Archive for the ‘espresso machines’ Category

We’re BAAACK!!!

October 21, 2008

We’ve been busy the past 6 months growing and expanding our online marketplace at terrakeramik.com and although we continue to be busy (especially with the holiday season only a few weeks away), we are excited to share with you some of the things we’re doing on this blog. We’ll be posting in the next few days, so check back! Thanks.

New York Times “At Last, a $20,000 Cup of Coffee”

January 25, 2008

Photo Copyright by The New York Times, Peter DaSilva for The New York Times.

The New York Times features an article “At Last, a $20,000 Cup of Coffee” about the changes percolating in the coffee machine segment driven by an ever-increasing interest among both baristi and consumers for a better cup of coffee. While much attention has been paid to the espresso machine segment, that has not been the case for coffee machines until the past few years.

The article covers both the $11,000 Clover machine as well as the (what it claims to be) $20,000 Japanese halogen-siphon machine. After a promising opening, the article fades a little and doesn’t provide much detailed information about the various machines and how they function (although there is a nice step by step slide show that accompanies the article).

This is one of several articles the New York Times has published in the past year covering the specialty coffee business (thank you for that!). See also “To Burundi and Beyond for Coffee’s Holy Grail”. To view the articles, you may need to sign up for a FREE New York Times online account (you don’t need to be a subscriber).

Mother’s Day…

April 21, 2007

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Gift Ideas

For her and him, consider Terra Keramik handcrafted espresso cups, cappuccino cups and coffee mugs. Clean, simple designs and rich, saturated glazes in eight funky colors. Each piece is accented in platinum and hand-signed by the artist. Espresso cups holds a 2-ounce espresso shot and cappuccino cups hold a 5-ounce latte. Tulip shaped with round, interior bottoms.

Triple fired for maximum durability. Lead-free and cadmium-free glazes for an absolute food-safe finish. Dishwasher safe.

Handcrafted in Switzerland since 1984.

And to make a really bold statement, match the cups with a FrancisFrancis espresso machine available in equally funky colors.

Terrakeramik espresso cups
Exclusively available at www.terrakeramik.com. Espresso cups $28 or save 10% when you buy a set of 4 of the same color. Cappuccino cups $32 or save 10% when you buy 4 of the same color.
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FrancisFrancis X5 espresso machines
Available at www.illy.com, www.wholelattelove.com, www.aabreecoffee.com, etc. Retail price approx. $650.
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FrancisFrancis X1 espresso machines
Available at www.illy.com, www.wholelattelove.com, www.aabreecoffee.com, etc. Retail price approx. $800.
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Functional design (and more) in beverageware

February 1, 2007

Felix Vogler, Founder and Creative Director of Terra Keramik, believes that good design should simplify and not complicate (read our interview with Felix Vogler). He creates exclusive beverageware and dinnerware using clean, simple designs and rich, saturated glazes in eight funky colors. Each piece is accented in platinum and hand-signed by the artist. Terra Keramik uses lead-free and cadmium-free glazes for an absolute food-safe finish. And to achieve maximum durability and easy care, the pieces are triple fired and dishwasher safe. The Terra Keramik tableware is handcrafted in Switzerland since 1984. All of that increases cost. But our beverageware is not for everyone.

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Our beverageware is for the serious coffee lover who values a cup that combines functional design, handcrafted quality and a certain “fun” factor. Baristas consider our cappuccino and espresso cups to have the proven shape, size and thickness to create a perfect cup of java. We aim to raise the bar for espresso and cappuccino cups to a level that has been achieved for espresso machines, grinders, tampers, etc. Because we believe that to truly enjoy the coffee experience, one should not compromise on the cup that holds the coffee and delivers it to your palate.

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If you are serious about coffee or espresso, and you plan to grind and brew at home, you could easily spend $600 to $2,000 on equipment alone (read our equipment and tools guide). On the low end, a cheap burr grinder will cost $100, a tamper $30 and an espresso machine $500. On the “pro-sumer” (aka light commercial) end, a nice burr grinder will cost $450, a tamper $30-$50 and an espresso machine $1,000-$1,800. Fresh roasted or pre-ground coffee retails for $12-$15 per lb. What we find is that many will (unknowingly?) compromise on the cup and buy an espresso or cappuccino cup that does not have the ideal shape, size and thickness to optimize enjoyment of the java. As a rule of thumb, budgeting around 10% for cups sounds reasonable, which would translate to $60-$100+ for cups (assuming the home equipment costs $600-$2,000 as described above). Our espresso cup retails for $28 and our cappuccino cup is $32 (10% discount on sets of 4).

We draw an interesting comparison to the wine industry. Riedel Crystal designs the shape of their wine glasses according to the character of the wine and is considered the inventor of the functional wine glass. Riedel believes that “a positive approach to life is linked to pleasure and enjoyment. Pleasure is given by our senses like sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste.” Functional design has become a strong element of the Riedel brand. Riedel has raised the bar for wine glasses. We would like to educate the coffee and espresso consumer and create the same awareness and appreciation for functional design in coffee beverageware as Riedel has done for wine glasses.

Terra Keramik extends the value of the functional design by handcrafting the beverageware in Switzerland (Riedel’s best-selling Vinum wine glasses are machine made) using only the highest-quality tools and materials. And it adds to the enjoyment of the espresso or coffee by creating the cups in 8 funky (retro) colors: green, yellow, orange, red, brown, light blue, white and black. Each cup is accented in platinum and signed by the artist. And Terra Keramik creates its beverageware using energy-saving clays (reduces energy consumption by 20%) and glazes that exceed the FDA requirement for lead and cadmium content and are absolutely lead and cadmium free (the FDA permits trace amounts in tableware).

Good functional design. Rich, saturated glazes in funky colors. Quality handcrafted in Switzerland. Eco-friendly.

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