Enzo Ferrari. Georgio Armani. Battista “Pinin” Farina. Dolce & Gabbana.
If these names get your pulse racing, then you probably embrace Italian designs in your preferences for clothing and cars.
Perhaps also in your kitchen . . . Enter the Francis Francis X1 iperEspresso Machine, designed by architect Luca Trazzi.
Design is the premier feature of the Francis Francis line. The X1 was included in a Forbes ranking of the top luxury espresso machines, with this review: “Encased entirely in stainless steel, designer Lucca Trazzi’s X1 has a highly stylized curved feel to it, reminiscent of mid-20th Century Italian design trends.”
Francis Francis X1: Product Specifications
Currently, the Francis Francis X1 is available on Amazon.com. It comes in black, red ($595) and stainless finishes ($695).
The list of materials used in the construction is impressive. The housing, drip tray and grill are all-metal construction, and the boiler is brass. The removable water reservoir is a convenient feature, and is also indicative of quality construction.
Other technical specifications include a 15 bar pump, automatic boiler refill, precision temperature control, automatic shut off and a power save feature.
The current model is designed exclusively for use with the iperEspresso Capsules. Not all espresso aficionados are happy with being limited to using capsules, and this machine is not the best option for those who like to fine tune every aspect of the brewing process. If you do prefer to “push and go,” illy promises their proprietary capsules will produce “full-bodied aromatic espresso with a spectacular crema.”
The illy iperEspresso capsules are available in medium, dark, decaf and lungo. They are sold in Duo Packs and 21 capsule canisters. They also have a MONOARABICA Single Origin line, featuring coffee from Brazil, Guatemala and Ethiopia.
Francis Francis X1: Reviews
The reviews of the X1 across the web can best be described as mixed, but are overall strongly leaning towards positive. Many of the comments about construction are reviews of earlier models that did not feature brass boilers and other upgrades that have been made in the more recent models. Other drawbacks that are listed include the limited choices in the capsules and concerns about freshness in any capsule system.
Exercise caution when reading online reviews, as it can be very difficult to distinguish which model and which year is being reviewed. With the evolution of design and the very different price points across years and models, finding the exact match is important before determining if a particular review is relevant to your search.
Do you have an illy espresso machine? Tell us all about it (year, make, model and your feedback) in the comments section below!
Main Photo: illy
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