November 3, 2010
Gaggia is a well known brand of italian espresso makers and they have just designed a machine for the Illy iperEspresso capsule system. the new machine features the easy use and clean up that you would expect with a capsule machine and the brewing capability for a traditional espresso machine offering quality high pressure brews and a wand system for steaming milk.
The height adjustable tray allows you to brew into a number of cup sizes, while the spent capsule chamber holds about a dozen used capsules before it needs emptying. The one liter water tank should carry most users for a solid week's use, while the 15-bar pump will deliver good extraction.
The iperEspresso capsules come in four varieties:
- Medium Roast Espresso - classic red lid
- Dark Roast Espresso
- Lungo or long shots, and
- Decaf espresso
At Amazon - Gaggia for Illy Plus Espresso Machine
August 31, 2010
The Illy company has several iperEspresso machines out on the market, but none are as stunningly different in their design as the Illy Y1 espresso machine. The low body with its square design at first looks like as 9.5" square land grab on your countertop with room to spare and plenty of wasted space.
It's different though as I live with the Illy Y1 for a while as I find that it starts to fit well into the countertop routine. The unit becomes a storage area for my expresso cups and glasses, as the residual heat from the heater filters up in the left rear part of the unit to keep things warm. Overall I liked having the Illy Y1 around the kitchen and think it's a serious contender in the capsule market.
The FrancisFrancis/Illy Y1 Espresso Machine Basics
Tipping the scales at over 16 pounds the FrancisFrancis Y1 is no lightweight and the unit feels solid as a result. The water reservoir holds about 24 ounces, giving the unit a good operating range of at least a dozen normal espresso shots.
See the unboxing of the FrancisFrancis Y1 over at our sister site: SingleServeCoffee.com
The 19-bar pump combined with the capsule design cranks out the espresso with a fine emulsion of oil and air to create a fantastic crema, rivaled only by a Nespresso machine. Each capsule contains 6.7 grams of coffee (Medium Roast variety), and is available in four varieties: Medium Roast, Dark Roast, Lungo (long shot), and Decaf. All capsules are sold in metal canisters and come 21 capsules to the canister, except for the Decaf which comes 14 to the canister. Considering Amazon.com prices, that comes out to be about $0.75 a shot for regular and over $1 a shot for Decaf; not cheap but not expensive given the costs of cafe quality espresso.
Spent Capsule Magic - Hats off to the engineers who designed the spent capsule chute - as you lift the lever for your next brew, the spent capsule gets dumped in a chute to be stored in the back of the machine. The lever snaps back down ready to accept the new capsule in the blink of an eye. Honestly if you aren't watching for it, you'd miss it.
Part of the key to brewing with the iperEspresso system is the machine and capsule design that has teh brewing happen exclusively in the capsule, never touching the machine. The result of 19-bars pushing through the capsule and pouring straight into your cup is convenience, pure and simple. The machine stays clean, the mess goes into the spent capsule bin, keeping the machine primed for a clean shot next time around.
Each shot brewed comes out with a fantastic crema on top; no excuses here. The pressure and capsule design help to emulsify the oils and air to create the intoxicating look on top. Flavor-wise the Medium Roast capsules create a good solid shot that is versatile, offering a reasonable flavor for short shots as well as longer shots. I used the Medium Roast as an iced coffee; its clean finish making a great drink. I like the Medium Roast for its lattes also, but my perfect milk drink would use a darker roast with a more traditional (strong finish) flavor profile.
Illy offers a few options to buy the FrancisFrancis Y1, which of course include buying the machine outright and then buying capsules too. you can buy the Y1 from Illy for $295 and then buy capsules for about $16 each, ($20 each with shipping if order is under $75). The other option is to sign up for their Membership Program which offers the machine at a lower rate and automatically sends you capsules to your house each month. You'd better like the coffee because they come three a month; about 60 shots a month if you are drinking the caffeinated varieties. According to their website, you can cancel at anytime and keep the brewer.
FrancisFrancis Y1 Espresso Machine - Wrap-Up
- Easy to use - capsules are clean and convenient
- Compact size - only 9.5" square and fits under the cabinet with room to brew
- High Quality blends available - four blends, cover most coffee tastes
- Great looks - love the design
- Place to store espresso cups - some think it's messy - I like storing cups there.
- Expensive capsules - At over $1 for Decaf and about $0.75 for caffeinated varieties
- Limited varieties - If you want to brew your local roast, of want to experiment, the line-up of four blends doesn't match competition, nor is there a brew your own option
More at Illy on the Francis Francis Y1 Espresso Machine for a special introductory price of $125 plus convenient home capsule delivery! and the iperEspresso Capsules separately.
August 24, 2010
Not that I have one of these in my future but I thought I would pass it along as a great example of high fashion kitchen design meeting an espresso passion. Espressos, lattes and cappuccinos are just a button or two away with this in-wall espresso maker from Electrolux. It has a 15bar pump and a 1.8 liter water reservoir, you can easily create a round of espressos for anyone at the party. The unit is a super automatic drink station that can easily adjust the strength, brew temp and size of brew to your liking.
Price is $2,950 AUD at Elextrolux
August 12, 2010
The Slayer is a relatively expensive espresso machine coming in at $18,000, but also a very specialized machine, hand built in Seattle that allows the barista to adjust flow and pressure through the brew cycle. So while Starbucks has worked hard to take the barista factor out of the brewing cycle with their push button to brew machines, the Slayer goes in the opposite direction allowing the barista to experiment and delve into areas not yet explored on other more simplistic machines.
So while there are only a handful of the machines in North America according to this Giz
post, there are more coming - like a recent one (Open in September) to Thor
, where it is proclaimed the Coolest Espresso Machine on the Planet. Below you can see a video that describes a little bit of how the Slayer works.
Let's face it, it the Machine was called the DE-8650, it wouldn't be nearly as news worthy, eh? More at the Slayer Website
on the Slayer Espresso Machine
August 11, 2010
So Lavazza and Green Mountain - makers of the Keurig Machines in the US, are teaming up to co-develop new machines, espresso capsules and let's face it some fun new ideas for sale in the North American market. not only does the deal have Lavazza buying some GMCR stock, but it has a distribution of espresso machines in the US as a part of the deal. While we all like a new design and machine, the better distribution of espresso machines in the US may help leapfrog some adoption barriers in the US.
The agreement hopefully will bring some hybrid machines capable of doing regular and/or espresso coffee, or at least some options to make the K-Cup experience closer to that of a coffee bar; frothing, and finishing with milk.
So, we'll keep our eye on this, as will our sister site SingleServeCoffee.com. We like Lavazza's ESE pods a lot (my favorite ESE pod for hot espresso), and the Keurig machines are a step change in ease of use for drip coffee. Should be a fun marriage to watch.
July 29, 2010
OK - it's weird and it's not really for sale, but the Yanko Design studio has put together a working design for a concrete machine based on Lavazza parts. The simple design shows off the brewed cup well and offers some cool post-modern industrial street cred with the chips and rough marks for those who have to have the latest look. I like the rough hewn buttons that look like they were cast using ancient techniques.
I like the fact that they use the Bodum Pavina glass for the demo - they're my favorite for espresso.
More at Yanko Design via SlashGear
April 19, 2010
Krups has launched a new pump espresso machine that offers a new way to get better espresso through a simpler operation. In the past, you had to switch out inserts for ESE pods, Single shots or Double Shots; not anymore. The Precise Tamp system allows you to add what you like to the portafilter, and then as you lock it into the machine, a ratcheting system cranks the portafilter up to the right location, effectively making the machine itself the tamper.
While getting a good tamp itself is important, I think getting a foolproof system that offers ease of use is more important. I hear form people all the time that they loved the idea of an espresso machine, but that in this go-go time, the hassle and the mess is too much. With no switching of the inserts, and the better assurance of a better espresso, this system looks to be a decent idea.
- Pump espresso machine with 1400-watt thermoblock heating system
- Universal filter holder accommodates ground coffee, E.S.E. pods, and soft pods
- Precise foolproof tamp system can be set for 1 or 2 cups at a time
- Selector knob for brewing or frothing; mess-free cake-ejection system
- Measures 12-3/5 by 10 by 14-2/5 inches
More information at Krups; a demo video is also available.
at Amazon the Krups XP5240 Pump Espresso Machine
March 22, 2010
The Pod CM02 is a single serve espresso machine using rigid capsules, and looking like some futuristic espresso machine. The unit is designed by experienced espresso machine designer, Vinod Gangotra for Selec Line (Asia). The simple to use machine features push button ease, and is a great solution for home or small office use.
We found this on our sister site, Single Serve Coffee, and we are not sure when this will get released, or under what brand.
- -1.o Litre water tank
- 17 bar pressure
- Automatic capsule ejecting system
- Capsules from Italy available in 6 different aroma's
- Available in White, Black, Red
January 4, 2010
Always a good thing to have espresso where you want or need it, and while the Handpresso and the My Pressi have been in the news lately for their portable nature, this Espresso machine from Stelton looks pretty interesting.
The unit is battery powered, and runs on ESE pods to deliver a cup of espresso wherever and whenever you need it during your day. At a little under 180 GBP, or about $290US, the unit doesn't come cheap. Then again, what high quality espresso device does?
More at Stelton
Via Coolest Gadgets
October 7, 2009
The much anticipated Nespresso CitiZ espresso maker is starting to show up in outlets ahead of it's broad scale launch in the US. Amazon is now selling the ultra thin Nespresso CitiZ brewer for $279 in three colors: Red, White and Gray. Back in the spring we were able to take a look at the CitiZ; we thought it delivered the classic Nespresso quality shots without compromise taking up only a thin slice of the counter space here in the Single Serve Espresso kitchen.
The new Nespresso CitiZ offers:
- Ultra thin profile - takes up about six inches of counter width
- 19 bar extraction for some of the best looking espressos around - always crema, and always great aroma.
- Easy to Use for various Cup sizes - The flip up cup support allows for direct brewing into a larger mug - I use this feature when brewing directly onto ice when making iced Americanos.
- Automatic Brewing - The unit offers automatic brewing at two sizes - single and double, so you get pushbutton easy brewing, and after you are down, the unit will go into an energy saving standby mode.
- Capsules sold online (Nespresso.com) and at Nespresso Boutiques; I use online and get the capsules two business days later.
At Amazon the new Nespresso CitiZ Automatic Espresso Maker
or the Nespresso CitiZ Automatic Espresso Maker with onboard Frother