espresso

Illy Francis Francis Y1 Espresso Maker Review

The illy Francis Francis Y1 won't lure Espresso connoisseurs, but it makes a decent brew.

December 09, 2011
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Espresso Speed

The illy Francis Francis Y1 is a speedy machine: we timed it as taking just 26 seconds to produce a single shot, and 36 seconds for a double. It is worth noting that the double shot does not use more espresso beans: it just puts more water through the same single shot capsule as the single More on how we test the brewing process.

Espresso Quality

We found that the espresso produced by the Y1 was good, but not great. Our test shots had good color and a decent head of crema, but the crema had large bubbles and broke down rather quickly.

We also found a mixed picture when it came to the strength of the espresso. We test this by measuring the TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) of the shot: the higher this percentage, the stronger it is. The single shot had a pretty high TDS of 7.1%, while the double shot was weaker at 4.1%. That's because, unlike other machines, the double shot is not two shots brewed sequentially. Instead, it is simply a larger shot brewed with the same amount of coffee grounds. Still, that is an acceptable range of strengths, especially for an espresso maker that focuses more on simplicity that customization.

One thing to note here: we usually use a standard type of beans in our tests, but the Y1 does not support using your own beans. Instead, you can only use the illy iperespresso pods, and our reference espresso blend is not available in these. So, we used the closest equivalent: illys own medium roast capsules. There is no way to use your own blend of espresso beans on this machine, but illy does offer a good selection of types of beans. A can of pods costs about $16 for the normal blends, and about $21 for the single origin pods, which works out at a range of about 76 cents to a dollar per shot. More on how we test the brewing process.

Espresso Shot Photo
A double espresso shot brewed by the illy Francis Francis Y1
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Espresso Quantity

The quantity of espresso that the illy Francis Francis Y1 produces is pretty standard: the single shot is just under 1 fluid ounce, and the double is just under 1.6 fluid ounces. There is no way to produce a larger brew or anything between the two. More on how we test the brewing process.

Other Drinks

Nope. The illy Francis Francis Y1 produces nothing but espresso, espresso, espresso.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Page
  2. Design
  3. Performance
  4. Usability
  5. illy Francis Francis X7.1 Comparison
  6. Capresso Café Comparison
  7. Gaggia Accademia Comparison
  8. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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