taly is considered the world capital of coffee, simply because they engineer it superior. Real coffee enthusiasts know that there is more than one way to make a steaming hot cup every morning. From French press to drip coffee and expensive expresso machines to a cold brew, they have tried them all. Each method has its advantages and shortcomings. The stovetop espresso maker, also called the Moka pot is one of the traditional capable Italian machines for brewing a fast and strong cup of coffee.
It is called Macchinetta del caffè in Italian, literally translated as “ a small coffee machine.” The Moka pot utilizes pressurized boiling water through the ground coffee to make an unmatchable delicious brew. In this article, we review Bialetti’s traditional Moka Express, which makes it an icon of cultural tradition and why it stands out from the rest even after approximately 80 years. Grab a cup of coffee and read on!
If you don’t want to read through the entire article, check out our “In A Nutshell” section for a quick round-up of why you should (or shouldn’t) purchase it.
Introducing the Bialetti Moka Express
Who is this for?
First things first, the Bialetti Moka Espresso Maker is ideal for anyone who enjoys a coffee cup at home for the fraction of the cost they will otherwise have to pay at a cafe. It is reasonably easy to use and produces a quality drink unmatchable. The size of the pot is suitable not only for large kitchens spaces but also for small compact kitchens. There’s just one thing you have to keep in mind, though. If you do not have access to a stovetop, you should reconsider purchasing it.
What is Moka Coffee
As this is a Moka Pot, it makes Moka Coffee. In essence, a Moka pot is only half a solution. This is because Moka Coffee is neither a proper coffee or an expresso. Instead, it is an exciting hybrid of conventional brewing methods and expresso-like results. Moka Coffee is bold, thick, and strong. Although it is not technically your signature expresso, it is still excellent, tried and tested option to keep the sleep away at a fraction of the cost you will otherwise have to spend.
History of The Bialetti ‘Moka Express’
In 1933, Italian engineer Luigi De Ponti patented a design for the machine, which he called, Alfonso Bialetti. While other at-home coffee makers existed back then, his machine produced much stronger coffee. For doing so, it utilized a single molded heater, the aluminum container in one metal assembly, an octagonal block for boiling water, a tube filter, and a container to be used as a reservoir. Long story short, his son took the company to the next level by starting large scale production of the machine, and the rest is history.
A Unique Design
While stainless steel seems to be the norm in the industry when it comes to coffee machines, the Bialetti’s Moka Express is made of durable aluminum. It is a much better conductor of heat, BPA-free, and spreads out the heat evenly in all directions. A sleek design and expert made in Italy polished finish makes it a centerpiece you will definitely want to show off in your kitchen.
The material is shaped in a unique octagonal structure, which now has become a trademark of Bialetti. For added convenience, it has a flip-up top and a side-pour spout to easily pour the coffee once it is ready. Now, you wouldn’t always be showing it off in your kitchen. Thankfully its small size makes it very convenient to stow away in kitchen cabinets. Hence you don’t need a lot of space.
The only parts not made of aluminum are the plastic handle and rubber seal. Thankfully, both of them don’t come in contact with your coffee. The handle of the top is ergonomically designed for a comfortable grip. The seal stops steam from escaping the pot. Don’t worry; it won’t come in contact with water in the machine.
A straightforward brew
Aren’t you tired of complex expresso machines that leave your head spinning after every use? Well, you don’t need them at all. The Moka Pot is fairly easy to use and yields a brew you pick up at your favorite coffee shop. Now, you still have to grind the coffee and master the ratio of coffee to water. But the learning curve for new coffee makers here is not a challenge at all.
All you need to do is, grind the coffee, add it to the filter, pour some water in the machine, and let the heat do the rest. To stay on the safe side, put the burner on the low settings to avoid heat burning up the handle. You can even use it on electric stovetops. However, be careful to place the handle further away from the heat source.
Moreover, while the overall coffee making process is fairly quick, the machine doesn’t perform as well on modern electric stovetops as compared to direct flame. So be sure to factor in some more heating time if you are using it on electric stovetops.
There’s something for everyone
Bialetti Moka Espresso Maker is available in a variety of sizes and colors. You can pick one as per your requirements. For nuclear families a 3 cup machine is ideal, 6 cup machine works best for most families. In comparison, 12 cup brewer is suitable for extended families. Or if you live alone, well, this pot is available in a 1 cup option as well.
Traditionally, the pot comes in silver color, which is a lot shinier than other colors, and we believe it blends well with most modern kitchen designs. Nevertheless, if you don’t like this color, it is also available in blue, red, orange, and purple colors. We call it a great strategy as you are bound to find a color and size option as per your liking.
Cleaning Made Easy
Coffee makers aren’t always dishwasher safe. That is why many times, their cleanup process leaves you pulling your hair out. While the Moka Pot isn’t dishwasher friendly either, it is so masterfully well-crafted with a simple design that you can disassemble, clean, and put it back together without any hassle.
All you have to do is to unscrew the bottom part to disassemble your champ. Get some warm soapy water and rinse clean the top of the machine. Let it dry for a while. And your coffee machine is ready for another round.
The Bialetti Moka Express comes with a two years limited manufacturer’s warranty. So if the parts go defective, you can always get a replacement. However, the warranty explicitly excludes any replacement of parts subjected to everyday wear and tear. It means if you forgot to take it off the burner and damaged the handle, Bialetti wouldn’t take responsibility.
Furthermore, the Moka Express comes at a very affordable price. Sure, you can find even cheaper models in the market made in other countries, but will they be able to make traditional Italian coffee? We think not. Considering the features and the end product, Bialetti’s expertise is unmatchable.
The Not So Great
While the Moka Pot is an excellent little coffee machine, it does have some minor flaws. As we have discussed earlier, the handle is made of plastic. If you leave it on the stovetop for a longer duration, it will melt off. Due to plastic handle, you have to be extra careful while using it on modern electric stovetops as they have a very focused heat source which can damage the handle. Talking of electric stovetops, we noticed that the Moka pot takes a lot more time to brew coffee as compared to direct flames. Lastly, it is not dishwasher friendly. Which means you have to disassemble the parts to clean it with hands.
In A Nutshell
This is the section for all the busy folks. It provides a quick roundup of the product.
• Very sleek design
• Brews top-quality stovetop espresso
• Fairly quick and straightforward to use
• Can make large amounts of coffee
• Easy disassembly for a quick clean up
• Available in several colors and sizes
• Two years warranty
• Made in Italy
• Not so great performance on electric stovetops
• Not dishwasher friendly
With more than two hundred million coffee maker units sold over the years, The Original Bialetti Moka Pot is ideal for making rich and strong coffee. It’s a very traditional look, which has been around for the last many generations. And judging by the Italian-quality of their latest model, you will easily pass it on to your next generations. Due to ease of use, it is an ideal option for people who lead a hectic life and want to make a rich and delicious traditional Italian Coffee in a few minutes. Due to its sturdy build, it can be your excellent outdoor and camping companion. Highly recommended for all the coffee lovers!