The Most Over-the-Top Coffee Maker in the World

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Keurig, Schmeurig. Apparently what you really needed to buy that coffee lover on your holiday list was one of these Royal Coffee Makers. Once only available to European aristocracy (who, clearly, have ample countertop space to store them), these elaborate, whooshing specialty brewers are now available to commoners. Want to guess how much they cost?

The classic copper model, shown above, is only (drumroll…) $595. If you are, you know, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, there’s a 24-karat gold version with demitasse cups, a serving tray, and gold spoons for $1,995. Butler not included.

All joking aside, what’s the appeal of this contraption? Well, it’s mainly about showmanship. This type of coffee maker is meant to wow dinner guests as it siphons perfect-temperature water from the metal canister into the glass carafe, where it mixes with the grounds, goes through a gold filter, and pours out of the spout.

Coffee made this way is supposed to have superior purity of flavor, with no bitterness. The only thing that made us pause and nod in all seriousness was the fact that you can add flavorings to the carafe—liqueur, chocolate, etc.—and create a flavored coffee during the brewing process.

We’re not exactly sure who the target audience is here. Restaurants? Princesses? But it’s certainly something to behold. Curiously, there’s a very modern version listed on the site that’s less expensive (only $249) and looks like a cool science fair apparatus but is no longer for sale. We could see it on display at the MoMA store.

Has anyone out there ever seen a Royal Coffee Maker in action? Maybe at a fancy restaurant in Europe?