Even as Starbucks continues its globalization streak
—while also expanding its business into everything from energy drinks
to juice bars
—people are finding new ways to make their own coffee
. But having grown accustomed to the taste of premium roasts and flavorful espresso drinks, they’re looking to novel machines for unconventional in-home brewing, and a few innovative companies are stepping up to meet the demand.
Redefining simplicity, the sleek, ceramic MEM-COFFEE
maker is devoid of distracting buttons and panels. When turned on, the minimalistic machine’s laser-projected interface appears to brew the perfect cup o’ joe. Users make their selections by tapping the touch-activated icons that light up on the adjacent countertop, similar to a Bluetooth laser keyboard
. The designers of Studio MEM
developed the futuristic concept with a classic, retro coffee pot aesthetic in mind, yet ensured that it still meets the expectations of today’s tech-minded consumers. Accompanied by sleek matching cups and saucers, the set offers a good way to modernize one’s kitchen without the cost of a full-on renovation.
Caffeine addicts no longer need to shudder at the idea of forgetting their morning latte, thanks to the Handpresso Auto
, a mobile espresso machine that’s powered by a car’s cigarette lighter. Users simply place a packet of E.S.E. (easy serving espresso)
under the lid, add water and wait two minutes for brewing. When ready, the Handpresso beeps three times before pouring steamy, hot java into the driver’s cup. When not in use, the water bottle-sized device conveniently fits into most cup holders for storage during the daily commute. But, users had best wait for gridlock before brewing, as the manufacturers warn against brewing while driving to avoid spillage.
Primed for SMS-obsessed teens
’ entry into the workforce, the Textspresso
espresso machine receives coffee orders via text messages, then automatically begins brewing. Built by Seattle-based cloud texting startup Zipwhip
, the robotic barista does everything from grabbing a mug and grinding the beans to making the drink and serving it up. Should several people send in orders simultaneously, the Textspresso uses edible ink to stencil the sender’s name onto the crema. Although Zipwhip created it as a fun intra-office appliance, they received a surge of interest and have since stated their intention to publish the plans online so that engineering-inclined coffee drinkers can build their own.