Richard Sapper’s Alessi 9090 Stovetop Espresso Maker

While Bialetti’s moka pots are as authentic as you can get — they did invent the category, after all — it never hurts to expand your horizons a little and check out what the competition can muster.

The Alessi 9090 stovetop espresso maker, first created in 1978 by famed industrial designer Richard Sapper — who five years later made this sweet melodic whistling kettle — certainly holds its own against the original, in terms of both utility and iconic design. (It, like the Moka Express, has been exhibited by MoMA, if that tells you anything.)


Wanna know something interesting about all of this? Alessi, the company Sapper created this stovetop brewer for, is headed up by one Alberto Alessi, who happens to be the grandson of the moka pot’s inventor, Alfonso Bialetti!

In fact, Alessi considers the 9090 to be an homage to his grandfather’s invention:

I suppose it’s time I get to the product details, eh?

Made from 18/10 stainless steel with a magnetic bottom suitable for induction hobs (as long as they activate for items of at least 90mm across), the Alessi 9090 distinguishes itself from the Moka Express with its taller cyclindrical shape, anti-drip spout, and the lever lock that lets you open the pot one-handed.


The 9090 comes in a few different sizes:

(The 1-cup model listed on Amazon is somehow more expensive than any of the options above as of April 7th, 2021, so I can’t recommend buying that one right now.)