An elegant solution to taking your brew with you. It is beautiful and makes a really nice cup of coffee. This is not a toy.
Positive Product Points
Beautiful looking, Easily packed. Works quickly-3 to 4 minutes for two 1 1/2 ounce cups. Beautifully built, Quite a good brew if made correctly. Parts readily available. The best travel setup I have seen or tried.
Negative Product Points
220 volt only. There is supposed to be a 110 volt version, but although I have seen adverts for it, no one ever seems to have one.
This is the travel version of the classic Alessi Richard Sapper designed stainless steel moka pot, designed by Sapper in 1979 . it is identical to the 1,3,6, and 10 cup stovetop models, but includes a composite base and 220 volt electric cord, and is available in the 2 cup (about 1.5 ounce each) size only - All of the 9090s work differntly than any other Moka Pot in that the handle releases the top portion from the bottom, rather than having a threaded base.This works better than the thread system on other moka pots, and might also lenghten the life of the rubber gasket.
It is available seperatly, or in a travel pack with 2 Alessi china cups and saucers, spoons, and a small can of Illy ground espresso, all in a neat looking travel case with zippers.
If used properly, as with all of the other sizes, it produces a really wonderful brew. The key is to use the right grind, and more important, just the right amount of water. If you fill the bottom tank with too much water, rather than the air in the tank causing enough pressure with the air in the tank to quickly force the heated water through the tube and up to the upper container, the water will start to boil and ruin the brew, resulting in a bitter taste.
Preground Illy seems to work well in it, as well as other types of beans ground a bit courser than for an espresso machine. The ket is to level the grinds, but not pack them down. The unit shuts off automatically when it is done, There is a reducer that fits into the top portion if you only want one cup, buy I have never used it.
Because of the availability in 220 volts only I can only use it for travel to Europe. I did find a 110 > 220 transformer so that I can use it at home if I want to, but the transformer weighs more than the pot.
When I cross the pond, I am never without it.
It is not officially imported into the US, so it must be bought either in Europe, from an on-line retailer who has them, or on eBay. The retail cost is about 190 Euros for just the unit, or about 250 Euros for the whole travel setup. It is expensive, but to me well worth it.