Our blog is your source for information and discussion on all things Italian coffee/coffee culture as well as travel and food! Visit https://coffeeinitalia.com to see our selection of moka pots (stovetop espresso makers), Italian espresso and accessories.
Before I get going on this post about Alessi and one of their
products, I think it’s important to be transparent that much of the information
I’m sharing is from their website. I’m posting it here only because I found their
site to be a bit busy and cluttered, despite my love of their products.
I was thinking about this quote from founder Albert Alessi:
“A true design work must move
people, convey emotions, bring back memories, surprise, and go against common
I appreciate this thought because in a surprising way, using
Alessi’s coffee makers CAN bring out emotions and memories in me and I love
that feeling! Alessi has a strong bond with the traditions and cultural
background of its area and continues to be synonymous with handcrafted objects
produced with the help of machines. The northern Italian aesthetic is timeless
and even though my family originates from the mezzogiorno, it’s still one Italy
Alessi was founded in 1921, and the majority of Alessi
products have been manufactured by the skilled workers at the Crusinallo plant
in Omegna. I had to look it up, but basically Omegna is near Milan.
We sell Alessi products because they are useful and beautiful! My current favorite is
the Pulcina coffee maker, designed by Michele de Lucchi, which is a
revolutionary moka that combines the technology developed by illycaffè and the
design experience of Alessi. If you are familiar with Mokas, or other caffettiere,
there will be a familiarity with it usage. One surprise for me was the result
of the collaboration with illycaffè. With other manufacturers, on occasion, the
fine grind of the espresso coffee can cause a pressure buildup and release
through the safety valve. It happens and it isn’t serious, however, early in the
morning the pressure release used to startle the hell out of me, and wake up
the wife. The Pulcina has handled every grind I’ve used with grace and style,
and my wife is sleeping better!
Designer Michele De
The designer, Michele De Lucchi, was a prominent figure in
movements like Cavart, Alchimia and Memphis. His work has been exhibited in
Europe, the United States and Japan. He was appointed Officer of the Italian
Republic for services to design and architecture and has been nominated
Professor at the Design Faculty of the Politecnico of Milan and Member of the
Accademia Nazionale di San Luca in Rome.
For the Salone del Mobile 2015 De Lucchi has created “La
Passeggiata” for Workplace3.0, dedicated to his vision of workspace.
Dining in Rome
During my recent trip to Rome, a friend and local recommended Hostaria Dino & Tony, the selling point was that it is affordable, great quality and traditional Roman fare. Without knowing it, my friend gave a description that perfectly aligned with what I like most about Roman food, so I was excited to give it a try!
Tony or Toni
While I am still learning to speak Italian (slowly), I usually feel fairly confident in a restaurant. Tonight, however, I was tired and Dino (or Tony, not sure which) greeted me, sat me down and asked if I wanted some wine with blinding speed. I was so overwhelmed that I think I said I wanted both Red and White wine. I didn't, he understood and returned with a delicious half-carafe of Vino della Casa and water.
I hadn't realized that this hostaria didn't see the need for menus. I'm sure I was asked what I wanted to eat, or at least if I wanted what they were making, but all I'm certain of is that I confirmed I …
History (Our Story!)
Our journey from automatic drip coffeemakers to stove-top espresso makers was long, but it shouldn't have been! We received a Bialetti Moka pot as a wedding shower gift from my sister and as we had no idea how to use it, we boxed it up and dragged it around with us on our many moves. During an unpacking, we realized the handle had broken so we dumped it (big mistake but who knew!). Cut to years later, Beppe ends up with another one from a yankee swap at a work Christmas party. Again, we don't use it. Finally our drip coffeemaker breaks and as we mull over which make/model to replace it with, we dig out the Moka pot and carefully read the directions and start using it, but only as an interim solution. After a few tries, we figured out that using it is not only easy, but an espresso is so much better!
So if you're intimidated (like we were) by the newness of the whole thing, we're here to share some tips on getting started using your stovetop…
The next person who agreed to answer the Coffee in Italia questionnaire is none other than new friend Michele, from the awesome Instagram account Mangia with Michele. We began following her within the last year and her posts about Italian food leave us drooling (you really have to check her out if you're not already following her).
I met her in NYC a couple of times IRL, and she's just as awesome as you'd expect! She has an extensive background in the food sector after leaving her career in accounting to pursue her passion. She's traveled extensively (even lived in Switzerland for a year) but loves her Jersey roots and can't imagine living anywhere other than the NYC area. Seeing the view from her window in various posts makes me miss the big apple that much more!
Currently she's hard at work building her website; you should subscribe right away so you won't miss the launch. She's also partnered with Food Lover's Odyssey to lead a food tour o…