Do you love the idea of a shot of convenience to go with your morning coffee? I do, and I also like the idea of a no mess, one-touch single cup brew. But to be perfectly honest, I haven’t been blown away by the quality of the coffee capsule competition. My counter needs a little more flair and my coffee needs a little more flavor. I’ve been using a Bodum French press for as long as I can remember and I never tasted a good reason to change. So naturally I was curious (and hopeful) when my favorite espresso entered the single-serve coffee market.
Based in Trieste, Italy, illycaffè is led by chairman and CEO, Andrea Illy, the third generation of the Illy family. If you are on the prowly for a high-quality single-cup automatic machine for under $300, their Francis Francis Y1 machine is exactly what you are looking for. It has a simple, one-touch design – just what my tired eyes need in the morning. Insert a capsule (Medium, Dark or Decaf), press the button, and a concentrated, full-bodied espresso topped with a rich crema is all yours in about a minute. The Y1’s aluminum body, tempered glass cupholder and compact silhouette (9.5 inch base) and fire engine red color make it a perfect fit in almost any space. Because extraction takes place entirely inside the capsule, the coffee and machine never come in contact, so clean up is a snap. All in all, it is an impressive package. Although I am not ready to throw my French press away, Italy and France are going to get along just fine together in my kitchen.