As if suffering from a Frappuccino-induced hangover, the high-brow coffee world has become an exercise in minimal design: Blue Bottle Coffee sells its $5-a-pop cups in Apple-inspired retail stores. Some of our favorite new pour-over coffee makers are so pared down they’re nearly invisible. Even the very definition of pour-over and/or cold-brew coffee—an analog technique that uses either piping hot water or a steady cold drip to draw out complex flavors in coffee beans—is really about getting back to basics.
The Dutch Lab line includes pieces inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Big Ben in London, but Gothicism, for all its spires and rose windows, wasn’t technically modeled off an existing building. Dutch Lab is enamored with the steampunk genre (“It represents the ongoing development of the present era we are all living in,” says Ines Heu of Dutch Lab) and says the coffee maker is a sci-fi nod to the Victorian era’s “Gothic ambiance.”The team at South Korean design studio Dutch Lab, however, is going against the grain by releasing maximalist designs, each one more ornate than the last. Their latest is the Gothicism coffee maker: an intricate laser-cut shrine dedicated to the art of slow-drip cold brew. This thing is a $7,300 temple of laser-cut aluminum panels, brass needle valves, and borosilicate glass tubes that can brew three one-liter pots of cold brew at the same time.
That said, it’s not steam powered. Because the cold brew process just needs gravity (and a lot of time), Gothicism is totally analog. Espresso aficionados might want to compare it to the Alpha Dominance Steampunk —another coffee-making beast that uses digital controls to achieve a consistently perfect brew—but the brewing experience is likely less suited for a bustling coffee shop than it is a museum.
Check out Gothicism and Dutch Lab’s lavish offerings, here.
by Margaret Rhodes