Coffee is a big deal in Brazil. In fact, the country is currently the world’s largest producer of beans, with a history dating back to the sixteenth century, when the first coffee plant is thought to have been imported. São Paulo natives and L.A. transplants Lalita Koehler and Fabio Costa share the same ingrained passion for a fresh brew—particularly the cafézinho, a traditional Brazilian coffee drink. That’s why when the couple tapped ras-a studio to design them a new home in Manhattan Beach, they knew from the start that a dedicated coffee station was a must-have.
"The home is a celebration of common spaces and family time, with lots of glass walls but still many private areas," says Lalita. "It was important for me that the finishes felt warm and welcoming, as well as nod to our mutual childhoods in Brazil."
For the latter request, Lalitia and Fabio worked with ras-a studio to integrate specific details including a Tipuana tree in the front yard, colorful tiles along the rear facade, and a coffee nook in the kitchen. "We are coffee lovers and borderline fanatics about well-crafted, pure-blended beans," adds Fabio. "Before the home design was put onto paper, we knew an area specially dedicated to our favorite drink was a must."
"Coffee is such an integral part of the Brazilian culture," explains Lalita. "We are always inviting friends over to drink cafezinho, and the smell of freshly ground coffee is my favorite part."
For Lalita and Fabio, a consistently well-made cup of coffee allows them to stay connected with these familiar rituals—especially as they’ve spent more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. "I’ve been drinking much more coffee," Lalita says. "It is a comforting mechanism, and I love that I can create a café-quality latte without leaving my kitchen."
For convenience and function, the couple sought out a machine that would not only satisfy their discerning taste buds but also adapt to their individual preferences. "I’m more of a coffee and milk person," says Lalita. "For me, simple is better—preferably just black—and I love a decaf espresso before bedtime," adds Fabio.
The versatile Dinamica LatteCrema™ Automatic Coffee and Espresso Machine offers the couple options for creating over a dozen coffee house specialties, from a latte and cappuccino, to an espresso, iced coffee, and a flat white. "Lately, I’ve been having a latte in the morning and two or three more throughout the day," comments Lalita.
"The Dinamica offers 18 recipes for espresso and specialty coffee drinks—all at the touch of a button," explains Doug Parkinson, a Product Expert at De'Longhi. "The system can also be adjusted to select how much foam or volume you want in milk-based drinks, while the MY Menu feature saves your personalized recipes for convenience and ease. Essentially, the machine automates the process and removes the normal, steep learning curve that is typical for at-home espresso machines."
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