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

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

This Tiny Press Lets You Brew Barista-Quality Coffee Anywhere

Whether you prefer the convenience of single-serve pods or the high quality of pour-over coffee, there’s a brewing method out there to suit your tastes. As Co.Design reports, one of the latest options is the Palmpress, a hand-held silicone brewer that combines the ease of using pods with the delicious taste of more time-consuming brewing methods.

To use it, just fill the press with ground coffee and pour in hot water. Then, screw on the lid and allow the grounds to steep for three minutes. Similar to less-portable options like the Clever dripper or a French press, the Palmpress uses immersion brewing to extract the coffee evenly, giving you a smooth taste every time.

Once the coffee is done steeping, it’s ready to pour: Flip the press upside down onto the top of your mug and compress the silicone base. When you push it down, the Palmpress releases a perfectly-portioned serving of coffee into your cup.

The Palmpress is completely reusable and doesn't require any paper filters, plastic pods, or other supplies destined to end up in the trash, making it both wallet- and eco-friendly. The press only makes 8 ounces at a time, so it’s not ideal if you want to make more than one cup of coffee, but its small size (it's around 2 inches tall when collapsed) makes it an appealing option for traveling, camping, and days when you just can't stomach the thought of the office Keurig.

The Palmpress is currently out of stock, but it will cost $39 when supplies become available again.

And if you’re really looking to improve your morning coffee experience, there’s more you can do beyond updating your equipment. From what kind of water to use to the perfect temperature, here are some tips for brewing coffee at home.

[h/t Co.Design]

Smart Shopping
11 Cozy Mugs for Everyone on Your Holiday Gift List

A mug is the perfect all-purpose gift. It’s just as appropriate for your office Secret Santa as it is for your best friend. But in a world stacked to the brim with cool drinking vessels for warm beverages, which to choose? Take a look at these 11 whimsical, wonderful mugs that will please just about everyone on your holiday shopping list.

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A mug decorated to look like a Game Boy

Need a gift for a video game master, or just someone who’s nostalgic for the ‘90s? Try a drinkable Game Boy. The two consoles on either side of this mug "turn on" in response to heat, revealing a start screen and a classic shot from a game of Mario. This way, your caffeine-swilling friend will get to watch their Game Boy power on at the same time they do.

Find it: Firebox


Three mint-green and white mugs stacked on top of each other

Let someone on your list show off their hometown pride with a map mug customized to showcase their favorite place. Geek Group’s personalized mugs can be tailor-made to map out the boundaries of a certain city or even a single neighborhood, down to specific coordinates. The 11-ounce, fade-resistant mugs come in a variety of different color schemes, including black and white, pink, mint (above), and multi-colored. Even better, the shop helps fund programming at the Geek Group National Science Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a nonprofit dedicated to science and technology education.

Find it: Etsy


Amateur star-gazers will be wowed by this star-chart morph mug from the Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild. Featuring a dark image of the night sky, as it warms up, it reveals the 11 major constellations within. It's a perfect companion for someone who likes sitting out on the porch with some hot chocolate and finding the real constellations.

Find it: Amazon


There’s nothing worse than going to take a sip of coffee and realizing it’s gone ice-cold. With Ember, your giftee will never have to worry about their coffee or tea cooling down, because the mug is designed to keep their drink at the exact temperature they specify. It links up with a smartphone app so that the user can remotely adjust the ideal temperature, and get a notification once their beverage has hit that temperature.

Find it: Ember


Two images of a mug that reads 'Anatomy of a Maine Coon' with a drawing of a cat on it

Your favorite animal lover will go gaga over these cutesy mugs by UK-based illustrator Sophie Corrigan. Her "Anatomy Of" mug series covers cats, dogs, birds, betta fish, cows, giraffes, hedgehogs, and basically any other animal that could be construed as adorable. No matter what kind of animal—pet or otherwise—tickles your friend’s fancy, Corrigan has a whimsical illustration to go with it.

Find it: Society 6


Two mugs depict a world map and rising sea levels.

Perfect for the environmental activist in your life, this mug is a daily reminder of the effect humankind has on the planet. The heat-activated mug reflects what’s happening as the Earth warms, slowly causing continents to disappear as the polar ice caps melt and sea levels rise. Goodbye, Florida. Not all of your friends will be delighted to deal with the grim realities of climate change over breakfast, but for particularly ardent environmentalists, it will make a great conversation piece when their science-denying relatives come to visit.

Find it: Amazon


A woman raises a white cup to her mouth that is shaped like a dog’s snout.

These 6-ounce cups are sure to make any breakfast companion laugh, and they make a great novelty gift for an animal lover in your life. When they tip the cup up to their lips, they will suddenly have a new snout. The mugs come in either the shape of a dog’s nose or a pig’s, but there’s nothing stopping you from gifting both.

Find it: Firebox


Two mugs feature the titles of books that have been banned, one with the titles blacked out.
Uncommon Goods

Your literary friends and family will fight over this morphing mug decorated with the titles of classic books that have been banned at some point. As the mug warms up, the black lines censoring the titles—from To Kill a Mockingbird to Naked Lunch—reveal themselves.

Find it: Uncommon Goods


A coffee mug lies on its side to reveal a platform to hold a donut, while another sits with a donut on top nearby.

Give your favorite donut lover the perfect breakfast with this donut-warming mug, which will keep their breakfast pastry warm from the heat of their coffee. The top of the mug features a built-in lid that serves as a resting place for a small pastry (or cookie), warmed by the steam of a good cup of joe.

Find It: Amazon


A mug features a Mondrian-inspired design.

Your beloved art connoisseur can take inspiration from this morphing mug from the Museum of Modern Art’s design store. Before you pour in hot liquid, it looks like it just features a black and white grid. Once it heats up, its color-changing surface reveals a design inspired by the artist Piet Mondrian.

Find it: Amazon


Four black-and-white mugs feature optical illusions.
SFMOMA Museum Store

Help make someone’s coffee or tea time more fun (and mind boggling) with these optical illusion mugs from the San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art Museum store. Each one of the four mugs features a different illusion to test the eyes. And at $20 for the whole set, they won’t test your wallet.

Find it: SFMOMA Museum Store


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