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Confessions of a Brikka Lover
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koax
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Jun 2005
Posts: 52
Location: Quebec, Quebec
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Giotto / Nuova Simonelli...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini / Mythos
Roaster: Toper (soon Diedrich IR-12!)
Posted Wed May 24, 2006, 6:39am
Subject: Re: Confessions of a Brikka Lover
 

Hi Alexandre,

Glad to read you once again.  I'm very pleased to read this post on 'moka pot' lover.  I consider myself a convert to moka pot.  I have used the Bialetti Express for about a year now, on and off, but quite regularly in the last 2 months or so.

I can definitely see the similarity between espresso and moka pot.  Although, IMO, one might emphasis/concentrate some flavors/characteristics more than the other, they definately share similarities.  

Regarding the sugar question, IMO, just like for espresso, sugar has positives benefits (I have to admit I have a sweet tooth!).  For example, it is said sugar will:

1- increase the body in the cup, giving sense of fullness and prolonging aroma
2- allows fragrance and fruitiness to emerge

Furthermore, with the moka pot, I found I get more consistent results than with my Giotto (which I attribute mostly to temperature variations and shot routine).

In the last three weeks, I've been trying a lot of coffee in my moka pot, and so far the "Nicaragua Marango" has been my favorite.  I am posting my moka pot tasting results on my website if you want to have a look.
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Enkerli
Senior Member
Enkerli
Joined: 1 Aug 2004
Posts: 723
Location: Montreal, Qc
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: (At cafés, not at home)
Grinder: Hario hand grinders
Vac Pot: (Moka Pot) Bialetti Brikka
Drip: Steep and release pour-over
Roaster: iRoast-2
Posted Wed May 24, 2006, 8:48am
Subject: Brewing Methods
 

koax Said:

Hi Alexandre

Posted May 24, 2006 link

Salut Martin!
Glad to see a fellow Québécois in these parts of CG!

I consider myself a convert to moka pot.

YES!

I can definitely see the similarity between espresso and moka pot.  Although, IMO, one might emphasis/concentrate some flavors/characteristics more than the other, they definately share similarities.

Absolutely. The perceived similarities have something to do with the differences between drip pot coffee and espresso, IMHO. People see moka pot coffee (MPC) as closer to espresso than DPC. But, in some ways, MPC is relatively close to VacPot coffee or even "Turkish" coffee. Not sure about the Aerobie and the Clover but they might also produce results similar to MPC.

Regarding the sugar question

We're pretty much agreed there. Yet sugar fits in some coffees more than in others. Actually, IMHO, MPC is more sugar-friendly than espresso.


Furthermore, with the moka pot, I found I get more consistent results than with my Giotto

MPs are really less sensitive to most factors than espresso. Grind, grounds to water ratio, brew time, etc.
Also, single origin makes more sense with MPC than espresso. Complexity is much less of an issue with MPC.
Actually, that's one of the things that makes MPC the perfect morning coffee. If the very first thing you taste is espresso, you're likely to lose on a lot of the complexity.

"Nicaragua Marango" has been my favorite.  I am posting my moka pot tasting results on my website if you want to have a look.

Thanks a lot!

 
Alex
http://enkerli.com/
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Enkerli
Senior Member
Enkerli
Joined: 1 Aug 2004
Posts: 723
Location: Montreal, Qc
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: (At cafés, not at home)
Grinder: Hario hand grinders
Vac Pot: (Moka Pot) Bialetti Brikka
Drip: Steep and release pour-over
Roaster: iRoast-2
Posted Wed May 24, 2006, 8:56am
Subject: Re: Roasting for Brikka
 

Gate Said:

I have three small roasters. FreshRoast Plus 8.

Posted May 24, 2006 link

OIC!

They are each different in the roasts I get, oddly enough.

Interesting!
Same thing with popcorn poppers, in my experience.

So, the fact that the Brikka isn't as sensitive to freshly roasted beans is a huge plus. Because there's no way I'm going to wait!

Hehe!
Well, this lack of sensitivity of the Brikka might be my own skewed perception. Degassed coffee is still better than the warm beans. Yet it seems like MPC in general is less sensitive to fresh roast as, maybe, CO2 is less important for MPC.
Between a regular moka pot, a Brikka, and an espresso machine, the Brikka is likely to be between the other two in terms of sensitivity to roast freshness, IMHO (with a regular MP being even less sensitive). Same goes for other features.
It also seem like "Turkish" coffee is the least sensitive to fresh roasts in that using the warm beans may even produce the best results.

 
Alex
http://enkerli.com/
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Gate
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Feb 2006
Posts: 244
Location: South Carolina
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Romantica EPG-8
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Vac Pot: various
Drip: too many to recall
Roaster: Four FreshRoast+8's
Posted Wed May 24, 2006, 2:27pm
Subject: Re: Roasting for Brikka
 

I ordered some Turkish samples when I got my ibrik, just to see how fine the grind was. I had to try a couple of them out, and the staleness was incredibly horrible. I didn't think I'd ever get rid of the taste. So, maybe Turkish can stand beans right out of the roaster, but it certainly doesn't do stale well. Well, nothing much does, but the AeroPress is extremely forgiving in that regard, IMO.

Getting ready to place an order for a Brikka in a bit. I'm lost. You folks have completely ruined me! I used to be fine with just my espresso machine!
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Enkerli
Senior Member
Enkerli
Joined: 1 Aug 2004
Posts: 723
Location: Montreal, Qc
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: (At cafés, not at home)
Grinder: Hario hand grinders
Vac Pot: (Moka Pot) Bialetti Brikka
Drip: Steep and release pour-over
Roaster: iRoast-2
Posted Wed May 24, 2006, 6:20pm
Subject: Re: Roasting for Brikka
 

Yeah, no, the comments about forgiving methods didn't cover stale coffee, especially not stale ground coffee.
Sorry for having ruined you. It wasn't the plan. Plus, you'll still be using your La Pa. Maybe, just not for the first cup of the day.

 
Alex
http://enkerli.com/
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MyronJ
Senior Member
MyronJ
Joined: 30 Dec 2001
Posts: 275
Location: Kibbutz Kfar Etzion-Israel

Espresso: Gaggia Espresso
Grinder: Rocky (Zassenhaus  Mill Box...
Vac Pot: Aeropress..does it count??
Drip: Bialetti Kaliffa-needs a...
Roaster: IROAST, FZ-RR 700 (Havitush)
Posted Wed May 31, 2006, 4:07am
Subject: Re: Roasting for Brikka-from an ex lover (traitor??)
 

Oh...once in a while i peek at Brikka postings..
Me..an ex lover...turned to Gaggia...traitor!

But your posts are good enough to begin printing out.
Will they send me back to the Brikka??
Probably not.

But many of the points you guys raise are so true
and your impressions a pleasure to read.

thx,
myron
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Enkerli
Senior Member
Enkerli
Joined: 1 Aug 2004
Posts: 723
Location: Montreal, Qc
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: (At cafés, not at home)
Grinder: Hario hand grinders
Vac Pot: (Moka Pot) Bialetti Brikka
Drip: Steep and release pour-over
Roaster: iRoast-2
Posted Wed May 31, 2006, 4:54am
Subject: Re: Roasting for Brikka-from an ex lover (traitor??)
 

Nah, you're not a traitor. After all, we BLs are not trying to bring the whole world to Brikka. We're just having fun with a neat little device. And, as you can see, most of us also have espresso machines.

Is there something specific that you didn't like about the Brikka?

 
Alex
http://enkerli.com/
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MyronJ
Senior Member
MyronJ
Joined: 30 Dec 2001
Posts: 275
Location: Kibbutz Kfar Etzion-Israel

Espresso: Gaggia Espresso
Grinder: Rocky (Zassenhaus  Mill Box...
Vac Pot: Aeropress..does it count??
Drip: Bialetti Kaliffa-needs a...
Roaster: IROAST, FZ-RR 700 (Havitush)
Posted Wed May 31, 2006, 5:38am
Subject: Re: Roasting for Brikka-from an ex lover (traitor??)
 

I actually LOVE my 2-Cup and it was a problem having friends over...
So i looked hard for a four cupper and finally bought one when i was in Germany. It was a disappointment.

You can see what kinda lover i was of the two cup by reading my article [at ineedcoffee.com].

It is true that the range of "poor" to 'decent' to GREAT espresso shots with my Gaggia is greater and less consistent than the Brikka..but I prefer the decent and up with my Gaggia to the normal Brikka shots.

Also..the fact the heat up and grinding are simultaneous with the espresso machine is a plus. With the Brikka I would Zass and then heat up..always ready to take the pot off the fire..With the espresso machine things are a bit more relaxed. And pulling two shots one after the other is easier and quicker.

I had the honor to sit with the designer of the Brikka when visiting Bialetti once..a real joy!

He likes espresso..but when it comes to Moka will only use the Bialetti Express. Brikka is NOT MOKA it is closer to espresso, he claims. And at home..he wants MOKA!!
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Enkerli
Senior Member
Enkerli
Joined: 1 Aug 2004
Posts: 723
Location: Montreal, Qc
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: (At cafés, not at home)
Grinder: Hario hand grinders
Vac Pot: (Moka Pot) Bialetti Brikka
Drip: Steep and release pour-over
Roaster: iRoast-2
Posted Wed May 31, 2006, 6:09am
Subject: Re: Roasting for Brikka-from an ex lover (traitor??)
 

Myron,
Fascinating account:
http://www.ineedcoffee.com/02/10/frustration/
And my experience has been fairly similar in some places. What's even more problematic is when a friend just bought a 400$ espresso machine of which s/he's very proud and you still end up with subpar espresso. To be sure, it's one of the reasons for my love of moka pots. But it's not the only reason.
It's true that moka pot brewing is quite different a process from espresso making. But, in a way, that's just part of my "morning ritual." In fact, my brain has been conditioned by the sound of a (non-Brikka) 6-cup moka pot when the coffee comes up. That and the smell, filling the whole room. These are the features that are missing from the Brikka. My solution? Make coffee in a non-Brikka moka pot for my wife, use the Brikka for myself as my first coffee, and follow up with espresso later in the day. At my mother's place, when we had friends over (say, after a big party), we took out the 15-cup moka pot with a ceramic top. Not sure if it's the context or the pot but that coffee was truly delicious.

The Bialetti designer has a point. Brikka doesn't produce true moka. And, as so many people (including myself) insist, it doesn't produce espresso either. But that's the beauty of it. You produce a drink which is unique.
What's fun in all of this is that none of it is exclusive. With a few "gadgets," you can have a broad range of coffee experiences.

 
Alex
http://enkerli.com/
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Enkerli
Senior Member
Enkerli
Joined: 1 Aug 2004
Posts: 723
Location: Montreal, Qc
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: (At cafés, not at home)
Grinder: Hario hand grinders
Vac Pot: (Moka Pot) Bialetti Brikka
Drip: Steep and release pour-over
Roaster: iRoast-2
Posted Wed May 31, 2006, 9:05am
Subject: Moka Pot Culture
 

Just read Myron's historical article (also available here) and
Schnapp's.
Nice!

Brewing methods are clearly cultural. What made drip coffee such a success in the U.S. and several other places?
There's probably a more extensive academic literature on this subject (will need to find back references through Web of Knowledge) but it's a fascinating subject, linking coffee and technology with culture and history. Perfect for anthropologists like the Coffeekid and yours truly!

No idea how popular the Brikka design is. Daigo's BL blog has a post on Taiwanese pages about the Brikka so it's not impossible that the Brikka finds its market in places like TW. It does carry the "in casa un espresso come al bar" principle even further.

The current global coffee scene does involve the "domestic/private dichotomy" in a new way. It's now possible to produce real, true espresso at home (GS3, anyone?). And café culture, which brought many of us to the real pleasures of coffee, is changing radically in many parts of the world. Partly because of the *$ dominance . Partly because society as a whole is changing. Actually, that's one general thing. Chains, however good they may be, are linked to the concept of a consistent experience. Not just for coffee, of course. But the whole "wherever I travel, I will be able to enjoy {insert name of chain-produced commodity} just like I do in my native suburb." Nothing inherently wrong with that, but it's a specific thing. The shopping mall coffee counter and the café-terrasse are not that far from one another (people "loiter" in both kinds of places) but the differences are quite significant.
It relates to the idea of "glocalization of coffee" as it needs to be brewed locally yet participates in the global marketplace.

Phew! Sorry 'bout dat!

Anyhoo, to go back to moka pots. The aluminum vs. steel thing. One could say that if aluminum is associated with Italian identity, steel has been pretty much an American material, at least for cars. Interestingly enough, a number of household products which could be made with other materials are now made with stainless steel. Homebrewers have frequent discussions about the relative benefits of stainless steel and aluminum, often mentioning the fears of associations with Alzheimer's. Although, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry linked by Myron says that "Very little enters your body from aluminum cooking utensils." In Mali, aluminum pots are frequently advertised, especially because of their heat conduction properties. But in North America and Europe, stainless steel is more valuable (and more expensive), for several reasons.
It's not impossible that the idea of aluminum moka pots being better than stainless steel ones could have to do with perception of the metal itself. Many people do believe that an aluminum MP will retain some of the flavour of previous brews. In fact, it has been my experience over the years, though that experience was likely biased.

Speaking of biased experiences... Bialetti's marketing has been quite effective, even on myself. Perhaps because of the Alfonso mascot, perhaps because of the simplicity of the mechanical dimensions of the pots, Bialetti's moka pots are in my mind quite "friendly." A moka pot isn't heavy machinery or complex electronics. And it can (even "should") remain stained by the coffee. It's not just a neat device to impress your friends. It's light yet rugged. It can be carried in a backpack on a hiking trip. It's simple yet powerful. In other words, it's the kind of lo-tech/hi-tech which really makes sense. Though it's not necessarily the case, it looks as if it could be reinvented even if we lost most of our hi-tech amenities. The same could be said of other coffee "pots" (drip, vac, press...), of course.

At any rate, thanks Myron for making me think about my favourite brewing method!

 
Alex
http://enkerli.com/
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