activates and starts filling with water... for what that is worth. I think as Chris mentioned that with some tweaking of the mount and perhaps the flow rate adjuster the pumps could be quietened.
as to shots I found early: grind fine and tamp light- and that works very well for me. Originally I dialed down the p-stat to 1 Bar as that works well on my Lusso lever. However after some testing I put it back to the factory 1.1 bar- which seems better for the Bosco type group. Today I got some precision baskets from talk coffee and my first shot with one was absolutely the perfect pour- maybe 35 seconds with oodles of thick persistent 'tiger striped' crema... Having used the machine for a little over a month I have found it very easy to use- ticks over all day maintaining the ideal temp.
Is it on your bench yet Chris? It would be interesting to see what you think of it considering you've used/stocked a few bigger levers before.
If you get any tweaks that will improve the machine in any way please share them.
Yes Lacehim, it arrived a couple of days ago and we pulled a few shots yesterday.
There is work to do. The pump is NOISY- but I think we'll be able to make a significant difference to that. I am 99% sure that most of the water is being diverted to bypass as the initial fill was slooooooooow. It shouldn't be like this as I have never heard any pump vibe or rotary which is as loud. I am unsure whether this is a QC issue or design. I am certain we can make a dramatic improvement to silence it.
Without having had the covers off it, it seems to be a dipper style setup. This means that the group will cool when the machine is at idle and requires a shot to warm things. Rick Bond aka The Coffee Machinist had his Scace on it and this confirms 93.5 deg C after the blank shot. Thereafter, you're fine back to back in a shot session.
The lever spring appears to be the 10 bar version (there is a 12 bar version as well) and the pressure profile is a beautiful classic lever profile. The lever does require a little more force than our Pompeii, but it's not onerous.
Steam performance is fine, but the tip porting is wide. I intend to try a Giotto tip (which should fit).
One of the surprises was the finish of the machine. It's a whole lot better than I had hoped.
We'll have the covers off it on Saturday and I'll come back to this thread with more observations.
Thanks for the update Chris - reassuring to hear that your initial fill was slow too. Please post some pics after Saturday!
Indeed- thanks Chris for the initial analysis.
I think you may be wrong about the group connection- I am pretty sure it is a thermosyphon connection to the boiler. There are two water pipes that enter the group at the back- and the group heats up faster than I would expect if it was a dipper type. Also the group does not really cool significantly when the machine is left at idle- it stays quite hot to the touch. But I am not 100% sure yet- when I had the cabinet off I neglected to look at this area of the machine really closely and I didn't remove the water tank assembly to get a better look.
On another note my precision baskets arrived (thanks Chris) and they are indeed better to use than the stock baskets that came with the machine. Tamping and dosing is a little easier and overall improved pours were noticeable straight away- a good investment.
as I mentioned I was able to reduce the noise and vibrations from my pump by simply tightening the four bolts that secure it to the base of the machine. I only tightened them a small amount but it made a significant difference. I look forward to seeing if you can achieve more by adjusting the bypass. I will be passing this information back onto QM so hopefully they can improve the pump issue at the factory next time...
Jack, did you have to change the group handle spring to fit the EP ridgeless baskets? Also what size did you get?
Thanks for the information Jack.
I am always happy to be proven wrong!
We'll have a look see on Saturday
I believe basket design can make a difference to your pours (especially with levers). Sometimes, it makes getting the dose and distribution right, a very simple process. This in turn makes the process of "getting acquainted" with your machine, more enjoyable.
Alrighty- today we pulled the covers off...
The noise- was coming from just about everything! We found at least 10 contributors- the most significant being part of the HX circuit hard against the base of the chassis and the saftey valve hard against the top cover. There were also other contacts and the braided to and from the pump- also weird. We intend to work on that during then next week. At this point I would estimate we have reduced the noise by about 60-70%. Motor mounts are fine...
I think that when they went for a 4.5L boiler, it was always going to be tough to cram everything into the chassis. A little more forethought would have made for a better solution. The machine would have been just as good with a 3L boiler and a whole heap of the gotchas would also have been solved.
In a hydraulics sense, there is nothing of concern which can't be attended to. There are also a couple of electrical issues which were "surprising". Again, there are easily fixed, but they do need to be done for the sake of all parties.
At this point, we are estimating 3-4 hours of testing and calibration plus an electrical test and tag will be required for each machine. Most of the issues which need to be attended to really just relate to somewhat careless QC on assembly. Early adopters, you have received an absolute bargain. I was supplied with a RRP of $4.1k yesterday. Given the sophistication of the machine and the pump/motor and extra electrics over similar competitors, that sounds about right.
Progressing on this, we will be providing Jack with a fair few recommendations for revisions which could and should happen during assembly.
This is a really nice machine and the componentry is top notch. It just needs to be "tidied up" to make it right.
Chris, thanks for the info - I'm pleased to see that you've added it to your range.
Did you have any luck with the Giotto tip on the steam wand?
I regret that the Giotto tip will not fit. It is however the same thread used in Izzo machines
While you were under the hood, did you see anything at all in the layout of anti-vacuum valve, tubing etc. etc. that might have been conducive to allowing this to occur-
I have had my Achille for 5 weeks now and the anomoly continues. Mine is (as far as I know) the only one of the initial batch of 6 machines that has this defect. It seems to have completely stumped Quick Mill.
I sent them a video clip of the water level misbehaving on pressure build up. I can send it to you if you would be open to comment.
Is it a dipper or thermosiphon machine?
Last edited by Paolo; 18th November 2012 at 10:00 AM.
At this stage no, but we didn't look for it either.
My techie Phil is a wizard, sol I'll throw the problem at him on Tuesday and see if he can see anything there in the design which would contribute to your problem.
Phil and Rick (aka The Coffee Machinist) think it may be a "hybrid" design which has aspects of both HX fed and lever due to the design of the HX loop and the behaviour of the machine when cold. I didn't have time to stay for that part of the poking and prodding on Saturday- so cannot better explain at this point. Rick visits CS regularly, so perhaps he may see this post and chime in.
By all means post a line to your video if you can
From a very quick observation of the hydraulics it does appear to have a hybrid heat exchanger / dipper feed. There is a HX-style loop from the group to the boiler, but the HX appears to be fed from boiler pressure only, there is no pump input to the HX. So in that sense the HX still functions to heat up the group, but in use it functions the same as a dipper tube. Odd, but it seems to work very well in combination with the much larger than expected boiler. If the boiler was only the normal domestic 1.2L or similar, this design would place a huge load on it.
And most importantly how was the coffee Chris?
I've been getting some excellent pours from my QM Achilles, and very tasty coffees from a triple basket that I got with my OE nakid group handle (Note this wasn't a perfect fit, the lugs are 1mm too thick).
I'm hoping that Chris/Jack can provide some of the info re electrical/pump noise to the early adopters like myself, Sniff & Paolo. At 40kg it's not really worth shipping to Chris or Jack to tweak, but a local coffee tech might be able to look it over if we could give them a list of things to tidy up.
Overall I'm extremely happy with my machine. For me this is the ultimate cure for any upgraditis.
Early days Lacehim,
I am yet to have a good play yet. I have had some goodshots, but no godshots yet (just need to lose an o I guess )
Well, to update this thread, super Phil has created a much quieter kitty kat of a machine. My guesstimate is that 90% of the racket is now gone. The list of mods is extensive..
Still to solve is the reason for the slow fill and we want to do some shot testing and play with temp a bit.
We are close to a machine which meets our quality standards for noise and internal build. Many hours, but well worth the effort.
Good to hear Chris - please keep us posted with developments!
Many thanks Chris, Phil and Rick on your input in bringing the best out of this machine. No doubt present and future Achille owners will all be thankful.
hope this question is not too off the topic. I am just wondering what countries accept machines that are so far off Australian spec/expectations? Do importers typically have to to a lot of fine tuning for their specific market?
not sure if this is ignorant of how the espresso machine trade works but it just seems odd that a lot of the issues mentioned above are not sorted out at the factory in QC.
...just trying to understand things a bit better.
Absolutely, Australian importers generally go to great lengths to ensure their machines are fit for purpose, but you hit the nail on the head - 'fine tuning for their specific market'. That's the reason this place isn't called CoffeeYobs.
Chris, the other fine CS equipment retailers and their respective customers expect a certain standard from their equipment, and it is seldom met right out of the box. In most cases the equipment manufacturers are primarily concerned with mid-range commercial machinery where expectations of tuning and fit and finish are honestly quite low - it does the job, to a price point that the market will support.
So, the upper echelon of domestic machinery is a high margin but low volume sideline for these guys, and the standard approach with new machines seems to be to lob a bunch of components into a case and hope for the best. From my experience, the importers that care are then left with the task of bench testing to their own personal standards, in some cases changing out sub-standard parts, re-wiring, re-calibrating PIDs, adjusting OPVs, etc etc. This is all then fed back to the manufacturer to hopefully be implemented as factory revisions for the first shipment.
Thanks for explaining what we do Rick.
FWIW, this is an extreme case. Most machines which we see are already pretty good. They may need tweaking, but not a full rebuild. This really was pretty much reduced to a boiler, autofill board, pump, motor and group attached to the chassis and then completely remanufactured from there.
To make a list of what Phil has done with this Quickmill is nigh on impossible now as there is so much and some was literally on the fly. He fabricated a bracket, rerouted plenty of the hydraulics, modified some electricals to make them safe and a host of other changes. What I will endeavour to do is take some photos around the machine and list what we remember. Owners can play spot the difference and have a tech implement some changes should they choose.
We'll feed back to Jack for Quickmill as well.
We are confident that we have the best example of this machine in the world now and we will no doubt eventually sell it (at a premium) when someone wants it. Phil's amazing work and big brain need to be compensated accordingly.
Last edited by TC; 22nd November 2012 at 07:55 AM.
ok. thanks to coffee_machinist and Chris for the insight into how things happen.... as soon as price point was mentioned it all starts to make sense.
To update this thread, Phil is planning to make available for purchase a remanufacture kit of bits and pieces used and instructions. He plans to have it available for purchase at a fair price which covers bits and in some way provides a him return for his sweat and I.P.
I'll update once I have further information to add.
Ours is back on the bench and is a totally transformed machine.
It's not quieter, it's actually near silent. Must be shot time!
Updating this thread. Phil had a go at the machine of SniffCoffee this week and again achieved an excellent result. The gotcha is that it seems that there is enough variation between machines to be irritating- so we're in a holding pattern at this stage...
We are not finished with ours. Another set of tests points to the heavier spring in ours and I think that this is contributing to a tendency to channel unless great care is taken. Our plan is to have a go with a softer spring.
I prefer shots from the the espressoparts triple and have ditched the standard double we received. We're getting very close to a great machine.
The biggest improvement is the placebo effect of a near silent machine. Biggest frustration is that the anatomy of the drip tray means that you remove the cover and then tilt the tray backwards towards the machine to remove it. Overfill the tray and you then tip coffee back into the chassis of the machine. For me, this is a what were they thinking moment. This would be a source of frustration to those who cannot drain the drip tray and I can't see how a pull out tray would do anything other than improve the design.
Has there been any feedback to Jack yet? I would like to remove the vibration that the pump is causing fixed. Then I'll be happy. I'll probably get a local coffee tech to sort it out if I can get an idea on what needs done, so that I don't have to ship it to Melbourne and back.
I'll leave the Londinium for Londinium fans.
Agreed.I've been using the triple basket for a few weeks now after receiving my nakid handle. Works very nice, and the triple fits the standard portafilters nicely.
Probably the same, but the anatomy of the Achille is different to most. I have to remove top of the drip tray and then tilt the inner up to remove it. Must try a little more force to see if I'm missing something!You must have a different machine to me Pull the drip tray forward, then you can prise it up with your fingers and lift it right out flat. I've had mine nearly to the brim and got it out without spilling a drop.
Yes, plenty of feedback to Jack.Has there been any feedback to Jack yet? I would like to remove the vibration that the pump is causing fixed. Then I'll be happy. I'll probably get a local coffee tech to sort it out if I can get an idea on what needs done, so that I don't have to ship it to Melbourne and back.
The key issues are to remove the vibration and to make the machine electrically safe. Ours had live, unshielded element terminals no more than a couple of mm away from the stainless cover and this would be an instant electrical fail- so that was a first priority fix.
Last edited by TC; 10th December 2012 at 07:24 AM.
Regarding the electrical issue, can you PM me some details so that I can have a coffee tech fix the issue asap.
Phil has moved the boiler slightly to create a little more clearance. He found some insulative end caps for the wires to the element.
Lacehim & Paolo
I'll PM you a photo of the offending terminals. Crucially whomever works on the machine for you must have it switched off and unplugged!
I've had the machine at home for a week now since Phil finessed it. He covered the offending exposed terminals, and also finessed the internal piping, to a more stable configuration. The machine is a lot more sensible inside now. The noise is much reduced, however the rotary pump itself makes a fair noise in 'tank' mode as it appears the flow restrictors and solenoid that switches the inlet to the tank combine to cause the pump to cavitate. However, when in plumbed in mode the machine is much quieter. So after telling Phil I'll never plumb it in, I thought on the way home - "Why not plumb it in?"
Re dose - I'm weighing 16g and using the espresso parts double basket, and getting consistent pours.
Re the drip tray - mine is like Chris' - you have to tilt it to get it out. I think it's the lip on the bottom of the front panel of the machine.
Thanks to Phil and Chris for their time and expertise - I'm pretty sure I've been cured of upgraditis.
As to the spring - Chris, why not try taking one spring out first, comparing, and then changing to the softer spring - it may be the Lacehim idea is a quick shortcut?
Last edited by SniffCoffee; 10th December 2012 at 09:02 PM. Reason: adding extra info
I had the pleasure of visiting Lacehim and we pulled a few shots on his machine,
he did a naked triple basket shot that left me speechless!
I later had a pull on the lever and had to brace myself with a solid stance to do it, and I am a big strong guy.
Seems like a lot of spring it there, that's for sure,
I was surprised it did not tip over from all the force!
As of today, the 11 bar spring is out and the 9 bar one is in.
Will be interesting to see what happens with channelling now...
FYI owners....Some of the funkiness we had experienced was due to significant quantities of food grade which were found residing under the shower screen. This however was nothing compared to what Rick and Phil found when the group was disassembled to work on the springs. It looked like 1/2 tub of margarine was in there.
The lever action with the 9 bar spring is beautiful and much, much easier.
To update, we're close to a spec. which might displace my GS/3 at home (even if not permanently)...
The single is now a naked and it's far, far less inclined to channel now that we are closer to 9 bar (one spring).
Phil removed the 2nd spring and we are at circa 8.5 bar (which I actually don't mind). We'll probably experiment with a spacer to give a little more pressure.
In the cup- yes better to my palate. There is a new softness in the shots and the flavour profile is much closer to my Izzo- which suits my tastes!
Lever effort is much, much improved with a new found smoothness.
Phil made a spesh spring compressor to allow for a safe and easy swap of springs, so experimentation is not too onerous.
Did you plumb yours? How's it going?
I haven't plumbed mine yet. I've got into a routine where I prime the boiler in the evening so the pump doesn't come on when the machine switches on (timer) in the morning, and so I don't have any early morning noise issues. Of course the pump comes on after I've pulled a couple of shots, but the noise has been much reduced thanks to Phil.
It's a great machine. I love the fact I can get up and pull a shot straight away and then steam straight away too. I'm now back to the original steam tip, as its slower steaming rate gives me time to do other things while the milk is heating up.
Keep us posted on the spring mods.
I bet that any 'flexing' of the machine reduced when the 2nd spring was removed!
Do the OE double springs really max-out the extraction at 11 bar?
The channeling on my Achille stopped the moment that I put in one of your EP baskets. Thanks for that!
What pressurstat setting did you settle on with your machine? I reduced mine to 1.15 bar showing on the machine's gauge. I don't get sour or bitter tastes. At 1.1 bar I got the occasional sour note.
Is there an "Achille taming kit" still in the pipeline? I would like to get some plastic caps/plastic coated nuts for the heater connections. Do you or Phil know what I could ask for and where I could get some?
My Achille isn't noisy and as I said earlier...I don't get channeling with mine...but the shots still aren't as flavoursome and layered as what I can do with a Cremina. I am guessing when I put that down to the pressurstat setting and the double spring. Do you have any ideas on this?
Hello all- sorry I have so silent on this thread- hopefully I will have more time this year to post about my impressions of the Achille.
Quick Mill has been listening: they are very keen to incorporate any changes suggested by customers and they have sent me some parts for all the early adopters- gratis. I will pass these on when they arrive. (just as I was writing this Laura from Quick Mill rang to confirm the parts have been sent and that her technician is looking at the modifications that users have made here).
Regarding the caps for the element terminals- QM have some silicon ones- they are included and Laura sent me a picture:
Thanks for the update Jack. That looks a whole lot better, though I would prefer to see the terminals completely shrouded.
Key issues we have identified and rectified so far:
- internal pipework requires re-routing to make for a silent machine- which ours now is.
- wiring issues. The above one and there was some "interesting" wiring to our tank microswitch
- cover over switch to choose b/w plumbed and tank- silly. The retaining screws are so close to the body of the cover, that it's close to impossible to reinstall once it's off
- noise in tank mode due to restriction in the water pathway
- pressurestat needs a supporting bracket.
- some hot shots. I am happier at 1 Bar than 1.2 Bar
- the installed spring combo gives an 11.5 bar extraction. When the second spring is removed, you get 7.5 bar. We have modified ours and are now on the right side of 8 bar, but I feel the profile is a little flat. I think we're chasing higher extraction pressure as a push on the lever is helping in the cup. We have struggled to find a spring combo we like.
- average double basket. I am much happier with the precision triple.
- somewhat irritating to remove the drip tray. Not an issue when plumbed.
Plusses- quality of finish is superb and it feels high quality now it's quiet.
Overall, it's a great machine and we are tantalisingly close to a good "Aussie spec". It's a continuing project...
Last edited by TC; 23rd January 2013 at 07:44 PM.