A coffee brewing gadget that has won a place in our hearts

Life was great when it was defined by which toy you'd get next.

Who remembers Cupcake Dolls? They looked like cupcakes but when you turned them inside out, they were dolls. You lifted their skirt to smell their scent and that didn't seem weird in the nineties. What about Polly Pockets? They were great until you lost Polly. Your rich mates had a Furby or a Tamagotchi, but everyone who was anyone had a Troll. Some very lucky girls even got a Troll ring from a fat man in his grotto. That sounded wrong in the nineties too. But the ring was ace.

Life was great when it was defined by which toy you'd get next, but then we grew up and it became all about food shopping and council tax.

Adult toys (not that sort) are making us feel warm and fuzzy inside (still not that sort). Nespresso has usurped Hasbro; De'Longhi has ousted Mattel and Chad Valley's about to get a kicking from a relative new-comer - Aeropress.

Aeropress has somewhat of a cult following and having ignored the hype for a while, we finally decided to join them and we're now fully fledged addicts - all hail the Aeropress. Ignore the fact that it bears a striking resemblance to an enlarging device (yes, that sort), and that the packaging would better suit a nineties toy than an uber cool coffee connoisseur's companion, and the beautiful simplicity emerges.

The Aeropress sits atop your favourite mug (the one with the crass motivational message) and works like a space-age cafetiere. The process is pleasingly ritualistic and the resulting brew is surprisingly impressive. You won't see any crema but, for a hand-operated device with no plug, that's perfectly acceptable. Cleaning it is so simple that it's tempting not to bother, so we didn't and it's fine.

We're not usually so accommodating when it comes to supposedly innovative coffee brewing devices, but we've decided to make an exception for the Aeropress. It has a special place in our cupboard and it's also won a place in our hearts (very limited admittance in there). It reminds us of simpler times, of choosing toys from the Argos catalogue, eating Pop Tarts and watching Live and Kicking. Those really were the days, Chroniclers, those really were the days.

Find The Little Coffee Company at 4 Bartholomews, BN1 1HG