Alberto Alessi approached Richard Sapper originally to work on a different project, namely to design a very nice cutlery for Alessi. In the end they decided to not do a cutlery but to do the cutlery, but to design a coffee maker.
"I wanted to give this coffee maker som advantages that others don't have. For instance, the possibility to wash it only with using one hand. I wanted to make better use of the flame, so I widened the base of the pot, in order to protect the handle too. I didn't want to have a plastic handle, because sooner or later they all burn, and so the coffee maker has to be thrown away. And I wanted to make something that didn't look like a coffee maker.... an espresso coffee maker like this is not a coffee maker: It's a little steam engine!" Richard Sapper