The Moka Express is ubiquitous in Italy, anchored to the stovetop of nine out of 10 Italian kitchens. The rest of the world is no stranger to this humble espresso maker either—over 270 million Moka pots have been sold internationally, and it features in the permanent collections of both New York’s Museum of Modern Art and London’s Design Museum. Its inventor, Alfonso Bialetti, was born in 1888 in the sleepy lakeside town of Omegna, Italy. As rumor has it, he began developing the Moka Express in 1931 following a failed attempt at building a motorcycle. Bialetti was not a designer but a metallurgist, an entrepreneur and, according to Harvard professor and cultural historian Jeffrey Schnapp, “a tinkerer.” This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Three Buy Now Related Stories Food Issue 19 My Kitchen Table: Dominique Crenn French-born chef Dominique Crenn knows how to keep a level head and relishes the nights when she gets to cook to her own soundtrack. Food Issue 19 Recipe: Chamomile Cookies When your day is filled with too much excitement, taking time to sit quietly with these calming morsels and a cup of tea could be just the antidote. Fashion Issue 19 Nick Wakeman Creating a menswear-inspired line for women, Nick Wakeman welcomes the challenges arising from forging new aesthetic territories. Design Issue 19 David Rager David Rager, co-founder of design firm Weekends, shares his tale of LA and Paris and how he makes time for life’s little distractions. Design Issue 19 A Day in the Life: Frida Escobedo With her own firm and scores of global projects in her inventive portfolio, this architect is transforming Mexico City, one artful building at a time. Design Issue 19 In Anxious Anticipation The effects of adrenaline are positively pulse-pounding, but the physical whoosh we feel in our bodies actually starts in our brains.