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Kickstarter Highlight: La Fenice

May 11, 2014

 
    We're big fans of Kickstarter coffee projects. The crowdfunding platform has helped launch some of our favorite coffee accessories, like the 3rd gen Able Kone coffee filter and brewing system. The last Kickstarter project we highlighted, the Acaia coffee brewing scale, not only met its funding goal soon after, it was a huge hit at last month's SCAA Symposium and Expo, where it took home an award for Product of the Year in the consumer area. Well, there's a new Kickstarter coffee project stirring up a buzz in the java underground. If you haven't seen or heard of La Fenice coffee maker yet, we guarantee it's just a matter of time.  

First Look: Fenice Kickstarter Film

  The easiest way to show you the highlights of La Fenice (that's pronounced la fuh NEE chay, by the way) is to just share the intro video from the projects Kickstarter page, so check this out. We'll talk on the other side of the vid. la-fenice-kickstarter-video  

What's to Love About La Fenice

  For starters, it's a very pretty machine. The La Fenice team took their inspiration from the classic espresso machines of the early 1920s with their Art Deco styling, but gave it a definitively modern twist with glass, wood and polished aluminum materials. But it's what's inside the shiny hood that's really impressive. From where we sit, these features make this dual coffee maker really stand out.  
  1. Electromagnetic induction coil heating system: La Fenice uses a highly efficient induction coil heating system to bring water to brewing temperature fast. Because of that, the machine doesn't have to stay on to keep water hot, and that results in an 80% reduction in energy use, while ensuring that your water is as hot as you need it when you need it.
  2. Temperature control system: The development team created an electronic board that measures the water temperature and keeps it at an optimal 93 C. - that's just about 200 F., right in the sweet spot for brewing both drip and espresso coffee.
  3. Dual pressure system: A unique dual pump pressure control allows La Fenice to brew both espresso and American-style filter drip coffee. The pump works at 11 bars for espresso, but drops to 1 bar for brewing drip coffee.
  4. Versatility: The machine is designed to work equally well with ground coffee or the most popular capsules for filter coffee.
  5. Lime resistant: Early tests suggest that the electromagnetic heating system helps prevent limestone encrustation, the bane of coffee brewers of all types.
 

Availability Details for La Fenice

  La Fenice is in the last stages of development before beta testing. The team has a fully functional prototype, has already started testing for UL certification for sale on the U.S. market and is production-ready. Beta testing units will be shipping in October and the finished product is set to ship in December, just in time for Christmas delivery. And, while the project reached its full funding goal quickly -- in less than five days quickly, in fact --  there are still plenty of funding opportunities available. The team will be posting new stretch goals soon, according to an update posted just this morning. La Fenice is set to sell at $499 when it ships, but backers can get in on the first run for as little as $300 (the $250 option is completely filled already.)   We'll be watching the development of La Fenice eagerly and waiting for the first field reports to see if it fulfills its promises and really delivers on great-tasting coffee and espresso. If it does, it could be quite a game-changer.  



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