1994: The Birth of the X1
1994: The Birth of the X1
I always dreamed of attractive, colourful machines that could make people feel good and make excellent coffee. The first machine in the X series, the X1, was born in 1994, designed by Luca Trazzi.
1995: The First Professional Machine, the X2
Then came the X2, which was the double version of the X1. I didn't believe in this machine at the start, because I thought no one would buy it. But our head of sales at the time, Martin Stadler, told me that if I made it he would have sold 100 in the first year; he wanted it at all cost. So I decided to go into production. The X2, with the “Metodo Iperespresso” capsules is now found in tens of thousands of homes, hotels, coffee shops and restaurants. It has become a huge success over the years.
To make the X3, we had to have huge pieces of equipment made. The idea of the machine was to build it with two pieces of sheet metal, moulded into the shape of the machine, and this required huge strength. This machine was beautiful but, in my opinion, slightly too far ahead of its time, and we stopped production in 2004.
1997: The X4, the Most Attractive of All
Luca had a machine that looked like the tank of a Harley Davidson in mind, and he designed the X4 to reflect this idea. We started travelling in search of someone capable of producing it and found nothing but closed doors. Even the producer of the petrol tanks for Ferrari - just imagine how complicated and how many curves they have to make - said to us, at the end of the meeting:
This machine can’t be made.
But we weren't going to give up so easily, and we continued our search until we met the legendary Cigolini in Lumezzane, near Brescia. With investments that were absolutely crazy for a coffee machine, he built us the equipment and the moulds to make the first machines. Obviously it was the most expensive machine in our range, but people loved it and there are still lots of them around: we have transformed many of them from use with the E.S.E. pod to the “Metodo IperEspresso”.
1998: The Titanium X1
By 1998 there were numerous versions of the X1, one more attractive than the other. The most special was the X1 made of chromium-plated brass, which had an incredible shine. Then there was the version made of brushed stainless steel, the X1 in every possible colour of the RAL chart and even a gold laminate version. But we loved the titanium: with its lightness, the warmth when you touched it, that special colour that no other metal has... But everyone told us that it was impossible to build, because the "return" of titanium, one of the hardest metals that exist, made it impossible to work with. Inoxforma, a company in Catalonia, told us it would attempt to make a prototype: and so the titanium X1 was born. I still have a “Metodo IperEspresso” version in my house which makes fantastic coffees.
1999: The X5
At the time there was a fashion for Stealth aircraft, with their strange shape consisting of sharp angles to prevent detection by enemy radar... and Luca wanted to reflect that shape. So he designed the X5, the first "anti-radar" coffee machine.
2002: The X6, the First FrancisFrancis! Machine Made of Plastic
Our machines were all crafted from metal, protected against rust and painted like cars; the costs of the bodywork for the FrancisFrancis! machines were way too high to reach an increasingly bigger market. All our dealers in the dozens of countries where we were present wanted a cheaper machine made of plastic. Luca conceived a shape midway between the X1 and the X4, which were the most attractive of the collection. I remember the hours and hours spent up late at night with Gasparin, who was then technician at the company in Pordenone that was going to mould the bodywork! We kept going into the tiniest details to couple the head of the machine that contained all the vital functions with the column and the base. We even created a drain for the solenoid valve in the drip tray, something which no other machine had. And in the end we decided to make the huge investment necessary to make the moulds. And the X6, in the E.S.E. version, because the “Metodo IperEspresso” had still to be invented, was a huge success: it was beautiful and much cheaper!
2006: The X7
Meanwhile, the new Amici Caffè capsule had arrived: “Metodo IperEspresso”. We needed a very attractive machine that was not too expensive to launch the new capsule and we wanted it to be an "exclusive" machine for the new capsule. So Luca redesigned the front panel of the X6 and we called it the X7: I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of X7 have been sold over the years, and even today, while we are retouching its electronics and adapting its image with Luca, it is still the machine we sell most.
2008: The X8
Made by Saeco, the X8 was made entirely of plastic and wasn't very successful.
2010: The Y1, the First Square Machine
The Y1 was the first machine to receive the Red Dot Design Award. Designed by a studio from Bolzano, MM Design, it had a die-cast aluminium body and a glass surface, which made it extremely innovative and appealing.
2011: The Y2
As with the X1, which was called the X2 in the professional version, we wanted to create a coffee shop machine with the same aesthetics as the Y1: hence the birth of the Y2, which is now used in many coffee shops and restaurants all over the world.
2012: The Y3
Many customers required a narrow machine which wouldn't take up too much space in the kitchen. So, with Luca, we designed a machine which was just 10.5 cm wide and very deep. This was the Y3, 100% made in Italy, and made of plastic, so that it would be cheaper than the metal ones.
2013: The KISS
One day, two men from Valais turned up in my office with a magnificent prototype of a coffee machine:
Our company, Gotec of Sion, invented the pump used in all home coffee machines, years ago. We wanted to reinvent the way coffee is made: so we have developed a really quiet machine, which consumes very little electricity and water, and makes Espresso coffee like you never tasted before!
I looked at them, amazed, but when they showed me their machine I realised that it was revolutionary: in place of the pump, they had created a piston which sucked the water from the tank and heated it up instantly, pushing it into the capsule. Absolute genius! It was tiny, with a completely innovative design, hand finished in all its metallic parts: if Swiss watch making is capable of creating fine mechanical jewels which people go mad about all over the world, this little jewel of an Espresso machine contained all this incredible culture for perfection. Today, KISS, which stands for Keep It Simply Swiss, and not just kiss, is our leading machine, also because none of our machines requires so many hours of handwork, but at the same time, if it's true that 50% of the environmental impact generated by the preparation of an Espresso comes from the machine, KISS, with a pre-heating time of just 35 seconds, is the machine that consumes least energy in the world. Congratulations Gotec, for having created a real 100% Swiss made jewel!
2014: The Y5 Milk
With the Y5 Milk, we meet the needs of those who want to make a cappuccino, quickly and easily. The design is similar to the other machines in the Y line, which are square and simple. Cappuccino is no longer a challenge!
2015: The X9
The first machine by my friend Cosimo Fusco, known as Mino. It reflects the shapes of the X3 and is made completely of metal. Easy to use, with the same automatic drainage system as the Y line, it takes up very little space in the kitchen, and really is a little jewel.