Piamo Espresso Maker – Designed For Your Microwave

The Piamo Espresso Maker, designed by Christoph and Hendrik Meyl, along with Lunar, is an elegant, microwaveable entry in the world of at-home espresso. It’s essentially a microwaveable moka pot, inverted. You pour water in a reservoir up top and fill grounds in the middle. Then you set the microwave for 30 seconds. Steam pressure builds in the reservoir, pushing water through the grounds into a cup. You’re done.

The Piamo has already been awarded a few patents based on its ingenuity, but its most brilliant move was to play off the already-iconic shape (and mouth feel) of the espresso cup.

Of course, the larger design challenges had nothing to do with the branding. The team had to figure out, how do you toss ground espresso into a microwave for 30 seconds without burning away the intoxicating aroma? The solution was to implement metal shielding around just the grounds compartment of the Piamo. But don’t metal and microwaves not mix?

“Any metal part in a microwave acts as an antenna. It needs to be designed in a way that its geometry is soft, rounded, and doesn’t have any pointy, sharp areas that create problems with the electrical fields that would result in the well-known sparks,” Gebhard explains. “Furthermore, these metal parts need to be designed in a way that they are aligned with the standardized microwave wavelength and frequency.”

Coupled with that espresso cup, which was actually built of ABS plastic to reinforce the metal’s shielding (better than ceramic would), the espresso grounds are kept safe from overheating. Ironically, moka pots are often chided for burning espresso before the water pressure mixes with the beans. Piamo’s design team may have solved this age-old problem despite the indiscriminate science of microwaves.

The Piamo is available for pre-order now. It’s $55 on the German equivalent of Kickstarter, check it out here.

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