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Francis Francis X6 - Julius Svoboda's Review
Posted: February 5, 2008, 12:18pm
review rating: 8.5
feedback: (3) comments | read | write
Francis Francis X6 Trio Pod Espresso
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Arrow The Francis Francis X6 has 1 Reviews
Arrow The Francis Francis X6 has been rated 6.00 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since October 23, 2007.
Arrow Francis Francis X6 reviews have been viewed 14,927 times (updated hourly).

Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 6.0
Manufacturer: FrancisFrancis! Quality: 4
Average Price: $399.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $500.00 Cost vs. Value 4
Where Bought: www.illyusa.com Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 1 year Overall 5
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Though cheap, the X6 will make you go broke buying pods for it--and it's not a very good machine anyway.
Positive Product Points

--very easy to figure out
--the quality of the espresso is always consistant and depending on the pod, pretty good
--fairly quick heat up time
--good frother
--the design will really impress your friends
--pods keep your espresso area clean of coffee grounds

Negative Product Points

--you have you wait for the machine to cool down after steaming milk to make another shot of espresso
--did I mention it only takes pods? because that totally sucks.
--it only takes 7g pods (so no double shots)
--the body is plastic and kinda cheap
--the porta filter spout flys off when you try and bang out a pod on the knock box
--it has some automatic shut-off causing it to stop after about 20 seconds and start beeping (which is annoying)

Detailed Commentary

First, let me say that I love my grandpa and appreciate the fact that he got me this espresso machine. It has brought me a lot of joy and it was a wonderful gift full of consideration for my love of coffee.

With that said, let me tell you about the X6. I've owned this machine for a little more than one year (I got it for Christmas '06). The machine, by virtue of being a pod-only espresso machine, has some pluses but big minuses. I have become somewhat attached to my machine in spite of its problems (though I shall not replace it), but I would not recommend it to anyone with a serious attention to coffee.

First, the pluses. The machine is very easy to use. There are only three buttons and a knob: the on button; the espresso button; the steam button; and the frother knob. As mentioned before the machine takes only ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) pods. The advantage of using only pods is that the coffee is always ground and tamped correctly. And since it is also confined to a paper encasement the grounds won't spill all over the place, keeping your espresso area tidy. Finally, and probably its biggest strength, it's a very pretty machine. When your espresso-leman friends see it they'll think it is something out of Jetsons-Italiano, scoring you a notch on your cool rating.

Now to throttle the thing. It's biggest drawback is that it only takes pods. This is a problem for four big reasons. First, pods are really hard to find. Sometimes Starbucks has them in-store, but your best bet is to get them online and have them delivered. Second, you cannot decide what type of coffee to put into your machine, you're bound to the coffee that comes in pods and cannot use other lose forms of coffee (unless you want to buy a pod maker). Third, they generate a lot of waste. Most pods come individually wrapped, which generates a lot more waste than using regular coffee grounds. Fourth, they're expensive. If you drink espresso every morning, the least expensive you can make a shot of espresso is approx. $0.39. To get this price you'll need to buy a box of 150 pods (about $70) and find a place to store them while you watch your wallet get thinner (Ooh, and don't even try lose grounds either, you'll get a shot of espresso so weak you'll think you were drinking nickel coffee at Wall Drug).

Other disadvantages of the machine are that you have to wait about 10 minutes after steaming milk before you can make a shot of espresso (I guess espresso pressure and steam pressure pull from the same reservoir and you can't do both at the same time because the water is too hot). The quality of the machine isn't very good either, with the body being made mostly out of plastic.

In conclusion, if you're a serious espresso imbiber do not buy this machine. It's low initial investment will soon deteriorate as you go broke buying and shipping over priced pods. The espresso is fairly good, but not worth the pain of hunting for elusive pods in store or online.

Buying Experience

The machine came in the mail and, considering it was a gift, was a very easy experience.

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review rating: 8.5
Posted: February 5, 2008, 12:18pm
feedback: (3) comments | read | write
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