This is my old favorite espresso maker, which has been my tried and true companion for the last 20 years, and will doubtless still work a century from now.
It has a lever, a water depository, a heating element, a cavity into which one packs finely ground coffee, and two holes through which the heavenly crema is expressed. It is quirky, dangerously prone to overheating, and may explode at some point.
A beginner learning how to make espresso with this machine will take 15 minutes every morning to pull one perfect double shot.
The same beginner will burn himself a dozen times during the first week of use.
It requires Brasso to keep shined, and holds fingerprints if you are a lazy housekeeper.
There are no patents associated with this product anymore, but the espresso it makes rivals anything on the market.
To the aficionado of objets trouvé, it is the equivalent of the Mona Lisa in brass.
Someone should send the PTO a picture of it labeled “prior art” the next time someone tries to patent an espresso machine.
I am a commercial litigator and intellectual property lawyer in Orange County. Although my practice encompasses a wide variety of business disputes, I have a particular fondness for, and am prone to wax philosophical on, the subjects of copyright and trademark infringement in music, literature, art, and film.