FrancisFrancis X1 Ground vs ESE Pods
Ground vs. ESE Pods – long time debate over which is better, and while it may be resolved for some, it’s about to get more steam behind it for others. FrancisFrancis has done its work to understand consumers and they have learned that more and more people are choosing Ground OR ESE Pods, and rarely crossing over. With that learning in hand, they created a newly revised FrancisFrancis X1 that is designed only for ESE pods or Only for ground, further improving their already excellent reputation for great espresso. The changes are more apparent in how the water is showered down onto the coffee, in both the screen and in the portafilter design. So while most of us are getting inferior espresso when we alternate between one and the other, the folks at FrancisFrancis are designing out the flaws associated with the two methods.
It’s all in the Group Head
The group head for ground espresso is designed as a screen to evenly distribute the water in a shower of constant and even pressure across the entire espresso cake. This design ensures even extraction and no hot spots or channeling of water through the cake.
The group head for the ESE Pod version is quite different and allows for a tight seating and fit for the pod when in the machine. The customized group head is contoured to get a tight fit for the pod in between the group head and the portafilter to avoid leakage of water that can happen around the pod in some machines. When this water leaks around the pod, you get a weak shot and nobody likes a watered down pull.
There are several other improvements that are worth noting, specifically in the design of the boiler that pulls more water in during steaming if it runs low, allowing you to steam longer if needed. Also the unit will not brew until the boiler cools down to brewing temperatures after steaming so that you don’t pull a bitter shot with water that’s too hot. Finally, there is a safety shut off feature if the brewing cycle goes longer than 2 minutes if the unit is starting to overheat.
There is a nice write up over at Whole Latte Love that walks through these and other features on the new FrancisFrancis X1 line. They also have the FrancisFrancis X1 available for purchase.
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Posted by Scott Martin at August 7, 2007 7:55 AM