I’m an incorrigible caffeine addict and a hopeless collector of all coffee accoutrements--from French presses and stovetop espresso makers to percolators and milk steamers. So when I saw this porcelain wall-mounted espresso machine, I found myself wiping away some coffee-tinged drool.
Arvid Häusser, a 23-year-old German design student at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, has revamped the industrial-looking espresso machine, with its metal body and plastic knobs, and made it friendlier, adding warm wood tones and creamy ceramic. But the improvements extend beyond mere aesthetics: Porcelain is a good insulator and doesn’t impart a metallic taste. And by adhering the appliance to the wall, Häusser has managed to free up valuable counter space and even create a place for resting a few mugs securely on top. Note the height-adjustable drip tray, which accommodates a latte glass as easily as an espresso cup.
Don’t let the laboratory-like setup fool you; the construction is actually fairly straightforward: The vessel on the left holds the water, which builds up pressure as it flows through a pump and into a water heater (the main component sitting on the right). All the components are affixed separately and can be thrown into the dishwasher--another benefit of porcelain.
Sadly, the design is only a prototype, and Haüsser’s looking for sponsors to take it into the next phase. We’re twitchy with excitement. Or maybe that’s the fourth cup kicking in.