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Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Posted by sigh (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 20, 05 at 10:31

Anyone have one? I spotted it in the William's Sonoma catalog & was intrigued, then came across it in a local store this weekend. A helpful salesperson offered to show us how it worked so in the name of free coffee & curiosity we sat through a demo. It looks like a top heavy standard espresso pot. The pot is quite clever & actually does froth the milk as the coffee steams it's way into the top of the pot. It has a little button that pops up when it's done (best to heed this & remove from the heat when the button pops otherwise the milk boils over) but the resulting coffe/milk infusion was very good with a healthy amount of froth. The pot supposedly makes 2 7.5 oz cups. While I can take or leave cappuccino I'm a huge fan of cafe au lait & this seems like an easy, 2 minute way to get a fix during those far too frequent mornings when I simply don't have the time to whisk the milk while it heats in a pan, etc.

It's a pricey little novelty at ~90$ no matter where you look but I'm thinking that I may treat myself to one for my birthday. Plus it comes in your choice of brushed aluminum or black & white cow patterned (cow patterned, of course!).

Nina


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

sigh...funny you should ask! I just picked mine up at the Williams-Sonoma store in the Danbury Mall on Tuesday evening. I had an electric one made by Krups given to me as a gift, but it just wasn't doing it for me. It was a PITA and the cappuccino wasn't up to par. It was the kind where you had to "froth" the milk using the little side wand attachment. I saw this in the WS catalog and I have a Bialetti espresso maker, which I love. I took it home, made 2 pots of "trial coffee", as they suggest, and made a pot of cappuccino. It makes a wondefully rich and frothy cup of cappuccino. It is a little pricey, but I figured if the end result was good, I'd be happy. Well...I'm extremely happy with it. Bialetti is known for their stove top espresso makers, and this one lives up to their reputation. I have found over the years that some kitchen "essentials" are better when they're basic, and this is one that is. I didn't want to spend hundreds on an expensive home machine that worked well when I could get the same results from a "no frills" unit.
I'm going home after work and making myself a pot of latte...I hope this helps with your decision.
Nora


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Nora,

Hi neighbor! And thanks for the first hand review. I've pretty much made up my mind to buy the pot as a b'day present to myself. Oh who am I kidding, I've been obsessing over this pot & am forcing myself to wait until my b'day to buy it.

I, too, have an electric cappucino maker & it's currently boxed up in the attic because it was a bit of a pain to use, take apart & clean & not to mention taking up precious counter space (and being underwhelmed by the coffee) so I'd brew my espresso in a demitasse pot & make my au lait with milk frothed in a saucepan.

But the Mukka seemed like such an easy solution. My friend pointed out that it would only make 2 cups at a time but honestly on the rare occasions that I'd be making cafe au lait for more than 2 I'd be back to the old faithful saucepan on the stove method anyway. In the morning I need to have a cup of coffee in order to be able to make a cup of coffee so the thought of an easy, yummy, 1 pot cafe au lait process sounds heavenly. Take that, Starbucks, I'm livin' on Cafe du Monde!

Curious about the bialetti espresso pot. I've heard great things about them & they look just like your average espresso pot to me. Which one do you have? And does it really make a difference? The basic models seem cheap enough. I have a beautiful stovetop Guzzini pot that makes wonderful espresso in small quantities and have been thinking about getting a larger pot but the Guzzini was outrageously expensive for what it was (and thankfully, a gift)and I don't think they make them larger. The basic Bialetti seem quite reasonable.

And since we're talking coffee (bless you, Mrsmarv, for talking coffee with me) can I just say that Illy is absolutely the best stuff that I have ever brewed. Their regular coffee is heavenly and their espresso is just divine. I'm not a coffee snob, I just rarely drink more than a cup a day & I want that cup to be a good one. I have found Illy to be relatively easy to find & well worth the money as a treat.

BTW- many happy miles with your Mukka! Did you go for sensible aluminum or whimsical cow?

Nina


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Nina-I went for the sensible aluminum. Although I do love bovines, I knew they had it at WS and I couldn't find it at any local stores...when I called around and asked if they carried it, the answer was always "huh"?. There are no *really* good kitchen stores in my area (what's up with that?) and I was tempted to go to a wonderful one in Ridgefield CT (The Complete Kitchen), but I figured the price was the same everywhere, so I headed to WS.
BTW, if I may ask, what area are you in? I'm in lower Dutchess County. If you're close to me and have found a worthy kitchen store, please share! I'm sure there are one or two in Rhinebeck, but that's about an hour drive north of me.
TJ Maxx carries the smaller Bialetti espresso pot for under $20.00. I picked one up as a gift for a friend, since she loves mine. I have one that was my mom's from years ago.
I will take your advice and try the Illy coffee. I've seen it in many of the local markets, and have been hesitant to try it, but I will pick some up on the way home today.
I made a pot of cafe au lait last night and it was yummy!
Just so you know, it makes 2 pretty generous cups of cappuccino or au lait. It doesn't look like alot in the pot, but once you pour it and add the rest of the crema from the pot, it "fluffs" up. I see from your page that your birthday is coming up...oh, go ahead...break down and buy it *before* your birthday so you can enjoy it *on* your birthday!
And thank you for talking coffee...IMHO, it's the elixir of life. I've been enjoying it cafe au lait since I was very young, probably around 5 years old. It's my one bad habit LOL.


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Nora,

I'm in northern Westchester so we're pretty close. There is an awesome kitchen shop in Hartsdale called Chef Central. Think Bed Bath & Beyond but only kitchen related items and it is HUGE (http://www.chefcentral.com) they have numerous events & this is the place where the kind salesperson offered to demonstrate the Mukka for us. It'll be about an hour south of you but it's definitely worth the trip. Their prices are nothing to get excited about but they send out 20% off coupons & will accept "competitors" coupons (I'll get back to you on that but I'd suspect that BB&B coupons would count). It's also right down the street from a great Asian market where I can score cans of Cafe du Monde coffee for around 4$ each (a steal for CDM).

Thanks to the power of the internet I was perusing Bialetti espresso pots & came across their Brikka- which supposedly makes outstanding espresso complete with crema, all in a stovetop machine. More expensive than the regular Bialetti pots but less than the Mukka. I may have to find one of these pots because my husband is an espresso (actually all forms of coffee) fiend. But I'll definitely keep checking TJ Maxx's shelves. I try to stay out of there because I never manage to leave without spending money but if there's coffee at stake...

The Illy is truly wonderful and I never would have tried it if we hadn't gotten some as a gift. A non coffee drinking friend was given some & passed it on to us. It was the beginning of the end. I cringe at the 11$ price tag but, well, life's too short to drink bad coffee. Let me know what you think.

Nina


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Just wanted to bump this back to the top in case anyone was interested. I've been using this pot for about a week now & I just love it. The cappuccino has been consistently wonderful & that's when making it with plain old Medaglia d'Oro. I've found that the ultra pasturized fat free milk foams up more than plain old skim milk & leaving the pot on the heat for about 60 seconds after the button pops results in a cup at the perfect temperature. It works well for lattes too but you must make sure not to add water past the fill line otherwise milk will froth everywhere (if you're using the frothing function...which I do, every chance I get).

Pricey for a pot but it's already been worth it's weight in coffee & delight. Plus it'll pay for itself in lattes & cappuccinos within the month. I just love it. No regrets.

And yes, I got the cow patterned one. It makes me smile just to see it.

Nina


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

And I second that testimonial! BTW-sigh-Happy Belated Birthday ;o)
Nora


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

mrsmarv and sigh,

Bumping this up to ask you both for any extra hints on using the Mukka pot. Mine will be coming within the week, hopefully, and thinking extra tips might help (hint, hint:)) Are there instructions on how much coffee etc to use? Anybody using it on an electric smoothtop? Also, can you make just one cup or do you have to do two? TIA


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

I'm still in love with my Mukka! It claims to make 2 cups but I consider it a very generous single serving. The instructions that come with the pot are pretty clear and it comes with it's own measuring cup for water when making cappuccino (do not exceed this water level, or the easy to see measuring line on the inside of the pot for milk or the pot will boil over...the frothing function really works).

I would think that you could scale it back to a single cup serving if you halved the amounts of milk, water & coffee used but I'd start out making the "full" pots, just to get used to it. Also, make sure to screw the pot together tightly (holding it from the top part itself, not by the handle) as mine has a tendency to dribble if I don't.

Enjoy your pot & please report back once you get it!

Nina


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Good points...I have one to add. After the coffee has been made and you're ready to take it apart for cleaning (let it cool down a bit), the pressure that has built up will cause the unit to "vacuum" and it's difficult to unscrew the top from the bottom. I recommend "untwisting" the frothing/pressure valve and removing it from the unit. As you do this you will hear the pressure valve release the pressure and the unit will be much easier to take apart. I darn near broke my wrist trying to unscrew it the first few times until I discovered this ;o)
I love mine! BTW...cow or no cow?


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Thanks Nina! I have always been a straight black coffee drinker and like the taste of coffee, not the taste of milk or sweetener! I use a French press regularly, but at times my stomach rebels and needs something along with the coffee (not about to give up the coffee yet).

A number of years ago I bought a small inexpensive espresso maker, but never satisfied with the taste or frothing ability and haven't used it for some time. When I saw this thread about the Mukka, it sounded promising. So am hoping what it produces will be more authentic and I won't have to use too much milk, thus preserving my need for that coffee flavor!

I also was diagnosed diabetic recently so have to watch the carbs. Since I have had to give up more food items than I would like, my coffee is not going to be one of them for now if I can help it----stomach or diabetes!

Oh, and have you played around with the amount of coffee you use, or do you pretty much have to stick to the instructions? I usually get a double or more if I buy one elsewhere, so wondered how strong you could make it. Do you also by chance have a smoothtop?

Megan


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Thanks

mrsmarv,

Didn't see your post when I responded to Nina's. Thanks for the heads-up on the pressure valve. How tight do you have to have tighten the parts before brewing? My hands aren't the strongest, so hope it is easy to tighten/untighten. No cow, but didn't have the option with the one I bought. Wish they had the option of stainless steel rather than aluminum, but guess they haven't gone that direction yet.


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Hand-tight will do. I have arthritis and it's not too tough for me...it's the unscrewing that I found to be difficult. I have never used a smooth cooktop, but I would advise putting it on the smallest element to start.
Nora


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Nwesterner,

Have you ever tried any of the coffee/chickory blends like Cafe du Monde or French Market? They are both extremely strong coffee but the flavor is smoothed by the chicory. I've found these to make the best lattes & also to be easier on my stomach. The Mukka seems pretty flexible as far as amount of coffee to use, the instructions just say not to pack the coffee down. I usually fill the basket for espresso but only half fill it when using a coffee/chickory blend as otherwise the coffee is much too strong for me. You might just love it.

I had gestational diabetes and so had to adapt myself to less sugar & carbs almost overnight. Nothing like telling a pregnant woman that she's allowed 15 carbs total for breakfast. I took to making my daily latte with soy milk (westsoy lite) which had significantly less sugar than regular milk, was still calcium fortified & frothed up well. I haven't tried soy milk in the Mukka yet, though, but you've put the thought in my head now.

I've had this pot for over a month & have found it to make consistantly good coffe regardless if it's latte or cappuccino. And I enjoy this cappuccino far more than what my electric, plug in cappuccino maker produced. Expensive for what it is but I don't regret the expense at all.

I have a gas stove, BTW.

Mrsmarv- thanks for the tip about the valve. I always released it first because I'd pour water into the top of the pot as soon as I poured out the coffee (to keep the milk from sticking & the valve from getting al yecchy) so I never encountered the vacuum problem but I'm glad that you mentioned it because I'm sure it would happen to me eventually.

Nina


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carbs and coffee

Nora,

Good to know about the tightening. I also have arthritis and some pretty swollen finger joints and using my hands seems to be getting much more difficult in regards to squeezing etc.

Nina,

Good thought about a milk alternative, although I seem to tolerate milk fairly well. Tell me if the soy milk works. I have never really cared for the taste of it (ok, I admit, I'm the one who likes whole milk or just plain cream for that matter) but have tried some Rice Dream I think it is in some drinks. Wonder if that would work also in the Mukka?

I'm not into dispensing medicine, but I also had gestational diabetes in the past plus a definite serious family history with diabetes. I've always had some form of blood sugar intolerance but ignored it over the last number of years and think I put myself in denial that it couldn't/wouldn't happen to me. This is the person who loves to cook, but especially eat and eat those starchy carbs, and hates exercise and sweat! So it wasn't until I got sick and started losing lots of weight involuntarily, that it finally kicked my backside and told me to get thyself to a dr.

One warning from the endocrinologist was that, depending on lifespan, 50-75% of women who ran a gestational diabetes went into full diabetes at some point. I probably could have forstalled my situation if I had eaten less, watched the carbs and exercised. But 'good old no discipline herself' didn't do that! So, do take care of yourself in the future---it really is a PITA as well as scary if it goes full bore.


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Uh Oh. Am I the only one that is not impressed with this machine. I bought it about 4 months ago at Sur La Table in Carmel. I had a gift certificate, so I thought that I would treat myself. Anyhow, I have experimented with the amount of espresso (super loose then super fine tampered). I cannot seem to get that LATTE taste. When I make capuccino it comes out too strong. The Au Lait...is well..blah. I might as well pull out my coffee maker with Folger.

I do spend the money and by GREAT coffee. I pick my favorite selections from local roasting companies, Peets, and StarBucks.

Any advice to find the tasted that I am looking for?

Thanks.

Angelique


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

How is your water? If you're using tap water and it contains minerals, I would suggest bottled water.


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Angelique,

I have my own questions and problems with the Mukka so probably can't help you much, but could you tell me how much milk, water and coffee you use for a cappuccino? Was it the coffee that was too strong for you? (I prefer a strong coffee and not a milk taste). I (unfortunately) bought a second hand, but supposedly hardly used, Mukka. Every time I tried to use it with milk and the pressure valve down, it leaked out the middle. I finally in the last few weeks have been using it primarily as a moka pot. I have had to play with stove temp (I have a smoothtop and there are different and extra instructions for it), grind, amount of water and time on the stove to get the coffee where I want it in taste and temp. When I tried to use milk with it it was lukewarm and didn't froth much, but maybe I didn't leave it on long enough. (That was when it only leaked a little and not all over the stove). When I tried au lait it was cool and watery.

In using it as a very expensive (and non-stainless) moka pot, I have not had any leaking. I think I have the tightening down now, so may try it with milk again. But just not sure it can get it hot enough for me (takes around 9-10 min. on my stove). I even used less milk but didn't help. I have played this week with leaving the pressure valve down for the first 5 min. and then releasing it manually before the coffee starts to appear. Wondering if that is how the brikka pot works.


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Great suggestion mrsmarv. I'll try using bottled water instead.

Hi NWesterner,

I always fill the milk to the milk line. I have experimented with the water, using both the cappucino and au lait lines. As far as quantity of coffee, I have never measured it. The first cup that I had was a demo cup at sur la table. It came out perfect. I guy who made it tampered the coffee to pack in as much as possible. At home, I have tried that method as well as loosely packing in the coffee. I need to find a taste that is in the middle.

About coffee leaking through the middle, I have never experienced this problem. I copied the demo guy. He told me to always take a moist paper towel and clean the inner bottom inter-ring very well before attaching the top part.

I have a smooth top stove too. I usually put my stove on 6 (8, then High are the last on the dial). When I push the top button down for cappucino, it usually froths a lot and is very hot. I always rush it to a clean burner just in case. I never have this problem on the au lait setting.

I think that I will also try upgrading my milk. At home I use non-fat, but at Starbuck, I do 2 percent or whole. Maybe this is the solution to my problem.


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Thanks for the detailed response. I think changing to 2% or whole milk should make a difference. I haven't tried the pot with milk again yet, mainly because my seasonal addiction is eggnog so I just steam that in the micro, drink 1/2 of my coffee black and then add the eggnog to the rest. That way I get the best of my black coffee plus my pseudo-eggnog latte!

I did try leaving the pressure valve down on my pot with just coffee and no milk. (I had my smoothtop on med-hi). By 11 minutes (the instructions say 6-11 min. on a smoothtop) it did not pop up nor had any coffee dripped out. I manually released it (which sent some spray over the stove) and then the coffee actually was boiling when it came into the upper pot. It tasted almost burned and I didn't care for it. I wonder if that is what happens when it makes the cappuccino or if I just have a defective pressure valve?
Wonder if it boils up like that in a regular moka pot?

I have discovered I need to keep my heat on close to med-hi to get the amount, temp, and taste that I want with just the coffee. Tomorrow I may try it with milk again for a cappuccino--altho all I have on hand is 1%, and see what the temp is and how it taste. Still think I may just use it mainly for an (expensive as I said) moka pot for coffee. When I get the taste I want, I like it a little better than my French press.


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

NWestener...am I correct in thinking that you left the top chamber empty of liquid? If that's the case, you will most likely be waiting until the cows come home for your coffee maker to "do it's thing" (no pun intended on sigh's cow-print cappucino maker...LOL). I believe that if there is no liquid/milk in the upper chamber, the pot will not be able to draw the liquid/milk down to the bottom chamber and force it back up again, therefore foiling the pressure valve's purpose, which is to re-cirulate and mix the coffee and milk up through the pressure valve.
Just a thought....and yes, it's much better with whole milk!


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

mrsmarv,

Are you sure it draws the milk down and then up again? When I have used it with milk (and the lid open to watch how it works) the milk stayed put and the coffee came up into the pot with the valve doing the 'frothing'. The milk wasn't hot at all with the au lait and not very hot with a cappuccino, although I admit I prefer it pretty hot. I can use the pot as a straight moka pot just for making coffee (which I am drinking right now-- ran out of eggnog yesterday so having withdrawals from it till I get to the store) and it works fine. When I have made straight coffee I have played with leaving the valve down half the time and then manually releasing it hoping to make more steam pressure for the coffee. When I left the valve down and didn't release it, it stayed down too long, then the coffee was boiling when it came into the pot and tasted burned. Since I've never used just a straight moka pot, that is what I'm trying to approximate in making just coffee. I am finding the length of time it takes on the smoothtop and the temp seems to determine whether the coffee is good or overextracted and more bitter tasting. Since I prefer more of the coffee taste than the milk taste when they are combined, I'm afraid if this particular pot really boils the coffee that much to make the cappuccino that I would not care for the taste as well. Am I picky or what LOL!


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Well, this time I put my brain into motion before I put my mouth into gear ;o)...you're absolutely right and I stand corrected. This whole thing has piqued my interest, so when I got home, I put a pot on and peered inside while it was doing it's thing (very gingerly, I might add). I have a gas range and the whole thing took 6 minutes from start to finish, with the burner on medium/medium high. Which brings us back to your dilemma...you might be right about having a faulty pressure valve. I would call the store where you purchased it and ask them if they have any ideas...if no ideas are forthcoming, I would see if you could exchange it for another one (if not the whole unit, at least the valve). I know you can purchase a pressure valve for $7.00 on line, but the cost of S & H is $6.00, so that's the kicker. Let us know how it works out...I think that when it all works out, you'll be quite happy with the little guy.


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Hi mrsmarv,

Thanks for the experiment! I think there is a difference (per the added instructions for those with electric smoothtops) in the time it takes for the pot to finish on gas vs electric. They say it will be 6-11 minutes with a smoothtop and I am trying to stay around 8-9 minutes which, at least with just straight coffee, seems to be the right taste/temp for me. I still need to do another full pot test with milk to see if it still leaks and if the valve pops up as it should.

Other specific questions for you: when you do a cappuccino, how much water and how much milk do you use? When it froths
how much froth and how firm is it and how high does it come in the pot?

Also especially, how long do you leave the burner on, or do you, after you hear the loud gurgling,frothing,steaming sound? Do you shut it off then or wait awhile? How much water is left in the bottom of the pot? The reason I ask is that if I leave it on the burner or the burner on much after the really loud sound, it seems to be too hot (the coffee only) even for me and tastes more burned. But if I turn it off sooner and let it sit, it tastes better but there is a little less coffee and more water left in the bottom of the container. Using the pot with milk, the instructions for a smoothtop say to leave it on the burner for about a minute extra (not sure if that is with or without the burner on) to get the right temp. Obviously, it is a little more temperamental with an electric smoothtop!


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

I've been reading this thread and really want this. My only concern is that I have a smoothtop surface. Should I get one anyways? Also, how much milk do you use per pot of coffee? Must it be whole milk or 2% and not skim?

Yesterday in the Food Section of the newspaper, they listed their top 5 gadgets. This cappuccino maker was in that list.


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Marie,

There are measurements in both top and bottom of the pot. The milk measurement is around 6 oz. I believe, but think you could use less if wanted. I would guess (still haven't done the coffee/milk thing alot yet) that 2% or whole tastes better, but maybe skim froths better?

There was an added instuction sheet in the booklet I got with mine for those with smoothtops. The lower measurement in the bottom for water is around 5 oz for cappucino (if you filled all the way to just under the pressure valve it is about 12 oz--that is what I do for just making a pot of coffee without milk). You can also use the higher water in the bottom with milk in the upper container if you want au lait (and leave the pressure valve up and not down) which I think the instructions called milky coffee! You can manually push/pull the pressure valve up or down.

With the smoothtop they say to add a little MORE water to the bottom container for cappuccino which, eyeballing it from their picture (I don't know metric well), seems like 6-7 oz.

I am not sure if my pressure valve is defective or not. But you do have to make sure that the valve is seated on correctly before giving it that little tightening to hold it on. In tightening the top to the bottom, I have small hands and have found that if I set the bottom pot on a rubber jar opener and then seat and tighten the upper pot, I can tighten it best by leaving the upper pot empty (until attached), opening the lid and using another jar opening to hold onto the side of the upper container (they say not to use the handle). It tightens fine, and if I don't tighten too much, I can release it ok when it cools down the same way. Just works for me, so thought I would mention it.

Good luck, oh, and check the two gaskets to see if they are in well. The little gasket under the grounds basket on mine was twisted in one part and I think that is why I had the bad leaking until I discovered the problem. Make sure the top is seated evenly also before twisting it on.


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Thank you NWesterner for your response. The next time we get into town, I am going to look at this.


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

NWestener - For cappuccino, I fill the lower tank a little lower than the water line. I fill the top tank up to the liquid line , but no further. When the valve "pops", I lower the heat and wait until I see the froth peeking out of the spout. I then remove it from the heat. The froth is quite high, almost filling the chamber.
As far as having water left in the bottom...it's funny, but sometimes there is and sometimes there isn't. I haven't figured out the sequence relationship (is that correct?), but I'm going to experiment this weekend. I'll try a few different things and report back ;o)


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

'littlebear- Did you happen to notice what kind of coffee they used when they demoed the pot at Sur La Table? I've been doing some trial and error with my pot to get things right & have found that "my" perfect latte is achieved by filling the basket only halfway with Cafe du Monde and removing the pot from the heat about 30 seconds after the valve pops. "My" perfect cappuccino is made with a full, untamped basket of Lavazza but my husband's version of perfect needs a tamped, full basket of Medaglia d'oro. This stays on the stove for 60 seconds after the valve pops so that the coffee gets hot enough. I have found that leaving the pot on the heat for a bit after the milk froths really makes a difference in the temperature of the final product. I used to remove the pot as soon as the valve popped and that result, while tasty, was always lukewarm (which is how I usually drink my coffee but even I prefer it a little bit hotter).

Nwesterner, my procedure & results are the same as Mrsmarv's, down to the "sometimes there's water left in the chamber & sometimes there isn't". I have found that skim milk seems to froth better than whole milk & that plain old skim froths better than the ultra pasteurized that I usually use in coffee. I always end up with the top part full of froth to the lid when I fill it with milk up to the line.

I have to laugh because I have an eggnog addiction too and try fiercely to stay away from it (part of my attempt to take care of myself now in order to avoid problems in the future). The siren song of the eggnog is maddening this time of year!

Good luck with the problem pots!

Nina


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Hi Nina,

The demo was done with Illy Espresso. I guy doing the demo said that Illy is not the best but is very good. Unfortunately for me, his cup is the best that I have tasted so far. I think that I need to give it another try with a little more water (I have a glass/smooth top stove), filtered H2O and whole milk. I still havent had a chance to try it with these essential ingredients.

Cheers,

Angelique


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

OK, seems I must have something defective, probably the pressure valve. There are specific instructions for using the pot on a smoothtop which I have followed faithfully (it will take 6-11 minutes). EVERY time I have pushed down the pressure valve to make cappuccino, the pot leaks from the middle. If I leave the valve up and make a latte or straight coffee, it does just fine every time and does not leak. If I push it down, leave it down 5-6 minutes and manually release it, it does not leak and proceeds normally (so I assume) but isn't as hot. But if the valve is down 7 minutes or more, it leaks. I did not try the other experiments until I realized it would not finish the pot without leaking if the valve was down.

It was not purchased locally but out of state by someone else, but I do have the receipt. Today I called and they were willing to replace it if I sent it to them. My decision now is whether to spend the money to send it or see if they could obtain a new pressure valve (which I assume is the problem) and send it to me hopefully at no added cost (ha). One other thought is to replace the main gasket and see if that makes a difference, even though it doesn't leak if the valve is up.

Then again, since it works fine as a moka pot for straight coffee (which I actually prefer drinking) and I can steam milk in the micro and froth it if I like with my mini-frother, maybe I should just chalk the loss up and use it as an expensive moka pot! My DH thinks I should send it back, but I'm afraid I'll get another defective one. Oh well, live and learn---which I seem to do a lot!

Am happy for all of you that have well functioning pots and are enjoying your cappuccinos and lattes!


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

I would ask them to send you a new pressure valve. Since they're realtively inexpensive ($7.00), I would think they would be agreeable. I would wait until you use it with the new pressure valve before you replace the gasket.
Let us know how it turns out...the little sucker is too costly to use it with only one of its functions ;o)


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One positive note

Well, at least one positive improvement. When I was out in early Dec. shopping, I stopped at a kitchenwares store. Noticed some replacement gaskets for espresso pots and, knowing how far I am from shopping and my luck of not finding things when I really need them, decided to buy a pkg. and just store it. I had noticed that the main gasket on my pot had a little play in it, it wasn't totally snug although it only seemed to leak under pressure. The new gasket was a bit larger and fits quite snugly. So I decided to change them.

Have not as of yet done another full cappuccino pot that normally leaks, but I have noticed that there does seem to be a little bit of a difference when I just do my coffee in it. Had a chance to use it on an older coil range at relatives yesterday, and it actually worked faster than on my smoothtop. So the next step is to see if this gasket fixes the problem or if there still might be a defective pressure valve.

One other question. Is the round cap that you push on the pressure valve supposed to spin around? Mine does and just assumed that was how it worked.


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Another update

I tried another cappuccino with the pressure valve down. The instructions for a smoothtop say 6-11 minutes. I waited till the clock (yes, I did time it exactly!) turned 12 minutes (and could hear steam trying to escape between the two sections and afraid the release valve would go off) and then I manually released the valve. The coffee sprayed all over and came out boiling for about 2 minutes (I took it off the stove immediately). It did continue to froth for the 2 minutes or more but the coffee, after I poured it, was overextracted and bitter. That was a full 14 minutes! and way too much. Without the valve down I usually have the coffee dripping in the pot between 6-7 minutes and done at 8 1/2-9/12 min.

There must be a valve problem with this particular pot and I really don't want to mess with the cost and effort of mailing it back. Will call the store it was purchased from and see if they (or bialetti) will replace the valve as the rest of the pot is ok. I just get very irritated with myself when I buy something like this and it doesn't work. My DH just shakes his head and says I should just use the old drip pot we have and let it go! He doesn't understand that for me the process is part of the whole experience!


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

I also bought this pot and was very dissapointed and will be bringing it back. I have had three instances where the coffee has shot straight up to my ceiling and hood. Sometimes the valve works and sometimes it doesn't. I've had enough, but when it did work, it really tasted good.


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Hi, any tips on making great froth with the Mukka? I have been using it for a week and I follow the instructions to the letter. It tastes good but does not produce much froth, regardless of high, medium or lower heat. I have a good gas stove and I use Lavazza ground espresso, 1% organic milk.
Two great tips I got from amazon.com product reviewers:
To avoid leaking, with your finger rub a tiny ammount of olive oil on the seals before screwing together. For easy clean up soak in water, and when the pressure has died down, the unit is easy to open and finish cleaning.


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

I use whole milk (organic) to get a good froth. I have tried using 2%, but the results were not what I expected.


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

I have the Bialetti mukka express and even after following all of the directions exactly as instructed, I am STILL GETTING LEAKAGE from the middle of the pot. Am I the only one who cannot fix this? I have also tried every tip, such as cleaning the gaskets perfectly before assembling the pot, rubbing a little olive oil around the gaskets, making sure there are NO grounds anywhere near the edges , tightening the top to the bottom as much as possible, heating at the correct temperature, and making sure to use the proper grind and amount of coffee as well as the proper amount of water and milk!! What can be done next? I am very frustrated at this point.


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

bjames ~ I've had mine for 5 years and have never experienced that. How long have you had it and has it always leaked? I would contact the company to let them know and perhaps they'll exchange it for you. I'm not sure if olive oil goes well with coffee ;o)


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Hi mrsmarv:
I just received my bialetti mukka coffee pot - questions I have are when making the first 3 pots of coffee, do I just use water in the bottom and top with coffee - also, I want to make lattes, how do I know that the lattes are ready if I don't push the button down as with the cappuccino? Do I just time it by the clock?
Thanks for your help - can't wait to make it...


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Why am I not getting consistent "frothing" results? I am using the same amounts of water and milk each time, and have tried 2% and whole milk. Sometimes I get a great amount of froth with each type of milk, and other times I barely get any at all!! This is too expensive a pot not to be able to count on a desirable cappuccino EVERY TIME I use it!


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RE: Bialetti Mukka stovetop cappuccino maker

Just saw the ad in Williams-Sonoma . Has anyone bought one recently? It looks like a great present for my hubby's birthday.


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