27 Dec Francis Francis for Illy X7.1 Coffee Machine: Review
My Favourite Illy Coffee in My Kitchen
Having had this coffee machine for year now I thought I was well placed to give it a proper review! So, I’m a big fan of Illy coffee. I remember driving to the other side of Zakynthos to visit a bar that supposedly served Illy coffee not too many years ago, and am hugely pleased to discover the Illy coffee shop on Regents Street London. I had also been toying with the idea of getting a machine that used Pods. My ex husband used coffee grinds and they seem to make so much mess, not to mention go off if you don’t use them quick enough.
But the problem had always been that so many of the pod systems taste plasticy…you know that subtle plastic or foil aftertaste that can ruin a coffee, even if only the slightest trace is left lingering. This retro looking Illy coffee machine turned out to be the answer to my prayers: my favourite coffee delivered in a system that didn’t produce that awful aftertaste, and done via a coffee machine that looks incredibly stylish. Of course, I chose the pink version.
First off, the Illy coffee pods, despite being a little more expensive that the rivals, always deliver a good, clean cup of coffee, and there is enough choice to be able to vary your experience…even a decaf version too for those days when I think my coffee habit creeping up on me. So far, I’ve bought them from Amazon or Ebay but am looking for an alternative where you don’t pay postage: that’s always the killer with these things, they don’t stock them in my local Tesco.
The machine looks good. There, I’ve said it. Vain and superficial, perhaps, but the aesthetic side of things is important to me and this checks those boxes.
When the machine works, it works beautifully. You can personalise the amount of coffee you want in your cup, create cappuccino with the frother, and the machine has a lovely feel about it which makes it a joy to use.
It is, however, temperamental. Occasionally the water isn’t pulled from the tank despite a lot of chugging noises and seeming effort. Occasionally it gets the amounts wrong and the espresso cup is filled to the brim. If you’re on your own, this is fine, but if you have a few people waiting for coffee, it can get a bit embarrassing. And God help you if you froth your milk and someone decides they want another espresso as the machine rarely obliges coffee after frothing milk.
During our year together, I’ve learnt how to handle her a bit better, caress her into purring out her perfect espresso and coax her when she’s moody. Easy to use? This is where I have to falter and say “sometimes”. A joy to have in the kitchen. Yes.