Balmuda is a new $230 toaster from Japan capable of producing the perfect toast:
The toaster costs 24,000 yen ($230), or almost five times the price of a regular device in Japan (the smaller appliances with doors and trays are the norm here, rather than the pop-up variety). With at least a three-month wait in stores, the gadget has become a quiet hit, even though the manufacturer hasn’t bought ads or aired any commercials since it debuted in June—an unusual glimmer of innovation in a country that once wooed consumers with Walkmans, digital cameras and flat-panel TVs.
It was at a company picnic on a rainy day, warming bread on a grill, that company founder Gen Terao and his band of product designers accidentally made great toast. After the showers stopped, they tried to reproduce it in a parking lot and realized that water was the key. Thousands of slices later, they figured out that steam traps moisture inside the bread while it’s being warmed at a low temperature. The heat is cranked up just at the end, giving it a respectable crust.
There is nothing like a couple slices of toast, and nice cappuccino to get the morning started off right.