Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s an ISSpresso!
Astronauts have made the first ever cup of coffee in space using a specially engineered espresso machine, dubbed the ISSpresso machine.
While many of us were lazing around on our Bank Holiday, Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti was pouring the first cup of zero-gravity coffee. She didn’t miss the opportunity to don her Star Trek outfit and tweet, “to boldly brew” in a flurry of tweets that depicted the Italian astronaut enjoying a cup of Joe in outer space.
The machine, which was due to trial in January but delayed due a shipment backlog, was unsurprisingly developed by the Italian Space Agency (who better?) who had the tricky task of devising a way to produce good coffee without the use of gravity. This obviously threw up a few challenges – no one wants boiling water floating around to scald at will and there surely can be nothing worse than wasting precious coffee granules which lodge themselves in expensive equipment.
Cristoforetti is also Italy’s first woman in space and she has a huge following. Fans couldn’t get enough of the news over the weekend and Twitter was awash with encouragement. As astronaut Scott Kelly said: “That’s one small step for a woman, one giant leap for coffee.”
While this is groundbreaking for astronauts, who have previously had to put up with rather poor quality ‘space coffee’, the technology is hoped to eventually be utilised to enable astronauts to consume more important things, like medicines, while in zero gravity conditions.
While we can only imagine what zero-gravity coffee tastes like; we at Fed Up and Drunk are partial to fine cup of freshly brewed coffee. Here are some of our favourite places to grab a cup of Joe…
“One of my favourite Bristol coffee spots is the quirky Playground Coffee House on St Nicholas Street. As its name suggests, they’ve taken the playground theme and run with it – this relaxed venue is decked out with colourful furniture and board games, and there are even swings for seats. But the novelty decor is far from only reason I like it here – the speciality coffee, which is from local Clifton Coffee, is fantastic, and the sweet treats are homemade and utterly delicious.”
“If I’m going out for a coffee in Bath, I’ll always head straight to Boston Tea Party in Kingsmead Square. It’s a little cramped as they can’t do much to the building owing to its listed status, but sitting outside on a hot summer day sipping an iced latté is heavenly, even if it hasn’t actually been made near the heavens. Their blend of Earl Grey is the best of any I’ve ever had. Oh, and then there’s the brownies and… I could go on!”
“Zazu’s is not a speciality coffee house, but it’s my absolute go-to place for a relaxing Sunday latté, either with a spot of brunch or a slice of one of their divine cakes. Last weekend I couldn’t resist a slice of blueberry and orange cake. The whole vibe at Zazu’s is perfect for relaxing, the staff are friendly and the food scrumptious. You know the coffee is going to be good from the minute you step through the door and smell the soft scent of a delightfully brewed cuppa.”
“Have you ever considered the seasonality of a coffee blend? If you have then you are a true connoisseur and Colonna & Small’s in Bath is right up your street. These guys are serious about coffee, which is why my friends and I absolutely love it here. Coffees change weekly and blends are elegant. Believe me when I say their coffees really are out of this world!”