Browsing articles in "Coffee and Espresso Machines"
Jan 19, 2015

TopBrewer: Form and Function for Coffee Lovers


I have more than one coffee maker in my kitchen. To keep the clutter down, I try to limit the number of coffee-making devices that are on my countertop at any given time to two or three. If I could – or, I should say, when I can – redesign my kitchen, I would love to be able to incorporate a TopBrewer into the design. The gleaming stainless steel tap looks as though it might dispense filtered water, but it actually is designed to brew perfect coffee on demand while taking up at least 90% less counterspace than any other coffee making option.

The TopBrewer from Scanomat is operated with the touch of a button using your snartphone or tablet, via an app that contains a menu of all the drinks that it can produce. These include espresso, coffee, macchiatos, lattes and cappuccinos. In addition to caffeinated beverages, you can also get warm or cold milk and hot water from the tap. Milk is dispensed via a milk foamer – the smallest milk foamer in the world – that is incorporated into the design. Located at the very tip of the coffee tap, it heats and foams milk to the perfect temperature and cleans itself after use.

It takes the TopBrewer about 25 seconds to pull a shot of espresso and just 15 seconds to brew coffee. As you might imagine, there is some behind-the-scenes installation that needs to take place. It requires refrigeration for milk and space for both a grinder and fresh beans underneath the counter where the tap sits. There also needs to be a drain in the counter to catch any small drips. There are standalone units available that would be easy to incorporate in commercial settings, but for residential use it really seems best to do your installation while you renovate. The downside is that the unit costs around $8,000 (while my french press costs considerably less), but if you bargain hunt for some of your other kitchen fixtures, you can probably find some wiggle room to fit it in.

Aug 6, 2014

Barisieur: A Coffee-Making Alarm Clock

A Coffee-Making Alarm Clock

Folgers commercials used to depict coffee-lovers being lured out of bed by the smell of freshly brewed coffee, no alarm clock needed. I don’t know about you, but that coffee would have to be very close to my bed for the smell alone to get me up in the morning. I have considered putting a coffee maker of some kind in my bedroom before, and the Barisieur might just be the solution to my problems. This nifty gadget, designed by British designer Josh Renouf, is an alarm clock that starts to brew you a perfect cup of coffee as soon as it goes off. It has a vintage look that conceals some very slick technology.

A beaker of water sits on top of an induction burner that turns on when the alarm goes off. The burner heats up stainless steel balls inside of the beaker, which will cause the water to boil and will also make a subtle noise that will rouse you from your sleep gently. The steam will travel up a tube and condense to pour out over fresh grounds, and you’ll have a perfect pour-over at just about the moment you are ready to get out of bed. I can’t wait to get one myself, but unfortunately they’re not on sale yet. The projected price is £150-£250, which is a bit steep but could very well be worth it for giving you the perfect way to wake up in the morning.

Feb 3, 2014

Bodum b.Over Coffee Brewer

Bodum b.Over Coffee Maker

Coffee made with the pour-over technique consistently produces brighter, more flavorful coffee than you can get from a regular drip coffee machine. The technique isn’t quite as easy as it sounds, however, and you need to be patient while preparing a cup and you can only brew one cup at a time. It’s great when you have a few minutes to spare, but there are times when you just need to be a little bit more efficient – like those times when you are trying to prepare coffee or two or three guests at once.

Bodum b.Over Coffee Brewer is a stylish new coffee maker from Bodum that is designed to deliver high quality, pour-over coffee in quantities up to 40-oz. The coffee maker automates the pour-over process using a unique shower-head design that evenly distributes hot water over the grounds in the filter portion of the machine. The coffee brews and drips down into a vacuum-sealed, vacuum-sealed, double-walled carafe that will keep your flavorful coffee hot and aromatic for hours without requiring any reheating. For me, being able to brew great coffee in larger quantities is a huge time saver for days when I’m rushing around from project to project.

Dec 12, 2013

Impress Coffee Brewer, reviewed

Impress Coffee Brewer

The Impress Coffee Brewer is a new product that french press fans will immediately be attracted to. It’s a single serve coffee brewer that also doubles as an insulated cup, so you can brew your coffee and take it with you without compromising on time or the quality of your coffee. Gamila, the maker of the Impress, recently sent me an Impress to try out at home and I couldn’t wait to test it out. I had a bad experience with another product that promised to do something similar, so I kept my fingers crossed that the Impress would live up to my expectations.

The brewer works like a french press. You place your grounds in the cup, fill it with hot water and allow it to brew for a few minutes. Then, you press down a filter canister into the cup, trapping the grounds, and you’re ready to enjoy your freshly brewed coffee. The primary difference between this and a traditional french press is the size of that filter. The holes on it are tiny – so tiny that not only will coffee grounds will not be able to get through it into your cup, but they will force so much water out of the grounds that brewing will cease completely. This means that, unlike a french press, you can really take your time drinking the coffee without worrying about it over-brewing. The Impress is also heavily insulated, so it will keep your coffee piping hot while you slowly savor it.
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