On the 11th of February 2016, Renato Bialetti, the man who has made the moka pot famous in the world, has passed at the age of 93. We would like to honor his memory by honoring his family business and most importantly the moka pot, an invention that has revolutionized the way Italians, and the rest of the world can make excellent coffee even in the leisure of their homes.
The Bialetti Family.
While it was Alfonso Bialetti who invented this revolutionary type of coffee maker, taking inspiration, by the way, his wife used to do laundry, it was his son, Renato, who made the passion for the stove-top creation explode worldwide.
Iconic and useful.
Italians used to be able to make coffee at home by filtering the boiling water over the ground coffee, but with the invention of the moka, which is not only a very useful tool but also a design object, the lives of Italians and others all around the globe (most of the international users of the moka are in the other countries of Europe and in Latin America) have changed radically. The Bialetti moka, as well as other moka pots made by other brands, does everything by itself thanks to the water pressure rising as the liquid comes to a boil and filters, with an upwards motion, the coffee grounds. The result varies according to the quality of the ground coffee used, temperature of water, fineness of grind and type of roast for the coffee beans used, but the coffee made with a moka affords users to drink it whenever, and with bigger moka pots coffee can be served for the whole family after a meal in just one go. Moreover, the new and improved method for extraction of coffee available thanks to the Bialetti invention gives an extraction ratio similar to (or at times higher than) that of an espresso machine found commonly at a bar or café, and the coffee made with a moka pot is decidedly stronger than one produced with drip brewing.
The method with which the moka produces coffee isn’t the only aspect that has participated in making the coffee maker an incredible invention, but it’s also the shape of the moka that has become such a symbol that nowadays most of the moka pots produced tend to keep the same design. Its shape is so recognizable by Italians and globally thanks to the effort made by Renato Bialetti who spread the love, passion and knowledge for this invention to the rest of the world.
The Bialetti Company.
In 1952, the joined efforts with an advertiser made possible the creation of the symbol of the Bialetti company, the “little man with a mustache” that can be seen as the brand’s mascot on the moka pots produced.
We can say that the creation of Alfonso Bialetti and the efforts of Renato Bialetti have made it possible for the Italian coffee tradition to evolve, allowing women to enjoy the pleasure that was until then exclusive of men who frequented bars in their own home and allowed men to enter the kitchen to create original and high-quality coffee with a simple gesture.