Last week, CH featured the latest in Coffee Innovationsâfrom a coffee maker that displays weather forecasts to Nespresso's no-fuss, high-end Le Cube. This week we turn our attention to the classics, rounding up the best (and some of the more unknown) traditional ways to brew a cup of Joe. Leaving out cone filters and French Press (choices are more or less straightforward in those styles), what follows are the devices sans-bells-and-whistles that the CH team counts on for making great coffee.
Elegant design and solid German engineering has made Krups the go-to brand for nearly a half-century of coffee lovers looking for reliable basic machines.
For making cafÃ© quality espresso at home, the recently-released Amazon for $150.
Also new from Krups, the Amazon for $100.
KitchenAid Burr Coffee Mill
Far superior to blade mechanisms, burr grinders ensure an even grind for optimal brewing. Considered the world's first electric coffee grinder created for in-home use, the KitchenAid Burr Coffee Mill (pictured right) can make sixteen different grinds to suit any brewing process, from espresso to French Press. Originally styled in 1938 by designer Egmont Arens the Kitchen-Aid Burr Coffee Mill is made from die-cast metal with a glass hopper that holds up to a pound of beans. Including a glass measuring cup and a brush to ease cleaning, the Burr Coffee Mill is available from KitchenAid in black, white, red, blue, metallic chrome and Tangerine orange for $130. Also available in "Cook For The Cure" pink, KitchenAid will donate $10 of the purchase price to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
With the good looks of a vintage airplane and built to last, the FrancisFrancis X-series (designed by Italian architect Luca Trazzi) are the ultimate home espresso makers. Engineered to create a perfect espresso using the ideal ratios of pressure, water, coffee (it uses Illy pods), temperature and extraction time, the line comes in a wide variety of colors and several models from the original X1 to the latest X6 (pictured above left). Featuring an updated design geared toward ease of use, the X6 allows three lengths of extraction using the intuitive rotation of the central filter holder. X1, X3, X5 and X6 models are available from Unica Home and start at $400.
Stella Stovetop Espresso Maker
Introduced to us by a CH friend (whose motherâalso a CH readerâbrought it from Italy), we've never tasted a better espresso made on a stovetop than that from this stainless steel Stella (pictured above right). Similar makers exist stateside, but don't quite match upâorder one from Gioia della Casa starting at â¬36 for a one-cup and going up to â¬57 for the 10-cup size.