Stainless Steel Moka Pot – Get Yours While You Still Can

stainless steel moka potThe Bialetti Classic Stainless Steel Moka Pot coffee maker – this iconic espresso maker is known to be in every house in Italy. But the news is out now that the Italian company, Bialetti, is facing possible bankruptcy. Our days to get an original Italian Bialetti moka espresso pot may be numbered.

Moka Espresso Pot

I originally bought one of these little beauties to take with me camping. You use it right on the stove or campfire, it’s small and sturdy, and makes a delicious espresso coffee.

Bialetti started making these in 1933, when the economy was struggling and people couldn’t afford to drink their espressos out as often. This easy little espresso maker is affordable and makes a delicious espresso right at home. It has become the mainstay of Italian homes – it is claimed that every home in Italy has one of these. When I heard that, I bought mine and have loved and used it ever since.

Now, with Starbucks and coffee shops opening in Italy, with automatic one-cup coffee and home espresso makers, like Nespresso and Keurig, Bialetti is losing sales and struggling. Let’s hope and pray they do not go bankrupt! Here is the news story where you can find more information.

Moka Pot vs French Press

I use both my Bialetti moka pot as well as my French Press, and my Mr. Coffee Cafe Cappuccino Maker. When I compare the moka pot vs French Press, overall the strength and taste of the coffee is similar. With the moka pot, you get a generally higher and stronger, more espresso coffee. French Press makes a delicious regular coffee. But with each of them, how strong the coffee is depends on how many tablespoons of grinds you put in, how strong is the coffee bean you’re using, which type of bean (espresso roast or regular roast), etc. The moka pot obviously works better for camping than the French Press, since it is a stainless steel moka pot instead of a glass container.

I like that with the moka pot it brews and then you immediately pour and drink, nice and hot. With the French Press, the coffee sits in the grind for at least three minutes, sometimes up to five depending on your preference, so you have to find a way to keep it hot. I usually pour my French Press coffee into a pre-warmed coffee thermos – I can then pour and drink at my leisure, and it remains pretty hot, but not as steaming as pouring it directly the brew from the moka pot.

The other main difference is that the moka pot only makes a small amount of espresso, depending on which moka pot size you have, whereas the French Press makes several American mugs of coffee each time. French Presses also come in several sizes, but most people use the standard size.

There is also the difference in how the coffee is made. The moka pot percolates your coffee, infusing the grind with moving, boiling water – which I think makes a more delicious and smooth cup of coffee. The French Press has the boiling water poured over where it then sits with the grinds in a more static infusion.

As far as timing for your coffee, the moka pot is slightly quicker. My moka pot takes about three-five minutes, depending on how hot the heat source is, before the water percolates up into the upper chamber. The French Press takes a while for you to get water boiling, depending on how hot your heat source is, then it sits for 3-5 minutes, so it takes a little longer.

The Moka Pot is easier to clean, too. None of it goes in the dishwasher. The three components come apart easily and you simply rinse under hot water – it is a stainless steel moka pot, so very simple. With the French Press, I usually rinse it out, too, but the glass doesn’t clean as easily as stainless steel. Occasionally I remove the glass part and run that and the filter lid through the dishwasher.

Moka Pot Sizes

Like most Europeans, the Italians drink tiny cups of strong espresso. So you’ll find the 1-cup Moka espresso pot, making 2 oz of espresso to fit a tiny espresso cup. Then there’s the 3-cup size stainless steel moka pot, which makes 4.4 oz of espresso – enough for 2 espresso cups, or one small American cup of coffee.

For myself, I chose the 6-cup moka pot, as it makes about two cups of American-size coffee, just enough for me, and is a comfortable size to take camping at 4″x4″x 9″ tall. It produces 9.2 oz of coffee. Keep in mind, when I say it makes me two cups of American size, I tend to drink from a slightly smaller coffee cup than most Americans. If you’re using the large coffee mug popular in the US, this 6-cup moka pot will probably fill one of those with a little left over to top it off.

From there you can choose the 14.2 oz moka pot for espresso, it fills two large American coffee mugs. Lastly Bialetti offers the 12-cup moka pot, making 22.7 oz of espresso – just under three full American mugs. This one is for gatherings and is 11″ tall.

Moka Pot Instructions

Using the moka pot for espresso is very easy. First you unscrew the top chamber from the bottom chamber. Remove the filter piece. Pour water into the bottom chamber up to the fill line. Nestle the filter piece in, and put as many tablespoons of coffee grinds as you like – I usually use 1 Tablespoon per cup of coffee – so about 2 Tablespoons in my 6-cup Bialetti Moka Espresso Pot. I recommend a medium grind, same as for the French Press.

If you like to add a sprinkling of cinnamon or other spice, as I often do, put it on your grinds. Next just screw on the upper chamber.

Place the moka pot on your stove or campfire, whatever you’re using for your heat source. I put my stove at about the 6:00 position – medium heat. Then you wait. After about five minutes or so, you’ll hear it percolating into the upper chamber. I lift the lid to check when the upper chamber is full, then I know it’s done. Remove it from heat, pour and enjoy.

Grind Coffee Moka Pot

Various coffee makers work best at different grinds of coffee. For the moka pot I recommend a medium grind of coffee beans, like you would use in any espresso maker.

Do you use a Bialetti or other moka pot coffee maker? Please comment below how you like it, how you think it compares to French Press coffee, and any other thoughts below.

Where to Buy a Moka Pot Coffee Maker

I bought my stainless steel moka pot coffee maker at Amazon.com

You can also get it directly from the manufacturer at www.Bialetti.com

 

 

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Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Review – Espresso, Cappuccino & Latte Maker

After my Delonghi Cappuccino Maker bit the dust (I consistently tamped too hard, which ended up breaking the machine over 2-3 years), I researched a new replacement cappuccino maker. After looking over many options, including some pod machines, I settled on Mr. Coffee Cafe Latte Maker – it makes espressos, cappuccinos and lattes!

My Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Review

I’ve been using Mr. Coffee Cafe now for eight months – I got it at Christmas 2017. I was a little concerned about getting it at first, because one reviewer on Amazon said that it suddenly started curdling their milk, making a huge mess. Then I remembered that the only thing which curdles milk is heat and vinegar – I concluded that the user must have run vinegar through their machine to clean it, and some residual vinegar must be remaining in the machine. No other reviewer has had that problem.

Noisy Cappuccino Makers

My Delonghi Cappuccino Maker was great, but it was very loud, and sometimes we have guests trying to sleep near our kitchen, so noise is a concern. The main reason I did not get the newest Delonghi was because several reviewers mentioned that it vibrated so powerfully it moved the whole machine along the counter, causing the coffee cup to fall of it, etc. So I knew I did not want that.

I asked in the questions about Mr. Coffee Cafe, and was told it was not loud.

They were wrong. I love my Mr. Coffee Cafe, but it is very loud. Not only is it loud when you pull your espresso shots, but if you make a cappuccino or a latte then you have to run it a second time for it to self-clean steam through the nozzle. That part is just as loud, too. I concluded, having tried several cappuccino makers, that generally they are all loud.

Let me know in the comments below if you find one that is quiet like a cat’s purr.

Mr. Coffee Cafe

My favorite part of this machine is, of course, that it automatically steams and froths your milk directly into your mug – no more having to do that extra step with the extra cleaning involved. It’s really fun to watch the milk froth and pour into your mug before your espresso shots pull in – even if you don’t have a clear, glass coffee mug as shown in the product video.

cappuccino bird
Can you see the bird?

Every morning I have either a cappuccino or a latte, then when I stir, the foam forms a picture. I enjoy seeing which picture I can make out every morning – like cloud watching.

I enjoy an occasional espresso late in the afternoon.

Be aware that the lights will blink while the unit is heating up. It only takes a minute or less, but you have to wait for the lights to be solid and not blinking before it is ready to use.

I love that you can choose to push a simple button for espresso, cappuccino or latte and let the machine do the work. Or you can manually pull your espressos, manually add extra froth, as much or as little as you want, if you choose to hand-craft your coffee.

Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte!

None of my previous cappuccino machines made latte, too. I love making lattes, they are so delicious. Keep in mind, though, that lattes use a LOT of milk, so you’ll run through your milk very fast.

This machine works equally well with cow’s milk as well as nut milk and creamers. When I make my own homemade cashew milk creamer, I just have to make sure it’s liquidy enough and not too thick, which will clog and strain the machine. You will learn over time which milks make the best froth. Cow’s milk wins every time, but coconut creamer does a great job as does my cashew creamer. Almond milk and creamer makes almost no froth and doesn’t taste good in coffee.

I’ve made 1-4 coffees a day since last Christmas, and my machine is working perfectly. Cleaning is easy. After I use up all my milk in the milk container, I rinse out the top mechanical part well and run the bottom, clear container through my dishwasher (or hand-wash it).

On a daily basis, when you are done making your coffee, you pull out the milk container and store it in the fridge – remember to do that every time!

Also, one user suggested buying a replacement little rubber tube piece (part of the top milk container) in case you lose or break it, so that you can keep making coffee. That clear rubber tube pops off for easy cleaning. I haven’t followed this tip because I have four other ways to make my morning coffee, so I’ll buy a replacement if and when I need one.

Also, make sure to keep an eye on the water tank in the back of the machine – don’t let it ever get below an inch. I accidentally tried to pull a coffee when my water tank was almost completely empty – I panicked and filled it while the machine was running, and I haven’t yet seen any adverse effects. But generally you never want this to happen!

Mr. Coffee Cafe Latte Maker

Mr. Coffee Cafe Cappuccino and Latte Maker comes with a cute little recipe booklet with all sorts of fun recipes for espressos, cappuccinos and lattes, including alcoholic drinks. I’ve tried a few and they are a lot of fun. Be sure to experiment with your favorites roasts, grinds and brands of coffee, and share any recipes you’ve come up with below.

You can buy the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker on Amazon.com. Be sure to watch it – sometimes the price goes down to a great sale. But even at its full price this machine is worth it.

 

 

 

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