FRANCIS FRANCIS Francis Francis : Seems to be a good quality machine – hope it lasts!

The element went pop on mine. I bought it because it was beautiful but in fact my brother’s little gaggia and even my dad’s kenwood retro styled one work better if i’m honest. I have also found it extremely difficult to find someone who can repair it. If anyone knows someone who could fix it, could you let me know. I could probably a buy a more effective machine for the money it will cost to repair but there’s a chance it might work brilliantly once it’s mended and anyway i have spent a lifetime putting beauty before practicality.

I’ve had my x1 for a few years now. I love its looks, and it makes perfect espresso and cappuccino. But its weakness is the constant rusting of the drawer front. You could say it’s the lancia beta of coffee-makers.I had a grapple with the importers when the first one rusted through, and had to pay £10 for a replacement, when i thought a gratis one would have been a more reasonable response. They couldn’t have been less interested in seeing the old part. Now the replacement has rusted through, and i was fearing approaching euro foods again (francisfrancis is owned by illy). But i did a quick google search and found that these parts are now available through craystone. The price has gone up to an outrageous £35, but i’ve bitten the bullet and gone for the stainless steel one at an even more outrageous £45 because at least this one should never rust. That’s how much i love the machine.

It arrived quickly but sadly rather difficult to use compared to our last coffee machine.

I’ve wanted one of these for a long time, and struck lucky with a long service award at work. This is a fabulous piece of quality kit, it looks fantastic and it produces a top quality coffee. Like anything italian, it can be tempermental and demands respect, but following a few days to perfect my technique and i’m absolutely hooked. A tad expensive, perhaps, but quality generally is.

Francis, francis x1 makes great tasting coffee. It’s a bit noisy, but the coffee is worth all the decibels. Remember to get a decent coffee grinder as well, though. Good espresso requires correctly ground coffee.

Whist this machine is not perhaps the simplest to use it does make the most wonderful coffee. The construction of the machine is good and solid, and i would say is made to last, hopefully for many years of service. Although the operation is quite straight forward it does require a little bit of attention as this is a manual machine and it is necessary to pay attention to the temperature of the water as shown on the gauge, and tamping the ground coffee properly in the holder, this done look forward to an excellent espresso coffee.

This is our first ‘proper’ coffee machine having relied on the good old stove top espresso maker for years. We now drink more coffee than ever beforehaving read reviews for this and other machines we settled on this one as most reviewers praised the quality of the coffee it produces. They were right, the quality is superb. We have used illy coffee and other types including one our relatives in italy bring over from a coffee merchant in their town and all have passed the test. It is easy to use and looks really good in the kitchen. One or two reviewers were of the opinion that there is not much room between the spout and the base but we can quite happily get espresso cups and large cappuccino cups underneath. If you want to drink espresso from a tall mug then it ain’t going to fit. The steam nozzle could do with a little more room but we soon learnt the knack of using it and it does not present a problem. 71 litre stainless steel jug at the same time and this holds enough milk for two large cappuccinos and the froth without overflowing.

We had the stainless steel version and we loved new it at first. It seemed very robust and made good coffee but after a short while, (6 months or so?) the temperature gauge stopped working. We got it replaced but the same thing happened again a year after. We decided to get a dualit stainless steel coffee machine.

  • Perfect Espresso Coffee
  • Very well built and good looking machine
  • Simply beautiful

Francis Francis for Illy X1 Ground Coffee Machine, Red

Product Description, Ideal for connoisseurs who love preparing authentic espresso the traditional way, using ground or whole bean coffee (if you have a grinder).
The X1 features new state-of-the-art electronics and automatic boiler refill. Featuring all new electronics and updated controls, this retro-futuristic espresso machine designed by Italian architect Luca Trazzi comes in a handsome finish & range of colours that make a bold statement in any kitchen.
This machine comes with a 2 year working parts warranty.

Box Contains,

  • 1 x Francis Francis X1 Ground Coffee Machine Red
  • 1 x Free tin of 250g ground illy coffee
  • 1 x Tamper
  • Cleaning tablets
  • Descaling powder
  • Warranty card
  • 1 x Plug
  • Buy on Amazon

    I like the quality – this is a substantial machine and should last for years. It has an automatic standby so won’t burn out when i forget to switch it off, and it has a very active temperature control. It does not have an over-pressure valve so gets a bit messy when i tamp the coffee too much (but the water still goes into the cup or drip tray so not a big deal. Frother works but i need more practice.

    I’m pretty happy with my new machine – it’s well built, attractive and easy to use. It also produces excellent coffee with the illy ground coffee supplied with it. The frother seems to work well (although it does feel slightly wobbly) and with a bit of practice i’m hoping i can master it. The boiler heats up fairly quickly and clearly indicates when it has reached the required temperature.

    We have had a francisfrancis in almond for 8 months and think it is superb. I makes great coffee, is very easy to use, and is great value for money – it may seem expensive but for the quality of the build, and the coffee it makes, it is worth paying the extra over cheaper models (and is a lot less than other top-of-the-range machines). We love the retro design and it looks fantastic in the kitchen. None of the gripes made in other reviews seem very important to us – what do a few drips matter, it’s got a drip tray.

    Owning one of these machines, i found a recent review totally unfair and found myself having to clarify some of the points raised. Water reservoir too small – this machine is designed to make espresso coffee (30 ml a shot) not mugs of instant coffee. Only small cups can be used due to height- once again, this machine is designed to make espresso coffee (30 ml a shot) not mugs of instant coffee. Descaler hard to get- fair enough on this point, but if you really want to get some, it is a few clicks away. Cup tray has holes in it and if water goes in causes damage- common sense to me on that one,don’t put anything wet on top of it, draw your own conclusions. I like my machine and have found in the 5 years that i have looked after it, it’s looked after me.

    I received item without descaling powder, cleaning tablets and without knockout box for coffee grinds. On the warranty card there is no stamp. It makes good and tasty coffee. How often should we use cleaning powder or tablets?.

    I love the look of this coffee machine. Totally deserves 5 stars on that account. I’m giving just 3 stars for reliability, durability and performance, which is what ultimately matters right. When they work, they do make great coffee -specially if the coffee is fresh ground-and steamed milk. I was making lattes and cappuccinos with milk art almost like a pro barrista. However, i can’t say the same for its performance. I’ve had a total of 3, is as many months, the last of which i’m returning, and have totally given up on them now. First one had a problem with the steam wand. Second one wouldn’t cool down so when removing the group head, it would explode coffee out due to the high pressure. Third and final one wouldn’t heat the water so only made luke warm coffee – yuck – and subsequently couldn’t steam milk.

    First, my old x1 was a pale blue one (new one – see below – dark blue), but i’ve entered the review here on the almond one as this has most reviews of any colour, so i guess more people will see it. I’m writing this on the day that it finally died, after 8 years of service – mine was a second generation model (brass boiler and heavy brass coffee holder), rather than the third generation on sale now, but i think many things are the same. I won’t comment on the looks, you can see this is a beautiful machine, but on the questions that i like to see answered in a review: how well does it work, and how reliable is it?. The answer to the first is very well indeed; it can make superb coffee, both espresso and cappuccino. It needs a few minutes to warm up when first switched on, then you’re ready to go. The milk steamer on this machine is particularly impressive: the tip of the steam pipe has a hole in the side near the tip, and as you steam the milk, if you keep the tip of the wand close to the milk surface, the foam gets drawn back in through this hole and blown through again, which creates a beautiful velvety soft foam with very tiny bubbles, like you get in italy or in good coffee shops rather than the dryish froth you get in the big uk chains. Overall, it’s an easy machine to use, but you might need to play around with the grind, how hard you tamp, and how you feed the steam into the milk (you have full and very fine manual control on the flow of steam) to get your coffee to your exact taste; i guess that’s true of any machine where you have a lot of manual control. On one point raised by another reviewer, proper-sized cappuccino cups fit easily under the spouts. So much for how well it works – the next question is how reliable is it?.Mine was used at least once a day for 8 years, always with ground coffee, not pods (the 2nd gen.

    Everything ok, but too long time for warm-up and no possibility to use pods.

    • Perfect Espresso Coffee
    • Very well built and good looking machine
    • Simply beautiful

    Francis Francis for Illy X1 Ground Coffee Machine, Red

    I had the x1 for nine months when it developed a fault in the steam arm and a large piece of enamel flaked off the drawer front. Eurofoodbrands of sywell, northampstonshire are the uk importers and the machine had to be sent back to them under the terms of the 2 year warranty. They offered to collect but only on the understanding that the machine would not be insured during transit and if lost or damaged in transit this would be my responsibility. I was not happy about this and john lewis whom i bought the machine from offered to transport it at their risk. Five weeks later i got the machine back. In the meantime, efb had delivered it to the wrong workshop where it sat until john lewis phoned to see what was happening and it was then transferred to the correct workshop (john lewis had to arrange this transfer). Efb refused to replace the drawer front stating that the guarantee only covered working parts. However the guarantee clearly states replacement of any part found to have a manufacturing default within the guarantee period. In the end john lewis paid for the drawer front. John lewis told me that they found efb a very difficult company to deal with (i also had difficulties when contacting them direct) and that they were sending a report to their company’s head buyer as they were so concerned about the after sales service.

     order this just under a year ago. The station head has started leaking,i’ve changed the main seal and it still leaks. Not happy with this machine especially given its cost.

    We bought this machine in 2002 and only this year did it finally need replacing. Makes the most lovely expresso, survives multiple uses each day and is quick and clean to use. Would and have bought this again.

    Great price , makes great coffee too.

    My last francis francis coffee machine lasted 10 years before it gave up. I then foolishly decided to buy a cheap de’longhi premium pump coffee machine ec680. Within a year the machine was spewing coffee everywhere. I put this down to the cheap plastic that most coffee machines are made of today. The francis francis is solid stainless steel, including the filter handle, so you can be sure that they are built to last. I have taken one of these apart before with a screwdriver and changed parts, you wouldn’t be able to do that with any other coffee machine. Its worth paying the extra, but see if you can source yourself a bargain like i did on the amazon warehouse deals.

    I disagree with caramac girls review. My cappuccino cups fit fine under the spout and the plastic pouring spouts also fit properly. It looks cool, makes great coffee and the frother/ milk heater is more powerful than some.

    Bought this machine from amazon 6 months ago. Looks great, makes great shots (one at a time). I ‘d wish all parts would be stainless steel, but the little plastic spout is doing the job for now. Would buy it againgo for it, if you like your after dinner expresso strong & creamy .

    I did not purchase my francis francis from amazon as it is possible to get this product cheaper from other online retailers. Keep an eye on the prices of coffee machines because apparently due to the credit crunch, we are drinking more coffee at home and the prices have gone through the roof. If you search the net, it is still possible to source a bargain. Initially, i was not impressed but this machine needs some getting used to. Firstly, when you make your coffee, you have to ensure that the filter housing is in place correctly. You may think that it is but if you have coffee gushing over the top making your drink taste gritty and bitter then you are doing something wrong. You have to push the filter holder to the right, keep pushing (to the point where you think you might break the machine – don’t worry you won’t). That way, a seal is created and the coffee will not gush over the sides from the pressure of the pump. One of the other reviewers mentioned the plastic spouts. I do not use mine at all as i make coffee for one.

    Almost perfect balance of cost, looks and quality. Quick and easy to set up, easy to maintain. Would have been 5 star except for one minor niggle that it is slightly awkward to use the frothing nozzle.

    Great sturdy machine, lovely design. Have had it for 2 months now, coffee is great. Easy to use once you understand the instructions.

    This is the best coffee machine i have ever had. Granted it is the only one i have had but it is so perfect. The coffees it makes are delicious. The only thing i would say about it is that it takes a while to get the hang of but there are plenty of youtube how to videos that help.

    Having long wished for a francis francis machine i am not disappointed. Well built sturdy machine that produces coffee that village neighbours and friends come round for. Steamer wand produces good froth and provided you choose your milk jug wisely there is plenty of room for frothing. I have cheated by elevating the machine on a plinth so i can access all parts more easily.

    I bought this to replace a gaggia classic which broke after a year of regular use. I found the gaggia a bit plasticky and rather dated-looking but it worked ok, until it broke, obviously. Clearly with all these machines there’s a reliability issue which can crop up if you’re unlucky. Anyway, i’ve had this for three or four months now, and it strikes me as very well built with a solid stainless steel case and buttons which operate with a satisfyingly firm metallic click. In this way, it’s leagues ahead of the gaggia. It takes about 5 or 10 minutes to warm up and the dial tells you when it’s at the right temperature with a green light and a chime, which makes using it very convenient. After a good deal of practise tamping and filling i have finally nailed it and the machine makes coffee which is at least as good as the gaggia. I use coffee pre ground for espresso machines only, and i’m sure it would be even better if i could justify an expensive grinder, which i cant. Maybe it’ll break one day and maybe it wont, but so far it’s fine and makes espresso at least as good as a coffee shop and possibly better.

    Got is a a wedding present and i love it. What more do you need,it froths, your milk, heats your water and best of all make agreat brew.

    I replaced my old version with this new one, partly because the old colour didn’t match the new kitchen. It looks great and makes great coffee. It takes a while to get to temperature but a great coffee is worth waiting for.

    This coffee machine is a thing of beauty. Takes a bit of getting used to, makes lovely coffee.

    This is my forth espresso machine i have tried capsule and full automatic machine. I would like suggest for all before start using manual machine watch and learn the technic of making espresso and frothing milk, there are many videos in the youtube can halp. One more thing, having good coffee beans grinder will make big different. And sorry for my not clear english typing.

    Features and Spesification

    • Brass Boiler
    • 1.2 litre tank; Temperature gauge; 18 bar pump; Auto refill; Retro design
    • Stainless steel body, Brass handles, Steam arm
    • Cup holder,Eight colours
    • The machine distributes warm water for tea and abundant vapour for the preparation of cappuccinos.