I’m a Moka guy, always have been. Admittedly, I also like so-called American coffee and, of course, espresso. But every day at my place, I’ll have a Moka-brewed coffee. Twice. As I wake up, and then in the afternoon before getting back to work. I’ve been observing the pods frenzy spreading all around me with curiosity and bewilderment in recent years, with dedicated retailers opening (and often closing soon after) everywhere in my town. Bialetti’s Moka coffee pots have always been around my life. Not disposable, for they are pretty expensive even here in Italy, but common, everyday kitchen gadgets? Absolutely.

So it was interesting to read Atlas Obscura’s The Humble Brilliance of Italy’s Moka Coffee Pot to learn more about Moka’s roots, history (with the ups and downs), and design relevance. Of all this stuff, I was only marginally aware.

The Moka pot is a symbol of Italy: of postwar ingenuity and global culinary dominance. It is in the Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and other temples to design. It is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most popular coffee maker and was for decades commonplace to the point of ubiquity not only in Italy but in Cuba, Argentina, Australia, and the United States. It’s also widely misunderstood and maligned, with approval in the modern coffee world coming perhaps a bit too late, in only the past few years. Get one while you can.