What does an espresso-lover do when the office is too far from the nearest café, the communal kitchen is shared with 600 other employees and there is no coffee machine, just a microwave?
Piamo is the first espresso maker worldwide that works in the microwave, combining coffee cup and coffee maker in one unit. Whether you prefer pads or ground coffee, Piamo can do both.
Piamo brews an espresso inside a microwave in 30 seconds. Its brewer consists of a cup, water chamber, filter inlay and filter cap.
After filling the chamber with water, the user places ground coffee or an espresso pad inside the filter and connects the two components. The water chamber and filter are flipped over and attached to the cup before being placed in the microwave for 30 seconds. The pressure of the steam created in the microwave then forces the water through the coffee in the filter to create a shot of espresso.
"We really strived for creating a simple, on-the-go espresso experience that is communicated with a clear, unique, and iconic design expression,” Roman Gebhard explains, ”there was a need and opportunity to form a brand new product icon/archetype that has the strength to become a symbol for this category.”
The most difficult part was to figure out how to toss ground espresso into a microwave for 30 seconds without burning away the intoxicating aroma. The solution was to implement metal shielding around just the grounds compartment of the Piamo, leading to yet another challenge.
“Any metal part in a microwave acts as an antenna. It needs to be designed in a way that its geometry is soft, rounded, and doesn’t have any pointy, sharp areas that create problems with the electrical fields that would result in the well-known sparks,” Gebhard illustrates. “Furthermore, these metal parts need to be designed in a way that they are aligned with the standardized microwave wavelength and frequency.”
Coupled with that espresso cup, which was actually built of ABS plastic to reinforce the metal’s shielding (better than ceramic would), the espresso grounds are kept safe from overheating.
Piamo. Delicious espresso within 30 seconds.