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Like many others, I had admired this fantastic retro looking machine from afar! I spent months researching different machines and after a lot of deliberation and discussion with others decided to go with my heart and not my head. I was seduced by the look of this machine, but convinced myself that surely, you get what you pay for, and at well over £300 this must be a great machine.
My lovely cream FrancisFrancis X1 took a while to get used to, and I did have some great cups of coffee. However these were no better than what I had been making in a machine that I had been using for the last 20 years! If you put slightly too much coffee in the dispenser, it would leak around the brewhead. The crema was not as I expected it to be with an 18bar pump. The so called cup warmer is just the top of the machine and would have to be on for a very long time to warm cups.
After almost a year of making coffee, perhaps 5 times a week, the machine started cutting out. It has now been returned and I have bought a Magimix Nespresso machine, at half the price (admitedly it doesn't look as good) which gives perfect coffee every time.
I had admired this design classic for some time. But having used my £40 Ikea machine almost every day for 3 years I figured I could treat myself to an upgrade. But I hummed and harred for ages over the £350 price tag. Then, an a trip to Italy I picked up a beautiful baby-blue model for nearly £100 cheaper, lugged it home and I've never looked back. Like every espresso machine it's a dark art making good capaccino, especially more than one cup in sucession. My wife still hasn't got the hang of it. I had assumed otherwised, given the much greater price tag to the one I'd used previously. It is nice having a water tank tho, so you don't have to keep filling her up. It's actually more complicated, with all it's chrome switches you have to flick at just the right time - but I actually like the retro-ness of this clunky operation. It's like a little old steam engine. Although the build is very robust, compared to even other expensive machines, the temp dial stopped working after a year or so and I have no idea how easy it would be to replace. It doesn't effect it's operation as there's a thermostat light which tells you the water or steam is hot enough. All in all, for something so georgeous, in retrospect I shoudl have forked out £350 earlier. But with round trips from the UK as low as £60, I'd recommend an Italian shopping spree.
The Francisfrancis range of coffee machines are quite simply SUPERB. They look fantastic, make great coffee and are available at discount prices from UK online retailer CRAYSTONE - just go to www.francisfrancisuk.co.uk to save money. I've had an X1 for a couple of years without any trouble (I also bought a set of the FF cups, which are mini works of art!) - it make lovely espresso and cappucino - and the ESE pod system is very clean and convenient. One last interesting point is that the Pale Blue, Cream and Pink machines match wonderfully with the trendy, retro SMEG fridges and Dualit toasters - so if you love good design and good coffee, the X1 is THE coffee machine to have (and if you don't believe me, just ask Jamie Oliver - he has a Yellow one)
The style is unmistakable, the icon of modern design recognized the world over, and frequently featured in top furnishing and trend magazines: the X1 espresso machine is now available with new technology. The innovative Trio extraction group allows you to select the espresso that you wish long, normal or ristretto with an intuitive rotation of the filter holder. The unit comes in a huge range of great colours.