Category Archives: Coffee

Coffee Fit for a Mad Scientist


Chemex Brewing Systems

? 1941: Dr. Peter J. Schlumbohm

In 1941 chemist Dr. Peter Schlumbohm created the prototype for the Chemex, for his own use, from an Erlenmeyer flask and a laboratory funnel. The production model is a mid-century design classic. Fabricated from a single piece of borosilicate laboratory glass, it trades a nice wooden collar for the original duct-tape and adds a small ‘navel’ indicating the ideal brewing quantity. Widely considered the best filter coffee making system available, when used with laboratory-grade Chemex filters.

Chemex Classic Coffeemaker, 3 cup: $64.95
Chemex Classic Coffeemaker, 8 cup: $74.95
Chemex Classic Coffeemaker, 10 cup: $84.95

Chemex Accessories:

Universal Lid: $11.95
Wire Grid (for electric stoves): $11.95
100 genuine Chemex Filters: $13.95


This very useful instructional video comes courtesy James Hoffmann, World Barista Champion 2007 and founder of Square Mile Coffee Roasters based in London, England.


To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us

Because Everyone Knows that the Most Important Piece of Equipment in Any Design Studio is the Coffee Maker

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Krups Nescafé Dolce Gusto
? 2008: Antoine Cahen & Krups GmbH

Okay, so if you subscribe to Barista Magazine and roast your own green beans, this may not be the machine for you. However, if someone in your studio is taping increasingly threatening notes over the coffee station in the kitchenette (8 1/2″ by 11″ laser printed, all caps, lots of exclamation marks … you know the kind) or your receptionist is threatening to quit next time the whole boardroom asks for extra-foam soy steamers, then we have a suggestion for restoring workplace harmony. Using Nestlé’s proprietary multi-beverage capsule system, Dolce Gusto produces perfectly passable cappuccinos and lattes, on par with what one is served at the ubiquitous chain latte factories. And, thanks to the magnetic capsule holder, the beverage doesn’t actually come into contact with the machine, meaning virtually no clean-up. Despite its robo-pet styling, the Dolce Gusto is actually a fairly serious machine, with the same 15-bar pump and ‘Thermoblock’ on-demand heating system found in Krups’ traditional ground-espresso machines. Capsules containing 100% arabica beans and sterilized milk are available from Swipe in six varieties – caffè americano, cappuccino, latte macchiato, caffè lungo, espresso and chococino – at $8.95 for a carton of 8 capsules.

Starter set including 16 capsules: $219.95


Krups XP 5240 Espresso Machine
? 2009: Krups GmbH

The overall styling of this all-stainless machine owes a great deal to Krups’ ongoing collaboration with Konstantin Grcic, and to the successful XP5000, launched in 2006. The most striking technical innovation making its debut here is the patented Krups ‘Precise Tamp’ system, a ratcheted handle that automatically tamps the cake and adjusts the cup depth for the quantity of coffee used. The handle also features a cake-ejection button, eliminating the need for a forceful (obnoxiously loud, kitchen-counter-denting) knock out. In common with other higher-end Krups machines, the XP 5240 offers a 15-bar pressure pump and the ‘Thermoblock’ on-demand water-heating system which eliminates downtime between cups (even if the whole damned boardroom does ask for extra-foam soy steamers).


Krups coffee accessories also available at Swipe:

Krups Fast Touch Coffee and Spice Grinder: $34.95
Krups GVX 2 Burr Coffee Grinder: $112.95


To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: