Café Balāo is a coffee maker that looks like it came right out of a chemistry lab. It has two tiers of reinforced glass--one for water and one for coffee--along with a submerged electric coil that heats and boils the water. When you've made enough coffee, you turn it off, sending the freshly brewed coffee into the bottom chamber and leaving the extra grinds up top. It was designed by Portuguese design student Davide Mateus and is not yet available for purchase.

Canadiano is beautifying the pour-over coffee fad made popular by Blue Bottle and Intelligentsia. The wooden coffee-brewing blocks from Toronto-based Fishtnk Design Factory use a washable metal filter instead of the porcelain and paper filters traditionally used to make pour-over coffee. The wood learns your coffee habits over time and absorbs the oils of the coffee grinds you use most, eventually influencing the flavor. The blocks come in maple, walnut and cherry, each of which offers a different hardness and rate of absorption. Get one here.

Hans Stier, in founding Bonaverde, has potentially replaced your morning routine of standing in line at the coffee shop. Bonaverde roasts, grinds, and brews your coffee all in one machine. And Stier assures, unlike other grind-and-brew systems, that Bonaverde's water is a hot 194°F and can time the perfect roast. It was launched and funded on Kickstarter last year and you can pre-order it here.

Andy Clark and Gabe Herz created the Cold Bruer--the first consumer-facing cold coffee brewing machine. To make cold coffee, you must use full-immersion brewing, which takes half a day, or slow-drip brewing. As these machines are large and typically only available at high-end specialty coffee shops, brewing cold coffee at home wasn't always a feasible option. The Cold Bruer is small; the 24-ounce brosilicate glass structure can fit in your refrigerator. And it works with existing Aeropress filters for consumer convenience. Now you can have at-home cold coffee in three to 12 hours. It was launched and funded on Kickstarter last year, and now you can buy one here.

French press machines are usually made from thin, fragile glass. In hopes of creating a sturdy press made from local materials, Bryan Kappa and Rob Story made the Portland Press. It's made of Oregon-sourced wood, wool, and steel, and the body is a mason jar. Local craftspeople put the whole thing together. Billed as an unbreakable coffee maker, the Portland Press comes with a lifetime warranty. Get one here.

5 Coffee Gadgets For Design Snobs

Including flavor-boosting brew blocks, a French press designed to last a lifetime, and more.

Nowhere are the perils of thoughtless design more apparent than in a cup of coffee. The mug that spills coffee in your lap. The flimsy French press that shatters when it slips through your overcaffeinated hands. The tempestuous coffee maker that sputters and sighs and leaks all over the counter. Above, we present five gadgets for improving your home coffee routine, from a robotic barista to a French press that could outlast you.

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4 Comments

  • thequon

    I think you missed the ESPRO Press ww.espro.ca. Filters better than any French Press in the market. Double filter so you get coffee without the grit, keeps coffee hot for hours and none of the breaking glass. Definitely design worthy.

  • I'm actually a backer of Bonaverde coffee machine, even though I agreed to what Shelby said I'm still looking forward to be able to roast some fresh beans at home. It may not be the best cup of coffee but it's definitely great experimental machine for coffee explorer. FYI, the design of the machine is no longer like that sketch, it still has that minimal look but it kinda look like an old computer case right now. Not very happy with that change. http://www.bonaverde.com/

  • Not a fan of the Bonaverde because roasted coffee typically needs to rest for a set amount of time. Most beans are in their prime from the 3-10 day period after roast, so immediately grinding and brewing will not produce the best cup of coffee.

    I've got a Canadiano and a Cold Bruer and they're both pretty cool. Very different devices, but fun to play with once and a while.