One of the greatest feats of engineering is to take something that’s existed for a long time and make it simpler. It’s the kind of change that makes everyone slap themselves and say “Why didn’t I think of that?”
The latest contender is the Presso, an alarmingly straightforward design that looks similar to a wine bottle opener. You just heat the water, grind the beans, and squeeze the water through. A video on their site demonstrates the process.
My only concern with many of these devices is that there’s not much offered in the way of safety. Pressure and hot water near your face isn’t a good combination! These simple espresso makers lack safety features found in high-end espresso machines, such as thick metal casing to protect you from leaks and a 3-way valve to relieve pressure in the group area.
Still, I have confidence that these safety issues are not intractable. One day it’s possible an espresso machine that costs less than $100 will make better espresso than today’s top-of-the-line espresso machine, and be safer as well.