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Francis Francis X1 - Daniel Cohen's Review
Posted: May 22, 2007, 6:45am
review rating: 6.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Francis Francis X1
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More About This Product
Arrow The Francis Francis X1 has 43 Reviews
Arrow The Francis Francis X1 has been rated 7.20 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Francis Francis X1 reviews have been viewed 254,661 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Scott Smith 8.75
Patrick Moss 8.00
Josh Alwitt 8.00
Steve Strawman 8.00
Phil M 7.60

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.2
Manufacturer: Francis! Francis! Quality: 8
Average Price: $799.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $400.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: ebay Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 6 months Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: dont let look be your guide :-)
Positive Product Points

Extract great espresso (with crema).
Easy to get micro foam (if you know what you doing)
Well built body
Brass boiler
And I almost forgot, it looks cool.

Negative Product Points

Not a standard 58mm basket.
Built in thermometer stopped functioning after few months.
Worming up time from espresso to milk foam takes more then 30sec
Need to cooldown after each milk foam for the next espresso shut.

Detailed Commentary

i got this machine because i believed that for 400$ this is very good machine with great style and look.
for the time being it was the right decision. i got very good espresso shots and cool latte art, and yes it looks very cool on my counter.
this machine can extract high quality shut (assuming you have good beans and great grinder)
as for the pods... well lets just say its not my style and i think this pod thing is an insult for a coffee lovers, so i can't honestly review that part.

Are there any problems:
The built-in thermometer stopped functioning after few months, well its not a big deal. The machine still works fine, and I donít really need it, but still I think it indicates about something not done properly. (Iím located in Canada, sending it to US not worth it)

Now if you making one shot. or you and your guests drinking only espresso, then every thing is cool. However I love strong latte with some art and most of my friends do as well. So this might be an issue for me/you.
by the time espresso shut is done you need to worm up the machine to 140c so you can steam the milk, this takes time + the time of steaming the milk = youíre espresso start to die and crema might fade or shrink (yes Iím fussy about my drink). but let say you  fine with it, now you like to prepare another latte/cappuccino soÖ I need cooldown the machine by release all steam which can take up to 1min. and you have to start the all process again, shot, worm foamÖ
(FYI my idea of espresso shut includes the big basket packed as much as I can :-) some might call it longshot or double. This is why I need to redo the all process again for the 2nd cup, for some other user it will be sufficient for two separate espresso or latte)  
(Also note that packing your basket with superfine grind might kill the pump and the shot will be over extract by taste and time)

so if you up for couple of lattes in the morning and evening this machine will do the work.
However if you have a party the only impressing thing about this machine is the look.

Iím not sure if other machines for home users have same issues with worming up time.

Another minor issue I found the water is not spread equally over the basket. There 5-6 point where most of the pressure goes unless you use the funky tamper and removing the head. However this reduces the amount of coffee you can add in to the basket.

When looking for machine, think about:
Who you are?
Are you fussy about your coffee? Does quality valuable for you?

Some will say its great and enough but today I think Iím ready for e61 group style which will give some respect to my espresso :-) and can easily make lattes one after another, with out killing my time.

Also some point to think about:
When you buying cool design machine you paying also for the ďstyleĒ I think this portion of money should be directed to high quality machine instead of design.
Do you care if the machine looks like hell and generate awesome espresso and latte?!
Today I donít really care how the machine looks like.

Goodluck and have fun.

Buying Experience

nothing special, got it new on ebay includes warranty, but i need to ship it to US if i have any issues.

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review rating: 6.0
Posted: May 22, 2007, 6:45am
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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