Today’s Wall Street Journal features an article on a new home espresso machine/system being introduced by Illycaffè next month: Re-Engineering Espresso – WSJ.com. Illy’s new coffee-pod-based machine/system is called Hyper Espresso — ‘hyper’ being a sort of European equivalent of ‘super’ (as in hypermarket shopping). The system consists of a custom machine (produced by Illy for about $600-$800 for the home version). Instead of coffee pods the machine will use coffee-filled plastic capsules developed, and sold, by Illy for about 75¢ each (or about $50 per pound of coffee!).

Unlike other single-serving, home espresso systems, Illy’s new system promises to enable the home barista to tweak their espresso shots — for example, allowing owners to alter brewing temperature and pressure to produce different espresso strengths and nuanced flavor changes. While the ability to alter espresso shots is a step in the right direction, the system will still be constrained by using only stale, pre-ground coffee roasted weeks earlier, it is obviously beset by high coffee prices, and it will still create a huge amount of environmental waste per shot. You can read more about these capsules on the Illy Web site.

The article concludes by reviewing Illy’s research on all the complex variables and factors that go into making a quality espresso.

Illy's Hyper Espresso machine Illy's bag o' capsules -- only $495!