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The simplest question: “Coffee?” is an invitation to get comfortable and discover the different souls hidden behind an extract that is known everywhere, but always different, produced by Italian-made, internationally renowned professional espresso machines that become ambassadors of the “Italian way of life” as a lifestyle, in which pleasure, beauty, creativity, ingenuity and relationships are expressed in an excellent coffee. Coffee machines, of which MUMAC – Coffee Machine Museum tells the story with its key players, become an opportunity to discuss technology, style and design not only of the sector, but also of Italian business culture. The documents, collected historic sources and extensive images are largely taken from MUMAC, but the contributions of other organisations, foundations, archives and business museums (over 20) make it a collective work addressed to everyone.

A journey through the five senses (plus one) after which the six chapters are named, arranged in the precise order that brings us closer to the final act of savouring our espresso. From the sense of smell, translated in the book as ‘aroma’, a term more closely associated with the coffee world, which attracts us with its medley of specific scents recognised from childhood, to hearing, here expressed as ‘sound’, which immerses us in the atmosphere of a world composed of a specific sound sequence of preparation, overlapping voices and chatter, cheerful clattering of filter holders and cups, clinking and turning of teaspoons, fine grinding and puffing of steam, right up to the silent wait for the streaming delivery in the cup. Then sight, which indissolubly links our perception of the environment to the lines, colours, style and design of objects that allow us to proceed step by step towards the use of touch and contact, with our fingers touching the cup and spoon and our lips approaching the edges of the porcelain to graze the velvety cream, a prelude to the ensuing taste.

A synaesthetic moment in which the five senses are all simultaneously involved, gathering, with the sixth sense, the essence of an entire supply chain in a few intense seconds in which the machine becomes a key element in celebrating a moment of sharing. An act of beauty. It is not just an iconographic work, made up of images and impressions, designed to spread Italian style, but also a research book in which value is given by in-depth analyses of the evolution of an entire industrial sector of made in Italy. New avenues of knowledge and discovery have been explored and, based on prior knowledge and studies, previously unpublished details and insights have emerged, which are presented here thanks to new sources and research passionately conducted to shed light on vestiges of the past. The historical part is not intended to be exhaustive; on the contrary, this volume is designed to flow and transform, reflecting the innovative approach that has always defined Italian industrial creativity. We have added ‘patches’ to a rich and nuanced story that still has countless spaces to be discovered and filled. These pages contain much more than an ‘espresso sense’ to offer further insight into a little-known sector of Italian manufacturing. They contain a world of relationships to learn from. To recognise, preserve and pass on as the roots of the future.

Senso Espresso
Edited by Barbara Foglia, Edgardo Ferrero, Marzia Camarda and Margherita Pogliani.
Preface by Fabrizia Cimbali and Federica Sala
Published by Antiga Edizioni