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The Street
The Street
Jena Warburton

KitchenAid unveils new luxury appliance coffee drinkers will love

One of the most special and ritualistic part of the morning that so many millions of us participate in each day is preparing or buying a cup of coffee.

At the onset of and during the pandemic, with many of us sheltering in place, most coffee shops shuttered for business in an effort to promote safe social distancing. 

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But when coffee shops reopened, the demand for an outing for coffee came roaring back. Any excuse to get out of the house and see other people was a good one, and everywhere from mom and pop corner cafes to Starbucks  (SBUX)  saw a massive resurgence in coffee interest.

Many of those coffee shops are still struggling to meet all that pent up demand. Long lines make an in-store experience chaotic for the consumer and crushing for the barista. Starbucks famously offers a great deal of customization for every order, and complicated demands plus high foot traffic equals a rough shift for anyone in a green apron.

This has been a difficult problem to solve for, and one new CEO Laxman Narasimhan has made his priority to solve for. The company has been working overtime to solve its employee turnover rate (reducing it by 9% last year) and has invested in its all new Siren System, which makes the coffee ordering process quicker and easier for both the drinker and the preparer. 

New KitchenAid gadget makes coffee at home tempting again

But what about those folks who enjoy a coffee at home, whether that's because they can't break away or they simply prefer an optimized convenience? 

There are popular models on the market, like Nestle's  (NESAF)  Nespresso, the Keuring by Keurig Dr. Pepper  (KDP) , and more expensive and oftentimes niche espresso machines. But many of these machines are either too rudimentary for a coffee snob (most Keurigs and Nespressos simply have one button to brew) and pricier espresso machines require fine-tuning and have a higher barrier to entry. Anybody who's spent time around them will tell you they are not exactly self-explanatory. 

Emeril Lagasse gives a cooking demo on stage at Goya Foods' Grand Tasting Village Featuring Mastercard Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid Culinary Demonstrations on Feb. 25, 2017 in Miami Beach, Fla. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for SOBEWFF)

Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

Enter Whirlpool subsidiary KitchenAid, which specializes in making unique and oftentimes luxurious kitchen appliances. The company is probably best known for its KitchenAid mixers, which are available in a variety of colors and are seen everywhere from the Food Network to the Great British Baking Show. KitchenAid has become synonymous with luxury, quality, and attainability for foodies. The mixers, for example, can be found online for just under $300 and are largely regarded as some of the easiest and best appliances on the market. 

KitchenAid's most recent innovation, an espresso machine that makes high quality caffeinated drinks you'd get with a more manual countertop espresso machine, but with fewer buttons and levers so your everyday pedestrian can operate it. 

“What we looked at was this intimidation,” Ludo Beaufils, EVP at KitchenAid small appliances, said. “The approachability of the category was what struck us… [making espresso at home] is a little bit difficult for people to get through.”

So KitchenAid is unveiling an all-in-one automatic espresso machine that makes premium coffee but features fewer buttons. With just a singular press, the machine will grind coffee beans, brew the desired drink, and steam milk as an automatic process. The company hasn't indicated when it will begin to retail, but it did indicate the machine would cost between $1,199 and $1,999.

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