The Home: Breaking New Grounds

Biggest hit of the National Home Builders convention in Chicago was the "Coffee Butler," a self-cleaning automatic coffeemaker that, at the touch of a button, brews and serves a cup of hot, fresh coffee in a matter of seconds. Produced by the Havajava Manufacturing Corp. of Glendale, Calif., makers of coin-operated coffee machines, the Butler operates like something in a Rube Goldberg dream.

The hopper is loaded with two pounds of regular grind. When the button is pressed, a dispenser drops nine grams of coffee into a stainless-steel brewing cup. An immersion coil heats water to 210°. The water is then...

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