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 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 :)