I Tested the Very Pricey, Internet-Famous Espresso Machine
And, shockingly, it might save me money in the long haul.
Published Feb 8, 2022 1:00 AM
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I’m a purist when it comes to coffee. To me, there’s nothing better than a black drip—lattes can sometimes feel like a glorified glass of milk. And as someone with a negative interest in technology (the fewer buttons the better), a multifunctional touch-screen espresso machine isn’t something I’d normally gravitate toward. But then I laid eyes on Terra Kaffe’s TK-O1 Espresso Machine and all of its glossy, minimalist glory. And after testing it for a few months, I’m a convert—both to techy countertop appliances and lattes.
You’d think the last thing to sell a stylist on a 10-inch-wide-by-17-inch-deep device would be its aesthetics. Yet the look of it was the exact quality that drew me in. Designed between Brooklyn and Berlin, the machine has clean lines, rounded edges, and a monochrome palette (you can choose either black or white) that automatically makes my rental kitchen look a little more luxe.
When it comes to fancy countertop appliances, my other fear is the possibility of something malfunctioning. It seems like any time I go near the Delonghi machine at Domino’s HQ, it immediately breaks down. But there has never been an issue with the TK-O1—the only alerts it gives me are when it’s time to add more water or empty the waste bin.
So what’s not to like? Well, arguably, the price. At $825, it’s not exactly a cheap thrill. But paying it off takes less time than you’d think. For those who spend $5 on coffee per day, it would only take 175 days, or just under six months, of making coffee at home for it to even out. Of course, the price of coffee beans and the amount you drink comes into play, too. As someone who has given the TK-O1 an actual test, I can assure you that the espresso tastes just as smooth and velvety as that from the fanciest coffee shops.
But the real best part? Affogatos on demand.