In a Nutshell:

The Francis Francis Illy X1 is a beautiful, solid stainless steel pod-based espresso machine with sixties styling.
Recommended for: Anyone who can afford the deluxe version of Illy’s most popular model, provided that they love the 1960s styling.

Brew Quality
Reservoir Size
Customization options
Ease of Use

Overall Rating



  • Easy capsule operation
  • Built entirely of stainless steel
  • Stylish Design
  • Compact Size
  • User-Friendly
  • Espresso Quality


  • Expensive
  • Small Water Reservoir
Francis Francis Iperespresso illy X1 Espresso Machine

Recommended For: Anyone who can afford the deluxe version of Illy’s most popular model provided that they love the 1960s styling.

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Do you love a great espresso? Are you a fan of sixties styling? If you answered yes to both of those questions, you’re going to love what you read in this—our X1 iperespresso review.

At first glance, this gorgeous machine was created to look like a manual espresso maker of the sort you frequently see in coffee shops across the country and around the world. Only a closer inspection reveals it to be a pod-based system.

The X1 is made by Illy, not one of the titans of the coffee machine industry, to be sure, but a smaller, incredibly well-respected, family-run business based in Italy, which can rightly be seen as the beating heart of the specialty coffee world.

They’ve also been in the business since the 1930s, so they have a long and storied history, and more important than that, they’ve got tons of practical, hands-on experience.

Because of that, Illy designs its products thoughtfully with an eye toward ease of use and fun aesthetics. We love their products, and we think you will too. 

In the sections that follow, we’ll walk you through everything the X1 has to offer, and we won’t be shy about describing its shortcomings and limitations (it has a few, but not many!). That way, you’ll have all the details you need to make an informed decision. If that sounds good to you, read on, and let’s take a closer look!

An Overview of the Francis Francis X1 Iperespresso

Form Factor, Footprint, & Aesthetic

Front of the Francis Francis X1 Iperespresso with coffee dripping from its spout into a glass cup

The X1 can rightly be seen as the bigger, more expensive brother of the X7, which came slightly later. Where this model is built entirely of stainless steel with a few plastic accents, the X7 was built for the most price-conscious consumer, with more plastic components than stainless steel.

Both, however, share the same overall design aesthetic. This espresso maker looks like it was spat out of a time machine set to the 1960s, which gives it a look and feel that is simultaneously retro and vaguely futuristic—specifically, futuristic as envisioned by people in the sixties.

That’s fun, and if you’re a fan of the sixties aesthetic, you’re going to love this model right out the gate.

In addition to its fun, retro outer shell, you’ll find the Illy Francis Francis X1 anniversary iperespresso to be more compact than it first appears, with a footprint that measures a modest 10.6” W x 9.8” D x 13” H.

Francis Francis X1 Iperespresso with labels of its dimensions

These are good dimensions, especially the height because the unit is short enough that it should fit under most of the cabinets. You’ll want to take a quick measurement of the space between your countertop and the bottom of your cabinets before you spend any money, though, just to be sure.

Even better, it’s got a 39” power cord, which is a small detail, but you’d be amazed and dismayed at how many appliances have power cords that are ridiculously short. We were thrilled to see that wasn’t the case here.

All that to say, it’s a gorgeous machine that looks like it just fell through a crack in time, and its long power cord and relatively compact size make it easy to find a permanent home.

What About the X1 Francis Francis Iperespresso Espresso Machine 6333’s Reservoir?

Water Reservoir of Illy Francis Francis X1 Anniversary Iperespresso

We’d have to rate this as a good component of our X1 iperespresso review but one that falls short of greatness. The water tank is smaller here than it is on the X7, which is a highly similar model, just featuring more plastic than stainless steel.

The X7 boasts a 40-ounce reservoir, while the Francis Francis x1 iperespresso water tank has a more modest 33.8-ounce capacity. For many—if not most—households, this will be fine. The default amount of water per pod is only about 3 ounces, and there’s more than enough water in a full reservoir to meet most people’s needs.

On the other hand, if you live in a large, bustling household and most of the people in your home drink coffee in quantity, and especially if you program the shot size to include more water, then you’re going to empty the reservoir faster than you think, and stopping the coffee goodness to refill it is going to be a little annoying.

Even so, again, for at least 80% of households, this isn’t going to be a big deal, but if you do live in a large, busy household filled with power drinkers, be mindful of the size of the reservoir here. It’s fairly easy to find comparable machines with larger water tanks if that’s how your needs skew.

Boiler System

Francis Francis X1 Anniversary Iperespresso with a cup half-filled with coffee under it spout and another cup of coffee to its left side

Illy X1 iperespresso boasts a quick-heating stainless steel boiler paired with a fifteen-bar pump.

Illy has also designed a patented two-stage process that produces an unbelievably rich, aromatic shot and gorgeous, long-lasting crema.

Although there’s no formalized industry standard where the pump is concerned, in practice, fifteen bars are pretty standard across machines in this price range, and that’s exactly what we’d expect.

Control System of the X1 Iperespresso

Control panel of Illy X1 Iperespresso

Like its little brother, the X7, the X1 is operated via a series of simple buttons arranged in a logical fashion on the front face of the machine.

All of the buttons are clearly marked, and if you’ve owned a similar machine before, you probably won’t even need to crack open the user manual to work out what each one does. Although, the user manual is well written and concise, and as such, we absolutely recommend spending a few minutes familiarizing yourself with the controls.

It probably won’t take more than fifteen minutes or so to unbox the unit, find a home for it on your counter, and get it ready for first use, including the time spent browsing through the user manual, and in our view, that’s high praise indeed. It speaks to an intuitive design that just about anybody can understand. Kudos to Illy for that!

Milk Frothing System

Stainless steel X1 Anniversary Iperespresso Machine

If you decide to invest in an X1 anniversary iperespresso machine, you’re getting more than just a pod-based espresso maker with one-touch convenience. This machine also comes with a steam wand for frothing milk.

Combine frothed milk with a great shot of espresso, and you can make all of your favorite coffee drinks.

In the world of specialty coffee machines, there are two options where milk frothing is concerned: an auto-frother and a steam wand.

Given that this machine was designed to emulate the overall look and feel of a manual espresso maker like the ones you see down at your local coffee shop, adding an auto-frother to it just wouldn’t work. The coffee machines your local barista uses all have steam wands, so naturally, this one does too!

From a practical perspective, it does take more time and practice to use a steam wand well, so unless you just want espresso, be prepared to spend a little time practicing to get it right. In our opinion, though, it’s well worth the time spent! Once you master the steam wand, you can use this machine to make amazing coffee creations that will impress family and friends alike.

The Illy X1 iperespresso Anniversary 1935 Machine is Super Easy to Keep Clean

There hasn’t been a specialty coffee machine or espresso maker built to date that didn’t require a good rinse and periodic descaling, and the Illy iperespresso X1 is no different in that regard. Fortunately, everything you need to know about that process—from interval and frequency to specific instructions on how to go about it—is detailed in the well-written user manual. 

This is actually more significant than you might think because, too often, cleaning gets the short shrift, with only vague instructions as to the specifics included in the user manual and some advice that often isn’t really all that helpful. Kudos to Illy again for thoroughly covering a topic that might not be all that interesting but which is, nonetheless, important.

Extras on Offer

The Illy Iperespresso X1 with 2 coffee pods and 2 cups of coffee

If you’ve got your heart set on an Illy Francis Francis X1 anniversary – iperespresso machine, you should know that when you buy one, that’s all you’re getting.

Some companies offer extras as an added incentive, but that’s not the case here.

Honestly, in our view, no additional incentive is needed, but that leaves us with nothing to talk about in this section. Given that, we’ll use it to give mention to the espresso pods, which you’ll need if you want to do anything at all with this machine.

Unlike a Keurig, which offers pods for teas, hot chocolate in numerous variants, and more, the only kinds of pods you’ll find here are for espresso, made from a wide range of different coffee beans. At the time this piece was written, Illy offered:

  • Dark Roast
  • An Arabica Blend
  • Lungo capsules
  • Brazilian
  • Colombian
  • Ethiopian
  • Indian
  • Costa Rican
  • Or a medium roast decaf

You can find the current selection right here: Iperespresso Capsules

Using any of these pods as a starting point, and with a bit of practice with your trusty steam wand, you can create just about any custom coffee creation you can imagine!

Pros & Cons of X1 Iperespresso Machine

We only have two negative things to say about the Francis Francis X1 anniversary iperespresso. One of them is fairly significant, and the other is more of a minor gripe.

Significantly, it’s expensive. Not everyone is going to have several hundred extra dollars just laying around to spend on a coffee machine. If money’s tight but you’re in love with this one, we strongly recommend taking a look at the Illy X7 (you’ll find a link below). It’s got the same basic capabilities but cuts corners by making use of plastic rather than stainless steel for the body.

The minor gripe is, we wish it had a slightly bigger water reservoir. The X7 manages a 40-ounce capacity, and there’s no reason this one couldn’t do the same. Granted, it’s not something that will impact many people. But in a perfect world, it would have a slightly larger water tank.

X1 iperespresso Review Conclusion

We absolutely love the machine, but we readily admit that not everyone will. If you’re not a fan of the sixties, this one will probably be a non-starter for you. And as we mentioned in the last section here in our X1 iperespresso review, it’s pricey, so you may not be able to afford it even if you love it.

Even so, for the right user, it’s an absolutely magnificent machine, and we recommend it without reservation.

Other Options to Consider

If you’ve reached the end of our X1 Iperespresso review and you’re just not convinced that it’s for you, here are a couple of other options to consider:

illy X7.1 iperEspresso Espresso Machine

Recommended For: Anyone looking for the simplicity of coffee pods paired with a delightfully retro, sixties style.

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This is the less expensive cousin of the machine we just reviewed. It’s got a slightly larger water tank, offers the same basic set of features, and costs hundreds of dollars less because it’s made mostly of plastic rather than stainless steel.

If you love the X1 but just can’t afford it, this is a fantastic substitute.

Philips 3200 LatteGo Automatic Espresso Machine

Recommended For: As long as you’re a fan of the handful of drinks this machine can make (Espresso, Coffee, Americano, & Espresso Lungo), we absolutely recommend it. It’s well-priced and easy to use.

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While not a pod-based system, this machine is fully automatic, and as such, it maximizes convenience while saving you a bit of money over the price of the machine we just reviewed. Rather than a steam wand, this one features an auto-frother, so there’s really nothing to do here but load your beans and water, select the kind of drink you want, and push a button!

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