Exclusive Interview with Royal Paris Craftsman Jean-Luc Rieutort

What makes the Royal Paris coffee machine the world’s most elegant coffee machine?  


With over three years of research and development behind it, the Royal Paris coffee machine is a rare piece of “functional art.” Unlike today’s modern coffee machines, a Royal Paris coffee machine leaves nothing to chance. Every minute process is an exact science, carefully engineered to create the perfect cup of coffee. From the beginning sketches to hand shaping the clay, French Artist Jean-Luc Rieutort handmakes each machine to the objet d’art it is. 


Read on to learn about his craftsmanship process.  


What are the parts used in a Royal Paris coffee machine? 

Each Royal Paris coffee machine is made of the world’s finest materials, including a Baccarat carafe and burner glass, metal parts, jewellery-class finishes, and a semi-precious stone base. These rare components are sourced from around the world and are custom-made for Royal Paris. 


Walk us through your craftsmanship process. 

Altogether, handmaking and assembling a Royal Paris coffee machine takes over 50 hours and a team of specialised artisans that apply the same standard of craftsmanship that is used in fine jewellery.  



I begin the crafting process with the metalwork. To make the finial of the centre post, the counterweight, and the spigot, I employ the age-old lost wax method, also called cire perdue. In this investment casting method, the foundry creates a duplicate metal sculpture of brass from an original sculpture.  



I spend many hours making the mould and cast for the prototype, which is a long process involving intricate sculpting. Once the cast is complete, I send the protype to the foundry, where they make several copies. The foundry then returns the parts back to me, which are ready for shaping.  



Next, I spend hours chiselling the details such as the flowers, acorns, and oak leaves on these parts. This is the most time-consuming part of the whole crafting process.  


Then, the parts go to the polisher. He cleans and polishes the pieces to enhance their smoothness and appearance. The polisher also buff the pieces to remove any oxidisation or tarnishing.  



Once the parts are returned, I assemble the machine by combining the metal pieces I created with the crystal syphon and burner glass from Baccarat to create the balancing mechanism. These parts are fitted onto the semi-precious stone base.  


How do you ensure the quality of each coffee machine?  

My team takes great care to guarantee that each coffee machine functions perfectly to create a sublime cup of coffee with every use. We first check the vacuum is functioning smoothly, making necessary adjustments along the process. We then carefully fine-tune the weight on the balance so the boiling water will move through the overflow pipe to mix with the coffee at exactly the right temperature.  


Ensuring the machine maintains the correct temperature of just below boiling point is key to produce superior coffee with a Royal Paris coffee machine. This is because as the boiling water passes through the overflow pipe, it has the chance to cool down a few degrees before mixing with the coffee. As a result, the machine can extract the oils and rich flavours of the coffee beans without creating a burned or scorched taste. 


We also comprehensively test that the burner shuts off automatically once all the water has moved from the canister into the Baccarat glass vase. This automatic process results in a safe and mesmorising coffee brewing experience that is a beautiful piece of engineering in action. The whole process operates by itself without electricity.  


Once everything is working perfectly, I disassemble the machine and pack it to be carefully shipped to Paris for 24K gold or silver plating. These parts are then returned from Paris, where I reassemble the machine, taking care to re-test the balancing mechanism and vacuum. 


What is the final step in the creation process?  



In the final step, each machine is individually numbered, which guarantees its authenticity to our clients.  


After a final round of comprehensive testing, I carefully pack the unit so that it is ready for shipment. The resulting masterpiece is a combined effort from our experienced team of artisans who bring the highest level craftmanship to each part of the coffee machine.  



To learn more about the materials used in a Royal Paris coffee machine, read our next blog.