My favorite coffeemaker: the Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Percolator


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/10/09/my-favorite-coffeemaker-the-b.html


#2

moka pot coffee always tasted a bit metallic to me, like camp fire percolator coffee. Not something I’d go out of my way to make.


#3

From what I read when I got mine is that it has to build up a coating from repeated brews to cover the metal, or something like that.

That said, I like making coffee like this, if it wasn’t for the fact I also melted two handlebars by forgetting about them. I should take up whittling to fix them.


#4

They make a stainless steel one. No metallic taste.


#5

stainless takes longer to heat up and longer to cool down. But in terms of flavor I’d love to have a chance to compare both aluminum and stainless.


#6

When new or after washed with soap, brew a sacrificial brew. Toss it. The next one and everyone after will be great. Wash with soap once a month or like me, never. Just thoroughly rinse.
Never put in the dishwasher.
Pro-tip, take the heat off as soon as done perking or even better, just before. otherwise you can burn your coffee. Also use medium heat.
A million Italian dads can’t be wrong.


#7

“My Bialetti has been abused (the handle and lid melted off when my daughter it on the burner unattended for about 45 minutes) . . .”

“I accidentally the Bialetti,” she exclaimed. “Is this dangerous?”


#8

I am fond of these things. My grandmother made espresso for me and my siblings when we visited, not because she thought coffee was good for kids (it might have been decaf?) but because she was serving biscotti, and when you ate biscotti you had espresso.

I had family visiting last week. My mother admired my Bialetti clone, with a dome-shaped hard-to-clean top. It has a little blue plastic bean for a lid-knob.

I don’t know if it was me or me mum’s idea, but the thing ended up in the dishwasher.

The thing is now covered with a weird powdery, smudgy patina. I’m not sure how I’m going to clean it up.

OTOH, I found my original, smaller Bialetti while tidying up my spare housewares shelf. Doesn’t make as much as the clone, but how much espresso is good for you anyway?


#9

It’s not a percolator!


#10

We have both (in fact several of each). The aluminum ones cook better, so taste better. With the stainless, it is hard to find the sweet spot between underbrewing and burning the coffee.

You can also get pots which are aluminum downstairs, and ceramic upstairs. Arguably the best of both worlds.

Most dishwasher powder interacts with aluminum. A little acid (vinegar, citric) should restore it. Or some 400 grit wet-sand sandpaper.


#11

I dunno why (I have one at home) but I have a deep loathing of the design of Bialetti stovetop espresso-makers. There’s just something cheerfully shitty about them that makes me think of everything I hate about 1970s design - although I’m sure the Bialetti design is much older than that.

The distaste I feel for it is so strong that I have been considering replacing our current one with a different design, even though I almost never drink coffee. It’s stupid, I know.


#12

My thoughts exactly :laughing: … Choose your own adventure!


#13

They make me think of cartoon images of a circus strongman…kind of like this one (I don’t think I have the right to post the image here, so just linking to it)


#14

The weird cartoon logo distinctly doesn’t help, but the whole form of the espresso maker is like fingernails on a blackboard to me.


#15

I recall a neighbour of ours many years ago reacting with horror on finding out that I used one of these. She was convinced that molecules of aluminium (please note correct spelling :slight_smile:) would dissolve in the brew, then something something brain damage!

Was never too clear where she got this from, but I fink I’s KO aftur aaal theze yurs…

(Haven’t looked back since I discovered Aeropress…)


#16

We offer this in the cafe and we do it this way because, as it says on the outside- it’s a moka and not an espresso:
pre-heat your water in the bottom half only
when large bubbles start to form, take it off the stove and screw in the top part ( yes, you need to be careful)
place back on the stove and as soon as the “mocca” begins to bubble out, remove it from stove and let it finish without additional heat. Why? Because aluminium does heat up fast and there is the danger of letting the oils in the coffee burn. ( Assuming your coffee hasn’t been roasted into oblivion and therefore has oil still in it.)
Never tamper the coffee and use a grind somewhere between a filter and an espresso.
We also use the Aeropress but it creates a completely different kind of coffee.


#17

Sorry, but these devices make revolting coffee. Look at what remains in the bottom section. It ain’t the pure water you poured into it - it’s coffee. These are percolators in use but not design. The coffee resulting tastes like hot metal and overheated silicone gaskets. Yuk.

Meanwhile, what the heck is wrong with hand-drip or French press? French press is even easier than a Moka pot to use. There should be no contest here.


#18

Nope. Mine is very definitely just water.

Nope.

One of these things is not like the other.

Nope. Not to me at least.

Nothing wrong with them, they just produce basically a completely different drink.

Plus if I want one espresso-size cup of black coffee, I don’t want to mess about with a cafetière.

If I’m making coffee for Kaffee und Kuchen, sure - cafetière all the way.


#19

Put me in the French press camp as well. I do not think I have ever made a cup of coffee with a Moka pot that was not burned.


#21

I like my Aeropress. I use an electric water kettle with very little water in it. It boils in under 2 minutes. Then pour just enough of it into the Aeropress, stir, let it steep for 30 to 60 seconds, press it out. Rich, dark espresso. I also make Americano by refilling the reservoir right before pressing, since some dripped out while steeping.

I have a moka pot, but it takes much longer to prep and boil it, as well as cleaning it out afterwards. And the taste is nowhere near the same. Totally different coffee. I don’t hate it, but I tend to use it outside on the bbq when I’m doing yard work.

I also have a cheap Mr. Coffee drip machine. I use that when I have guests and need to have more coffee made and ready to pour.

Aeropress is my everyday coffee. 2 cups in the morning, that’s all I need.