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In Italy, there is a company which has existed from the mid 1930’s… it is known as an Italian Design Factory. It’s name is Alessi.
The name Alessi comes from the last name of the original Alessi family. This family is still involved with the company today making sure the company mission still holds true.
The company employs designers all over the world which hold the same design mission from which the foundation of the company rests upon.
In the 70’s one of their products was introduced into the Modern Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) located in New York City, NY. It was the Alessi 9090 stove top espresso machine.
When this maker first came out in the 70’s, there was already another style that had dominated the market. It was the Bialetti Moka Pot. This is the typical cheaper style made of aluminum that we mostly see in the stores and in Italian homes.
The 9090 Design
But this new design was different – thanks to designer Richard Sapper.
First, it was made of a good quality mirror polished 18/10 stainless steel, rendering the coffee maker sturdier and more durable than its counterparts.
Secondly, the bottom and top parts did not screw together as was the common method, but instead snapped together using a locking mechanism tied to the handle.
Thirdly, the handle was made of copper which allowed for it to disseminate the heat generated by stove much quicker.
Today, believe it or not, the 9090 is still alive and well. You will have to buy it online if you want one, unless you happen to be in the upscale Alessi store in NYC.
There are additional stovetop espresso makers that this Italian Design Factory has put out over the years. You have designs such as the Alessi Pina, the La Cupola, and La Conica.
With the other designs, they do not all use 100% stainless steel. Some use a combination of stainless steel plus aluminum.
No matter your preference, this company has put out an amazing product that positively stood the test of time over many decades.
Enjoy your espresso and salute!