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Design Innovator Names High-End Espresso Machine After Coban Region


Ask any Coban resident what his or her city is known for and without a doubt they will answer with one word: café. Coffee is in the air that the residents breathe. It engrained in way they begin each day. It is also way of life. The lush mountainous region of Coban affords near-perfect conditions for coffee growing and harvesting.

Richard Sapper, designer of the such well know items as the IBM Think Pad, the Tizio Lamp, and the designer kettle, sold millions of stove top espresso machines 28 years ago. In 2000, he decided to branch out again and put the Coban Espresso Machine on the marketplace. The production of these machines would not be possible without the use of bending machines and metal forming machines that are commonly used in the production of household and industrial appliances.

A love and appreciation of coffee was formed for Snapper at an early age. His father was born there and his grandfather was a coffee planter in the area. Snapper himself was born in Germany, but resides in Italy.

In a 2000 interview with the New York Times Sapper spoke affectionately about the small town with a mighty force in the coffee industry. "Coban is a little town in Guatemala, in the middle of the coffee growing region that produces one of the best coffees in the world. In Germany, my father would get bags of coffee from Guatemala, and once a month we roasted it ourselves."

To make the machine, Snapper partnered with Nespresso, a parent company of Nestle, and the Italian company, Alessi. Both companies were well versed in the proper use of roll forming equipment and were ready to make necessary modifications on the production line to suit Sapper's design plans.

How do you make a perfect espresso in twenty seconds? First, blistering steam increases the flavor of the coffee beans. As the beans are heated, pressuring the contents at 116 pounds of air pressure per square inch, the arch-like dome rises with condensation. This is a signal of the coffee's progression and indication that your daily caffeine intake is just moments away.

"Coffee is an extremely messy material, and it is somewhat risky, because it is not easy to make a good coffee. It is fun, but it is also work. You have to select the beans, grind them not too fine, but not too coarse. And some people don't have time to do that." Another innovation with his latest espresso maker is that they coffee arrives prepackaged, reducing mess and subsequent cleanup. A coffee lover can enjoy his or her favorite espresso drink in around 20 seconds. This is an innovation that has already given the major coffee chains some well-needed competition.

From the fields of Coban, where some of the finest coffee in the world in grown, to the large scale use of metal benders in production, to the final warm cup of espresso in the coffee connoisseur's hand, coffee remains both a labor of love and a great connector among nations.




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