Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Bialetti Moka Express for Delicious Espressos, Cappuccinos and Lattes

Purchased (Affiliate Links)

There is a reason that the iconic Bialetti Moka Express has pride of place in so many kitchens worldwide, and I have wanted one for many years. I used to have an espresso machine, but when it broke I didn't replace it, and instead started drinking brewed coffee (French Press, Chemex and drip). When I am out in the world on-the-go, and buy a cup of coffee, I usually opt for an oat milk latte, and when I decided to cut back on dairy, I stopped drinking coffee with half and half, and then decided to buy the SMEG Retro-Style Milk Frother (Reviewed HERE). Once I realized how much I preferred drinking my morning coffee with frothed oat milk, I decided that I really needed to make myself oat milk lattes each morning. Therefore, the logical next step was buying the Bialetti Moka Express, and it was the perfect choice for me, and the perfect pairing with the SMEG Frother. The Moka Express is made in Italy and it is available in many sizes, but I purchased the 6 cup size because it was the most practical size for my needs.
According to Bialetti,

Bialetti Moka Express: this is the original coffee maker, a symbol of Made in Italy quality, which offers the experience of the true Italian ritual of preparing a delicious cup of coffee. Its unique shape dates back to 1933, when it was invented by Alfonso Bialetti. What makes it even more unique is the iconic Man with the moustache.

Made in Italy high-quality product. Unique patented safety valve which is easy to inspect and to clean. It also offers an ergonomic handle to facilitate grip of the product. Available in many sizes, this product is suitable for use on gas, electric and induction hobs (exclusively with the Bialetti induction plate adapter).
  • Body material: aluminum
  • Handle and knob material: thermoplastic.
  • Easy-clean safety valve
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Compatible with electric and gas stoves
  • Suitable for use on induction plates only and exclusively if used with the Bialetti induction plate adapter
Bialetti describes how the Moka Express works:
  • The Moka pot has facilitated the preparation of coffee at home, creating a real daily ritual. Not everyone, however, knows how the Moka works. 
  • Unlike the Neapolitan and Milanese coffee makers, the Moka uses pressure rather than gravity. Its revolution lies (also) in this technique.
  • The right water makes a difference for the correct functioning of the Moka. It is better to opt for water that is not too hard, that should be placed in the heating vessel at room temperature.
  • The right blend, slow and controlled roasting, specially calibrated grinding: these elements contribute to making a good coffee.
  • Have you heard the typical sputtering of the Moka pot? It is the steam that rises from the coffee maker as it escapes into the upper chamber.
Directions: Fill the boiler up to the safety valve with water, insert the funnel tank and add the ground coffee for moka without pressing; close the moka pot and place it on the hob. Wait for coffee to gurgle as it rises to the collector (upper chamber), turn off the gas and, finally, enjoy your delicious coffee!

Moka Express Safety Valve:

The valve was born with the invention of the Moka Express in 1933. It is a safety valve positioned on the bottom chamber. To better understand the importance of the valve and its use, we need to take a step back and illustrate step by step how the Moka works.

When the coffee maker is placed on the stove, the water eventually reaches boiling temperature. At this point, the steam increases the pressure in the bottom chamber and pushes the water through the grounds into the funnel filter.

The coffee is obtained thanks to this virtuous union of elements and processes. Hosted by the top chamber it is now ready to be savored.

If, for some reason, the water fails to pass through the filter, the pressure inside the bottom chamber would begin to increase rapidly

This can happen, for example, when:
  • the coffee is ground too finely;
  • the coffee has been excessively pressed into the filter;
  • the temperature of the heat source is too high.
This is where the valve of the Moka comes into play. It must open when the pressure is too high. By doing so, it allows the steam to escape regularly, without causing any damage. In short, the Moka’s safety valve provides security. Hence, it should only intervene when the coffee maker is used under abnormal operating conditions.
Cleaning instructions: the Bialetti Moka Express should be rinsed simply with water, after use. Do not use detergents. The product should not be washed in the dishwasher as this could cause damage to the product and affect the taste of the coffee.
Before the first use, I washed my Moka Express with soapy water, but after each use I followed their directions and simply rinsed it. It is very important not to wash the Moka Express in the dishwasher because it will pit and damage it. The only part that will eventually need to be replaced is the gasket.
Overall Assessment: The Bialetti Moka pot is easy to use, easy to clean, and it makes truly beautiful espresso. The entire ritual is to be savored as much as drinking the delicious coffee it makes. This is one of my very best purchases this year! Paired with the SMEG Milk Frother, this mighty duo makes the perfect oat milk lattes each morning, and I couldn't be happier!

$39.99-$79.99 for 3 cup, 6 cup, 9 cup and 12 cup from Amazon, Williams Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, Macy's and Target (Affiliate Links). Purchased. All views expressed are categorically my own. 

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  1. I have gotten so lazy over the years that I haven't use the Moka pot I brought home from Italy years ago...in years. Maybe I will try to find it in the basement and give it a try again (or else I should give it away). I also have a small frother though not as luxe as your SMEG, and I should use that as well. You are inspiring me! I've gotten to used to my Cuisinart that grinds and brews my coffee every morning.

    1. I highly recommend finding your Moka Pot and trying it with your frother, Allison! I think that you will be so happy with the results, and even if you only use it on the weekends it will be such a wonderful indulgence! I vote that you keep your Bialetti!


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