Technology changes the way we communicate, the way we work, and also, how we eat and drink. Decades ago, finding a good cappuccino outside of Italy was hard to do. Not that capsule machines can compare to the handmade frothy cup of deliciousness, but Nespresso machines come as close as most of us could ever get at home. Easy to use coffee machines make expert baristas out of the amateur homebody, but it’s not just espresso machines anymore. Increasingly more cool appliances are being invented for beverages of all kinds. From the coffee machine that does it all to the machine that makes an espresso in space, here are five new and fun drink appliances.
This machine’s innovativeness is its versatility. It can make a large pot, a small cup, and everything in between. It doesn’t make a cappuccino, but it does make a concentrated, cappuccino-style coffee. Iced coffee lovers can also use that concentrated setting to make a denser coffee, then pour it over ice. The consistency of the drink tastes just right. Also with the package comes an easy-to-use hand milk frother, which can also do hot or cold milk.
This machine was originally on Indiegogo and is now available at Brookstone. Made by three tech/beer dudes, the Fizzics machine strives to bring a draft pour into the home bar. A beer bottle or can gets placed inside the Fizzics machine with a tube dipping into the opening of the beer. With the touch of a lever, the machine will funnel the beer into a glass for a draft-style pour. The internal, digital micro-controller, keeps the carbonation of the beer more in tact than a hand pour, making it headier. It’s a bit of a superfluous device, but definitely makes for a good talking piece at a party.
Fret no more, matcha lovers with tired wrists, for Sharp has invented an award-winning machine that will grind, brew, and whisk your matcha like a tea master. Matcha is becoming increasingly popular for its delicious taste and health benefits, but making it is not easy. The Tea-Ceré machine, a sleek, light and aesthetic appliance, does it all for you. The Tea-Ceré was designed with ample research and respect to keep it as authentic as possible to the traditional Japanese Tea ceremony. It grinds the tencha leaves into the precise matcha powder. The internal boiler heats the water to a perfect 185 degrees. Then, an internal rotary blade imitates the traditional bamboo whisk to give the cup of matcha that perfect blend.
The Ripple Machine’s patented system uses Ink-Jet and 3-D printing technologies to imprint photos onto the foam of a cappuccino in just 10 seconds. At a whopping $999, this one is not in the affordable category, but it’s not meant for home use. Instead, it’s targeted to coffee shops and businesses for marketing events. Through their app and a wi-fi connection, customers can scroll through the ready-made options of what they want printed on their cappuccino, or upload their own photo. Don’t live near a coffee shop that has a Ripple Machine, but really want to see your face on a cappuccino? Tag your Instagram photo with #rippleme for a chance to get your face on a cup of Giusseppe.
Unless you’re an astronaut, you won’t every try an espresso from this machine. That’s because it resides on the International Space Station (ISS). After hearing from Italian astronauts on the International Space Station that the only thing they miss from Planet Earth was an espresso, Lavazza got to work to get them one. Together with Argotech, an aerospace engineering company, Lavazza aimed to develop an espresso machine that would make coffee as good as you could get on Italian soil. Espresso depends heavily on fluid dynamics and gravity to make a successful cup, so the machine had to incorporate some unconventional systems and parts to make the process work in space. Even though they have to drink the coffee through a straw rather than a tiny cup, the astronauti are very pleased.
Madina Papadopoulos is a New York-based freelance writer, author and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her food adventures on Instagram and Twitter.