The Moka Pot, first fabricated in Italy in 1933, is otherwise known as a caffetierra or a macchinetta --- “small machine” in Italian.
In this vintage advertisement from Bialetti, women are urged to untie themselves from old systems and enjoy coffee at home.
Nearly a century later, what was one of the first home brewing methods has become an iconic symbol of Italian style worldwide, and can be found in every Italian home. Prior to the invention of the Moka Pot, espresso could only be enjoyed in restaurants or cafes. Large, expensive machines were required to produce enough steam pressure needed to brew a cup of espresso, preventing the working class from enjoying it at home.
Italian metal-worker Alfonso Bialetti and inventor Luigi di Ponti joined forces to craft the original Moka Express from aluminum, and brought espresso into the homes of all Italians; from the proletariat to the aristocracy. It began the convenience coffee revolution, enabling people to make good coffee at home or while traveling, without sacrificing flavor and quality.
With a unique octagonal form and decorative silhouette, it's an interesting display piece and conversation starter. Here at Caffè Umbria, we believe the Moka Pot is the most complementary brew method for our Gusto Crema, a blend which typifies the style of coffee roasted by the Bizzarri family for generations.
Moka Pot Workshops
This fun and easy coffee gadget also has a rich history, to learn more check out these articles in Serious Eats and Core 77. You can also join us at our cafés for a free workshop on Friday, February 24th at 1pm. We'll show you how to brew with the Moka Pot, and invite you to taste the delicious Gusto Crema espresso it makes.
Can't make it to the café? Watch our instructional Moka Pot Brewing Guide.
Enjoy this Moka Express TV commercial from the 1950s.