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Italian Coffee Pot Mogul Cremated and Buried in the Brewer He Loved

Renato Bialetti is credited with making the Moka pot an icon.

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Arek Olek/Flickr

Even those who aren't familiar with the Moka pot by name would recognize it: The octagonal stovetop coffee maker has a loyal following for its ability to make a strong, espresso-like elixir without the need for a pricey machine. Renato Bialetti, the man who made the Moka pot famous, died last week — and fittingly, his ashes were laid to rest in one of the iconic pots, reports Italian news source The Local.

Following Bialetti's death last Thursday, "a stove-top espresso maker filled with [his] cremated remains was taken to a church in his hometown of Casale Corte Cerro, Piedmont, where it was blessed by a priest during a funeral service," says The Local. (La Stampa has a video of the unusual service.) While Bialetti, who was 93 years old, did not actually invent the pot, he was responsible for a gigantic 1940s marketing campaign largely credited with popularizing it. It's estimated that more than 300 million Moka pots have been sold worldwide.