The head of the Italian coffee maker empire, Renato Bialetti, died at the age of 93 in February 2016 in Ascona (Switzerland). His moka stoves continue to delight coffee lovers all over the world. His likeness with the imposing mustache and a raised index finger has been emblazoned on the aluminum jugs for decades.
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How it all started
Renato Bialetti’s father, Alfonso, invented the world-famous octagonal jug in 1933, which would later establish the company’s success. In the following years, it was his son Renato who made “La Moka” known all over the world with his special flair for design and marketing. In the 1950s, Renato Bialetti ran large TV campaigns, which was absolutely unusual at the time. As an icon of Italian design, “La Moka” can be admired in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
After the end of the war, Renato Bialetti, born in Piedmont in 1923, took over the family business in 1946, which he sold in 1986. The “man with the mustache”, as Bialetti was called, became the advertising star of the post-war period and was dubbed the “Made in Italy icon” by the daily newspaper “La Stampa”.
The invention of the coffee percolator goes back to Sir Benjamin Thompson (1753 – 1814), who discovered this system between the years 1810 to 1814. He was a politician, officer, inventor and experimental physicist and as such made a significant contribution to the further development of thermodynamics.
How the espresso maker works
The preparation is based on the so-called “percolator principle”. A percolator is actually just a jug that has a special “inner workings”. The espresso pot consists of the base part of the pot that is filled with water and the coffee powder is poured into the funnel insert. The top of the jug with the riser pipe was designed to collect the finished coffee.
During the heating process, the water in the La Moka kettle begins to evaporate, creating overpressure. This now pushes the hot water in the kettle through the coffee powder in the funnel insert. The coffee flows through a fine sieve at the bottom of the top of the jug and rises up in the riser pipe. From there, the coffee runs into the top of the pot. Since a little water always remains in the kettle after preparation, immediate overheating is prevented.
This is how you can prepare it with the Bialetti
How to use the Bialetti espresso maker step by step:
- It is advisable to first heat the required water separately, for example with a kettle. If you heat the water with the espresso maker, the metal quickly becomes too hot and the coffee powder can burn before the actual brewing process, which results in bitter taste notes.
- Meanwhile, unscrew the espresso pot and lift the metal filter out of the lower part.
- The lower part of the jug is, so to speak, the storage tank for the coffee water. Fill in the hot water here up to the level of the valve. The “Brikka” model comes with a separate measuring cup for this. Fill the “Moka Express” by eye to below the valve.
- Now insert the filter into the lower part and fill it up to the edge with coffee powder, which you tap lightly.
- Carefully screw the jug shut by grasping the jug body and not just twisting the handle.
- To cook, place the jug on a suitable heat source. If you use an induction cooker, make sure that the espresso maker is suitable for this. For example, Bialetti has the Bialetti Venus Induction in its range.
- While heating up, you can hear the water rising to the surface. It is best to keep the lid closed at all times!
- As soon as you hear an increased bubbling noise, you should immediately remove the espresso maker from the stove and hold the lower part under cold water to prevent further brewing.
Now you can enjoy the coffee!
- The cleaning of both models is very easy, because you only need to unscrew the jug. Knock the coffee grounds out of the filter and rinse the parts in clear water after they have cooled down. If possible, do not use detergent and do not put it in your dishwasher.
The different models of the Bialetti
On the one hand, there is the Bialetti “Moka Express” ( variant for 3 cups or for 6 cups), which has meanwhile become a cult object worldwide. This jug should be ideal, especially for nostalgic coffee lovers. The design of the aluminum jug with its eight corners, which has been tried and tested for many years, enables the perfect heat distribution, so that the aroma develops better and the strong coffee is prepared within a few minutes.
The Bialetti “Brikka” is the first coffee maker from Bialetti that prepares coffee with a creamy, elegant crema. This model is just as easy to use as the “classic” variant.
For the coffee lover who loves it particularly elegant, the Bialetti “Venus” may be the perfect option, which is even suitable for use on an induction hob. It scores with its slim lines and the fact that it is made of stainless steel, which makes it a high-quality “eye-catcher”.
The “Moka Induction” is also suitable for induction. It combines the classic octagonal design elements of the “Moka Express” with the functionality of the “Venus”.
All models are available in different sizes, so that any amount of delicious espresso can be prepared.
Outlook – Bialetti
Regardless of which model you choose for the Bialetti: With “La Moka” you can prepare deliciously aromatic coffee in no time, as if by a master’s hand.
Here again all the important facts about the nimble jug from “Bialetti” at a glance:
- Alfonso Bialetti invented the octagonal jug made of aluminum in 1933.
- His son Renato made “La Moka” world famous because of the large-scale television campaigns that were unusual at the time.
- A model can even be seen in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
- The preparation of the coffee is based on the percolator principle.
- The models “Moka Express” , “Brikka” , “Venus” and “Moka Induction” are available on the market.
- The preparation of wonderful coffee is very easy and quick.