Illy Francis Francis Y1 Espresso Maker Review
The illy Francis Francis Y1 won't lure Espresso connoisseurs, but it makes a decent brew.
The illy Francis Francis Y1 is an odd duck: an espresso maker that doesn't do anything but make espress, and doesn't let you tweak anything about this. For espresso purists, that makes it a heretic product that should be shunned, because you can't use your own beans, change the dynamics of the brewing process, try different tamping techniques or generally take control. For these people, buying this espresso maker would be like an NFL player buying a toy football; they are going to end up kicking it away in frustration, and it won't go that far.
However, the illy Francis Francis Y1 isn't really designed for the espresso purists. It is designed for the casual espresso drinker who wants hassle-free espresso without the cost of a fully automatic machine. And it does a decent job here, because the espresso is good and the brewing process is simple and mess-free. It is also cheaper than many other espresso makers, as you can get this machine for $295 in stores, or just $125 if you buy it direct and sign up for illys automatic recurring delivery plan, where they send you 2 cans of pods per month (each can holds 21 pods).
The cost of the individual pods ranges from about 60 cents to a dollar each (depending on the blend and if you buy in bulk), so this is also a more expensive machine to run than the others. But don't buy this machine expecting it to be cheaper than the others: you buy it for simplicity. And if you can live with that simplicity and the limitations it imposes, then it is a good, easy to use espresso maker.
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