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Rare Atomic "espresso maker"

The Atomic!


Iconic Mid-Century design. 


This example is the rare "brown" model. 


(Warning:  this is an original vintage Italian version made by Brevetti Robbiati, in Milan, probably in the 70s.   But the stainless/aluminum "Atomic" is way more common, AND was copied and re-made by an Australian companyand.   So the confusion over what is truly a "vintage" or "collectible" Atomic is partly why prices are all over the map on these.  BTW, the "brown" models were never reproduced!


So this is NOT an "espresso machine."  Some people seem to have difficulty with that.   But NO stovetop "espresso maker" or "moka pot" is really making espresso.  They're basically making a denser version of grandma's perculated coffee, with boiling water providing the "pressure." 


Italian inventor Achille Gaggia's great Post War gift to us was a way to make coffee under substantially higher pressure than boiling water, and changed coffee making forever.  Those ornate antique towers may have looked beautiful, but made pretty antique coffee.  Bitter and burnt was "normal." 


Gaggia's revolutionary discovery allowed brewing coffee at lower temps (which made it sweeter, and less bitter) while under far higher pressure, using a lever actuated hydraulic piston.


This high pressure brewing led to the discovery of "cafe crema."   (Literally "cream coffee" in English.)  The "cream" became what we call "crema" now, and produced a coffee that required far less sugar!  

Espresso means "pressed coffee."   So it's not only a description, it's a requirement.  Since you can't make espresso without high pressure, you can't make espresso with a stovetop "espresso maker."  Even though people love to call what comes out of moka pots "espresso." 


Having said all that... everyone STILL wants an Atomic!  


 Because they're a pleasure to behold. 


And have been for generations. 


Quite a feat of Industrial Design.


In fact, if we had to have one "coffee maker" to put on a shelf (and not make coffee with) we might go with the Atomic.  


It's just that visually impressive.


We haven't had to do much to this one, except clean it up.  It's had a new portafilter seal recently installed (still available) by the original owner we scored it from.   So, "Yes, it works."


But we're also telling people this belongs on a shelf, not your stove.  At least for making "espresso."  


Buy one of our levers if you want to make espresso!  



Rare Atomic "espresso maker"

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