Forget the headaches, bouts of insomnia and terrible mood swings – the coffee pot gargling the first brew of the day is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world.

With coffee life is good. Coffee is the motion lotion that stretches your limbs in the morning and keeps you going. It is the perfect accompaniment to a spot of people watching in Valletta – the office workers holding their take away cappuccinos, the suited men downing their espressos, and the retired folk engaging in a long buongiorno banter.

Would you imagine life without coffee? It would be like a week-long Monday morning.

Coffee is flavoured with so many associations – and yet, its essence is so simple. It’s an opera in two notes – coffee and hot water.

Actually, there’s a third note – the moka coffee maker. The moka was invented in 1933 by Luigi De Ponti, who patented it for Alfonso Bialetti. It was genius in its simplicity – you just fill the boiler with water, top the filter with coffee, then place it on the stove. Once the water reaches boiling point, steam is created in the boiler and this forces the boiling water up the funnel and through the coffee. As the boiler empties, a busy gurgling noise indicates that your brew is ready.

This method survived eight decades. So has the moka’s design. The models produced by Bialetti Industrie today are hardly any different from De Ponti’s prototype. The moka’s hourglass shape, almost Cubist in inspiration, has maintained its lines to become an iconic design.

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