Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
coffeegeek product reviews
the detailed review - francis! francis! x3
Francis! Francis! X3 - Concluding Thoughts
Author: Mark Prince
Posted: September 6, 2003
Detailed Review rating: 8.3
feedback: (29) comments | read | write
X3 Dial Closeup

I don't want to be too clouded by the Iron Barista competition mentioned in the Performance section, but as I stated in my First Look for this product, and in various parts of this here review, the X3 surprised me. In many ways, it redeemed  Francis! Francis! in my eyes, and even made me put in a request for an X1 to review down the road.

Three and four years ago, the  Francis! Francis! lineup was dealt an ongoing series of knocks against it, and rightfully so - the machines that were initially built and shipped four years ago had some problems in the North American market: the pump pressure was problematic, the brewing temperatures were too low, and the machine shipped primarily as a pod espresso machine, with a grounds coffee option that was at best an afterthought.

Not so today. My performance tests on the X3 show excellent temperatures at the grouphead, in the portafilter, and in the cup for singles and doubles; the temperature stability is short, but quick to recover. The 57mm basket for pulling doubles holds a good amount of coffee. The electronic thermostat they currently use in the machine hasa reasonable (not great) cycle range, and the machine looks great.

Steaming performance could be a tad better if  Francis! Francis! used the trick that Solis machines use - a microswitch on the steaming knob simply activates the boiler's heating coil anytime the knob is "open"... this would give a lot more steam power. As it stands now, the steam gets pretty weak after about 10 seconds' of steaming time, but the boiler doesn't start cycling again until another 10 or 12 seconds pass by.

Since Francis! Francis! seems receptive to modifying and improving this machine in an ongoing basis, this is the best improvement I could suggest - make it applicable to anytime the steam knob is open. And maybe modify the froth aider so it can easily be removed, and the user gets a traditional steam wand if they want.

All in all, I give a hearty "recommended" for this machine. Not only does it look good, but the combination of small size, "big" performance, good parts inside and the choice between a pod or espresso portafilter (both in the box) make it a good starter machine and the ideal machine for the small kitchen or a condo.

The Final Word
The Francis! Francis! X3 surprised me, and in many ways redeemed F! F!. For its target market, performance, looks and ability, it gets an 8 out of 10.
Rated 8 out of 10
Product Supplier

Aabree Coffee Company,
Monday-Friday 6am-5pm PST
Saturday 8am-5pm PST

Product Pricing

The Francis! Francis! X3 is available in a variety of colours and models, and at two price points.

Francis Black

The prices listed above are the valid prices as of this review, but they are subject to change. Aabree Coffee's prices include shipping, and there are no sales taxes. Call them for a special package price with any of their quality grinders.

Detailed Review rating: 8.3
Author: Mark Prince
Posted: September 6, 2003
feedback: (29) comments | read | write
This review and all its parts are ©2003-2005 CoffeeGeek.com and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author or this website. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) or if you would like to purchase a printed version of this review for commercial or private use, please contact us at info@coffeegeek.com for further details.
Login Password
forgot pw | signup
Detailed Review Sections
Arrow 1. Introduction
Aarow 2. Overview
Aarow 3. Specifications
Aarow 4. First Days
Aarow 5. Operation
Aarow 6. Maintenance
Aarow 7. Performance
Aarow 8. Comparisons
Arrow 9. Conclusion
Find the Right Machine...
Package deals on the best machines from Izzo, Quick Mill, Rocket, La Marzocco & more.
Learn @seattlecoffeegear
Learn all about coffee, watch videos, read how-to articles.
Cafe Espresso Machines
Video reviews, nationwide installation, leasing options... Nuova Simonelli, Rancilio, La Marzocco.
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2015 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.226248979568)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+