Moka, The Iconic Italian coffee kettle.
This entry should really be called an ode to the Moka. If you read on you will see why.
What are the great post war icons of Italian culture? I know you are going to list the Fiat 500, the Vespa and Nutella but lets not forget the Moka Express, the coffee kettle invented by Alfonso Bialetti and transformed by his son Rinaldo into an icon of design and functionality. No Italian kitchen would be complete without one. Rinaldo with his Father’s product, brought into every Italian home the aroma and punch of a steam produced coffee from the bar.
This month sadly saw the death of Rinaldo Bialetti at the ripe old age of 93, perhaps confirming the health benefits of espresso coffee. I was delighted to see that Rinaldo was buried in a casket fashioned into the form of one of his coffee kettles complete with the caricature of the little man Alfonso, his father on the side with his stupendous mustache. This scene has endeared my coffee kettle to me even more and made me even more pleased that I have refused to jump onto the George Clooney Nespresso wagon, even if this scarpers my opportunity to have coffee with the gorgeous man.
The point is even though I am told these capsule coffee makers produce a decent cup of coffee, it has now been confirmed that many brands’ capsules are non recyclable, which at the very least seems very short sighted in this ecological age. Even those like Nespresso, which are recyclable I don't believe can replace my Moka.
Coffee making for me like most people in my adopted country is a ritual. A way to start the day and put the mind and body in balance, those few extra minutes it takes to make an espresso using a Moka gives one a moment to breathe. Listening for the change in tone as the coffee is forced out by the steam tells you your coffee will be ready in a moment. This sound makes me go into first gear and then straight into fifth as the first drop of that dark rich liquid hits my lips. No fad, fashion or rush will ever part me from my little morning companion Mr Alfonso Bialetti. My Neapolitan husband is the king of coffee in our house and he has taught me how to brew and appreciate this luxurious liquid and the ceremony around it.
In my next blog entry I will get my husband to share his secrets for that perfect cup of Moka.