Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker Moka Express Review

Laura Last Updated: May 25th, 2016 at 3:36 pm
  • Build Quality
  • Features
  • Value for Money

Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker Moka Express

The highly rated, iconic Bialetti “Moka Express” stovetop espresso maker has allowed millions of consumers to enjoy great Italian coffee at home. It produces a rich, authentic espresso in just minutes. The aluminum pot features Bialetti’s distinctive eight-sided shape, which allows it to diffuse heat perfectly to enhance the aroma of your coffee. Since the 1930s the Bialetti company has manufactured over 200 million coffee makers.

“Moka pots,” as they are called in Italy, are sometimes referred to as stovetop espresso makers. They produce coffee with an extraction ratio similar to (but somewhat lower than) that of a conventional espresso machine. The resulting brew has more caffeine and intense flavors from the grounds than you find in standard drip filtered coffee. Furthermore, depending on the bean variety and grind selection, Moka pots can create a foam emulsion known as crema.

Specifications & Features of the 6-Cup Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker

  • Makes 6 demitasse (2 ounce) cups of rich, velvety espresso in less than 5 minutes. Boils up to 10 fl. oz. (300 ml.) of water. Also available in 1, 3, 9, 12 and 18-cup models.
  • Made of high quality polished aluminum, with the classic Bialetti octagon shape.
  • Patented safety valve.
  • Easy to clean and disassemble.
  • Designed and made in Italy.
  • Color options: silver, blue, red, orange, and purple.
  • Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 9 inches
  • Weight: 1.8 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years

Highlights of the Bialetti Moka Maker Express Stovetop Espresso Maker

  • Perennial best-selling stovetop espresso maker and moka pot.
  • Reviewers say it makes better coffee than an espresso machine.
  • Can also be used to make ‘lungo’ coffee (a weaker brew).
  • Many espresso lovers like it because it requires little maintenance.
  • Small – fits easily in any kitchen.
  • Many comments that it’s simple to use.
  • Owners love the iconic Bialetti octagon-shape design.
  • Very affordable (cheap, even!).
  • Made of durable aluminum, so it lasts for a long time.
  • Cleans easily with warm, soapy water. (Dry thoroughly with a towel to prevent corrosion.)
  • A nice feature is the flip-up top, so the cover doesn’t get lost.

Considerations

  • Moka coffee is not “true espresso” and has different flavor characteristics. Purists will remind you that the standards for espresso coffee specify a pressure of 9 bar (900 k Pa). The Bialetti Moka Express extracts at 1 to 2 bar (100 to 200 k Pa).
  • Moka pots require periodic replacement of the rubber seal and the filters; also, a periodic check to make sure the safety release valve is not blocked.
  • If you have a gas range, the smaller Moka pots may need a gas ring reducer or diffuser in order to balance the pot on the grate.
  • There have been complaints about corrosion and the quality of the aluminum.
  • Cannot be washed in a dishwasher.

Verdict

Although the Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker is a popular item in Italy, it is used all over the world. It is celebrated for the simple way it makes delicious, aromatic coffee. It’s easy to clean. It needs little maintenance. It has a fun, retro design (in 5 colors!). And most important, it makes great espresso-like coffee at home at a low price.

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Want more options? See our list of the 10 best coffee makers.

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