The fingerprint recognition system on the Philips Saeco Xelsis Fingerprint ID Espresso Machine ($3,200) isn't meant to keep anything more secure — unless you consider your personal drink preferences a well-guarded secret. Able to store up to 6 unique profiles, the Xelsis also features Saeco Brewing System technology that lets you dial in just the right strength and consistency, an integrated, automatic milk carafe for perfectly frothed milk, an adjustable, built-in ceramic grinder, protective coffee bean hopper, and removable 54-ounce water tank. All of which helps you save a grand per person per year over hitting up the local coffee shop.
Consider yourself a coffee geek? Then you should consider a Blossom One Coffee Maker ($TBA). Alongside the most complete temperature control ever put in a coffee brewer, the Blossom also lets you adjust everything from grind size to extraction time, allowing you to brew a cup to your taste. If that wasn't enough, it also features built-in Wi-Fi and a 1.3MP camera for scanning QR codes, letting you instantly download and share brewing recipes specific to the beans you have on hand. You might never stop at Starbucks again.
With no moving parts, electronics, or other unnecessary niceties, the Chemex Coffee Maker ($37) is brewing at its purest. To brew, simply place the grounds in the cone-shaped filter at the top and pour hot water over them — the resulting joe should offer rich flavor without the bitterness that you've like become used to. Once it's done, grasp the polished wood collar, pour, and enjoy. It's really that simple.
Do you — or someone you know — have to have each little piece of ingredient perfectly, uniformly chopped before you can proceed with cooking? The Obsessive Chef Cutting Board ($30) was made for you. This clever 9" x 12" beechwood cutting board features built-in guides for batonnet, allumette, julienne, small and medium dice, brunoise and fine brunoise cuts, as well as guides for cutting on 30º, 45º, and 60º angles. It might not help your actual cooking, but it should give your presentation a boost.
Single-cup coffee makers are all the rage these days, but most of them have a hard time trying to recreate your coffee house favorites. Which is why they make the Starbucks Verismo ($200-$400). This new single-cup machine uses individual pods to brew espressos and coffees, and separate milk pods to create drinks like Caffe Lattes, all brewed to Starbucks standards thanks to Swiss-engineered high-pressure technology. It's kinda like having a Starbucks in your house, minus the Baristas.
Trying to grab a scoop of ice cream out of a hard slab is about as effective as trying to talk to a wall — unless, of course, your have this Serrated Ice Cream Scoop ($10). It features a die cast head with a serrated edge for cutting into hard ice cream and a textured inner scoop for easy release, and even packs in a soft-grip handle to relieve stress — as if the ice cream wasn't enough to take care of that on its own.
Give your next tea party a taste of the Dark Side with this Death Star Tea Infuser ($20). Made of stainless steel, it's officially licensed by Lucasfilm, opens easily to let you fill it with loose leaf tea, and even features a TIE Fighter on chain for easy removal — no exhaust port trickery necessary.
We typically like our iced coffee like we like our regular coffee — ready to drink not long after we start making it. For those of you with more patience, the Bodum Bean Iced Coffee French Press ($45) offers a smoother drink in exchange for a much longer brewing time. Just load your ground coffee into the jug as usual, add cold water, and let it hang out in the fridge overnight. In the morning, press it down, and you've got incredibly smooth iced coffee, no (more) waiting required.
Expand your collection of display-worthy kitchen gadgets with the Eva Solo Ice Tea Maker ($90). Designed by Danish studio Tools, it features a glass carafe, a stainless steel tea filter, a flip-top lid that opens automatically when pouring, a colored silicone neck sleeve for a secure grip when pouring hot or cold liquids, and a one liter capacity. You can spoon tea leaves directly into the carafe for indefinite brewing — the filter will keep them from escaping into your drink — or place them inside the filter to brew for just a couple minutes, then press the plunger and pour.
Brew coffee-house worthy cups of caffeine-laced goodness on your stovetop with the Otto Espresso Machine (AU$800; roughly $850). Designed in Australia, it's based on Giordano Robbiati's classic Atomic, made almost entirely of stainless steel for dependable operation year-in, year-out, can brew two cups at a time at up to three bar of pressure, and includes a built-in steam wand. It doesn't look too shabby, either.
With a nickname like "Moccamaster", it's got to be good. And so the Technivorm Grand Coffee Maker ($370) appears to be, using a copper heating element to keep the water temperature between 195º and 205º for the best possible flavor, an insulated, 64 oz. steel carafe to keep your joe hot after it's done, a 9-hole spray arm for an even soak, and the ability to brew a perfect pot in just 8 minutes.
Inspired by San Francisco's iconic landmark, the Laguiole Golden Gate Bridge Knife ($300) is handcrafted from stainless steel in the Laguiole region of France. The work of a single master cutler, it features a stylized bee made from steel used in the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, a handle cutout that recalls the structure's shape, and an included storage tube with bridge blueprint. Perfect for preparing a picnic in Golden Gate Park.