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Customer Review

725 of 735 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent traditional machine - perfect for short/medium long coffees for 2, 2 May 2006
This review is from: Bialetti Moka Express Espresso Maker, 6 Cup (Kitchen & Home)
This is a very well made traditional espresso maker. It's solid, fits well together, and the handle is comfortable. The thick base to the water reservoir part means it doesn't heat up *too* fast over a gas flame, though if you are using gas, make sure you don't let the flames lick up the side of the machine.

Now, for the quality of the espresso it makes. I must admit I was disappointed with this at first - I had been used to a high pressure espresso machine which made thick creamy espresso. At first when using this maker I followed the instructions exactly - not 'tamping down' the coffee and not grinding it too fine. This made a fairly weak espresso. In fact the 6 cup amount made me two good longish coffees, still an improvement in taste over my cafetiere coffee.

To achieve a better espresso I got advice from my Italian and Greek friends. They grew up with these machines, and told me to grind the coffee slightly finer than instructed, and to tamp it down gently (not too hard or you block the holes.) This made me the rich espresso I wanted.

Lastly, about these coffee makers, take them off the heat a little before all the water in the bottom evaporates (also a knack to learn when this is!) You avoid the bitter-end-coffee, and you make sure you're not going to leave the machine to dry out over the heat and possibly get damaged.

You may be interested in quantity - everyone's idea of 'cup' is different. I imagine the 'cup' here is a very short espresso as I usually get about 4 espresso measures out, i.e. 2 double espresso. If I'm using it to make longer coffee, it make me two mugs. It'd be a perfect size if there were two coffee drinkers in your house. For one (like me) it leaves spare for the next day. (I don't reheat the coffee, just add it cold to very hot milk/water, this works well for me.) If you don't want that, or wastage, and are sure you won't want to make coffee for more than 1 person ever, try the 3 cup model.

In all I'm very glad I bought it, and would recommend it to anyone, it just takes a little experimenting to get your coffee how you like it. But even if you're used to espresso from an expensive machine, you should be able to adjust this to get something to satisfy you. In particular, this is an excellent brand, the maker is very well made.
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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Sep 2010 13:07:14 BDT
ive just bought my machine and i will do as you say..thank you for sharing your experiences it will save me alot of time and wasted coffee!

Posted on 25 Nov 2010 22:04:29 GMT
Pippin Oscar says:
This review was extremely good and has given me not only the info I needed re: cup size (proper) but also valuable hints and tips. Thanks very much.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Dec 2010 15:38:52 GMT
Good advice about preparation and quantities. I've been using mine virtually every day for nearly 30 years(!). Apart from needing to periodically replace the rubber seal, these things are almost immortal and make great coffee. (Just don't let it boil dry).

Posted on 9 Jun 2011 13:18:04 BDT
Good review and great advices.....this is exactly the way (Italian) I always used this kind of machine since I was a kid..

Posted on 12 Aug 2011 10:00:56 BDT
gillinana says:
I just bought this machine because of the review above. Thanks for the advice.

Posted on 25 Aug 2011 12:13:08 BDT
I've just bought the 6 cup which holds just under 300 ml (1/2 pint) water. I used 2 scoops ground coffee. It works out quite strong . I've ordered spare filters but not sure if they will be the right size, a cup means nothing to English coffee drinkers. i usually have a latte in the morning from a cafetiere this makes very weak coffee

Posted on 10 Sep 2011 10:17:28 BDT
PDM says:
Is this machine a real espresso machine? Espresso machines use a method where hot water is passed through the coffee grounds under high pressure. If it doesn't work like this it isn't an espresso machine. I suspect that this machine is a coffee perculator. These still make great coffee, but with much less crema, and a different flavour. These machines take some experimentation to get the best from them. Temperature/time being the most problematic. There is a correlation between them that can either result in weak flavour or a bitter taste. The latter is caused by either too high a temperature or too long a time. YOu can also get this problem with a proper Espresso machine; I've tried several brands that make very bitter coffee.
So if you are not getting good results with this 'perculator' experiment; it's worth it.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Feb 2012 17:56:37 GMT
You ask if this is a real espresso machine! How do you think espresso was made before fancy electric ones and also before electricity and gas? It is the high pressure of it being forced up then down from the pipe. Of course it is. Probably more genuine than the fancy expensive electric ones. The bitter taste comes about when the water/coffee mix is at the very end when being under pressure and expelled into the main chamber. If you switch off before it gets to that point it won't be bitter.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Feb 2012 01:38:17 GMT
J. Knowles says:
I have used one of these machines for years and can assure you it is a real espresso machine. The hot water is passed through the grounds under high pressure. These were traditionally used in Italy before electric machines were invented. The coffee is far superior to that made in a percolator.

Posted on 12 Sep 2012 15:58:27 BDT
Bialetti Moka Express Espresso Maker, 6 Cup
Great review perfect for helping me decide on the best size for my needs.
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