Enfasi Coffee set

Thesis project 

Politecnico di Milano

Product design for innovation A.A. 2016/2017

Supervisor: Prof. Francesco Zurlo, Prof. Vincenzo Cristallo, Prof. Luigi Odello


Centro Studi Assaggiatori

Istituto Internazionale Assaggiatori Caffè

Scuola d'arte ceramica Romano Ranieri

Club House porcellane da torrefazione

Drinking a cup of coffee is never just the simple consumption of a drink: it is what lies to a complex ritual which forms part of our national identity, and is realised most vividly in the form of the espresso. However, how much do we really know about this drink we consume every day and to which we have attributed a moltitude of values and meanings? In other words, while the passion for coffee is shared by many, the knowledge about coffee and the ability to recognize a quality espresso belongs to just a few. The thesis work, in association with the Centro Studi Assaggiatori of Brescia, investigates what quality and innovation mean when we talk about coffee and in particular in espresso and if and how these issues reach the consumers. The project focuses on the final moment, the consumption, and restarts from traditional tools, the cup and the teaspoon whose role is often underestimated. 

The will is to design the entire tasting moment to create an experience for all the senses. In particular the tools, whose shape and characteristics have been defined using innovative studies on sensory analysis, are designed to amplify the aromatic profile of coffee and to help the person to easily perceive it. Furthermore, the objects become the recognizable elements of a network that offers and promotes the excellence in coffee.

The goal is therefore to transmit in an innovative way the passion, the values, the attention for the detail, and more generally, the complex world hidden inside the cup of a good espresso.

Consisting of a cup, large plate, small plate, lid and spoon, the set is designed to facilitate the  barista operations and to meet the various needs of the service at the bar. The spoon is made of aluminum treated with silver ions, an innovative finish that, in addition to ensuring durability and high resistance to wear and corrosion, has excellent antibacterial properties.

More and more often coffee shops serve different espresso and mono-origin blends with different organoleptic characteristics. By changing the traditional geometry of the  cup with a hemispherical shape it is possible to create an object that works as a magnifying glass for the aromas. The object then combines the necessary characteristics for the perfect extraction of espresso to a new conformation capable of amplifying the olfactory perceptions. The features of the cup were evaluated through some tasting tests conducted by a panel of professional coffee tasters of the Istituto Internazionale Assaggiatori Caffè (IIAC).


The shape of the handle and of the plate creates a feeling of complementarity with the hand. The grip point of the plate and the cup base are treated with an opaque and rough glaze, unlike the rest of the shape that is smooth and shiny. Plate and cup handle return a different feeling, which then generates a "tactile imbalance".