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In this video and tutorial post, you will learn how to properly use the elegant Alessi 9090 stovetop espresso maker by Richard Sapper.  I have owned my own Alessi 9090 for about 7 years and I have not regretted my purchase one bit.  It has saved me money, made my espresso drinking more convenient and allowed me to make healthier drinks than ordering out.

The 9090 is perfect for those who are looking for a stainless steel stove stop espresso maker that is made of the best quality, designed to last, and can serve a number of purposes which I will explain later.  You can also check out my full review here, however this post is more about how to use this particular  product.

How to use the alessi 9090If you choose to purchase the Alessi 9090, you won’t be disappointed.  

But there are a few things to know about how to use the Alessi 9090 so you can get the best-tasting espresso made over the stove which you’ll see in my video below.

The Manual is Helpful!

I also asked Alessi for a copy of the official written instructions, and they were kind enough to send me the Alessi 9090 manual pdf which I am including for you to download and use.

I hope you’ll love your Alessi as much as I love mine.  It comes in so handy in so many ways I never thought of when I first purchased my own.

The Financial Benefits of the 9090

Before we go further, I have to mention one of the best benefits about the Alessi (and any good decent espresso maker for that matter) is the cost savings. 

While the cost of this maker is more than most on the market, the savings you get plus the value will more than pay for itself.  I will show you right now with an example.

I guarantee you will save money when you start using your own stove top espresso maker as a replacement to relying on a barista to prepare your souped up latte with skim milk steamed 10 degrees hotter than average triple shot half pump with a shot of amaretto … and oh yeah, make that half-caf please.

So real quick, let’s do the math.  If you purchase a latte at $4.00 just even twice a week, that’s $32 a month in savings or $384 in savings per year.

If you purchase a $4 coffee every morning on your way to work, the savings are even greater figuring $4 x 20 days equal $80.00 a month.

That’s $960 a year in savings.  And that’s only a $4 drink – just do the math if you order more expensive concoctions!

Plus, let’s not forget that this little espresso maker can be taken with you when you travel to visit family or friends.  Bring your own espresso and the 9090, and all that your host will need to provide is the water and the stove.

Many espresso drinkers can’t stand the taste of regular coffee, so why not make sure you don’t have to suffer drinking your host’s watered down and disgusting coffee that isn’t even close to what you like!

The Many Uses of the Alessi 9090

In addition to the cost savings, the Alessi can benefit you in other ways too.  Here are some fun ways I’ve used my Alessi that served a purpose beyond a quick simple shot.

  • Lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, americanos, etc (I recommend getting a good milk frother which are readily available at Amazon)
  • Recipes that require espresso such as the infamous Italian tiramisu or espresso flavored brownies
  • Alcoholic drinks such as the Black Russians or mudslides (one of my favorites)
  • Sprucing up a hot chocolate to add some extra energy
  • Able to use organic milk which coffee shops do not use (this is more a benefit than a use, but worth mentioning)

*Remember you can always use decaf espresso when the purpose or desire is more for flavor and not caffeine.

Let’s get to the video…

In this video:

  • You learn how to handle the 9090 as it does not open and close like average stovetop espresso makers which screw together – it’s way better!  In fact, there’s a patent on the design.
  • You learn how to operate the maker from adding the ground espresso, water, and how to use it on your stove for best results.
  • You learn how to use it properly on the stovetop.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a gas stove, I have electric and it works just as well!

Regardless of Size, the Alessi 9090 functions the Same

These espresso makers are offered in 4 different sizes (1,3, 6, and 10 cup) and are all available for purchase online. The one I have in my video is a 1 cup because it makes approximately 2.5 oz of espresso which is a single serving size.  Regardless of which size you purchase the way the Alessi operates is the same.

The only exception would be if you use the included reducer filter which is used to reduce the amount of output.  This is useful for larger sizes.  I have another video about how the reducer filter works for each size because it’s not the same instructions across the board.

The parts of the Alessi 9090

There are four separate parts of the Alessi 9090.

  1. Upper Chamber
  2. Lower Base
  3. Filter
  4. Reducer Filter

Each part is dishwasher safe, and since it’s 100% stainless steel you don’t have to worry about pitting or erosion which is what happens with the cheap aluminum ones.  They may be cheap, but they don’t last, they pit and you can’t put them in your dishwasher.   Plus, they leak over time.  I go over that in another video too.

Alessi 9090 Base One quick note on the lower base.  As you’ll see in the video and the pictures, the base is super wide.

Know what this means?  No tipping!

This is really important when using gas or electric range stove tops.  I once had a cheaper espresso maker and the bottom sloped inward for a nice aesthetic design, but man did that thing have a tendency to tip.

Obviously, the Alessi 9090 does not have that problem as you can see.

The 9090 Assembles Differently than the Typical Stovetop Espresso Maker

When you first get your 9090, you might be a little stumped as to how it fits together.  Rather than screwing the top and bottom together, they snap into place with a locking mechanism that is so tight you don’t have to worry about it ever leaking water when it is percolating.

This is a hermeneutic closure which is locked into place using the handle.  You’ll see me illustrate it in the video above.

It requires a little push to close and a tug to open, but once you aren’t afraid of breaking it, you’ll love the sound of the click which reminds you every time how tight it is.  I’ve had mine for over 7 years and it’s never leaked.

Also, make sure you have the front of the top chamber facing the side of the steam valve as illustrated in the image.  I almost returned mine thinking it wasn’t fitting until I figured out I had it facing backward.

Always Use Espresso Ground Coffee

Whatever you do, don’t deviate from using ground espresso beans with any stovetop espresso maker.  Period.  End of story.

Here’s the deal.  If you try using coffee grinds it will be the worst watered down tasting coffee drink that will cause you to spit it out before you can even swallow.  Coffee grinds are larger than espresso grinds.

This means that the water will not have the ability to filter through the grinds and soak up all the awesome flavor during the percolating process.  With espresso they do.

Also, don’t try using Turkish ground coffee either.  Turkish grinds are too small and you’ll end up with a shot of espresso loaded with tiny little coffee grinds.

Trust me on all the above, these are tried and true experiences.

Looking to Purchase Your Own Stove Top Espresso Maker?

If you decide you want to purchase one I doubt you’ll be disappointed. You can purchase them at Amazon here.

Having a good quality stainless steel espresso maker like this one is so handy to have in the kitchen.  I recommend the Alessi 9090 with confidence because not only do I own and use my own, but I love it!  It lasts forever, and frankly, you end up saving a bundle rather than getting your shots or lattes at a coffee shop. I know I have.

As you see in the video, I love my Alessi 9090 and gladly write and share all the benefits.  I hope you find this information useful.

More Useful Links about the Alessi 9090

Do you have an Alessi 9090?  What do you like most about it? I hope you enjoyed the post and it helps you get the most out of your Alessi, or other stovetop espresso maker!