Monday, August 16, 2010

When coffee hits the road

I start my morning with an espresso. Every morning. Or so I thought. Turns out my beloved Mr. Bialetti moka pot does not technically produce "espresso." This is not to say that Mr. Bialetti's brew is looked down upon (check out this article in The Atlantic by Giorgio Milos, Master Barista for Trieste, Italy-based illycaffe), just that it's not true espresso.

There's only one response to that piece of knowledge: find a gadget or machine to make "true espresso" that meets certain criteria — paramount being that it fall within my budget, and also paramount (yeah, I know paramount is a unique position, but life is full of impossibilities) is that it be reported to be good at its job. Me being me (I being I?), that means research and lots of it.

Me also being me, it didn't take long for me to find the espresso machine that exceeds one of my criteria, but falls a just a wee bit short of the other one — The Speedster, a bespoke espresso machine made by Kees van der Westen, in the Netherlands (runs somewhere around $6,500, before shipping and not including installation).

The Coffee Geek compares the Speedster to the Maserati Gran Turismo and the Leica M6:

We look at these amazing achievements in design, technology, usability, aesthetics, performance and uniqueness, and combined, they make them "the best." Price isn't a factor. What they represent in terms of being a pinnacle of what technology and design is capable of during the period they were produced is.

I'm about as likely to be driving a Maserati GT these days as I am to be pulling my morning espresso on a Speedster, but a girl's got to have goals, right?

In the meantime, the hunt for the best espresso maker under $500 continues.

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