I had been looking through some real old posts at some coffee sites this evening and one thing that really struck me is how far coffee has come in the past few years. This really applies in large part to the equipment that is out there for people to buy. I honestly do not know what I would do for my equipment if I had tried to get into coffee a few years ago before some of the new players on the market, mainly Baratza, and now Bonavita.
Baratza has been around for a while now since 1999 according to their website, and I believe they have been offering different products since that time under different names, i.e. Solis, Starbucks. However, prior to their introduction of grinders like the Vario and Preciso, the other grinders out there were either not made for home use or a good step below in the way they were designed for the home user.
Take what prior to the Baratza Vario was considered to be the best home espresso grinder, Mazzer Mini. The price point is above the Vario at about 600 and is really made to be a low use commercial grinder, think donut shop not known for good espresso a doser that promotes stale coffee. Now there is the Mini-E, which is near a thousand dollars and gets rid of the amount of waste, but you still need to get a mini-hopper. Basically the home user is a forethought.
Somethine like the Vario or Preciso on the other hand are smaller, and easily fit in the kitchen. They also produce very high quality grinds, and allow the user to go from drip to espresso and back again fairly easily. I am just really amazed by them.
Next up a relative newcomer in just the past year that I have been really into coffee, Bonavita. I have been really happy by their introduction of coffee maker, and pouring kettle. Before Bonavita, there really isn't an electric pouring kettle on the market here. It has made my manual brewing so easy. Heat water and pour in the same container. Even their non-electric kettle is a good twenty dollars cheaper than a Hario Buno.
And now the coffee maker! I have been really happy with it thus far myself, and gotta say it sure beats the pants off of having pay three hundred dollars for the coffee maker that it is compared to. They are really filling in some holes in the coffee market for well-priced goods that seem to have high quality.
Overall, I am really looking forward to what these companies are going and hope to see some more new items by both companies. What new companies are you guys happy to see?