In fact, it embraces a plurality of significances which are all embedded in one single cup of coffee. Coffee is about rituals. If you live in Naples, you may want to start the day with a coffee, to make sure you begin your day in the right way. Coffee is about social interactions. In fact, you never drink a coffee alone by choice. On the contrary, drinking coffee is a nice opportunity to meet friends, talk about your life, exchange ideas. Coffee is about cultural exchange. Today, coffee arrives in Naples through Ethiopia. At first the city of Vienna appreciated this black gold. In Naples, the coffee tradition dates back to XVII century when the Viennese Maria Carolina d’Angiò married the king of Naples Ferdinando IV di Borbone. In this way she introduced coffee to Naples, and since then coffee has become part of the city's tradition and embedded in the Neapolitan culture. Coffee is about architecture. Drinking a cup of coffee in Naples means getting some time for yourself, thinking, dreaming, and getting lost in the narrow streets, colors, and the atmosphere of permanent festivity.
It is about discovering what Walter Benjamin has defined as porosity of the city, unexpected events, materiality and private life. Coffee is about design. Rossi’s moka represents an analogy to architecture. It is indeed a coffee machine, but, if scaled up, it could also be a tower, a silo, a light house. It represents an effort to go back to basic principles of architecture, history and culture, reminding all the stratified layers of Naples, its colors, festivity and porosity.
I would like to nominate my colleague, Penglin Zhu, for the next Artefact article.