This coffee machine is a thing of beauty. Takes a bit of getting used to, makes lovely coffee.
Great sturdy machine, lovely design. Have had it for 2 months now, coffee is great. Easy to use once you understand the instructions.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Perfect Espresso Coffee
- Very well built and good looking machine
- Simply beautiful
Francis Francis for Illy F000888 X1 Ground Coffee Machine, Black
But not happy about the “wrong cable”.
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.
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.
Great price , makes great coffee too.
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.
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.
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?.
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.
- Perfect Espresso Coffee
- Very well built and good looking machine
- Simply beautiful
Francis Francis for Illy F000888 X1 Ground Coffee Machine, Black
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.
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.
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.
I was gifted this coffee machine back in 2005. As very much a basic being of the “life begins after coffee” mantra, the first thing i do each morning after hitting the alarm is turn this orange life giver on. After two minutes of warming up whilst i grind beans and taper the portafilter, it dutifully produces perfect espresso with fantastic crema. As we approach 13 years of daily service it has not once missed a beat, needed a replacement part or service. A dependable and well engineered example of functional beauty.
I was already using an espresso machine which, although a cheap model, produced some quite reasonable coffee. However, i was still on a quest to find a machine which produced a coffee as good, if not better than the coffee i have enjoyed in cafés and restaurants. Some of the top-rated italian machines were a little beyond my reach costwise until i found amazon selling the francis francis x1 at half price. Reviews seemed to indicate that this was a machine well worth considering, and so i made the decision. Although the machine only arrived this morning, results so far seem very good. I like very much the obvious robustness of the machine (all steel and no plastic) and the sheer weight which is no problem provided you do not need to move it around too often. The answer here is to place it with plenty of room behind as the water tank needs to be removed for filling. Most worktops allow for this anyway. A pleasant surprise was that upon opening the carton it was found to contain a 250g tin of illy expresso coffee. The coffee this machine produces is excellent, although i am still using up an alternative make of coffee, and quite expect it to be even better with the illy coffee.
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.
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.
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.
It arrived quickly but sadly rather difficult to use compared to our last coffee machine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I bought this product hesitantly because i had read some reviews which stated that it leaked coffee and was unable to produce the frothy milk. After a week of trail and error i have been able to produce fantastic espresso and cappuccino’s with frothy milk. First of all don’t over fill the coffee filter and secondly frothy milk is an art that needs to be practiced and there are plenty of sites that guide you on how to get micro foam. The coffee it produces is great, be patient, do some research and you can get a perfect cup.
There are some pretty dim reviews on the x1. In order to put them into perspective here goesi’ve used an x1 for 5 years and it is still going strong. Makes great espresso as long as you follow the following (easy) rules. Use fine ground (espresso) coffee or grind it yourself to a fine grind. ( i use a £20 turkish hand coffee ginder)2. Use a measure so you put the correct quantity of coffee into the holder. Turn the handle as far to the left as you can so it makes a good seal. Coffee will only seep over the holder if you have put too much in (i.
Everything ok, but too long time for warm-up and no possibility to use pods.
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.