let's talk coffee- stovetop espresso makers specifically

sighSeptember 28, 2005

Who's got what?

I have the traditional Italian demitasse pot (where the boiling water filters through the grounds producing coffee in the pot below) and a beautiful Guzzini espresso pot that makes perfectly adequate espresso in the usual water on the bottom & forced upward through the grounds producing coffee in the top of the pot. I also have some unidentified contraption that has a knob on top & an electrical cord of dubious age & integrity but I have no idea what it's supposed to do & am certainly not plugging it in!

But as I mentioned in an earlier thread I've become infatuated with the Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappucino maker & as a result have started looking at the other pots that Bialetti offers. In a step up from the traditional stovetop espresso pot they make something called the Brikka that actually produces crema on the espresso due to Bialetti's patented valve. The Guzzini is beautiful but it's a little temperamental. The Brikka is calling to me with it's simplicity & it's promise of crema.

I love black coffee & all of it's trappings. Maybe it was a result of growing up in an Italian household with the ever present pot of demitasse (always demitasse) on the table, maybe it's the line up of things that you can add to the coffee so that every cup is different, maybe it's just the tiny cups that it gets served in.

So what do you brew in?


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If you like crema, try Nespresso. I have an espresso/cap maker by Nespresso (not stovetop) and all of their flavors are incredible. Thev have over 10 types of varied strength. Their machines use "pods", so you can only brew one cup at a time...and are also required to use their coffee. Both are fine for me - the crema is thick and excellent.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 9:49PM
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surf over to coffeegeek.com and take a look. Lots of great products, reviews, and discussion boards for coffee lovers.

-or perhaps you have already been there and are just looking for more opinions...


    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 12:30PM
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My wife got me a La Pavoni last year. Best coffee maker ever! It's the old lever style, not some auto-everything push the putton and walk away thing. You control the brew time, pressure, temp etc. It's fantastic. Not a store top as you'd indicated but I don't think any of those build up enough pressure to really make espresso, does yours??


    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 6:26PM
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I haven't been able to find a Brikka in the flesh, only the regular Bialetti pots. I have to say that the Mukka (cappuccino pot), for a stovetop machine, pushes the water through the grounds with such force that the un-tamped grounds always end up as a solid little puck. Supposedly the Brikka will do the same as a result of the Bialetti valve.

OMG, how cool is the La Pavoni?! I'm certain that no stovetop machine can come close to that.

Lynne- I found out about the Brikka on coffeegeek. I just enjoy this forum so much & wanted to stir up some coffee talk :). Plus I'd enjoy hearing what you folks have rather than solely from the coffee obsessed.

Nina (coffee obsessed but rarely has more than 1 cup a day).

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 2:38PM
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I have an Estro Vapore that I got at Starbuck's about ten years ago. It makes really great espresso and it is very easy to foam the milk for either capichino or latte. Starbuck's sells it under its own label now as Barrista. Our kids had one a few years earlier and my sister has one a few years younger and they have all been super, If you have any problem at all with them you just call the starbuks repair place and they sort it out for you. I'm pretty fussy about my espresso and I love it.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 11:55PM
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Sorry, I didn't finish before I hit the submit button. I have two of those old Italian stovetop makeres where the water is expressed thru the coffee from the sided. They are very picuresque but this coffee is much better. I don't think I will ever go back to those old ones but I don't think I will ever bring myself to part with them either.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 12:03AM
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Sigh, you are right, the La Pavoni is, for me, the perfect coffee machine. Mine is brass and copper, the smaller one without the gauge. Just using it feels like a throw back to simpler times. (I also have a Zassenhaus grinder, blue windmill on white ceramic bowl holds the coffee and you set the grind and turn the crank).

Mornings are just wonderful. I grind up enough to fill the portafilter twice while the machine is warming up. Fill and tamp the portafilter and return it to the machine. Raising the lever allows hot water under pressure access to the coffee. lowering the handle adds pressure and forces the water down through the coffee. The more pressure you apply to the lever, the more pressure you put the water under. This is totally hands on coffee making. Not for the set it and forget it crowd.

It took a while (2 weeks) to get the grind right but now every cup is somewhere between wonderful and fantastic. The key is you control the process all the way through.


    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 10:17AM
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