Perhaps it’s the late nights at the lab, or just the fact that the ubiquitous glassware is so well suited for double duty brewing up a cup of joe, but chemistry and coffee have always seemed to go hand in hand. The Café Balāo is a coffee machine that even Mendeleev (or Gale Boetticher) could have loved: a siphon-like coffeemaker that borrows its design cues not from Nespresso, but from the equipment of a science-age chemistry lab.
Designed by Portuguese design student Davide Mateus, the Café Balāo looks very much at first glance like a modified version of the Kipp Apparatus. There are two tiers of the Balāo, one for water and the other coffee, each of which is made with reinforced glass. Place ground coffee in the top bulb, and fill the bottom tier with water. A submerged electric coil heats up and boils the water when the Balāo is plugged in.