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FrancisFrancis! Espresso Machines



Every industry has that one zany cool company that makes really trendy products, and the espresso industry is no different. In our world, that company is called FrancisFrancis! (I'm not trying to sound excited, that exclamation mark is part of their name). They're famous for making espresso machines that are...well...super cool!


From sleek futuristic steel designs, to bright colored retro-looking models, if you're looking for hip and trendy then FrancisFrancis! is the company for you. You can expect to pay more, sometimes a LOT more, but if you're looking for a machine that's more art piece - that is - something that will make your kitchen look damn good, then this is probably who you're looking for.


The Company


FrancisFrancis! is owned by Illy, the guys who produce some of the best coffee and espresso beans in the world. They are easily far and away my personal favorite beans - and I've tried just about everything out there! The founder of Illy is Francesco Illy (Francesco - FrancisFrancis; get it?) and he started FrancisFrancis! in 1994, and it was formally bought out by Illy in 2004. Illy itself (illycaffe S.p.A.) was founded in 1933 in Trieste Italy and sells coffee in over 130 companies around the world.


The Machines


FrancisFrancis!

Francis Francis! models are categorized by the "X" system, or label. They range from the X1 up to the X8 (you know, X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, X7, X8). These machines range in cost from around $350 up to around $800 depending on the model. Check out the links below for reviews of each specific machine as well as special offers and sales prices. We usually have them for less than you might find elsewhere.


The company claims that the X1 model is the most photographed espresso machine in the world - they may be correct but I can't imagine how they could substantiate that claim. But I guess it doesn't really matter because the gist of what they're trying to say is correct - and that's that these machines look cool, they're trendy, and they stand out in the staid world of boring looking espresso makers.


The company recently announced a new Y1 model that's much much different than all the previous X# models. It sort of looks like a small pump sitting on a square box. I haven't seen one in use yet, and I can't even find out much information about them - hopefully we'll learn more throughout the next year or so. The machine uses the iperEspresso capsule system.


One thing you really want to keep in mind about these machines is E.S.E. pods. All new Francis Francis! machines use pods instead of loose coffee grounds. Some of the earlier models used regular coffee grounds, and you can usually buy a special filter that allows you to use grounds in the new models...but keep that in mind when deciding to purchase one of these machines. I like grinding my own beans; I'm a snob about it - so pods are not for me on purely intellectual grounds!


Customer reviews are somewhat mixed. Some people suggest that the machines don't last more than a year or so with regular use. Others have had no problems whatsoever. I think at the end of the day you buy one of these machines more because it looks really cool than anything else. If you're looking for a good workhorse espresso machine to really use day in and day out, you probably want to look elsewhere for the money.


The bottom line? Francis Francis! machines are not for everyone. For one thing, the capsules (Pods) take a little getting used to. But if you're looking for something incredibly stylish and trendy looking and you don't mind paying a premium for that style, then they are definitely the espresso maker for you.








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