Handheld Espresso Maker, Why Do You Exist?
|Flickr user coffeegeek|
The idea is that you load a cartridge of nitrous oxide into the handle, then put coffee and the hottest water you can manage to get in the ball; you press the button on the handle and the nitrous flows through, expelling the coffee through the drip at a constant pressure.
We envision tons of spilled, tepid and just plain bad coffee; in addition, the cartridge only lasts up to six shots before you have to replace them, which is the espresso equivalent of a printer that only takes proprietary ink or toner cartridges. You have to be able to hold the maker steadily, or you'll wreck the emulsion, and you still have to tamp the coffee to the correct density in order to hit the 17-23 second "sweet spot" it takes to pull a one-ounce shot.
If you fail, though, you could always just shoot the nitrous into your system and go out laughing. Not that we think you should do that. If you have unlimited room in your kitchen, go right for this; otherwise, seek out your nearest friendly barista.