Thursday, March 20, 2008

Small Space Espresso: The Atomic and La Sorrentina


love coffee, probably too much. I, at one time, had quite a serious espresso habit — often consuming eight to twelve shots most days. I have been able to wean myself off, ok not off, but down to a more acceptable level.

I have been looking at home espresso machines for some time. On many occasions, have come close to purchasing machines. Several factors have prevented me from buying. Not the least of which is the size and ugliness of many of the candidates. When I do find a machine that looks good, they are either too big or have bad reviews.

When I first came across the Atomic, I was impressed by it’s beauty. This machine is truly the perfect union of function and form. This machine was originally designed in the UK in the 1940’s. It looks like an object from the atomic age. It has a curved organic shape that fits much of the design of that era.

The machine is like many archetypes — simplistic in its design. It is essentially a small boiler that sits on a gas stove. Water inside the boiler becomes steam and is either directed through the filter group or the steam wand.

The Atomic can be purchased used, but they are highly collectible and sought after. There is also a new contemporary incarnation of the machine, La Sorrentina.

The La Sorrentina is very well made to the same specifications as the originals. No detail is left out; it has brass screws and bakelite knobs. This machine is constructed to last a lifetime. This may the perfect small space living espresso machine.