The Fritalian Press?
As many tall-tale stories do, this one starts with a nagging wife. This particular nag belonged to a villager in France, a farmer. In his younger years, this man worked all day in his beloved fields, returning only when the sun dipped beneath the countryside for the night. Exhausted from a day’s work in the field, the man would quietly eat his supper, have his evening prayers, and rest for the next day.
All the while his god-forsaken wife nagged him. She nagged about the children, about the prices at the market. She nagged about smelly animals, about how long he spent at work. The villagers teased that he must be deaf because another man would have disposed of the nag early on.
Finally, the time came that the man was too old to work in his fields. He passed much of his land and his animals onto his children, keeping only a plot of land to garden and a shed. Faced with the rest of his life trapped by the nag, he quickly made the shed his new hiding place. Every day he walked out to his shed with a bit of coffee, his coffee pot, and a few cigarettes to pass the time in piece.
On this day, he had forgotten his coffee pot at home and found himself faced with the dilemma of returning to the nag to retrieve it or a day without coffee. As he pondered his conundrum, an Italian merchant called to him from the road, asking if the man needed any wares from the cart.
After explaining his plight to the merchant, the Italian man searched in his card and found a small metal screen. The two of them together fashioned the first method of pressing coffee. Though commonly referred to as the French press, if this story is to be believed, Italy has as much claim as France.
Despite national patent disputes, the result is one delicious cup of coffee.