THE STORY OF THE COF­FEE POT

Our new se­ries fo­cuses on the fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory of some hum­ble house­hold items. And it starts with a caf­feine hit

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style | Design -

Over the cen­turies, cof­fee has been made on the hob, over fires, in earth­en­ware carafes and pres­surised Ital­ian per­co­la­tors; and served ev­ery­where from Turk­ish street kitchens to stately Ge­or­gian sa­lons. Ac­cord­ingly, ves­sels for brew­ing and serv­ing it range from ef­fi­cient en­gines to dec­o­ra­tive sta­tus sym­bols. With take­away cof­fee com­ing at an alarm­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal cost – we get through 10,000 dis­pos­able cups ev­ery two min­utes in Bri­tain, and they are not re­cy­clable – it’s time to rediscover the plea­sure of home brew­ing.

1600s

DALLAH, Mid­dle East Also known as a ‘Baghdad boiler’, this richly dec­o­rated pot was used by no­madic Be­douin peo­ple in Arab deserts, where cof­fee prepa­ra­tion sym­bol­ised hos­pi­tal­ity and wealth. Its beak-like spout min­imises sed­i­ment end­ing up in the cup.

1700s

CAFÉ AU LAIT POTS, Sh­effield

The spout on this Ge­or­gian sil­ver pot is set at a right-an­gle to its straight, turned-wood han­dle, mak­ing for easy pour­ing. The style was echoed in Robert Welch’s 1957 ‘Cam­p­den’ de­sign, which has a match­ing milk jug.

1760

PORCE­LAIN POT, Lon­don By now, Bri­tain was im­port­ing around three mil­lion pounds of cof­fee beans per year, ac­cord­ing to the V&A Mu­seum. The Bow Porce­lain Fac­tory made this elab­o­rate soft-paste porce­lain de­sign, which is strength­ened with bone and ash.

1929

FRENCH PRESS, Mi­lan

A truly Euro­pean piece: with ori­gins in France, this heat-re­sis­tant glass de­vice with mesh fil­ter was patented by Mi­lanese de­signer At­tilio Cal­i­mani in 1929. In Bri­tain this de­sign re­mains most com­monly known as a cafetière.

1930

‘ VOGUE’ COF­FEE POT,

Stafford­shire This geo­met­ric shape by her­itage Stafford­shire pot­tery Shel­ley fea­tures a stylised Art Deco ‘Sun­ray’ pat­tern. The piece was a pi­o­neer­ing mod­ern de­sign in bone china.

1933

BIALETTI ‘MOKA’ POT, Italy

Patented by its de­signer Luigi De Ponti for Bialetti, this iconic stove­top de­sign is a sta­ple in Ital­ian kitchens. Also known as a ma­chinetta ( lit­tle ma­chine), it brews cof­fee by push­ing pres­surised boil­ing water up through ground cof­fee.

1967

‘CYLINDA-LINE’ COF­FEE POT,

Den­mark Arne Ja­cob­sen’s brushed stain­lesssteel de­sign pro­pelled Dan­ish table­ware man­u­fac­turer Stel­ton to suc­cess. It is still avail­able to­day, and in 2004 the com­pany launched an up­date, a press-top cof­fee maker.

2017

HARIO ‘COLD BREW COF­FEE

FIL­TER’ BOT­TLE, Ja­pan Join the craze for cold-brew­ing cof­fee – these bot­tle with built-in fil­ters are more stylish than a take­away cup. To find out how to see these cof­fee pots and more, visit col­lec­tion.vam.ac.uk and british­mu­seum.org

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