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New York’s Caffe Espresso Society in 1956

April 12, 2013

We recently came across an article by Herbert Mitang written for the New York Times back in 1956 about the city’s new ‘Caffe Bohemia’ and how it was being encouraged by the Italian consulate anxious to test the potential market for espresso in the States. Mitang, however, concluded that it was unlikely espresso would overtake American style coffee, quoting one observer as saying  ‘I have great respect for what comes out of the Italian kitchen in general, but their coffee ought never to come out at all – they should use it to remove the stains from copper kettles.’

Mitang claimed that the first espresso machine in New York was set up around 1916 by an Italian named Maioglio Barbetta in his restaurant on West 46th Street.

We’d love to hear from anyone who might have further information about this.