The Illy X1 iperEspresso Machine has a very stylish & retro, but with a modern design. This iconic machine is available in stainless steel, also in red, and black. It is commonly known as the little alien within the Illy espresso enthusiast community. Relative to the Illy X7.1 Espresso Maker, this machine has an extra knob to control for the amount of foam you get from the frothing wand. In addition, you get even more of a retro experience as you have the up and down toggle switch settings for steaming, brewing, and power on & off.
Flip the power toggle down to turn it on, and up to turn off. There are two indicator lights in the machine – the red is for power on, the green is for ok [Note: the ok light turns green to indicate the machine is ready for brewing or steaming].
The machine has a stream-lined oval body with some curvature on top. The top of the machine is very hot. In order to hold cups for warming, Illy has designed this machine with a pair of metal fences to make sure cups are steady enough on the storage shelf.
Behind the machine, the removable water tank is 33.8 oz. Reminder: do keep it clean with distilled water.
The machine has a 15 bar pressure pump, which is optimal for making rich crema and profound flavor in the espresso shots.
Inside the machine, there is a copper boiler as supposed to a standard plastic boiler in other single serve espresso machines. So the Illy X1 is going to stay much hotter and maintain its temperature at optimal for a quality espresso shot.
To start frothing, adjust the steam flow by turning the side knob. To engage the steam wand, simply turn the toggle switch up. It is located beside the steam wand. In general, it takes about one minute to preheat. When Illy X1 is ready, the pointer in the temperature dial will indicate that the machine has reached a desirable temperature. For steaming, expect the Illy to reach the hottest range in the red zone. For brewing coffee, the Illy X1 will reach the middle range right at the coffee cup symbol.
Once the Illy X1 reaches a desirable temperature, you can place your frothing pitcher under the wand to start forthing.
In terms of brewing, the toggle switches can be either programmable or manual. For manual, you can hold onto the brew button to customize for larger cup size. But if you are good with the standard Illy espresso cup size, the process to brew an espresso is simply just one press.
Like other Illy Espresso machines, the X1 model takes only Illy capsules. When you start brewing, simply insert a capsule into the capsule holder and lock the holder into the brew head. The brewer will automatically puncture the capsule. Place your cup onto the drip tray. Press down the brew switch once.
The Illy machine does not dispense espresso right away. The rationale is that Illy has a revolutionary two step process: 1) machine ejects hot water that floods the capsule to extract flavor out of the iperEspresso capsule 2) then the seal of the espresso capsule will pop, and you will get the espresso flowing. This means you will get a nice strong brew without water passing over the grounds, diluting the flavor. And instead water will soak up the flavor from the ground coffee.
For steaming, simply flip the steam toggle switch up, and wait for the machine to heat up to the red zone. Once the machine is ready, turn the black dial to control the steam flow. Place an empty pitcher to get rid of any condensations and residues. Then you can place your milk pitcher underneath the wand for frothing. Or you can simply get hot water to mix into the espresso shot for your americano.
Overall, the Illy X1 Espresso Maker has a stream line body with elegant curvature, which makes it a tasteful compliment to your kitchen appliances. You can choose from three colors: stainless steel silver, red, and black. This machine makes quality espresso brews in just a minute. The one click toggle makes espresso brewing a fun, retro experience.
- The stainless steel casing edition – feels like a tank
- The machine body and toggles have a very classic finishing, which makes it a stylish addition to your home kitchen.
- Water tank has a large capacity of 33.8 oz (approx. 1 L)
- The top of the machine gets very hot, which is useful for warming up coffee cups.
- The cup warming tray is spacious enough to fit two to six espresso cups or four US size cups.
- A major upgrade compare to other illy machines with the foam control dial to fine-tune the milk frothing process
- Revolutionary two-step espresso extraction process makes a difference to the quality of your homemade espresso
- Professional style single serve espresso machine for your own at home coffee shop
- Uses Illy capsules only, not pre-ground coffee in the coffee holder. In this case, you can consider the following: Breville Barista Express, the De’Longhi Super Automatic Magnifica, or the De’Longhi ECO310 Espresso Maker.