Since I'd first heard of Enrico Maltoni's Espresso Machine Museum eight or so years ago I knew I'd have to go someday.
The stars finally signed last month; I dragged my kids and one of my "caffè dipendente" friends with me for a 1.5 hour car ride out of the Ligurian Appennines and into the heart of Lombardia, where
MUMAC: the coffee machine museum can be found in the outskirts of Milan, near La Cimbali HQ and among some of the other titan brands of coffee.
The museum is organized chronologically, each room in the museum represents a decade, starting with the first "espresso machine" prototypes by Luigi Bezzera up through modern day.
Each room is decorated with coffee art and advertisements from that period along with music from the period playing softly in the background.
The museum is free to visit an open on most days, though they have specific morening and afternoon hours, and it is best to contact them a few days ahead by email or phone to let them know you are coming.
We also opted for a guided tour. You do pay for the guided tour, but the tour guides are very knowledgeable and engaging, and they save you from a bunch of reading of all the little info cards by all the machines.
The tour generally lasts about 45 minutes, unless you bring your talkative friend with you, then it can go close to an hour 15.
It will come as no surprise that my favorite room is the lever machine room; the machines are placed so you can admire them as they were intended: functional art, and the walls are mirrored so you can easily see the "function" side as well.
It's also the largest room in the museum, and in the center is a replica of an Italian Coffee bar from the 50's, in the heyday of the lever machine. Complete with foosball and a half played game of scopa on one of the tables.
The tour finishes with some of the customized recreations of the classic Faema models (such as the original Faema President) and a hanging exploded view of a modern espresso machine.
Then off to the coffee bar to enjoy a final shot of espresso before checking out the gift shop. I couldn't resist picking up a set of cups as well as their new book, Senso Espresso. More on that book in another post.
After finishing their espressos ( they definitely got more caffeine than they should this trip) the kids wanted a replica Faema cycling hat from the famous Faema sponsored cycling team.
The "hood ornaments" of some of these vertical boiler machines were inspired from statues in famous piazzas. The Roma here with a very art deco aesthetic.
"Give me a lever and I will lift the world" - Archimedes
Make sure to sign the guestbook before you leave!
The newly released book, Senso Espresso. I will write in further detail on it in another post. It is beautifully put together. There are two versions of the book, one in English, one in Italian. I opted for the Italian version.
I could not resist. I like to collect espresso cups. I wanted the plain logo Faema cups, but I won't complain about the E71 version being available.
The kids enjoying their post-tour espressos! The one on the left opted for no sugar.
After the museum, on the way back to Genova my daughter needed to try a "crema caffe". They are amazing on a hot day.