There aren't many countries you can go to these days that don’t have a coffee shop or that can’t rustle up your favourite brew. No matter how far and wide you travel, tea and coffee will be there in some form or other. And to show you just how far tea and coffee have travelled, you only have to look out your window and upwards about 260 miles above the Earth. These refreshing delights have even gone way beyond planet Earth and conquered outer space too.
The International Space Station does indeed serve tea and coffee to the astronauts on board, albeit freeze-dried and drunk through pouches and straws it just goes to show the astounding reach these two beverages have. Where we go, they go. And while the crew are usually happy to have something rather than nothing, the quality has never been what we down here on Earth would call popular or anything to really look forward to.
But things are about to change. Not only is Italy about to send its first female astronaut into space, she’s going to be taking an espresso machine with her! That’s right. The purpose built machine, dubbed ISSpresso (after the International Space Station) has been especially designed - by a you guessed it, Italian engineering company - to survive and work in zero gravity conditions to guarantee taste and flavour!
The pouches and straws will still be needed of course but at least the taste will improve and that will mean a lot to the astronauts on board, and not just the Italian ones, because it’s often the small creature comforts we miss the most.