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Francis Francis X1 - Chris Aubry's Review
Posted: April 13, 2000, 8:47am
review rating: 7.0
feedback: (3) 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 254,727 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: 3.2
Manufacturer: Francis! Francis! Quality: 6
Average Price: $799.00 Usability: 4
Price Paid: $0.00 Cost vs. Value 2
Where Bought: Aesthetics 2
Owned for: 1 month Overall 2
Writer's Expertise: Aficionado Would Buy Again: n/a
Similar Items Owned: Not entered
Bottom Line: Don't even think about it! Imagine, one can get a Sylvia for less!
Positive Product Points

Looks good.

Negative Product Points

Doesn't make espresso.
Way underpowered pump.
No pressure relief valve, leaving you with a soggy coffee "puck" and a leaky brewhead.
The temperature gauge does't serve any purpose except to let you know that the water has reached it's brewing temperature, which IMO is set too high. It's raison d'etre is purely decorative.

Detailed Commentary

I've rarely been so disappointed by a product in my life. No matter the grind/tamp, I couldn't wring out a half decent shot. Thinking the machine was defective, I actually brought it back to the store which had a "no refund, exchange only" policy. Tried another machine, same thing. Contacted the importer/distributor and was informed that a finer basket was available. New basket added some much needed extra pressure and the flow was  noticably improved, but still not up to stantard. Recontacted importer to inquire about an even finer basket, but none other was available. I gave up after six weeks of trying both the Illy ESE pods and various fresh beans ground in my Olympia Moka Express burr grinder; even tried pre-infusing to no avail. I did some research on the net which by chance led me to Mark's wonderful site and to alt.coffee, where I found that I was not alone in thinking that this is one good looking piece of garbage.
Other machines used since 1973 include Pavoni Europicola, several obscure home pump machines whose names I don't remember, and finally splurged for a Pasquini Livietta ($750 in the early 80s) which is a true high quality espresso maker.
If you are in the market for a pod machine because you don't want to get involved in the time consuming, finicky and messy process of acheiving the ultimate espresso (as in Italy), I would strongly suggest a Nespresso machine which will consistently deliver more than decent espresso-like shots with plenty of crema with no mess and no fuss at a lower price than the X1.

Buying Experience

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review rating: 7.0
Posted: April 13, 2000, 8:47am
feedback: (3) comments | read | write
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