If I could choose anywhere to have a cup of coffee, a perfect cup of smoldering black coffee, I might choose the garden above at the Noguchi Museum in New York (Long Island City, Queens. due east of Central Park, across the river). Everything looks right, particularly that table. Lots of designers have had a shot at making a coffee table, mostly for indoors.

This is pretty swell, called Salontafel 20. It has a lot of Apple in it, I think.

And this is pure Apple: the itable is a big ipod where you can store analog old school printed paper material inside and rest your coffee cup, and sunglasses, on top. The two above are from here.

The inspiration for the above table is a bit older than Apple with a capital A. It is as old as paper because as long as there has been paper, there has been somebody folding it and seeing if it will fly.

Someone named Hoon Roh modified (very nicely) an ironing board into a coffee table.

The musicians in your circle of friends may like to set their coffee mug on this number. Rock on. (no strings, no fretting). Above 3 seen here.

Hey, Jason Taylor made a Brush Table (shine your shoes while you sit and gab). Seen here

OK, this is nice to look at and it’s more than just pretty: it’s a trolley, movable to where you want it. Called the ego, found here.

This is just cute as a button. Introduced at the Milan Furniture Fair 2010, designed by Luca Nichetto for Gallotti & Radice, and seen here.

If you look underneath this table, you will see an endless, very modern, mineshaft. It’s called Vertigo designed by Eero Koivisto. Seen here

No gimmicks here, perfect for no frills coffee, straight from the pot, in a beautiful cup. Design by Alain Gilles, seen at dezeen.

But for all the fun and freshness of these variations on the caffeine slab, it’s hard to beat what Isamu Noguchi designed over 60 years ago, and which has been produced continuously by Herman Miller since 1948. This is a table that could help mend a friendship, as long as the coffee was good.

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