Coffee Maker Review: Bialetti Moka Express
Bialetti Brew Express
Coffee Maker Quality9/10
Ease of Use8/10
- Very good coffee
- Built to last
- Doesn't require electricity
- Easy to clean
- Great price
- Leaves aluminum residue if used incorrectly
- Not dishwasher safe
- A little bit high maintenance - no setting and forgetting
- Long brew time
- Brewing with aluminum may not be good for your health (more on this later)
The Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker is marketed as an espresso maker, but just like the Aeropress, it isn't really espresso. Instead, you get a rich, full-bodied cup of coffee through a very simple brew process. At around $30, this is one of the best value coffee makers you will find.
Follow instructions carefully!
There seems to be a lot of user error when it comes to brewing with the Bialetti. Instructions warn users to not overheat the coffee maker by either a) heating it at too high of a setting or b) heating it for too long. Doing either of these things will result in an ugly cup of coffee, and an ugly Bialetti over time.
Those who experienced aluminum residue at the bottom of the Bialetti were usually those who made one of these two mistakes.
Many reviewers also learned the hard way that you should not put this Moka Pot in the dishwasher. It will damage the aesthetics, but not necessarily the functionality.
About the aluminum
The most helpful negative review (as voted by Amazon users) of the Bialetti noted the coffee maker's aluminum body presents itself as a potential health risk, particularly for those who find aluminum residue left behind in their Moka Pots.
However, from the ensuing discussion that followed this review it seems that aluminum has not been definitively linked to disease when consumed in small amounts. You may want to examine the research for yourself before coming to any conclusions.
Let's break down each of the rating categories for the Bialetti Moka Pot.
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At $25, this is a great deal. When compared to another “espresso” maker like the Aeropress, the aluminum body makes it seem like an even better value.
Score: 5 stars
The Coffee Quality
Out of the 450+ reviews for this coffeemaker, only 2 reviewers said the coffee the Bialetti makes is bad. The majority of the remaining reviewers think the coffee is great quality.
I'm in complete agreement. It seemed that no matter what grind I used I got great tasting coffee. It's strong, but it can be easily diluted to suit anybody's taste preferences.
Score: 5 stars
The Coffee Maker Quality
The fact that it's made of aluminum seems to be one of the most contentious aspects of this coffee maker. While aluminum conducts heat very well, many are reluctant to use this Moka Pot because of its aluminum body.
I personally am on the less-conservative side and am not afraid to use this coffee maker, but I still think given its nature of leaving behind aluminum residue (at least when used improperly), this coffeemaker is falling just short of perfect in the quality department.
Score: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use
You can see from the video above that this isn't very difficult to use. But it seems that many people still overheat their units, and given the fact that you need to keep close watch on this coffee maker, it could certainly be easier to use.
Score: 4 stars
Well, it isn't dishwasher safe, but that doesn't mean it isn't super easy to clean. In fact, all you're supposed to do is run the unit under some warm tap water after dumping the used grounds.
You can see just how fast it is to clean in my video review.
Score: 5 stars
Given its lack of gizmos and gadgets and overall simplicity, it's very tough to break the Bialetti. In fact, not a single reviewer reported a broken coffee maker. There were numerous reports of the rubber gasket breaking down after repeated use, but this is a part that is very inexpensive and easy to replace.
Score: 5 stars
Based on the reviews of the Bialetti, it seems that most people appreciate its aesthetics. I tend to agree that it looks good, but not 5 stars good.
Score: 4 stars
It takes anywhere from 5-20 minutes according to reviewers. Yes, that's a huge range. What it likely comes down to are the different stoves, burners, and heat settings that each individual reviewer uses. It also depends on which size Bialetti you are using.
For me, I found that the 6 cup version takes about 10-12 minutes depending on the grind I use. Keep in mind, this is on a very low heat setting on my stove.
Score: 2.5 stars
This is the coffee maker that you will find in many Italian and Cuban households, and for good reason! It is dependable, makes great coffee, and has a very small price tag.
This coffee maker may be the perfect fit if you're:
- Someone who likes strong, full-bodied coffee
- Someone looking for a coffee maker that is built to last
- Someone who is on a tighter budget with limited counter space
- Someone who wants a portable coffee making option
This coffee maker probably isn't for you if:
- You are looking for something quick and easy
- You have concerns about brewing with aluminum
- You are looking for a coffee maker that is hands-off and low maintenance
Share Your Comments, Reviews, or Questions
While I collate reviews from all across the web when writing my own coffee maker reviews, my opinion in the end is only one opinion. For this reason, I encourage you to share your own review as well as any comments, questions, or disagreements you may have.