Photo: Bill Rice / Flickr
Photo: Bill Rice / Flickr

From coffee pot he comes, to coffee pot he shall return.

Renato Bialetti’s entire life was defined by coffee, bringing the world the iconic Moka pot that has found adulations from around the world. The Italian businessman died last week at the age of 93.

In keeping with his wish, his children – Alfonso, Antonella and Alessandra – buried his ashes in a large replica of the aluminum coffee pot.

The replica even features the famous “Omino con i baffi” line — meaning “The little man with mustache” in Italian — that’s imprinted on every Moka device sold in the world. A funeral was held in his birth place of Montebuglio in northern Italy.

Father Pietro Segato, the parish priest of Casale Corte Cerro, waves incense in front of a Moka pot containing the ashes of Renato Bialetti, during his burial service in the church of Casale Corte Cerro, Northern Italy  Photo: AP/Danilo Donadio
Father Pietro Segato, the parish priest of Casale Corte Cerro, waves incense in front of a Moka pot containing the ashes of Renato Bialetti, during his burial service in the church of Casale Corte Cerro, Northern Italy Photo: AP/Danilo Donadio

The wide availability of the Moka pot was a dream come true for coffee aficionados, who used it make gourmet coffee in their homes. The device works like this: the bottom section contains water which is heated up to boil point. The pressure from the steam travels up the pot into a middle section filled with ground coffee, and then finally settling into the top section to create coffee.

Here is an illustration of how the Moka pot works (via Alborzagros):

Moka_Animation

The original idea for the Moka pot came from his father, but it was Renato who perfected the design and brought it to mass market. When he took over the business from his father, the company had only sold 70,000 pots.

Combining clever designs and aggressive marketing, Renato Bialetti was able to sell over 300 million pots to coffee lovers around the world.