FrancisFrancis! X1 ($850)
When Italian architect Luca Trazzi introduced the FrancisFrancis! line of espresso machines more than a decade ago, he advanced the cause of highbrow joe addicts the world over. For 2005, the Trieste, Italy–based company unveils a brushed-stainless-steel version of its muscular X1 model, adding upgrades such as a brass boiler and chrome-plated brass portafilters developed over the last few years. The 18/10-gauge stainless-steel casing, self-regulating temperature system, bronze valves, steel switches, steamer, and Easy Serving Espresso (E.S.E.) system—coffee-stuffed pods that help you pull the perfect shot—secure this machine’s status as supreme kitchen-counter overlord. And the coffee? Let’s put it this way: You’ll never queue up at Starbucks again.
FrancisFrancis! X1FrancisFrancis! X1