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DESIGN

Joey Roth + Blue Bottle Coffee Moka Pot

DESIGN

Joey Roth + Blue Bottle Coffee Moka Pot

Reimagining Italy's 81-year-old design for contemporary coffee nerds

by Graham Hiemstra
on 01 December 2014

As many of us have, Blue Bottle founder James Freeman discovered designer (and CH favorite) Joey Roth through his incredibly attractive Ceramic Speakers, which have long been a staple at Blue Bottle's Brooklyn and Rockefeller Center locations. As the story goes, Freeman looked up Roth's portfolio online, stumbling across his years-old moka pot concept. "It was an impractical but interesting looking piece," explains Roth. Apparently Freeman felt the same way, as after a two-year courtship the two got together to revisit the all but forgotten design and create an intensely beautiful product for the design-minded coffee nerd. And today, 1 December 2014, we are excited to introduce the striking Moka Pot, made by Joey Roth for Blue Bottle Coffee Roasters.

The Moka pot is one of the more neglected brewing processes these days, but has the potential to make great coffee.

Though unconventional in appearance, Roth's Moka Pot works in exactly the same way as Luigi De Ponti's 1933 invention: steam pressure pushes heated water up through a basket containing ground coffee and into a top chamber. "Both James and I were drawn to the moka pot because it's one of the more neglected brewing processes these days, but has the potential to make great coffee," explains Roth. "It disappoints when people expect espresso, and needs to be appreciated as its own method, with a brew halfway between French press and pour-over in terms of clarity and intensity." To assist in the endeavor, the new design doubles the output of most moka pots, yielding six ounces by way of 15 grams of coffee, and can be fitted with an aeropress filter to improve clarity the brewed coffee.

Even to coffee enthusiasts, at first glance Roth's design is quite curious, only slightly resembling the tall aluminum structure most envision when imagining the conventional Italian moka pot. Roth's design rather, utilizes a steel bottom and porcelain top. "Porcelain retains heat better than metal, and this is critical to the cup's quality," elaborates Roth. "I also optimized the volume of the water chamber, coffee basket and the diameter of the filter mesh." And, for a final tweak, the traditional melt-prone plastic handle is replaced with a long metal and cork handle inspired by Turkish ibrik coffee-makers and fly fishing rod handles.

The Joey Roth Moka Pot is now exclusively available for $99 at Bay Area, New York and Los Angeles Blue Bottle shops and through pre-order directly online.. And if tea is more your taste, check out Roth's recent Sorapot 2 design.

Images courtesy of Blue Bottle

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