Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Ever Evolving World Of Espresso Technology

Here's a great link to Espresso Nirvana and an article about the evolution of espresso machines. Naturally, given the importance espresso plays in the national diet of Italians, it's not surprising the country has been at the forefront of this complex brewing art. Personally, I'll be shopping for a machine next year. I started out with a Saeco but may move on to Rancilio or Gaggia.

Despite the advantages of these fine machines, sometimes I find myself reverting to the traditional classic espresso maker from Bialetti.

Made of aluminum, the sharply designed, octagon shaped Moka Express (or la caffettiera as we call it. More like a'caffetier for North American Italian slang) has become an iconic symbol of Italian design much in the same vain as the Vespa.

Born in 1888 from humble beginnings, Alfonso Bialetti left a permanent social impact on the lives of hundreds of millions of people. Prior to his invention, only the wealthy could get access to an espresso in bars. With the Moka (and its many variations Napolitana, Milanese etc.)

A few years ago I purchased a pressurized Moka that made la crema - think golden cream - espresso lovers seek.

My mother recently received as a gift the Mukka Express which gives you the added option of making latte caffe or cappuccino. Even though I own an espresso machine, I've had some fun using the Mukka whenever the opportunity presents itself.


  1. My daughter has bought one of those Mukka things and is so happy about it.

  2. I have tried Mukka. But the golden cream that comes out of it is a bit fake, far from the delicious cream you get in an Italian bar, where you get more expensive machines with a different technology.

    So at home I’ll stick to my old Bialettis. And for the highest quality home-made espresso, the smallest Bialetti (one-cup only) is to me the best.

    By the way, my Neapolitan friends – the most refined Italian coffee experts in my view – prefer water in the lower piece of the machine to be only up to the safety valve, which means less water, more concentrated coffee, more flavour.

    But some people find the resulting coffee too strong.