14 Jun
The Italian Astoria Dual Espresso Machine

With the influx of coffee shops popping up like Anthony Weiner twitter pics, the quality of your lattes, cappuccinos and macchiatos seems to differ from shop to shop and from barista to barista. The original column espresso machine was a handcrafted piece of machinery made of brass and copper, featuring copious mechanical dials and switches. With the proliferation of coffee shops, newer easy-to-use espresso machines were invented and subsequently used by businesses and private owners, but the charm of the traditional espresso machine has been lost. Learning to make a good cup of espresso was like learning to be a cobbler, milliner or artist; months of studied practice were required. Now Astoria has produced the Dual Espresso Machine, a world class coffeemaker that not only features modern function, but also has the look and feel of a machine from years past. Finding the perfect timing to get the milk and water at just the right temperature may have been a skill requiring dedication of learning, but the internal brewing mechanism of the Astoria Dual is microprocessor controlled and can automatically adjust the water amount based on the serving size to make sure that you get the ideal water-to-grind ratio without all that practice traditionally required. Bonus: via touchpad controls you can select up to four different brew strengths and the machine has a built-in water softener system. Now instead of months of practice, you can make the perfect cup of coffee in a matter of minutes; all from an espresso machine handmade in Italy, featuring a Moroccan-made copper dome and topped with a striking brass eagle. If you’re in the business of having daily cups of Colombian goodness, you can pick one up for a cool $8,000. Lifetime warranty included and the team from Hammacher Schlemmer will come and install the machine for you. For eight grand they’d better.

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