Samantha Cristoforetti: First Italian Woman in Orbit, Brewing the First Espresso in Space

First Espresso in Space

“To boldly brew….”


New York Times

Caffeine Activism

Americans Should Drink More Coffee


Not only can people stop worrying about whether drinking coffee is bad for them, according to the panel, they might even want to consider drinking a bit more

Roberto A. Ferdman reports: When the nation’s top nutrition panel released its latest dietary recommendations on Thursday, the group did something it had never done before: weigh in on whether people should be drinking coffee. What it had to say is pretty surprising.

“I don’t want to get into implying coffee cures cancer — nobody thinks that. But there is no evidence for increased risk, if anything, the other way around.”

— Tom Brenna, a member of the committee and a nutritionist at Cornell University

Not only can people stop worrying about whether drinking coffee is bad for them, according to the panel, they might even want to consider drinking a bit more.

Ryan Ludwig, of Counter Culture Coffee, prepares a coffee cupping, or tasting, at the company's training center in lower Manhattan. Leslie Josephs/The Wall Street Journal

Ryan Ludwig, of Counter Culture Coffee, prepares a coffee cupping, or tasting, at the company’s training center in lower Manhattan. Photo credit: Leslie Josephs

“We saw that coffee has a lot of health benefits. Specifically when you’re drinking more than a couple cups per day.”

— Miriam Nelson, a professor at Tufts University

The panel cited minimal health risks associated with drinking between three and five cups per day. It also said that consuming as many as five cups of coffee each day (400 mg) is tied to several health benefits, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.


“We saw that coffee has a lot of health benefits,” said Miriam Nelson, a professor at Tufts University and one of the committee’s members. “Specifically when you’re drinking more than a couple cups per day.”

“The decision, which broke the committee’s more than 40 years of silence on coffee, was driven by heightened interest in the caffeinated beverage as well as a growing anxiety about potential health risks associated with it.”

That’s great news if you’re already drinking between three and five cups each day, which Nelson and the rest of the panel consider a “moderate” level of consumption. But you know what? You probably aren’t, Giant Coffee Cupbecause people in this country actually tend to consume a lot less than that.

“It remains to be seen whether the Department of Health and Human Services or the Agriculture Department will take the committee’s recommendations for coffee intake to heart and include them in the official dietary guidelines update…”

On average, Americans only drink about one cup of coffee per day, according to data collected by the United States Department of Agriculture. Even when Americans drank the most coffee they ever have, back in 1946, they still only drank two cups a day on average. Read the rest of this entry »

Designer Buzz: Pantone Universe Coffee Pots


This isn’t a product endorsement, or ad, just an eye-catching combo of design + design. Or maybe I know too many caffeinated graphic designers. I could be wrong, but I expect this will enjoy success.

Whitbread Wilkinson has just launched Pantone Coffee Pots in three different sizes. The colorful percolators have a retro Italian style –that is pretty darn cool– and come in your choice of Pantone Colors. Read the rest of this entry »

[VIDEO] The Next Frontier: ‘ISSpresso’ Authentic Italian Espresso in Space

“Our aerospace engineers have designed a new-concept coffeemaker, which is safe for the astronauts and able to function in microgravity conditions.”

— David Avino, Managing Director of Argotec

As capsule-based espresso machines have taken over the world, one Italian coffee company plans to take its coffee to space. Italian coffee manufacturer Lavazza has announced it is working with the Italian Space Agency (ISA) and engineering firm Argotect to take the authentic Italian espresso into orbit.


The machine will go by the name ISSpresso, from the acronym of the International Space Station (ISS), where it is to be installed

Following numerous complaints by Italian astronauts over the last 13 years that what they miss most while on duty at the International Space Station is a high quality espresso, the company hope that Samantha Christoforetti, who is set to become the first Italian woman to go into space in November can enjoy a warm cup of coffee on board.


The plastic tube carrying water inside a standard espresso machine has been replaced with a special steel tube designed to withstand pressure above 400 bar, while the machine and its accompanying equipment weighs around 20kg.


Astronauts will not be restricted to a shot of espresso for their caffeine fix, with the innovative capsule system able to produce other hot drinks like a caffe lungo or even a cup of tea.

espresso in space_0

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Here’s What Your Favorite Coffee Beverege Says About Your Personality


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Industrial Pundit Fuel Update

100,000 espressos and still going strong

100,000 espressos and still going strong

Punditfromanotherplanet’s 24-hour news laboratory had a brief crisis this week, when the fuel source was temporarily interrupted. Yes, the espresso supply chain stopped in mid-stream, when the primary caffeine processor was offline. When I flipped it on, it didn’t boot up. With advice from a professional repair consultant, I discovered it’s easy to find the reset button, reset it, and fully restore functionality. Voila! The Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine is now serving.

Turns out, earlier that day, in a neglectful moment, I’d left the steamer on a bit too long, unattended. It overheated, and it activated an internal breaker. It self-protected. Brilliant.  It reminded me that this machine exceeds my previous model Francis Francis Italian espresso (which also got a lot of mileage) machine’s features. The Silvia protected itself from overheating. And the reset (briefly removing the top panel) was a simple process. Rather than a repair bill, a new boiler, or internal electronics, it just needed a push of a button to reset it.

[Check out Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine, and others, at]

I was originally drawn to the Silvia because it falls neatly into the ‘pro-sumer’ line of home espresso machines. More expensive than the typical home model, but more affordable than the high-end models that are professional enough to use in a a restaurant or bar. I found it’s one of the best-reviewed, most prized, durable and elegant pundit fuel sources in its price range, with a sleek, industrial feel, compared to most lightweight home models.

Read the rest of this entry »