Top positive review
106 people found this helpful
on 18 December 2012
Bit of background, as everyone had their own levels of coffee needs. I drink coffee every morning. Usually espresso, sometimes a cappuccino/flat white. I've been in the hunt for a new coffee machine since my Krups one died a few months ago. I used to buy illy coffee for it but the pump was never quite strong enough for the finer ground illy. I was also tired of messing around with ground coffee first thing in the morning so was tempted by these new pod systems, but skeptical they would deliver the quality espresso I'm after.
A couple of friends have Nespresso machines, and while the coffee is ok, its not what I'd call quality compared to a decent fresh ground brew. I was, however impressed by the cleanness and simplicity of the pod system so when I saw illy were offering their own coffee pods, i was ecsatatic. So, without wanting to spend hundreds of pounds on a machine capable of doing my beloved fresh-ground illy coffee justice, I decided iperespresso (illy's pod system) might be worth a go.
Onto the X7.1;
So with excitement and trepidation, I took the plunge and ordered the black X7.1 and a few cans of Standard (Red) and Lungo (Blue) pods.
Machine is easy to set up. Instructions are simple. Fill the tank, Plug in, cycle some water through (just to flush out the dust!) and you're off.
Takes around 15 seconds to warm up and lets you know its ready with a blue light and a charming little chime. Load a pod, put you cup in place and press go. Tada! Espresso has never been easier. To steam milk, push the steamer button and once again when its ready, the steam icon wil flash blue and greet you with a friendly chime. Steamer is nice and powerful for such a small/cheap machine, produces the desired consistency from a velvety microfoam to a dry foam. All simple and fast to acheive. The froth wand does drip afterwards, so careful if you dont want to make a mess... you can then perform an express cool down and have the machine back at coffee temperature in about 15 secdonds instead of waiting 7-10 minutes for it to naturally cool!
The most important part: can illy coffee in a pod live up to fresh ground illy?
*drumroll*....Yep it certainly can. Wow, this thing produces excellent espresso. Perfect amount of crema every time, perfect temperature, length, taste all at the touch of a button. As someone who seeks out illy wherever I go and can tell a burnt espresso or an out of date espresso from a good one - I promise you this is the real deal. As far as I'm concerned, this is the only alternative to a real fresh ground cup, and for the price and convenience - it's a fantastic solution to your quality coffee needs. I'd still rather have a fresh ground brew, but thats just because i'm a snob.
Verdict: Awesome. 10/10 for build quality and value and 11/10 for convenience and taste.
-Speedy to heat up/cool down (thanks to the express cooling function)
-Great build quality
-Genuine quality illy coffee - in seconds!
-Free pods in the box!*
-*Free pods in the box were out of date - and therefore not very nice.
-Pods from Amazon are a bit more expensive than rivals (~42p per pod versus 30p per pod for a half decent Nespresso) Worth it if you're a coffee lover, but still annoying as it's so much cheaper from the US if you can import.
-Needs a matt or somthing for the cup warmer. They shake a bit when you use the machine and they rattle eround up there a bit too much.
**Update: I have now had the machine a couple of months and it has been performing beautifully. I have however discovered one small problem: When making an espresso (red capsule), towards the end of the cycle a little bit of water starts to drip out of the dispenser and into the cup, along with the coffee. Its almost as if there's too much pressure and its forcing water past the capsule. Doesnt really happen witht he Lungo (blue pods) which are more loosley packed to allow more water through. I can;t tell if its the batch of pods I have it at fault or the machine. Its been descaled and still seems to happen.
**Update 2: Sent it off to be fixed (I paid £17 for special delivery - I was that keen to get it back!) And it came back within a week fully fixed :) Must've been a problem with the pressure as it now seems to pump out the coffee slightly more smoothly and with no leaks.
**Update 3: Uh-oh. The same problem has reared its ugly head again. Leaks quite alot of water from the outside of the capsule holder when pouring an espresso. Sent pictures and video to customer services and will probably have to send it back. They've offered to cover the delivery costs etc so thats somthing. I've asked for a replacement instead as its obviously a fault with this machine. Down to 4 star until I receive a working machine which lasts more than a couple months without issue.
***Update 4: Fixed! Been working great for months now. Great service from the help centre (plus free coffee for my troubles!)