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Claudio Martino and Takeaway via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0

Italy’s “Coffee Pot King” Was Laid to Rest in the Iconic Invention

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Claudio Martino and Takeaway via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0

Renato Bialetti dedicated his life to the Moka Express coffee pot. Now, in death, the businessman will maintain close ties to the appliance. On February 15, Bialetti's ashes were laid to rest in an oversized coffee maker, Quartz reports.

Bialetti was born an heir to a burgeoning coffee pot empire, reports Italian website The Local. His father, aluminum vendor Alfonso Bialetti, first bought the Moka pot’s design from an inventor in the 1930s. The elder Bialetti patented the design—an aluminum coffee pot with a Bakelite handle. It would go on to become the famous family business.

Sales were slow until Renato took over in the 1940s. He focused his attention on branding, not sales, and began labeling each Moka pot with L’omino coi baffi—the little man with a mustache that’s so familiar today. With one big marketing campaign, Renato turned the Moka pot into a household fixture, first in Italy, and then around the world. Today, the Bialettis' company has sold hundreds of millions of coffee pots, and the pot itself has been exhibited in design museums.

Renato Bialetti died last week at the age of 93. To honor his passion, Bialetti’s family decided to have his ashes interred in an enormous Moka Express. You can watch a short clip of Bialetti’s funeral mass in the video below.

Bialetti is not the first legend to be laid to rest in his life’s work. Fredric J. Baur invented the Pringles can in the 1960s. When he passed away in 2008, some of his ashes were buried in one of his creations.

[h/t Quartz]

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Why You Might Not Want to Order Tea or Coffee On Your Next Flight
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iStock

A cup of tea or coffee at 40,000 feet may sound like a great way to give yourself an extra energy boost during a tiring trip, but it might be healthier to nap away your fatigue—or at least wait until hitting ground to indulge in a caffeine fix. Because, in addition to being tepid and watery, plane brew could be teeming with germs and other harmful life forms, according to Business Insider.

Multiple studies and investigations have taken a closer look at airplane tap water, and the results aren’t pretty—or appetizing. In 2002, The Wall Street Journal conducted a study that looked at water samples taken from 14 different flights from 10 different airlines. Reporters discovered “a long list of microscopic life you don’t want to drink, from Salmonella and Staphylococcus to tiny insect eggs," they wrote.

And they added, "Worse, contamination was the rule, not the exception: Almost all of the bacteria levels were tens, sometimes hundreds, of times above U.S. government limits."

A 2004 study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that water supplies on 15 percent of 327 national and international commercial aircrafts were contaminated to varying degrees [PDF]. This all led up to the 2011 Aircraft Drinking Water Rule, an EPA initiative to make airlines clean up. But in 2013, an NBC investigation found that at least one out of every 10 commercial U.S. airplanes still had issues with water contamination.

Find out how airplane water gets so gross, and why turning water into coffee or tea isn’t enough to kill residual germs by watching Business Insider’s video below.

[h/t Business Insider]

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Montaag
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Design
This Concrete Block Makes a Fine Espresso
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Montaag

Have you ever thought your kitchen could use more of a Soviet Union vibe? Do you find the fixtures in abandoned buildings charming? Then the AnZa espresso machine—essentially a coffee maker encased in a concrete block—may be for you.

According to Curbed, the AnZa is part of the art and installation aesthetic dubbed Brutalism, an architectural movement using spare, blocky designs. Moving away from the sleek, shiny appearance of most modern appliances, design firm Montaag crafted a rough block with simple knobs. As post-apocalyptic as it may look, it’s reputed to make a very good cup of espresso. And it’s “smart”: a smartphone app can adjust the brewing temperature to the user’s preference.

A close-up of the AnZa's knob
Montaag

The project’s Kickstarter recently met its $145,000 goal and is now accepting preorders at Indiegogo for $799. You can hoist this subjectively beautiful appliance on your countertop beginning in March 2018.

[h/t Curbed]

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