Nifty gifty: Aeropress Espresso Maker
Mama needs her caffeine. Mama's also a bit of a coffee snob, having spent her formative years living in Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto across the street from the original Peet's Coffee. So, when my mom got me an Aeropress, I was skeptical. It's basically two plastic tubes with a rubber gasket and filters, and looks like something Austin Powers might pull out of his bag.
Well, folks, Bubbie was right. In about 15 seconds, this contraption pumps out the smoothest, most flavorful cup I've ever had. The Aeropress makes a concentrated brew to which you add water (similar to an Americano). It's best when used for single cups of coffee, so it's ideal for the mom or dad who needs wants a quick cup without having to fire up the coffee machine. And, it's easy to clean (unlike the french press) and supremely portable/unbreakable. Best of all, it's cheap ($25-$30 depending on where you buy it), at least when compared to those fancy home espresso makers.
PS. Think Geek agrees: watch this exciting video of Mark Frauenfelder using his Aeropress!
Update: I just checked Amazon, and they're out, but at this late date it's probably better to go brick-and-mortar anyway. Here's where you can buy an Aeropress in person.