BALMUDA Toaster Review
It’s no secret that toasters come in all shapes, sizes and colors. As one of the core American household items, toasters can be found in almost every home. With the market for toasters dominated by brands such as Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, Bella and Breville, many inexpensive toasters start at around $20 with some of the higher end toasters coming in at $60. The Balmuda toaster comes in at a sizzling $330 before taxes and shipping, roughly 4.5x more expensive than the average price for a normal high-end toaster. This ultimately begs the question, what exactly makes this toaster so expensive?
Tokyo based creativity and technology firm Balmuda was founded in 2003 and works to think of new ways to make appliances that bring unprecedented value. Although Balmuda designs has been around since the early 2000’s, they have not penetrated the US market until recently. Prior to 2020, most of their products were distributed and sold locally with markets in Japan, South Korea, Germany, China and Taiwan before becoming available within the states.
So what exactly makes these toasters so special? According to their website, the Balmuda toaster utilizes some type of steam technology to allow for the bread’s moisture to be retained throughout the toasting process. There isn’t a ton of detail regarding the specifics of this design and why it is preferred over traditional toasting methods, but it seems like an innovative advancement for improving the quality of toast. Additionally, the heat control and different toast settings are supposed to allow for superior toast quality. One thing that must be noted about this toaster is the horizontal orientation. Many of the horizontal toasters available today double as toaster ovens with a long timer option available. It does not appear that the Balmuda toaster oven was designed with this in mind, rather this seems to be more of a ‘toast only toaster’. This toaster looks to be currently offered in a black and gold colorway, a soft white color and a silver/grey color. It is no secret that this toaster has a very clean visual appeal and would undoubtably look great on any countertop with its sharp edges and minimal design.
Feedback and Concerns
Digging through some customer reviews and general user feedback online, there are a few reoccurring themes with this toaster. One concern is that the darker colors often leave fingerprints very easily, especially after handling butter, oil, jam or other toast spreads. There is also feedback of the toaster having difficulty heating up larger dishes given the small size of the toaster. There are also mixed reviews regarding the crunchiness of the toaster’s product. Some users say that the toaster is too crunchy and others say its just perfect. This is clearly just user preference and doesn’t seem like a real drawback from a design standpoint.
It is also interesting to note that Balmuda has provided several unique recipes that work well with this toaster. I personally find the chocolate banana toast recipe and the cheese toast with black pepper recipe to look very tasty.