Retro and intriguing, the Francis Francis X1 provides all the essentials to brew an enticing shot of espresso and delectable milk based drink (latte or cappuccino, anyone?). Featuring a centrally located temperature gauge with steam and coffee icons to let you know when the X1 is at an optimal temperature to brew and steam. Simple coffee and steam switches sit adjacent to one another for transitional ease.
Features & Functionality of the Francis Francis X1 Espresso Machine
- Cup Warmer: Warm your espresso cups on top of the X1 prior to brewing.
- Simple Switches: No confusion here! The X1 offers three easy switches (on/off, brew, steam) for fewer head-scratching moments.
- Steam Knob: Turn the prominent steam knob counter-clockwise to control steam power.
- Notification Sound: When alternating between brewing and steaming, the X1 will let you know when it's ready with a friendly beep.
- Hot Water Option: The X1 may not have a hot water switch, but Francis Francis still included a way to dispense hot water: Flip both the coffee and steam switches in the up position. Once the ready light is on, turn the steam knob counter-clockwise and flip the coffee switch down. Hot water will then dispense through the steam wand.
|Tips and Tricks||
The X1 includes a non-pressurized portafilter, so having a good quality grinder is ideal to achieve the best possible shot.
|Cup Clearance||4.5 inches|
|Reservoir Size||40.40 ounces|
|Water Sources||Reservoir/Internal Tank|
|Auto Shut Off||No|
Ask a Question
Improvements include a new heat-up regime where the X-1 is thoroughly heated, inside and out, to assure that when you finally brew the expresso it is at the exact right temperature. They have also improved the grouphead so that there is very little gap between the bottom of it and the coffee grounds. This limits the amount of water around the coffee grounds. Instead of trying to make a machine that would do both a pod (but perhaps not the pod one things of today), and ground coffee, the new model is simply ground coffee.
In any case the results are pretty amazing. As for comparison to the Rancillo Silvia, the gap has certainly decreased significantly, but I cannot honestly tell you how much. The Silvia was always ranked as one of the top machines on forums like Coffeegeeks, well ahead of the former X-1. Whether the X-1 had caught or passed the Silvia, I cannot say since I have not tried the Silvia, I can only say the current X-1 is significantly better than the one that was being evaluated in the early 2000's. There is one thing that is not in doubt, a Francis Francis looks far better on the counter than the Silvia. The X-1 is a cultural icon, having appeared in movies and television. To some of us, looks are important!
Warranty Information for the Francis Francis X1 Espresso Machine
|What it Covers:||
SCG's Certified Refurbished Equipment
Including Saeco, Delonghi, Rocket, Rancilio, Francis Francis Refurbished Equipment
|Who Supports the Warranty:||Seattle Coffee Gear|
|Warranty Contact Information:||866-372-4734 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Notes:||Read more about Seattle Coffee Gear's Warranty coverage.|
|Eligible for SCG Extended Warranty?||Yes|
|Can SCG Repair?||Yes. Read more about our out-of-warranty repair services.|
Caring for the Francis Francis X1 Espresso Machine
Empty and wash the water tank weekly.
Empty and and rinse the dump every few days.
- An Iconic MachineReview by Mark
Price Quality Value
It was with trepidation that I ordered one of these refirb machines. The X-1 I have had for the last 11 years did need significance maintenance over it's lifetime and I could see a machine coming this direction that would almost immediately need a new electronic board, or a new boiler coil or any of a number of other pieces I have changed out on my old machine.
I was pleasantly surprised to unpack a machine that looked virtually unused, and was obviously made years after my old one. This was NOT a refirb of an old machine. At worst, the machine was hardly used. At best, it was new and being sold as a refirb.
It obviously had been modernized. The whole electronic package was different, as was the drip tray, and the switches and lights had notations on them, something that I considered a negative as I already knew what the lights meant. The system also beeped at you. My old one never beeped. Beeps to tell you it's ready to brew, beeps to tell you it's ready to steam, beeps to tell you the pump switch is in the on position when you start the heating process.
Also, during the steaming process, if it felt you were running out of water, it would start adding water to the boiler.
While I liked some of these additional functions, I disliked others, such as the inability to fill the boiler with water when it is cold. With my understanding of boilers I would think that they would want to cover the boiler coil with water to prevent it from overheating, in particular when they only have air and a little water in the boiler.
But you have to accept the good with the bad I guess.
The parts for a typical rebuild of a FF X-1 cost $150-$250. The coils on my old one burned out twice. I believe the lowest price you can find now for a coil is like $130, all by itself. The electronic board stopped working once, another $130, and it currently needs a replacement because the temp can't be adjusted below steaming.
The FF refirb cost only about as much as a typical rebuild, and as I stated above, if it isn't new, it is dang near new.
We love the way the X-1 looks on the counter, and while it might not rate out as the best machine you can buy, looks are something important, and the current cost of the refirb, for a machine that is near new makes it a very decent deal. (Posted on 3/25/2016)