Alongside and connected to the rise of Italian fascism came a revolution in the drinking habits of the Italian public. It might sound peculiar, but what has become known as THE Italian way to brew coffee in the home, Moka Pot (or Stovetop Espresso) Brewing is linked to the social, technological and economic changes that Italian fascism advanced during the 1930’s.
Prof. Jeffrey T. Schnapp in his article, “The Romance of Caffeine and Aluminum” (Critical Inquiry, Vol. 28 No. 1, Autumn 2001 U. of Chicago) covers this ground in detail. Schnapp shows how the Italian desire to move into the era of modernity in the early 20th century was expressed through the “marriage” between two, ostensibly very different materials, caffeine and aluminum. While my article summarizes his, I must accept all responsibility for any additions, misinterpretations or mistakes that may have entered it.
Caffeine and Aluminum are two materials that carry a common symbolism linking them to the age of modernity: Lightness, speed and mobility, Strength, energy, and electricity, are terms that fit both these materials and are associated with the new life style that modern man was seeking.