When we hear the word coffee, most us think about that jolt we need to get going in the morning. But brewing up a good cuppa can also be a subtle way to enhance and extend a late night encounter of the romantic kind, or a ritual to relax and unwind with friends.

As the caffeine trend becomes more of an institution in our social fabric, coffee aficionados have begun to take the marriage of coffee and convenience to a next level by bringing us innovations that make offering a fine cup of coffee in your own home a breeze. Gone are the days of asking how many spoons of instant coffee she’d like. Instead, the question has become: regular, espresso or cappuccino? Here at PLAYBOY we understand the importance of the coffee revolution, socially speaking, and so have embarked on a mission to ease you in to the title of “coffee machine owner.” Here are the top five coffee machines available to you locally.

If you like the idea of creating a perfect espresso in only 30 seconds, then you will definitely like the NESPRESSO Essenza Titan Espresso Machine. And if perfect thirty- second espresso hasn’t quite sold you, then there’s always the Essenza Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother with two whisk attachment that can heat enough milk for two cappuccinos or two lattes. An impressive piece of kitchen equipment at R2,599.

 

 

 

The SAECO Xsmall Plus Automatic (R4,999) espresso/ cappuccino machine is a beautiful Italian design that produces the works at rapid pace. And since most coffee lovers enjoy a good frothing, you will get a real thrill from the patented Pannarello steam wand. Another nifty extra from the SAECO designers is the front access to all features, which makes cleaning effortless and easy.

 

 

 

 

Next up is the contemporary and rounded design of the Artisan espresso machine (R9,990) from KITCHENAID, with some of the finest professional features you can find in a home coffee machine. The separate brewing and frother boilers provide optimal temperatures for brewing coffee and more than enough steam for frothing the milk.

 

 

 

 

The fine folk at CAFFITALY have taken the fuss of making coffee and captured it neatly with the S04 Capsule (R2,949). No filters, no measuring, just drop a capsule into the machine and you’ll have a perfect cup of rich aromatic coffee, tea or other hot beverages in less than a minute.

 

 

 

 

Our final qualifier packs a bit more of a punch – and price. At R22,868 the Impressa J9 One Touch from JURA offers you all the wonders of coffee creation as well a cappuccino at the touch of a button. It is easy to operate and its clear TFT LCD display gives you quick access to all your personal coffee preferences. What’s more, you can drink your cup of coffee with a clear conscience because of the patented zero-energy switch that disconnects the machine completely from the mains supply once coffee preparation has taken place.

 

 

Since we do not like to leave this to chance, especially when it comes to the fine art of brewing coffee, we have also tracked down the top global sellers.

 

The automatic drip coffee machine from CUISINART is the top selling appliance globally, and the next step for CUISINART is the espresso/cappuccino coffee makers and the combination coffee makers that make both cappuccino and filter coffee. The single cup coffee maker is a growing trend amongst coffee-lovers and is an affordable way of brewing great coffee. The single serve machines, such as those in KEURIG B60 range, are designed to operate on a single pod that contains a specific brand, roast or type of coffee.

 

 

 

 

Surprisingly, one of the top selling coffee makers is still the manually operated French Press which has only two parts: a straight- sided container usually made of glass and a filter-plunger that pushes through. Thankfully the world still seems to understand that true elegance is always presented in its simplest form.

 

 

 

 

On the bigger and more expensive side is the pump- controlled Espresso machine from BREVILLE, which is generally only used in small coffee shops… or when entertaining a bevy of Playmates.

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we have the steam- powered espresso machine from BELONGHI, which is the type most typically found in the home as the growing popularity of espresso has meant that people want a quick and easy, error-free espresso before they hit the road or hit the bed.

 

The home-brewing phenomenon is a growing trend around the world, as more and more people spend more and more time defining and brewing their individual coffee preferences. And it is safe to say that the coffee-maker, whether it’s the manual pump action of the French Press or the sleek, modern designs of SAECO, has become one of the quintessential home appliances for the modern man.

by Wezley Bezuidenhout

Published in Playboy South Africa November 2012