This post was originally published on sothebysrealty.com.
The fine art of espresso preparation, long the mainstay of specialty cafes, is surging in the domestic sphere. These machines—equal parts form and function—are made for discerning clientele, with small and big companies alike offering precision, performance, and high style.
THE SPEEDSTER FROM KEES VAN DER WESTEN, $10,000
Kees van der Westen is a family-owned company from the Netherlands that originally designed the Speedster as a fun project for family and friends. It’s a professional machine, meaning it’s best installed directly to the water mains, uses a lot of power to heat up quickly, and also offers a lot of capacity for a single group machine. Kees’ fondness for classic American cars, older airplanes, and speed boats is evident in the hyperprecise design. The stainless-steel body panels can be coated with any RAL color in multiple finishes: smooth, textured, gloss, silk, and matte. Options for further customizations are plentiful.
MANUMENT LEVA MACHINE, €8,000
When an industrial designer and former barista champion created their first product for the Swiss start-up Manument, they set out to “elevate and celebrate” coffee preparation with a spring lever espresso machine. Aimed for beginners and professionals alike who enjoy the manual ritual, the handmade Leva machine may be calibrated for different brewing profiles. An innovative multiflow heater system heats only the exact amount of water necessary to pull a shot or steam milk, which also prevents overheating and reduces energy consumption. Available in black or white.
LA MARZOCCO LINEA MINI, $5,400
Based on the iconic design of La Marzocco’s eponymous cafe machine the Linea Classic, the Linea Mini was developed to be a commercial-grade home machine for home espresso enthusiasts. Its classic design harkens back to La Marzocco’s heritage from the 1950s. The Mini, a dual boiler with an integrated brew group, is available in red, white, black, stainless steel, light blue, and yellow.
THE STRIETMAN CT2, €2,200
Industrial designer Wouter Strietman says when he began to design his own espresso machines, “the ritual of coffee had already developed itself into a strong sensual experience for me. It was a playfulness and curiosity I liked instead of the formal, static way in which a lot of household machines work.” With the CT2, the user has full control over the extraction process, making it ideally suited for light roasted coffee beans, which require long infusion times and delicate ways of extraction. Sold directly to espresso aficionados and purists worldwide, the lever CT2 features nutwood handles and a matching wooden tamper.
DECENT DE1XXL, $4,500
After spending $10,000 on a high-end espresso machine, Decent founder and co-designer John Buckman says he was still making drinks that were worse than his $99 home machine. After a day under the tutelage of a professional barista, he started making progress. “Most of us don’t have the option of an expert Italian standing next to us, giving us advice, and correcting our mistakes,” Buckman says. “So, I set out to make a tablet-controlled espresso machine that could do some of that for you.” Influenced by the Tesla, the DE1XXL uses technology to tell the home barista, through the tablet located on the machine, what the pressure, flow rate, and temperature are in real time. The DE1XXL, which is shipped in a suitcase for easy transport, is available in white or black.
EAGLE ONE PRIMA BY VICTORIA ARDUINO, $6,000
This revered 116-year-old Italian company developed the Eagle One Prima single group machine to address the changing needs and tastes of a new generation; a midcentury reminiscent design that can be changed on a whim, variable profiles for light and medium roasted beans that can be “dialed in” on either the machine or the app, and a reduced environmental footprint. The NEO engine uses an instant heating system that reduces heat dispersion and energy consumption. The E1 Prima can change its color to suit the season, the workspace, or any color preferences. Available in stainless steel, black, white, light blue, red, and green.