I'm a total sucker for pretty coffee gadgets, so when I spotted the Cafino coffee maker on -- of all places, a website that sells home lighting products, it stopped me in my tracks. It's described as sort of a French press without a plunger, but from the photo and the description, it seems more like an Eva Solo -- sans neoprene jacket -- with a removable filter rather than a filter cap. I've got to confess that I was intrigued enough to look for more information only to find... pretty much nothing.
Well, I did find multiple shopping listings that were essentially copies of the main listing for the Cafino at lumens.com. All of them actually link back to the main listing at lumens.com and at luminaire.com. I finally resorted to googling the designer, Tassilo Von Grolman -- thank you, luminaire.com -- to find more information -- and another picture with a nifty animation to show how to use the Mono Cafino. You have to flip your way through the slide show to find it -- but it's worth the trip. Grolman's tea makers are worth looking at, too.
The Mono Cafino actually dates back to 1993, when Grolman designed it for Mono. The principal is simple, and similar to using a spaghetti strainer to cook your pasta -- put the pasta into a strainer and put the whole thing in boiling water. When the pasta is done, lift the strainer out of the pot, let the water drain out and voila! No need to carry a hot pot across the kitchen and dump it into a strainer.
That's the essence of the Mono Cafino. You place the lift-out steel mesh strainer into the borosilicate carafe. Pour in boiling water, add measured coffee and let it bloom, steep, stir -- lift out the filter and you have... hot coffee.
Image from Tassilo von Grolman
Is that stunning or what? It's also kinda pricey at $165, though I did find it at Amazon for $150 and at another online site for $77. I have to say, though, that I'm intrigued enough by the concept that I'm actually itching to try to create something similar myself - not so much the design, since I have no glassmaking or steel bending skills to speak of -- but the concept. If I do happen to play with the idea and fabricate something, I'll definitely report back.