Chemistry Set Coffee Maker Lets Drinkers Watch The Entire Brewing Process

Become a mad scientist every time you want to make a cup of java.

Ross Brooks
Ross Brooks on December 4, 2013. @greenidealism

As much as everyone loves a good cup of coffee, it’s rare to hear them talk about how much fun they have watching it brew. Portuguese design student Davide Mateus may have changed all that with the Café Balāo – a coffee maker that looks more like a chemistry set, and will be sure to appeal to any fans of Breaking Bad.

There are two tiers of the Balāo, one for water and the other coffee, each of which is made with reinforced glass. Just put some ground coffee in the top receptacle, and fill the bottom one with water, after which a submerged electric coil will boil the water and get the experiment underway.


According to FastCoDesign, it’s a simple matter of percolation physics, which means as the water boils, it’s forced up the pipe in the middle of the Balāo. It mixes with the ground coffee for as long as it’s plugged in, and once powered down, the coffee cools and flows back into the lower chamber, leaving behind the used-up coffee grinds.

It’s clear that making a cup of coffee might never be the same again, or at the very least give something more interesting to stare at than the wall before you get your caffeine fix for the day.


Café Balāo

Source: FastCoDesign

Images: Davide Mateus

TOPICS: Design & Architecture
Ross Brooks

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Ross is a freelance writer who specializes in topics about the environment, architecture, art, design and creative tech. He is passionate about making a difference with his writing, whether that’s to encourage social change, promote a great idea, or just share a little bit of beauty with the world. You can also find his work on Inhabitat and