Appliances: Elektra Micro Casa Lever Espresso Machine
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There is something about pulling your own shot of espresso that elevates the experience; for home baristas, the Elektra Micro Casa a Leva is the pinnacle. The lever espresso maker is made by Elektra, a family-owned company in Treviso, Italy, that was founded in 1947. "The word stunning doesn't quite do justice to the Micro Casa a Leva," says the Coffee Geek review. The pressure gauge needle indicates the optimal moment to extract your cup of espresso; you then pull the spring-piston lever down. And for those of us who have managed to burn out their stovetop espresso by accidentally heating it without enough water, the Elektra offers a built-in safety thermostat to prevent meltdown. Above: The Elektra Micro Casa a Leva is shown here with a chrome finish and Bakelite handles. The price is a stunning $1,349 at Kitchen Universe. (Another classic option: the La Pavoni Europiccola Lever-Style Espresso Maker , which has a slightly less daunting price; $789 at Amazon.) Above: Detail shots of the Elektra Micro Casa a Leva in action, via Flickr .