To boldly brew: Italian astronaut makes first espresso in space

Space News

Samantha Cristoforetti becomes world’s first orbiting barista after firing up experimental ISSpresso coffee machine 250 miles above Earth.

The first Italian woman in space has become the world’s first orbiting barista.


Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti fired up the first espresso machine in space over the weekend. She posted a selfie on Twitter from the International Space Station on Sunday, sipping from a cup designed for use in zero-gravity.

For the occasion, she put on her Star Trek uniform top and tweeted: “Coffee: the finest organic suspension ever devised. Fresh espresso in the new zero-G cup! To boldly brew …”

Cristoforetti, who returns to Earth next week after a six-month mission, almost did not get any space coffee. The experimental espresso maker, nicknamed ISSpresso after the space station’s initials, was scheduled to arrive in January but did not get to orbit until April because of a shipment backlog.

Lavazza, the Italian coffee manufacturer, and the engineering firm Argotec, which teamed up on the space espresso project with the Italian Space Agency, were thrilled to see their 250-mile-high results. “Today the International Space Station feels a little more like home,” Lavazza tweeted.

The espresso maker uses capsules of espresso coffee. Fifteen were flown up with the machine in a SpaceX cargo carrier, as well as five capsules for flushing out the system. More coffee capsules are available for launch if requested by the six-person crew.