Nice looking stove-top coffee machine by Alessi, renowned for their cool kitchenware, but this product is a let-down.
The smooth body makes it tricky to get a good grip to screw the top and bottom parts together tightly. Even when fully connected, my one still escaped steam from the join. It's also tricky to open once used and there's a temptation to use the handle to get a grip, but it's quite delecate and certain to bend and become damaged.
As previously stated, the lid gets quite hot and the tiny thumb-flip lever gives poor control of the hot lid causing it to flip over and strike the user's hand. A knob on the lid would have prevented this.
I bought this pot as it is made of 18/10 stainless steel and works on induction hobs. However I have since returned it to Amazon due to the steam escape and plan to but the Bialetti Elegance instead.
I have purchased two Richard Sapper 9090 Moka Pots in recent times and have really appreciated the superior quality of manufacture, I was satisfied enough to purchase another Alessi pot for use at work.
It does seem to be a well made item and I haven't noticed the problems mentioned in previous reviews.
There is no need to screw it together tightly. Just hand tight with a little extra nip is enough. No steam escapes, though a little coffee occasionally dribbles.
The handle isn't delicate - it's pressed and folded stainless steel. Although it is securely fastened to the pot, using it for leverage to screw the pot closed is obviously a bad idea, nor does it seem to be necessary. I haven't noticed the handle heating up uncomfortably either, used on a smallish ring at a medium heat it isn't a problem. Unfortunately the handle is a bit to small and is uncomfortable, it may be difficult to grip if you have large hands.
Edit - over time the size of the handle has become an annoyance.
The lid - generally, I leave this open while brewing - it doesn't seem to get too hot either (If you leave it closed think kettle). The little thumb-tab is rather small but I can't see it bending in normal use (unless normal use means using pliers).
The coffee issues through a small slot in the side of the center column an arrangement common to Alessi moka-pots. Under certain circumstances the coffee will gush out of this slot with enough force to spray over the side of the pot, a bit startling, and possibly dangerous! Keep an eye on it while your making coffee and turn the heat down once the coffee begins to run.
On the whole I like this pot it's well made, good looking and makes good coffee. It does require a little common sense and caution. Take note too that Alessi spare parts aren't always easy to find.
Reduced rating to 3 stars - too many compromises between the handle and the poor lid given the price.
The coffee produced by this maker is good, definitely better than my last steel stove top. It seems to build up more steam before the coffee peculates through, so hopefully captures more of the coffee essence, and definitely produces hot strong coffee - my last maker let the coffee through too quick and thus it was only just hot enough.
The downside is the design of the handle - as I said plenty of steam is created which comes out of the spout and also the little lid lip for your thumb that is next to the handle. This makes the handle get pretty hot, as it's metal. Enough steam condenses to actually drip off the handle. Seems a bad design to me! I'm going to keep mine, the coffee is good, but I'll just have to remember to pick it up with a glove/tea towel.
This is a beautifully made Italian product that we have used many times and love it.
We have not experienced any of the problems stated below. The handle barely gets warm (we use medium to low heat as recommended). Because the handle is made of metal it won't wear like plastic or wood.
There is no need to use the thumb lever when pouring, or ever really, so that is not a problem.
We have had a number of espresso makers and this one is the best. It is easy to pour, clean and the quality is unbeatable.
The coffee is wonderful. We just ordered a smaller size of the same design.