10 kitchen-tech trends of the past 25 years, including 34 useful products. By: Phillip Rhodes, Photos: Brian Woodcock
2. The rise of the single-cup home espresso machine
Although having a pricey Italian espresso machine in the home kitchen has long been supercool, we’ve seen many languish after the initial excitement because it’s simply a lot of fuss being your own barista. The habits of the groggy American coffee addict don’t mesh with a machine fussier than a Ferrari. But that was the price of entry—until, after Keurig’s big success with single-cup coffeemakers, Nespresso introduced its nifty pod machines. Sales of these units, which dominate the European market, are up 20% here in the last two years. Little wonder, because for less than $200, you can get a handsome, simple machine that produces real espresso—in short or long shots, complete with crema on top—at the touch of a button. Nespresso practically owns the market right now, but Starbucks is jumping in this holiday season with its Verismo machine, a single-cup capsule unit that has espresso and milk pods for making lattes.