The mechanism of making espresso is simple. Although the life-giving elixir might seem magical, it's made by the simple method of pumping water through densely packed, finely ground coffee. Do it right, and what comes out is a dark brown, slightly thick liquid with a perfect dash of crema on top.
From a standard moka pot to a $2,000 Giotto Premium Plus V2, there are many products that specialize in making an espresso. But most of them only differ in a few key ways: how the water is forced through the coffee, and how hot it is when it comes through.
What makes the Strietman ES3 different from most espresso makers, then, isn't just its gorgeous copper-on-birch looks, or even the fact that it's wall-mounted, which frees up valuable counter space. It's the simplicity by which it actually makes your elixir.
Generally speaking, espresso machines force water through the coffee grounds using either a pump or a boiling action. The Strietman ES3, however, uses a simple piston. All you do is pump water into the coffee, pull down on a lever, and the water is forced through the grounds and into your tiny espresso cup.
As Strietman notes, it's a simple mechanism that anyone can understand, just by looking at it. In fact, the Strietman ES3 doesn't work too differently from an AeroPress—but with the Strietman ES3, temperature control is an important part of the brewing process. Unlike an Aeropress, the ES3 allows even the most discriminating coffee snobs to specify the exact temperature of their coffee, thanks to a built-in electric water heater.
The ES3 looks like a very slick way to wrangle yourself up a cup of morning Joe. It's also a beautiful objet d'art in its own right: As bright as a copper sunrise, the ES3 would look beautiful in even the dreariest kitchen. But if you buy one, you'd better be committed to drinking so much espresso that you vibrate through space-time. How else to justify the $1,700 asking price?