The Coffee Gadget Industry

I know that coffee is popular now but this is ridiculous.  I see a new gadget or toy for coffee every day and sometimes twice a day.  Are people really buying this stuff?  Some of it seems great and others are just pure indulgence.


No electric needed espresso.  The ROK Manual Espresso Maker.  Looks great, but at $200…I don’t know.  It sure is cool-looking on your countertop.

ROK Espresso Maker

ROK Manual Espresso Maker

ROK Manual Espresso Maker



This next one I like and at $30 it’s affordable to me.  If you like iced coffee then all you need to do is pre-chill this cup, pour in coffee and drink.  Great idea, if it works.

Zoku Iced Coffee Maker

Zoku Iced Coffee Maker

Zoku Iced Coffee Maker


My favorite so far…coffee cubes that only need hot water.   I like to camp and this is perfect provided you can heat up some water.  Only $15 for 24 cubes AND they’re pre-sweetened!  The bad reviews on Amazon say that the taste isn’t so great but…it’s coffee, in a cube, while you’re camping!  What’s your alternative?!?!

Jiva Coffee Cubes



Seven Interesting Facts

1. After coffee beans are decaffeinated, coffee manufacturers sell the caffeine to soft drink makers and pharmaceutical companies.

2. The average U.S. worker spends $1,092 on coffee each year.

3. According to legend, Honore de Balzac drank 50 cups of coffee a day to fuel his writing.

4. In 1932, Brazil couldn’t afford to send its athletes to the Olympics in Los Angeles. So they loaded their ship with coffee and sold it along the way.

5. In 1674, the “Women’s Petition Against Coffee” said it was turning British men into “useless corpses” and proposed a ban for those under 60.

6. Coffee was banned in Mecca in 1511. It was believed to stimulate radical thinking and hanging out.

7. The first webcam watched a coffee pot. It allowed researchers at Cambridge to monitor the coffee situation without leaving their desks.

HG One Grinder

As I surf the internet throughout the week I come across some very interesting coffee gadgets and I keep meaning to post them on but often I don’t do it because I have nothing to write about them.  Take this one, for example, the HG One Grinder.  It’s over $900!  I love coffee and I think you need a good grinder to get good tasting coffee but I can’t afford that.

Having said all of that, here is a link to a $900+ coffee grinder, that looks really cool, but I cannot review.

HG One

HG One Grinder

HG One Grinder

Old News: Coffee is Good for You

I’ve never been a big fan of the effects of caffeine from coffee only because I like to drink coffee and after too many cups I get jittery.  I’ve tried a few decaffeinated coffees and I think they are quite good so maybe that’s the way to go forward.

Anyway, I find this a stretch but now they are tying coffee drinking in with ethics.  “They” say that when you’re sleep deprived you can be more susceptible to unethical behavior.  If that’s an excuse to have fresh coffee available at work, I’m all for it!

“Our research shows that sleep deprivation contributes to unethical behavior at work by making you more susceptible to social influences, such as a boss who tells you to do something deceptive or unethical,” said Michael Christian, an organizational behavior professor at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. “Caffeine can help you resist by strengthening your self-control and willpower when you’re exhausted.”

Here’s the article and a video about caffeine.

The Barista is Siri.

If you want to see the future then take a look at Textspresso by ZipWhip.  This company hacked a De’Longhi espresso-maker and set it up to receive brewing instructions from texting.

Instead of me writing about this just watch their three-minute video.  You’ll find out soon enough that this is not for sale but if that depresses you then get a Starbucks app on your phone.  Their next version will allow you to Pre-Order your coffee.  The most ridiculous part of this machine is that it prints a number ON TOP of your coffee so if it’s done before you get there and someone else texted an order you’ll know which one is yours.

ZipWhip is a company that makes texting software.  ZipWhip

Zero Gravity Coffee

Samantha Cristoforetti doesn’t have to go to the International Space Station and experience the dark, cold and lonely feeling of outer space.

Samantha Cristoforetti

Samantha Cristoforetti official portrait in an EMU spacesuit


Her mission will bring the most exciting piece of technology in the last 200 years and will make space travel something everyone can participate in.  Mars will be next and we’ll be buying our Mars tickets on JetBlue.

The ISSpresso machine (the ISS stands for International Space Station) changes the game in outer space.

ISSpresso machine

ISSpresso machine






Luca Parmitano is the astronaut who nearly drowned during a spacewalk last July when his helmet filled with water from his suit’s cooling system.  He’s also known for missing espresso and he talked about that often.  Donald Pettit, another astronaut that missed coffee while in space, offered some ideas for the design.  Pettit invented and patented a zero-gravity cup for sipping coffee versus sucking it with a straw.

Antonio Pilello, a spokesman for the company making the machine said, “You know, coffee is very important for Italian people. We are really hard to please about it!”

Hey!  Piello!  Don’t forget the Americans!

ISSpresso can make tea and consommé as well.


Posts from the Past: Deception in the Coffee Isle.

This was posted on back on Tuesday, July 19, 2011.

Sometimes you just have some bad luck. The last couple of beans I’ve bought have been disappointing.

I had ordered two (1) pound bags from Caribou Coffee and once they started to get low I went local and bought a can of Illy in my neighborhood. Illy is not bad coffee and it’s not cheap either. This 8.8 oz can cost about $13. I was surprised to find out that this just didn’t have a lot of flavor and even came off a little weak. I think that part of the problem is that it’s a medium roast but I have not yet pressed this coffee and I’m expecting better things once I use it in the press pot.

illy Coffee Can

illy Coffee Can


Mud Truck Coffee

Mud Truck Coffee

My next attempt was at a store in Park Slope Brooklyn called Union Market. This store is full of high-end, fresh food. I only needed a few items and seeing the prices I was happy that this wasn’t the store I use for my usual shopping. In the coffee isle I assumed that all of the brands would be good but one bag really caught my attention, the Mud Truck. Sometimes I’m a sucker for a colorful bag but I also remember getting coffee from this truck (and other trucks) in New York City so I wanted to give this one a try. I chose the darker roast but again, the coffee disappointed.

I’m expecting both of these to be better once I send them through a press pot but in the drip machine, they are just average. I’ll be making another entry on both of these once I drink them out of the press pot.

Floating Coffee

These little fly-aways drive me crazy. I’m not sure if my grinder causes this static electricity or if this would happen no matter what. And you can’t see the table in this photo but it’s also loaded with fly-aways.


Back in Williamsburg (Land of Coffee Shops)

If you read my last post you’ll see me praising one of my favorite Williamsburg, Brooklyn coffee spots. I rarely go to Williamsburg because getting a quick subway ride there is impossible from my home but when I got hired to shoot here again, I had a good reason to take the trip.

Williamsburg has a lot of coffee shops…A LOT of coffee shops, however it appears that the majority of them are not open early in the morning. My favorite spot, SweetLeaf, was closed when I arrived at 6:45am and they were closed after 7pm when I was done. Talk about a big tease!

I will be posting again soon. There is a place around the corner from the studio I’m shooting in called Den and I’ll be sampling a few other places.

Posts from the Past: Early Morning Coffee

This was posted on back on Wednesday, November 7, 2012.  

I’m working on a week-long project in a neighborhood far from my home. The hours are long and because of my commute the day is even longer.  I have to wake up much earlier than most people because I have to rely on a subway and it takes 90 minutes whereas a car would be about 15-20 minutes.

Two people were towed yesterday so I’m not going to complain.

I try to get as much sleep as possible so I skip coffee at my house and hope I find something good along the way.  On day one I’m walking to location and I see nothing. Not only are there no coffee spots, there isn’t even a simple store along my route. Just when I think I’m in trouble I find some round black stairs with the word Espresso painted in white.  This is not a busy place so I expected the worse, instead I got great service, fresh coffee and a very interesting atmosphere.

The coffee they brew in the morning is very earthy coffee which reminds me of Ethiopian coffee.  I prefer a crisp coffee in the morning so the coffee wasn’t bad, in fact it was very good, I just prefer another type.  The service was great. Friendly but not slobbering.  Happy but not fake.

I decided to get something to eat as well. I’m not a scone type of guy but I see these scones, one is bacon, cheese and scallion and the other is rosemary and cheese.  Wow!  They were so good that when the shoot was over I went back and bought all of their scones to eat later next week.

One more great moment happened when I went back to the café after we wrapped. I asked how fresh the coffee was because at that hour, it could be quite old. The response was, “We only make fresh coffee by the cup at this hour.” Sold!

The café is located inside a real estate office if you look for it but can’t find it.

Their website doesn’t include the location I’m writing about: Sweatleaf (update April 2014, it does now)

Here is an article about their expansion into Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Sweatleaf in Williamsburg


My cup of freshly brewed coffee with a pumpkin doughnut hole.