Italy’s iconic Moka coffee pots at risk of extinction

The classic coffee pot may disappear from Italian kitchens as Bialetti, the historic company that invented the moka in the 1930s, warns of impending bankruptcy.

Since the 1930s, the moka coffee pot’s bubbling sound and strong brew have been a part of the morning ritual in millions of homes across Italy.

But now the classic moka pot, an icon of Italian design, could be at risk of disappearing from Italian kitchens altogether.

Its makers, Bialetti, warned on Friday of possible bankruptcy after years of struggling against a difficult economy and fierce competition from coffee shops and modern capsule machines.

The Bialetti group announced in a press release that it will be undergoing restructuring to address a 68 million Euro debt, and said there are “doubts over its continuity.”

The company ended the half year on 30 June with a net loss of 15.3 million euros, and a decline in revenues of more than 12 percent. The company also reportedly owes thousands in unpaid taxes and salaries.

However Bialetti said it’s currently negotiating a deal with US hedge fund Och-Ziff Capita, which may invest 35 million euros into restructuring the company. Bialetti has applied for protection under Italy’s bankruptcy laws, and hopes moka production could survive.