Every coffee drinker has their preferred brewing method. From cone drip to French press, or a stroll to Starbucks, the modus of choice may be related to where you live. In almost every Italian home, you’ll find an aluminum moka pot, used to percolate a drink that falls somewhere in between espresso and drip coffee.
Invented in 1933 by Luigi De Ponti for Bialetti, the moka pot remains a popular design. However, it can be a challenge to use, boiling over into a finely ground, and sometimes burnt, mess if everything isn’t filled, fastened and timed just so.
Alessi and illlycafe (the popular coffee bean roaster) teamed up to solve this problem, bringing in Michele De Lucchi, one of Italy’s most enduring architect-designers, and an original member of the postmodern Memphis Group. The result is Pulcina, a fresh take on the classic, with an interior chamber that is formed to maintain exact temperature and pressure control. Hot water is forced through the grounds and stopped at just the right moment to avoid changing the molecular structure of the coffee and causing any bitterness.
For the exterior De Lucchi borrowed inspiration from his Angera studio, known as the Chioso. The site was home to a chicken run, until the year the architect was born, when the local fowl was wiped out by disease. With these former residents in mind, he imagined a rounded form, achieved by building the aluminum up in rings of alternating thicknesses. The hourglass shape is transformed into a baby-chick silhouette with the addition of a tiny, pointed spout. It also has a bit of a Memphis kick to it.
Available in one, three and six-cup versions, and with red or black handles that are ergonomically designed to avoid burning your thumb, the coffee pots are complemented by the Le cerichie tray. In white epoxy resin or stainless steel, it features an elegantly stepped edge that recalls the rings of the coffee pot. The entire collection will be available in September.