The Moka

Elisabeth Hawthorne
November 11, 2014

As a caffeine-crazed college student I can say that there are few better places to study abroad than Italy when it comes to quality coffee.  Whether indulging in cornetto e cappuccino (never after 11am, mind you) at your local bar or making the trek to the Pantheon for Tazza d’Oro’s mind-blowing granita di caffè, the expectation for coffee is simply on a different level than in the US.  Sure, no one does hipster home-brew 50 roast options choice of drip/espresso/French press like the hundreds of new American coffee shop establishments boasting false patinas of age and fashionability.  If you want real age and expertise, if you prefer a limited – yet expertly crafted – repertoire of drinks to the million frapp- variants of Starbucks, if espresso sounds appetizing in and of itself without sugary additives, then you might already have an insight into Roman life.  This city spoils you.  You can spend an entire hour of the afternoon lost in the crema of a beautifully pulled shot or nursing a caffè macchiato.

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And I suppose, to bring the long-winded ramble above to a point, it’s always the small rituals and everyday experiences that make up a culture.  Writing a post about Italian coffee is my way of hinting at this.  I could try to make broad, sweeping statements about the Roman lifestyle and struggle to explain how they influence me and other students on a practical level, but I can’t justify that to myself.  Instead you get a video about the wonderful beast that is the Moka Pot.


The Moka:  a lovely machine, which, like most feats of Roman engineering, exploits basic principles of physics in a very intelligent and effective manner; a pressure system pushes steam through ground coffee to produce a highly flavorful (and highly caffeinated) beverage, usually stronger than drip coffee but weaker than espresso.  Yum.

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Grazie, Roma! Bella cosa tosto è rapita.

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Elisabeth Hawthorne

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I&rsquo;m your standard artistic mutt, head on the ground, feet in the clouds, brought to you by a serious case of wanderlust. Small-town Minnesota girl, ex-expat of Singapore, international traveler, art history major, varsity fencer, opera singer, aesthetics junkie, curious soul, gelato votary, far from home at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, making distance and immersion my teachers during a year abroad in Rome, Italy. You can follow along as I happily consume art and carbs in la bella città, but be warned I might not stay in one place for long!</span></p>

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