There are more coffee products than ever, many boasting features promising to change your morning ritual and keep you caffeinated. We sifted through a range of coffee makers and culled a few noteworthy innovations.
Single Serving Coffee Makers
The Coffee For One from Rare Device is a ceramic French press with a matching mug and a stainless steel press that makes a 14oz serving. Coffee For One is available in aqua, red, blue and orange and is available online for $30.
The Aerobie Aero Press uses an innovative method to create coffee with low acidity. Coffee grounds are completely immersed in water and then filtered press-like using air pressure. The entire process only takes 30 seconds which keeps the coffee from getting bitter. The Aero Press uses lower temperature water which keeps the acid levels down, making it much easier on sensitive stomachs. The pressure used to filter the coffee also makes the Aero Press very easy to clean by creating a compact puck of used grounds that can easily be tossed in the trash. Available online for $25.
Melitta Smart Brew
The Melitta Smart Mill And Brew adds an information age twist to your morning coffee experience. Using Microsoft SPOT (Smart Personal Objects Technology), the Smart Mill and Brew provides real-time, region-specific weather information via a large LCD display, which incorporates MSN Direct service to receive weather information (including current conditions, three-day forecast, weather warnings, visibility, sunrise and sunset, chance precipitation, and UV index). The information is retrieved using an FM signal so there is no set-up, subscription, or internet connection required. All that and a built-in grinder to automatically convert whole beans to brewed coffee without the guesswork. Available from Amazon for $200.
Nespresso Le Cube
Pod coffee makers are all the rage and are available in both high-end and affordable ends of the market. Pod coffee makers have various benefits including ease-of-use and confidence that you are preparing coffee using appropriate coffee-to-water ratios. Some models can only be used with a specific brand, limiting your coffee options, and the increased packaging offends some environmentalist sensibilities.
That said, our favorite pod-style coffee maker was the Le Cube, which uses premium coffee capsules that are available in 12 varieties with diverse characteristics. Designed by Antoine Cahen of the ADN (Ateliers du Nord) design studio (who have had an 18 year collaboration with Nespresso) Le Cube is available in white or red for $300. Another $50 gives you a titanium model that features an innovative cup warming side plate. Nespresso machines make either two-ounce espresso or five-ounce lungo coffees. The coffee capsules are available online with an option to join the Nespresso Club for special offers. Nespresso products will also be available at the Nespresso boutique opening in New York City on 10 November 2006.
CH plans to do more extensive coverage of coffee in the weeks to come. Please email us with suggestions and information on your favorite coffee products or local coffee heroes. Send tips to feedback [@] coolhunting [dot] com.