What's wrong with instant? Everything, assuming you're a coffee connoisseur. You need one of those whistling, steaming machines that baristas tend to using mysterious, arcane rituals in your local coffee shop. A machine like, say, the La Fenice.
Okay, so why should I buy this one in particular?Because the La Fenice is the first coffee machine to use electromagnetic induction to heat the water. That means that it doesn't need to maintain the water at brewing temperature, so it uses 80 per cent less energy than conventional coffee makers, according to its creators. They also claim that it's less vulnerable to limescale encrustation – though they're waiting on confirmation of that, with plans to send a prototype to a university for testing.
So it's green – but does it make a good cup of coffee? Not just one cup, but two – the La Fenice can control temperature, pressure and flow rate, meaning that you can whip up an espresso or an American filter coffee according to taste. For an espresso, the La Fenice uses a pressure of 11 bars, a reduced flow rate and a pre-infusion time of one second. For a filter coffee, it uses 1 bar of pressure and maximises flow rate. In both cases, it'll keep the temperature at 93°C – using a sensor that directly measures the temperature of the water, instead of the surface of the water boiler.
It looks nice, too. Yup – its design is based on coffee machines from the 1900s; it's made from aluminium, glass and wood, and is available in three finishes: black, chrome and a limited edition copper, brass and chestnut model. All three will play nice with either ground coffee or Keurig K-Cup and Lavazza Espresso Point FAP capsules – though not Nespresso.
So how much is it? The La Fenice is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter; you can pledge to order the standard model on an Early Bird deal for US$300 (US$200 less than the eventual retail price), or get the limited edition model for US$700.
READ MORE: How to... become a coffee connoisseur