Another birthday has recently come and gone for me here in Italy.
Last year, I left my wild and adventurous 20s behind me and dove head first into my 30s…Italian style. I celebrated the milestone with a gondola ride in Venice, various stops at some of my favorite bacari to stuff my face with Venice’s famous cichetti and got some little glass earrings from Murano. 30 wasn’t at all dirty. It was quite breathtaking, actually.
Having hit 31 this year, I am definitely aware of how much I’ve changed over the last decade, but I don’t attribute all my changes to living in Italy. It’s a mixture of Italy and the natural phase that many of us go through when we arrive in this decade (not that I’m an expert after only one year, but hey, you get the idea!)
Which is brings me to the story of the 48 Euro Moka in the picture above.
“The 30’s” – Italian Style
No, I won’t be discussing 1930s Italy when Mussolini was in power and the Great Depression swept across the globe.
I am referring to my entrance into this decade and how being in Italy has made the transition so interesting and unique for me.
Having been exposed to the world of furniture and design here in the northeast, I find that my standards for quality and appreciation for designer products has grown immensely in the last few years.
I’ve seen how things are still made in the traditional way and seen the people who dedicate their entire lives to perfecting and re-inventing one single type of product.
Respect – that is the one thing I feel after every factory tour or artisanal shop that I visit in this country.
I’ve seen the various production phases in a chair factory, the tempering and quenching process at a famous knife factory and I’ve been to a coffee roasting plant where I watched (and smelled) the fresh beans spill out of the roaster; everything that I’ve witnessed has developed and matured my tastes here in Italy.
I gladly spend a little extra on the better bottle of wine now.
My shopping cart contains more organic and natural products than it used to.
I try to avoid buying things at chain stores when I know that there is a town festival coming up so that I can purchase the item from a local person who has a family to support and bills to pay.
Yes, my tastes and habits have certainly changed in a more expensive way, so this year when it came time to choose a birthday present, I knew exactly what to ask my husband for:
a shiny new Pulcina Moka from Alessi.
Now, I should tell you that I not only wanted this moka, but I also needed it.
Our single serving moka met its end a few months ago when I forgot to put the water in the bottom and set it on the stove to perk.
After waiting, and waiting, and waiting and waiting, I finally realized what I’d done, but it was too late.
The handle had melted and the bottom of the pot was burned, and although we cleaned it up and continued to use it, the flavor just wasn’t the same. I knew that we’d need another one.
Somewhere during some internet search for something (so specific, I know), I stumbled upon this cute little moka and knew that it had to be mine one day.
The idea of owning it moved to the back burner for a while (no pun intended!) and when I accidentaly burned our other single serving moka, Pulcina made it’s way to the front again.
Maybe my brain had formulated a secret plan to burn the other moka so that I would “have” to buy the Alessi Pulcina moka?
At 48 Euro for the smallest size, I know that it is twice what I’d pay for a Bialetti, however it was just what I needed and wanted for my kitchen.
It was something I would use everyday (I love getting practical gifts that I can use regularly), it had a red handle and cap (red is the accent color in my kitchen) and I was in love with the design (complimenti a designer Michele De Lucchi).
If your first thought is, “This girl is mad for spending 48 Euro on a single serving coffee pot,” I can assure you that it is worth every penny.
It pours perfectly from the spout without dripping, opening and closing it is a breeze thanks to the taper in the middle and after only a week’s use, it is already seasoned.
I’m sure the 21 year old me would have spend the 48 Euro on cocktails and a night out on the town with the girls, but the 31 year old me is content with this designer moka that brews some rather tasty coffee for me every single morning. I even kept the box and put it on the top of the cupboards since it was so vintage looking.
Hopefully my opinions and photo will help the Alessi marketing team to determine their target audience!
30-something foreigners in Italy, or any moka-loving coffee nut abroad, needs this moka.
Now I can’t forget to give a shout out to the coffee I mentioned above since it is my favorite here in Italy AND because it is roasted locally here in Friuli.
Grosmi coffee – or Grosmi caffè – started as a family business in 1958.
One of their selling strategies back in the 70’s was to roast the coffee beans on the same day as the local outdoor market, so that the town would have the pleasant and welcoming aroma of freshly roasted coffee. Not a bad idea to get the idea of your product in the mind of those who are already out shopping!
The business has grown throughout the years and today you’ll find it not only in Friuli, but also in Italy and even internationally.
For inquiries about ordering Grosmi coffee in the U.S., contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you live in Italy and would like to order their coffee, visit their website HERE.
I’m lucky enough to know the one of the owners, Angelo, and got to take a tour of the factory last year.
There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans!
While it’s true that the moka was designed in collaboration with Illy caffè, I just love my Grosmi and since it is a local business to me, I love supporting it!
Don’t worry, Illy, I still love you, too.
The Appreciation Grows
My developing appreciation for the finer things in life, and in Italy, is what leads me to investigate and discover this country further…slowly.
As you’ve probably noticed, my motto for this blog is,
“Italy: one bite of cheese, one dish of risotto and one glass of wine (or in this case, coffee) at a time.”
While I won’t be heading out to buy a Ferrari or Lamborghini any time soon, I do enjoy the occasional splurges on quality, designer mokas and locally roasted coffee.
The 30s – Italian style – have started out with a new appreciation for what those around me do and create, and I’m excited to see what the coming decade has in store for me!