Ifirst clapped eyes on the stove top Atomic Coffee Maker on FutureConscious: Philly’s Wish List. Loved the look of it, beautiful curved lines and rugged mechanical utility. I started to look into it a bit and was quite surprised to find vast amounts of info from all sorts of sources. It really seems to be a much loved and ‘cult’ coffee machine. Anyhow fascinating stuff, there’s a quick summary of what I’ve found so far:
It was designed in 1947 by Italian Giordano Robbiati, it stayed in production (not changing a great deal) until 1986 when the factory burnt down. It’s been re-badged by various importers round the world, such as: Stella (Austria), Qualitat (Hungary), Robbiati (Italy), A&MG Sassoon (UK), Bon Trading (Australia), La Sorrentina and Thomas Cara.
There’s a blog dedicated to nothing but the Atomic – Worlds Best Loved Coffee Machine. Or you can buy a whole book about the Atomic – Enduring Design. Maybe you fancy getting a secondhand Atomic, then check out the eBay buying guide. And if that’s not enough, you can get all you will ever want to know about the history, care & maintenance, restoring and making coffee with one from this Atomic Site from New Zealand.
Recently the Atomic has been resurrected as the La Sorrentina Coffee Machine by an Australian entrepreneur (Ikon exports?) who has begun manufacturing a premium reproduction of the Atomic which is a best seller in Oz.
For us Limeys the brand new models are being imported to the UK exclusively by Atomic Coffee House, you can buy one from their site for £279.
For me the new ones feel a little cold, have a look at some of the beautiful vintage ones for sale here, the worn aluminium casing feels so much warmer and friendly. Shame they’re in Australia though, will be keeping my eyes peeled on eBay until I find a good one :)
Just bought an atomic stove top coffee maker today which was from the estate of an actress called dana wynter from the fiftys. Didnt know if it would work but cleaned it out and just drinking the best coffee while i write this post. Great machine and even better that there is some history attached to it.
I bought an ATOMIC Sassoon London model in the mid 90’s at a local flea market for 3 euro! It’s missing a jug. If I knew what it was, the dealer would probably have the jug somewhere in a box. I have bought a new jug from Bon Trading but I am on a mission to find the original jug which have different handle design. Does anyone know where I can find the proper jug? I have no luck finding one on the net.
Hi Guys, Dave here from JCS. We restore vintage espresso machines from Atomic to Faema vintage, gaggia,the whole shabang of stuff from the golden era of milan.
I hear so much banter about Authentic atomic’s. I have many versions and have restored so many machines. I dont particularly like to participate in mud throwing…
What is an authentic Atomic coffee maker? The answer is simple and yet complex…
The point of origin is always the most authentic for better or worse and should be respected as such. Giordano Robbiati created,patented and produced the Atomic in his Milano work shop up until, I would say undeniably the late 70’s…
As it goes with patents,they expire after a couple of decades then anyone can produce them.This is exactly the case with the Atomic. Machines were being made in many parts of the world from Hungary to Austria during the 60’s and 70’s. Many machines conformed exactly to the Robbiati patent of ’46.Others,such as the Sassoon company made there own variations of the steam knob and jug handle etc.There has been different names such as Qualital, thos Cara, stella, La Sorrentina…But there is one defining element that is common among them all…they are simply described as Atomic’s”
I think it is worthy to note that many of these so called “atomics” from the 60’s and 70’s have been quite desired among collectors and it is not uncommon for these “non-origin based Atomic’s” to fetch very high prices…
Some machines are made better than others,for example India made an Atomic and it was just dreadful, yet because of its limited numbers it also has started to become collectible..go figure??
The design is timeless and loved by many..as we can see
they are being produced even today. Irene from bon trading says they are being made in Italy and Jack from
La sorrentina makes the sorrentina machine.(It’s noteworthy to mention there is a La sorrentina Atomic that was produced during the 60’s with beautiful green bakelite handles. They are rare and fetch very high prices)
so what are my options…Giordano Robbiati is no longer making Atomic as Andy Warhol is no longer painting…Buy a vintage machine or buy a new machine from Bon Trading,La sorrentina or even the “Otto Atomic”…isnt it really just about budget and preference. They all look quite well made to me and they will all definitely become collectible anyway
Hello I did purchased a Atomic or other name variation today
I got my hands on it the day after tomorrow
I wish more information because it is somewhat different than all the types i have seen before
Kind regards from the Netherlands
wow- great spam post luke caldwell- nice slander of what is a good machine that no doubt you know nothing about. For a paid (?) bon trading spammer your text is very poorly written and sounds disingenuous, fake and insincere. Nice job.
Ive got an Atomic which was bought in 1951 on the kings road. The black valve has jammed (corrosion?) any ideas where I can get it repaired?? It made amazing coffee…..
I’m not sure where you get your information from, but you can buy a real Atomic Coffee Machine from Bon Trading in Sydney and I know they will ship world wide.
The La Sorrentina you mentioned is a poorly made fake – the real one is much better quality and will last for years. I’ve just seen a new site they’ve put up that will take orders- definitely should be checked out.
I bought one of these in 1990 at a garage sale for $60.00! I talked them down to $50. I was pretty broke at the time and had a 2 year old at home… I had no idea how great it would be until I brought it home and figured it out. The instructions inside were very hard to understand 8*) I always thought I had a treasure on my hands and I have used it for years. Then, I went on a tea-binge that has lasted for quite a while…
We just got back from NYC and my husband was going to walk to our nearby bakery for a cappuccino and I said, “No wait!”.
I brought it out of storage today and made my husband a perfect cup of foamy fabulousness. He is very happy with me right now.
“This is the real deal, baby!” That is what he just said to me!
P.S. I have learned that if the pipe for steam gets clogged, just use a pin to clear it out. Also, I live in an area of very hard water and once in a while I clean it out with a soloution of vinegar and water.
how can I get one living in CA?
The genuine ATOMIC® Coffee Machine, is available from Bon Trading Co in Sydney . The Factory did not burn down [this was a rumour and untrue} the ATOMIC® has continued to be sold and serviced by Bon Trading Co. Shipments have arrived from Italy and are currently available. Phone 61.2.9331.2007 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.There is only one genuine ATOMIC® COFFEE MACHINE and it is made in Italy as always and bears the Bon Trading Co Logo /badge.Only the best get copied. Beware of the “fakes”,
i never heard about Atomic Coffee Maker. but i see that the look of it is very nice in its beautiful curved lines and rugged mechanical utility.
Years ago in my student days I used to live with someone in Australia who had one of the original Atomic makers and it made the best coffee. I hunted and hunted for one to no avail but nice to see they have re-released these. Hopefully the milk frothier works better than his.
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wow, never realised they made stove-top coffee makers that look that nice. i’ve got one of those cheap hexagonal ones that i love but one of these is definitely worth saving up for. thanks for the tip.
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Willow is going over to London soon and collect the beauty you gave me! We do miss it over here ;)
This Atomic is definitely going into a wish list ;)
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