Italy’s Beloved Moka Pots Are in Danger of Going Extinct

Photo: Bialetti

The moka pot has lost its steam. On Friday, the stove-top coffee maker’s producer Bialetti announced measures to take $77,3165,680 in debt, and that it has doubts about its “business continuity.” In other words, the moka could go the way of the dodo. To save itself, and arguably even coffee, Bialetti (which reportedly owes thousands in taxes and salary) has applied for bankruptcy and is negotiating a $39,824,750 million loan from an American hedge fund.

An icon of design, the moka pot was patented by Alfonso Bialetti in 1933 and became synonymous with making coffee in cultures that include Italy, of course, and also Cuba. Those who use the moka swear by it with fealty, and one Italian woman who works abroad tells The Telegraph that making coffee with the moka is “also just part of being Italian.” (If you doubt this, consider that Alfsono’s son Renato had his ashes stored in a giant moka pot.) According to the head of Italian coffee company Filicori Zecchini, who spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald about the crisis, 70 percent of Italian families own a moka. So what went so wrong?

Apparently, it’s the inevitable march of — no, not progress — everything turning to shit. Analysts say that the moka pot is being whopped by coffee pods from the likes of Nespresso. Ground-coffee sales are declining, while capsule sales are going up. Grub understands that things change, but really, Italy, the country that stubbornly insists food cannot change? Pods are already killing the environment. Don’t let them kill the moka, too.

Italy’s Beloved Moka Pots Are in Danger of Going Extinct