The Allure of Built-In Coffee Makers



Appliances and presses are disappearing from countertops in luxury homes, as built-in coffee makers offer a one-stop coffee shop in the kitchen.

Such integrated brew systems are becoming both more common and increasingly automated—able to make a cup of coffee that fits individual tastes.

Dirk Sappok, a product-development manager with industry leader Miele, says the most significant advancements in built-in coffee machine design include easy usage and expanded programming options.

The devices—which average a few thousand dollars in price—include bean grinders with a half-dozen settings, adjustable dispensers that accommodate a range of cup sizes and multiple spouts that allow more than one drink to be prepared at the same time.

Some of the modern units can be attached either to the plumbing or to a water reserve, “allowing them to be installed virtually anywhere: from a butler pantry or wet bar to even the master bedroom,” Mr. Sappok says.

The machines are more widely used in Europe than they are in the U.S., reflecting the fact that many of the manufacturers are based in Europe. Also, North American regulations for the devices tend to be stricter. Now, more built-in system makers are working to expand the U.S. market, according to industry experts.

Here is a sample of fixed espresso machines available in the U.S.

The CM 210 Gaggenau

Coffee ‘Round the Clock

Timers remain a popular coffee-system feature. The CM 210 model from Gaggenau, an appliance company out of Munich, Germany, has an LED display clock and timer, allowing owners to program it to start brewing coffee in the morning before they’re out of bed. The piece has various grind functions and a self-cleaning system. Optional: a matching drawer that keeps coffee cups toasty warm.

Cost: $3,249

TopBrewer Scanomat

Smart Coffee

Designers are integrating high-tech remote features into built-in, at-home espresso makers. The TopBrewer beverage machine, from Danish coffee-system company Scanomat, can be controlled by mobile devices using software downloadable through iTunes or Google Play. The piece uses a single stainless-steel tap that doubles as a self-cleaning milk foamer. TopBrewer can produce traditional coffee and espresso drinks as well as cold beverages. It is designed to be installed in a countertop using plumbing and electrical sources. The piece includes a 24-inch-wide cabinet, hidden under the hard surface, that includes a commercial-grade grinder and a refrigeration unit.

Cost: $10,999

Thermador’s Fully Automatic Coffee Machine Thermador

Steeped In Choices

Many of the new fixed coffee makers combine simple design with scores of customization options. Thermador, the Irvine, Calif., kitchen-appliance manufacturer, incorporated a grinder that can hold as much as 14 ounces of beans into its Fully Automatic Coffee Machine. The piece can be programmed to produce six grind options and 12 drink sizes. The stainless-steel device includes a steam wand that froths milk and dispenses hot water for tea or other drinks. A timer allows for automatic coffee preparation.

Cost: $2,549

Whole Bean Coffee System Miele

Bean Counter

Modern home-espresso machines often come equipped with built-in bean grinders for control over coffee strength and flavor. This Whole Bean Coffee System by appliance company Miele, based in Gütersloh, Germany, includes a high-power grinder designed to produce consistent granule sizes and to preserve the bean oils. The automated system provides several grind options—from course to extra fine—to best suit the drink type. The liquid dispenser is height-adjustable to accommodate a tiny espresso cup, a tall mug and anything in-between. The piece’s multiple spouts allow two beverages to be prepared at the same time. The system can be secured into a water line or, for added mobility, used with a removable water reservoir.

Cost: Starting at $3,199.

The Fully Automatic Coffee Machine by AEG Appliances AEG Appliances

Social Drinking

Some home-espresso systems cater to households with more than one coffee drinker. The Fully Automatic Coffee Machine by AEG Appliances has two pour spouts for simultaneous coffee serving. But it can brew enough coffee for up to four servings in one cycle. The finished brew is stored in a thermal coffee pot that keeps it hot for a time.

Cost: $2,999

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