There is something about pulling your own shot of espresso that elevates the experience; for home baristas, the Elektra Micro Casa a Leva is the pinnacle.
The lever espresso maker is made by Elektra, a family-owned company in Treviso, Italy, that was founded in 1947. "The word stunning doesn't quite do justice to the Micro Casa a Leva," says the Coffee Geek review. The pressure gauge needle indicates the optimal moment to extract your cup of espresso; you then pull the spring-piston lever down. And for those of us who have managed to burn out their stovetop espresso by accidentally heating it without enough water, the Elektra offers a built-in safety thermostat to prevent meltdown.
Above: The Elektra Micro Casa a Leva is shown here with a chrome finish and Bakelite handles. The price is a stunning $1,349 at Kitchen Universe. (Another classic option: the La Pavoni Europiccola Lever-Style Espresso Maker, which has a slightly less daunting price; $789 at Amazon.)
Above: Detail shots of the Elektra Micro Casa a Leva in action, via Flickr.