Tag Archive 'espresso_machines'

The Pod People — and their less than magnificent brewing machines

Posted by TheShot on 04 Nov 2007 | Filed under: Consumer Trends, Foreign Brew, Home Brew, Machine

Today’s New York Times Magazine published an article on the declining design aesthetic of the espresso machine: The Pod People – New York Times. As the author puts it, “Cape Canaveralesque control centers that have replaced those great machines.” And she blames the meteoric popularity of Starbucks, which inspired a great wave of ensuing greed […]

Coffee machines: traditional versus automatic

Posted by TheShot on 31 Oct 2007 | Filed under: Machine

Although its approach is more from the caterer’s perspective, the Web site for the UK magazine Caterer and Hotelkeeper published an article comparing the merits and tradeoffs off traditional versus automatic espresso machines: Coffee machines: traditional versus automatic. The article cites analysis where traditional machines used up 22% more coffee than their automatic counterparts. However, […]

How’s your crapuccino?

Posted by TheShot on 04 Jul 2007 | Filed under: Add Milk, Home Brew, Quality Issues, Starbucks

This week, The Guardian (UK) posted an article on the elusive quality cappuccino: How’s your crapuccino? from Guardian Unlimited: Word of Mouth. While the Brits may disparage the “dirty dishwater” that is American coffee, even in London you’re helpless to find a cappuccino that isn’t served in a gargantuan bowl, filled mostly with milk, and […]

Presenting the Coffee Machine That Reads Minds

Posted by TheShot on 02 May 2007 | Filed under: Consumer Trends, Home Brew

Last week, JL Hufford Coffee and Tea of Indiana announced a patent for a super-automated home espresso machine that would use artificial intelligence (i.e., pattern-learning technology) to anticipate the espresso beverage needs of its owner: Presenting the Coffee Machine That Reads Minds. Artificial intelligence technologies have long suffered a reputation for being “a solution in […]

I’ve seen the future of coffee hell, and it is: ‘Inventive Coffee Roaster Changing the Way Americans Drink Coffee’

Posted by TheShot on 11 Apr 2007 | Filed under: Consumer Trends, Quality Issues

In case you thought we were simply making things up for the benefit of a joke, coffee is truly getting worse at the same time it’s supposedly getting better. Today’s commercial flood of poorly designed home espresso machines marks some of these steps backwards. Other examples are more insidious, such as how the Nespresso machine […]

Nespresso controls brand with boutiques

Posted by TheShot on 09 Apr 2007 | Filed under: Beans, Café Society, Consumer Trends, Home Brew

Contrast with the many home espresso machine design failures, Nestlé’s Nespresso pods and machines have been something of a consumer success story. The Nespresso machines do exhibit good design and an impressive amount of convenience. For a number of home espresso lovers, however, these advantages ultimately pale in comparison to their required use of stale, […]

Why the overwhelming numbers of design flops?

Posted by TheShot on 09 Apr 2007 | Filed under: Home Brew, Machine

In yesterday’s International Herald Tribune, design critic Alice Rawsthorn wrote about the increasing number of design failures in commercial products today: Why the overwhelming numbers of design flops? – International Herald Tribune [link updated]. What does she consider to be a design failure? Something that’s “not especially efficient or environmentally responsible” … “nor are they […]

Home Espresso: Delving Deeper Into Coffee

Posted by TheShot on 02 Apr 2007 | Filed under: CoffeeRatings.com, Home Brew, Quality Issues

Last month I mentioned an article on David Lebovitz’s site regarding his recent training at Illy‘s Università del caffè in Trieste, Italy. David is a professionally trained pastry chef and writer, and recently he’s taken up a bit of an obsession with quality home espresso production. (Sound familiar?) Today his site features an article and […]

Coffee roasting for the computer age

Posted by TheShot on 26 Mar 2007 | Filed under: Machine, Quality Issues, Roasting

It’s no secret that I generally disdain superautomated espresso machines (myself and Howard Schultz apparently included) and the convenience-step-forward/quality-step-backwards home pod machines. So you may get the (false) impression that, when it comes to coffee, I am an anti-technology Luddite. While I have never placed PID temperature controllers on the group of my home machine […]

Consumer Delusion: ConsumerReports.org’s buyer’s guide to espresso makers

Posted by TheShot on 20 Mar 2007 | Filed under: Beans, Home Brew, Machine

Consumer Reports published a home buyer’s guide to espresso makers this month: ConsumerReports.org – Buyer’s guide to espresso makers 3/07. As with a lot of things in Consumer Reports, they often lack sufficient knowledge or background to offer educated opinions beyond winging it with what’s on the surface. (Well, beyond that and Consumers Union‘s usual […]

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