I grew up watching my parents make coffee with a percolator. They'd plug it in every morning, and they'd scoop a spoonful or two of coffee from a big green can they kept on the cupboard. The machine would chug away by itself, dripping out coffee into a glass pot underneath.
Sure, you can still make coffee that way. But why, if you can afford one of these beautiful machines?
2. The perfect machine for couples who share a passion for caffeine, yet want their coffee personalized, the Giga 5 has two grinders, two heating systems and two professional-grade pumps. What does that mean? Two delicious coffees, prepared simultaneously. No more feeling cranky because your partner's joe was ready before yours. About $6,995. Click here for retailers.
3. The R58 from Rocket Espresso Milano is a sleek dual boiler machine with a commercial rotary pump, handmade in Italy. Like many high-end machines, it can be hooked up to a direct water connection or a water reservoir. And it's very, very sexy. About $3,150 at National Cappuccino (602 Manitou Rd. S.E., Calgary.)
4. The Breville Dual Boiler has those lovely details that make us home baristas crave a commercial machine: exacting temperature control plus dedicated steam and espresso boilers so you can extract espresso and heat milk at the same time. Plus, it's expensive, but not as much as many others. About $1,299. At fratellocoffee.com.
5. If you spend much time in trendy third wave coffee shops with hipster bearded dudes, you'll likely have seen a La Marzocco machine. But the company also makes GS/3 home machines, hand-made in Florence, Italy. They start at about $8,625. At National Cappuccino (602 Manitou Rd. S.E., Calgary.)
6. I have wanted an Elektra espresso machine ever since I saw one in a movie many years ago. I don't remember the movie. I do remember the machine—an object of beauty, the sort of thing your grandchildren will beg to inherit. Various home machines—in chrome or brass and copper—are available, all based on the larger professional barista models. Starting at about $1,800. At Cappuccino King (410 23rd Ave. N.E., Calgary.)