The sole UK distributor for illy & Francis Francis Espresso Machines

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get Spares & Repairs for Francis Francis Machines?

Yes. In addition to being the sole UK importer, we are also the official Francis Francis Service & Repair centre.

The machines give years of good service but just occasionally you may need to arrange a service, repair or just want to purchase spare parts.

The lovely Karen on our team knows more than you could imagine about FF machines & parts. Give her a call on 01604 822 300 weekdays between 09.00 & 14.00


Can my current espresso machine use illy E.S.E. pods?

Any espresso machines that are E.S.E. compatible can use illy E.S.E. servings (pods). Many machines have E.S.E. pod handles that can be purchased from the machine manufacturer if the machine did not come with an E.S.E. handle.


How do I use an illy E.S.E. serving (pod)?

1. Switch on the E.S.E. espresso machine and let it heat. For the best results, we suggest you warm the cups as well.

2. Place the E.S.E. serving in the specially designed filter holder with the writing facing up. It is very important to handle the E.S.E. pod as little as possible and only by its edges, as the oils from your skin can compromise the quality. It is especially important not to touch the coffee area of the pod.

3. Place the filter holder in its housing and switch on. Allow the water to run through it for about 20 seconds.

4. At the end of this step, remove used serving, and reinsert the filter holder.


How can I determine the expiry date of a can of illy?

The expiry date is marked on the bottom of the can.


How long will an unopened can of illy stay fresh?

An unopened can of illy ground coffee will remain fresh for at least two years due to illy’s proprietary patented pressurized system that extracts air from the can and replaces it with inert gasses at a higher-than-atmospheric level of pressure. This method guarantees a longer preservation time, maintaining flavour and aroma for over 24 months. At the same time it ‘ages’ the coffee, improving its aroma over time by causing its volatile aroma compounds to bind with the oils that are contained in the beans.

Simple vacuum packing cannot achieve this flavour transformation. The positive pressure exerted by illy’s method actually forces these aroma compounds back into the coffee whereas vacuum packing lets them seep out. The effect of illy’s aging process is similar in many ways to the development of complex flavours when a fine red wine is aged under proper conditions.

How long will illy stay fresh after the can is opened?

A room-temperature can of illy will remain at optimum freshness for 7 days after opening. After 7 days flavour will begin to deteriorate due to natural oxidation from exposure to air.


How much caffeine is in illy?

illy uses only the finest Arabica beans available, and Arabica coffee is naturally lower in caffeine than the cheaper and lower quality Robusta variety. An average illy espresso will contain approximately 60 milligrams of caffeine.


How much espresso does an illy E.S.E. serving (pod) make?

Each E.S.E. serving contains 7 grams of coffee; the exact amount needed for a shot of espresso.


How much illy should I use?

For espresso, use 7 grams of illy per shot. For auto-drip brewed coffee, start with 7 grams of illy per cup. You may need to adjust to taste as the parameters (water turbulence and temperature) of each coffee maker differ somewhat. You can take the guess-work out of espresso by using E.S.E. pre-measured, pre-tamped servings (pods).


How should I store an opened can of illy?

If the entire can will be consumed within 7 days, room temperature storage is recommended. If the coffee will not be consumed within 7 days, we recommend refrigerated storage, allowing the coffee to return to room temperature before use. It is important to refrigerate the can immediately after opening in this case to retain optimum flavour.


I want to grind beans for use in my X1 machine. What type of grinder should I buy?

We recommend using a grinder with a Burr milling system (such as the Dualit Burr Coffee Grinder 75002) as these are more precise than those which use a blade.

Espresso coffee requires a fine grind. Experiment with the finer settings on your grinder to find the best grind for your X1.


What are the differences between the different illy coffee serving types?

Beans/ground coffee – the traditional way to make espresso, involving a little skill from the user to make great espresso but, some say, helping you to make your very own perfect espresso.

ESE coffee pods – designed by illy, these single serving pods contain just enough coffee, perfectly “tamped” (compressed) packed in filter paper, to make a single shot of espresso coffee. They take out some of the skill but still make consistently great coffee every time.

Other coffee producers also use the ESE system which has become a worldwide standard format.

NEW iperEspresso capsules – illy iperEspresso is a revolutionary innovation in the world of coffee that lets you prepare extraordinary espresso and cappuccino at home with ease and simplicity. Protected by five international patents, the heart of iperEspresso is its proprietary capsule with the unique iperChamber™ where illy coffee extraction takes place in two stages. In the first stage, hyper-infusion, hot water under ultra-high pressure mixes with the coffee under optimal conditions to enhance extraction of precious flavours and aromas, creating a richly complex flavour. In the second stage, emulsification, coffee is forced through the patented e-valve™ at the bottom of the capsule, mixing the aromatic oils with air to produce a full-bodied espresso and a thick, long-lasting velvety crema (the golden brown layer on top characteristic of a great espresso).


What does illy do to protect the environment?

illy actively follows a policy of environmental stability and development and is very sensitive to environmental issues in all our activities. illy believes that industry has an ethical responsibility to develop and pursue practices that protect the ecosystems. This extends from respecting the regulations governing production plants and waste disposal, to the company’s decision to adopt recyclable containers and the use of recycled cardboard.

Furthermore, illy has been working to design new technologies to achieve a balance between protecting the environment and promoting good business. The research team is studying issues such as deforestation, desertification, and innovations in food production. Environmental issues are balanced with the measures and controls of the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) as part of the company’s Health Safety Control System which provides an almost absolute guarantee that illy products are free from contaminants.

In addition, the Qualité France quality control regulations ensure that samples are regularly taken and analyzed from both the production lines and marketplace.


What if I take my Francis Francis machine out of the country

Francis Francis machines are covered by a European Warranty. Look for the list of regional service centres included with the documentation on your machine.


What if my Francis Francis machine has problems or needs servicing?

We hope that Francis Francis machines sold by Espresso Crazy will work without any problems. However, in case there is a problem, new machines which we sell come with a 2 year warranty (& reconditioned machines with a 1 year warranty) which covers servicing.

Please email or call us on 01604 822300 to discuss the problem (there may be a simple solution which we can solve over the phone).

We can also quote rates for servicing machines which are outside of the warranty period. Our office hours are 9am-5pm Monday-Friday.


What is illy's position on organic coffee?

illy’s demand for the highest quality beans is rarely met through organic coffee. Because illy is a single blend composed of beans from 7 to 9 growing regions, some organics may be present in the blend if they meet our rigid quality standards. Organic coffee has a very low yield per hectare–about 6 to 8 bags per hectare.

This low yield is not compensated for by a proportionally higher price, so the farmer makes less, not more. Furthermore, and quite importantly, the cultivation of so-called organic coffee depletes the soil of its nutrients without sufficiently replacing them. Unless the farmer rigorously practices proper soil analysis and management and adds enough phosphorus (which coffee needs to grow well) the plants are weak and highly susceptible to insect and fungus attack. Few farmers maintain their soil at the high level necessary to produce the best beans.

The process can lead to an irreversible deterioration in the quality of the soil. As part of illy’s ISO 9001 certification they test every coffee lot we purchase for the presence of pesticide residue–testing for 36 different types. No coffee with pesticide residue is purchased by illy.


What is the difference between classic roast and dark roast illy?

illy classic roast coffee is a bit more mild while illy dark roast has a more intense and robust coffee flavour due to a slightly longer roasting time and slightly higher roasting temperature. Some people find the dark roast better for coffee preparations that involve milk, such as cappuccinos and lattes. Both classic and dark roast are suitable for espresso and brewed coffee preparation and the choice is a matter of personal preference.


Where can you deliver & how long does it take?

Mainland UK: next working day delivery for orders received by midday on a working day.

Non Mainland UK (including Northern Ireland) & offshore British Islands (Channel Islands, Isle of Man, etc.): 3 working days for orders received by midday on a working day.

If you leave us your mobile number, you will receive a text message from our courier DPD confirming the delivery slot for your order. You can change delivery slots to a more convenient time or arrange delivery to a neighbour etc. (but we must have a signature on delivery).

For holiday season orders check the final order & delivery dates on each product pages.


Will my machine make all the different coffee types, espresso, macchiato, latte, cappuccino, etc?

Yes – all of these coffee types are based on great espresso coffee. Francis Francis machine have a steam milk frother which you can use to make latte (espresso + warmed, lightly frothed milk), cappuccino (espresso + densely frothed milk with small tight bubbles for a smooth texture) & macchiato (espresso with a small spoonful of densely frothed milk).

The machines come with full instructions.

Once you have the bug, if you really want to develop your “barista” skills you can attend one of our University of Coffee courses.

With which machines can you use the iperEspresso capsules?

The revolutionary iperEspresso capsules are specially designed to work with illy Francis Francis machines. The current compatible range available in the UK isX7, X7.1, Y1 & Y1.1.

They will not work with other manufacturers’ machines & unfortunately you can’t use them without a machine.


Company Modern Slavery Policy

Euro Food Brands Ltd. ( will not tolerate acts of modern day slavery within its own business and its supply chains. The Company acknowledges responsibility to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and will ensure transparency within the organisation and with suppliers of goods and services to the organisation.

Euro Food Brands Ltd is a privately owned company which specializes in the import, marketing and distribution of both Branded and Private Label food products to customers in the UK and mainland Europe; these products are sourced from the worldwide market.

As part of the Company’s due diligence processes into slavery and human trafficking the supplier approval process will incorporate a review of the controls undertaken by the supplier. Imported products from sources from outside of the UK and EU are potentially more at risk for slavery / human trafficking issues. The level of management control required for these sources will be continually monitored.

The company will not support or deal with any business knowingly involved in slavery or human trafficking.

The Company Directors shall take the responsibility for implementing this policy statement and its objectives and shall provide adequate resources (training etc.) and investment to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place within the organisation or within its supply chains.

This policy statement will be reviewed annually.

Recycling your coffee machine at the end of its life.

The Francis Francis coffee machines, & other electrical items which we sell, are built to last & we also offer servicing & replacement parts during their working life.

Sadly however, after years of use, they eventually come to the end of their life.

We are part of the UK Government approved "Distributor Take-Back Scheme" (DTS) for electrical devices. To find the nearest collection point to drop off your old machine for recycling & for more details go to the Recycle More website –