A hundred years of Italian history, technology, design and style
Told through the richest and most comprehensive collection of coffee machines and historical documents in the world.MUMAC, the Museum of Coffee-Making Machines, located just a few kilometres outside Milan, opened on 12th October 2012. It is the richest and most comprehensive collection of coffee machines in the world.
Commissioned by the Gruppo Cimbali to celebrate its 100th anniversary, the museum is set out in a modern building measuring around 1700m2 at the Binasco production site, a highly prestigious industrial recovery.
The main aim of the company, a sectorial leader, is to create a permanent exhibition open to the public, able to offer in-depth information about and insights into the history, culture and design of coffee machines.
This vintage coffee machine collection represents and protects the Italian heritage of the last 100 years in this sector. Technology and Italian design are, in fact, told through a multimedia pathway, packed with audio-visual stimuli and backed up with a range of historically important documents.
The story begins at the start of the 20th century, with an Art Nouveau bar set up which was typical to this period and spans the years of the Italian economic boom and development of a new lifestyle, that of going to bars. It covers the design and its explosion with the great creators of the 60s and 70s like the Castiglioni brothers, Sottsass and Giugiaro.
The story continues with the international metamorphosis of the 80s and 90s through to the new millennium with the most innovative, highly technological pieces.
MUMAC is an experience that enables visitors to relive the onset and development of Italian-made products, thanks to the rich, comprehensive collection of around 200 pieces of the most prestigious brands of Italian industry. Many of the pieces on display are rare, some are unique prototypes, others are examples of extraordinary industrial success.
"The museum celebrates Gruppo Cimbali's centenary,” says Maurizio Cimbali, Group President, “an all Italian story which has managed to carve itself out a leading role on the international scenario over four generations. It is an important goal for the company but most importantly leadership based on knowledge and on people who are passionately committed to promoting one of the most ingrained customs of Italian style, that of coffee and cappuccino.
MUMAC houses and displays exceptional technological and style content and pays continuous attention to contributing to the development of espresso coffee and cappuccino culture throughout the world."
MUMAC features over 200 vintage coffee espresso machines for bars, bringing together the Enrico Maltoni and Cimbali collections. The former, the most comprehensive and best kept in the world, consists of superb coffee machines protected against the wear and tear of time.
Along with the machines, the museum has been further enriched with an historical archive of over 15,000 carefully selected and catalogued documents which will be accessible to public researchers, a classroom for holding training courses, a laboratory for sensory tests and a range of different areas set up to host special events and projects.
The history of a brand can help understand the historical course and evolution of companies. MUMAC brings together the brands of manufacturers which are still present on the market after many years such as La Pavoni, La Victoria Arduino, Bezzera, La San Marco, LaCimbali, Rancilio, La Marzocco, La Carimali, Gaggia, Faema, Nuova Simonelli and La Spaziale.
The chronicle-historical division of the collection is based on how rare a model is, how unusual operation is and the beauty of the bodywork. Thanks to a valuable archive of paper documents, it has been possible to trace down technical cards, names of models and details. After splitting areas into different historical periods we have given prominence to aesthetic style, beautifully represented in the coffee machines on display – not only regards mechanics and evolution but art and culture, too.
Thanks to over twenty years' research, it has been possible to select vintage coffee machines in tip top condition, some of which were found in their original packaging, new and never used, others as if they had been removed from a coffee bar and never restored.
Many models are in an incredible state of excellence, our luck was finding them in places where there was little humidity (many coffee machines are made of materials such as copper and bronze, or brass which are highly sensitive to oxidation). The machines found in really bad condition were another kettle of fish entirely and had to be completely or partially restored. When it was not possible to find original parts, I intervened by rebuilding the parts myself, basing this work on original documents which certify the model produced.
I consider 70% of my collection to be in its original state. I do not agree with complete restoration, as you lose the traces of the wear and tear of time which make an object so charming. To give an example: a worn-out cup plate does not mean it is ruined, but rather, that it is in its original state of wear and tear.
Many collectors do not share this philosophy, but I think it's very important in order to preserve history.
Models by great architects
Few people know that renowned Italian architects and designers made their contribution, producing unique models, some of which are truly luxurious.
This is the case of Gio Ponti, Luigi Caccia Dominioni, Bruno Munari, Alberto Rosselli, Antonio Fornaroli, Aldo Cibic, Giuseppe De Gotzen, Marco Zanuso, Rodolfo Bonetto, the Castiglioni brothers, the list goes on, Giovanni Travasa, Ettore Sottsass, Enzo Mari, Gianfranco Salvemini, Pininfarina and Giugiaro, who developed 'work tools' which have become collectors' items.
In this way, they contributed to asserting an unmistakable national style, enabling the world to savour true Italian espresso.
Many of the models created by designers and architects have been displayed in museums all over the world, are part of the Collezione Enrico Maltoni, and can be found at MUMAC.
The rare pieces on show
There are many rare models both in the collection and at MUMAC, some are prototypes or unique models, others are industrially successful models of which up to 10,000 were produced.
Historical and present-day brands
The history of a brand may help better understand or work out the historical route and evolution of a company, and it is useful to build on the experience of others.
Many brands of manufacturers are still present on the market after many years.
Here follows a list of the leading companies which are over a hundred or over fifty years old: La Pavoni, La Victoria Arduino, Bezzera, La San Marco, La Cimbali, Rancilio, La Marzocco, La Carimali, Gaggia, Faema, Nuova Simonelli, La Spaziale.
MUMAC: laboratory and training area
The Museum of Coffee-Making Machines is also a training area, and aims to satisfy the wide-ranging demands of a continuously expanding market. It features an exclusive area for carrying out sensorial assessments on the quality of coffee with tastings and testing.
The training centre has been designed to create a centre of excellence.
In-house trainers and external consultants alternate to offer courses suited to the demands of modern coffee shops and satisfy the curiosity of the non-sectorial public. The tasting area, on the other hand, is for carrying out theoretical activities, with an area for preparing samples. There is a real tasting room where participants can try the Brazilian-style tasting method, experience cabin tasting and try traditional INEI (Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano - National Italian Espresso Institute) tasting.
MUMAC, Museum of Coffee-Making Machines – Open on appointment only
Via P. Neruda, 2 - Binasco 20082 (MI) Phone +39.02.90049362 Fax +39.02.90048362