Francis Francis X5 Red's finer points include: easy to operate, easy to clean, cool to look at, delish espresso, heating wand ideal temp. I get great crema from this machine!
Negative Product Points
ESE - easy serving espresso option - aka PODS.....no thanks....someone new at espresso would probably like/be intrigued
No explanation in instructions how to clean the frothing wand properly. Seemed like there should be an easier way.
Warming plate on top of machine doesn't get hot enough. Don't expect a warm cup.
Francis Francis' repair center has alot to be desired. After only 3 months of owning the machine, it started spitting out tepid espresso and the wand stopped working. Thermostat? I contacted Aarabee who provided Francis' service center # in Buffalo Grove, IL. I thought they would try to talk me thru some self-repair but instead provided postage paid box and said to send back for repair. After about 2 weeks of contacting them, (they were pleasant enough), but they were obviously dragging their feet on fixing my machine claiming their office had just moved, blah, blah blah.
I got aggravated to the point where I contacted the number on Francis' official site and left a message/wrote a long email as well.
Received a phone call from the actual person listed on the website within a few hours, went over my situation, she was definitely not thrilled with the repair center...By the next day, she had called me back, and said a new machine was enroute to my house!
No problem with the new Francis and I've had close to 9 months now. The second machine included extra portafillers, and a neat artsy DVD that went over the entire operation of the machine and cleaning the frothing wand.
No problem purchasing thru Aarabee.
While Francis' repair center leaves alot to be desired, their main office provided excellent customer service. I would order again in a heartbeat. These are the coolest looking machines out there!