La Cafetière Espresso Maker
Credit: Photograph by Michael Pirrocco

The original stovetop steam coffee maker is an Italian creation dating back to 1933, when the "moka pot" was patented by Alfonso Bialetti. You've likely seen countless variations of the standard aluminum body with bakelite handle, and with good reason – it reliably produces rich, espresso grade coffee that shames most any home drip machine and is easy enough for a child to use successfully.

You can also count on it o be the filthiest item in a kitchen, save the garbage, with a dense patina of cooked in oil and grime and singe marks. La Cafetière's model solves that dilemma with a modern, matte black finish that makes it easier to clean (and keep clean). The company also improved on the original's design with a larger, sturdier and more ergonomic handle that doesn't require searing your knuckles to pour a cup of brown gold. [$30;]