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The Moka Pot is one of the most popular coffee-making machines in Italy because it is found in 80% of households and is the standard method of making coffee.
More than 300 million Bialetti Moka Expresses have been sold since its launch and have become a design icon.
One of the reasons is the Moka Pot has an elaborate design with basic things, such as the industrial revolution, futurism, fascism, colonialism and invasion, war and dictatorship, democratization, and a cultural change from before it.
Let’s first learn a little about the life of Alfonso Bialetti.
Alfonso Bialetti was born on April 24, 1892 in Castelvetro Pizzoferrato, Italy. He is known as the inventor of the Moka Pot. His father was a blacksmith, and his mother died when he was very young. Bialetti went to work in the family business after graduating high school at the age of seventeen.
In 1918, Alfonso Bialetti quit his job as a metal worker in France and returned to Italy. In Italy, he first started by making semi-finished aluminum products, then produced refined designs and ready-made kitchenware.
In the 1920s, people drank their coffee in public places they called “Coffee Bars” when they had free time. Of course, this gave our mustachioed uncle Alfonso Bialetti an excellent idea. The idea was to make an espresso through stovetop brewing. If he could realize this idea, people would be able to enjoy a delicious espresso at home, just like “Coffee Bars”.
Alfonso had seen women in Italy use a type of closed boiler to clean their clothes, which sucked water from the bottom, spraying the laundry on top of it through a central pipe. This was exactly where Moka Pot was inspired. Alfonso developed many prototypes of the Moka Pot we use today, using the principles of the machine used by women to clean laundry and making various improvements on important technical problems. Finally, in 1933, he produced the first Moka Pot.
The Moka Pot is an eight-sided aluminum device with bakelite handles invented by Bialetti. The device is composed of three main components: a lower chamber, a metal filter, and an upper collection chamber. For brewing, the lower chamber is filled with water and then the metal filter is placed in the lower chamber and filled with coffee. The top is firmly fixed in place with screws and the Moka Pot is placed on the hob.
When the water boils, steam increases pressure in a lower chamber, forcing water to pass through coffee grounds that are in a filter. Then, the coffee condenses in the upper chamber and begins to collect in the upper chamber of the Moka Pot. When the lower chamber is almost empty, pockets of water vapor are also pushed through the filter into the upper chamber and you begin to hear the characteristic sounds of the Moka Pot. The working principle of a classic Moka Pot is exactly like this.