the Macchinetta

Posted: January 26, 2012 by caponeam in Uncategorized

The Macchinetta, other wise known as a stove top espresso maker, was initially made in Italy with the combination of caffeine and aluminum as two materials that were easily transitioned into “the age of modernity through their lightness, speed, mobility, strength, energy, and electricity” (Myron). The initial product had begun production in 1918 but wasn’t readily available until 1933 made by Alfonso Bialetti. (Independent). It was made to help enhance the economy and revolutionize Italy through a period of modernity.

The size of the Bialetti moka maker or the “macchinetta” or an espresso maker ranges from the different cup sizes. The standard size is a 6 cup unit but there are also 1, 3, 6, 9, 12 and more recently 18 cup models available. A six cup espresso maker typical holds 300ml as the max boiling capacity. Three cups holds 200ml, a one cup holds 60ml nine cups at 550ml and a 12 cup at 775ml of espresso at the max capacity.


The machine weights from 6kg to 9kg respectfully with the cup sizes, of course, once you add the water and espresso grinds than the machine becomes heavier depending on the amount you put in. The style of the machine ranges from a smooth cylinder chamber for the upper and bottom parts, to a more traditional hexagon type cage. The decoration is relatively simple made of aluminum and very clean cut and shiny finish is easily transformable from a traditional or to a modern home.


The design of the product was meant for easy and quick use void of all complicated parts. The style and weight of the object aid in the classic design that fits perfectly with any décor. The first espresso maker had three different pieces that were easily removable but names and functions for each piece on the device. One of the three detachable pieces is called a “filtro ad imbuto” which is an inner funnel shaped filter that fit inside the bottom known as a “caldaia” or translated to little tank / boiler or bottom chamber. The upper part of the coffee pot is where the boiling coffee ends up; once it passes through the funnel it spurs out from the “colonnina” or central column into the “raccoglitore”, the top chamber where it sits and waits to be poured.


The Independent. The Secret History Of: Moka Express Coffee Maker. Published: Dec 3, 2010. Online :


Myron, Joshua. The Story of the Bialetti Moka Express. Published: March 2003: Modified Sept 2011. Online January 24, 2011:

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