Coffee with a twist

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Black Shag Expresso Bar owners Dion Milanesi and Sylvie Chasteau with their newly-acquired 1956 Gaggia International lever coffee machine. Photo: Supplied

BLACK Shag Espresso Bar is bringing the rare taste of old-time Italy to Invercargill.

Black Shag owner/operators Dion Milanesi and Sylvie Chasteau are the proud owners of a 1956 Gaggia International lever coffee machine.

Mr Milanesi said the Italian-made vintage coffee machine was thought to be the oldest operating coffee machine of its type in New Zealand.

“I am really happy to bring such a special and rare machine to Southland and be able to share it with everyone down here,” he said.

Having a working vintage coffee machine added character and interest to the business, Mr Milanesi said.

“We wanted to create a unique coffee experience, and the Gaggia is a part of how we have differentiated ourselves,” he said.

“Our coffee is produced with the same technology that set off the trend of espresso culture from the ’50s to today.”

Mr Milanesi bought it about a month ago from a Christchurch collector who collected and restored vintage coffee machines.

The lever machine produces coffee with a more distinct flavour profile than a modern-day machine run by electronic pumps, he said.

“I think [lever machines] make better coffee. They knew what they were doing back then.

“Like cars, becoming more computerised doesn’t necessarily make them better.”

Customers had commented on the machine which was “all chromed up and quite striking” as well as giving favourable reviews on the coffee, he said.

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