Coffee goes into the space age

coffee-international-space-stationTwinkle, twinkle, little star; how I wonder what you are. Next time you look up into the night sky and see a bright star, it could be the International Space Station, where astronauts have just succeeded in making coffee that’s literally out of this world. The problem with space coffee up to now has been that a normal coffee machine can’t function in zero gravity. There’s also been the danger of rogue coffee grounds finding their way into sensitive, expensive equipment and also boiling water being spilled and wreaking havoc in the cabin. The problem has been solved by a specially designed machine that’s a collaboration between engineers Argotec, the Italian Space Agency and coffee company Lavazza. The machine’s been named the ‘ISSpresso’, and has proved a big hit with caffeine-starved astronauts. Italy’s first female astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti, took pictures of herself with the world’s first space coffee, alongside the new machine, and posted them on Twitter.

We can’t blame her for being excited – the coffee machine was delayed for months after the rocket carrying it from earth exploded. Unfortunately coffee was deemed to be ‘non-essential’, so its arrival was delayed until a replacement ship could be sent. The astronauts aren’t home and dry, though – they currently only have a starter pack of 20 capsules for the machine, so we’re imagining squabbles over the space breakfast table! NASA is still working on how to dispose of the used capsules ecologically.

Now the espresso machine’s up and running, NASA hopes to develop the same technology for other applications, such as consuming medicine.

Here at the Wholesale Coffee Company, we can’t promise space age coffee – but we do have some great tasting, high quality beans at wholesale prices. For more information about our products or to shop online, just visit our main website at