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StrawStock
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Joined: 22 Aug 2008
Posts: 10
Location: USA, TX
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Aug 26, 2008, 4:39pm
Subject: Bialetti brikka 2 cup or 4 cup?
 

Is a 4-cup Brikka inferior to the 2-cup brikka? I have read conflicting posts on whether the differences are really measurable?

I have just ordered a 4-cup brikka yesterday and I am wondering if I should have got a 2-cup instead..

Help Please..

Alan
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Sparkalo
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Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 3
Location: Ann Arbor, Evanston
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Aug 27, 2008, 11:13pm
Subject: Re: Bialetti brikka 2 cup or 4 cup?
 

As a 4-cup Brikka owner and moka pot enthusiast, I've read this debate and I even had the same worries about the two models.  When I bought my Brikka, they didn't ship the 2-cup model from the United States, and I wasn't willing to go through the international shipping ordeal for my moka pot, but last I heard, you can currently ship them stateside no problem.

Because I only own one version, I can't make a comparison for you, but I can tell you that the coffee I make with my Brikka is delicious and satisfying on every level.  Of course it's not espresso, but in my humble opinion, the moka you can make with this pot easily trumps the stale muddy water and poorly pulled espresso you'll find in most chain cafes, and it holds its own when compared to consumer espresso makers ten times its price.  This being said, the quality of any sort of coffee is largely dependent on a number of factors, most of which you're likely already aware of, and most of which you can control.

First and foremost, there is an ancient saying in the world of computer science which I believe holds true for making coffee, "Garbage in, Garbage Out".  If you use stale, pre-ground, beans, you'll end up with a lousy pot of moka, regardless of whatever kind of moka pot you use.  Moka pots are absolutely unforgiving in this regard, and if you use a lousy roast (or even a good roast ground too coarse, too fine, or more than an hour or two ago), your crema will be thin (if it doesn't disappear entirely) and your coffee will be absolutely revolting.  Where are you located?  If you don't want to roast yourself, try to find a good, local micro-roaster, and grind your beans yourself, as close to your brew time as you can (I won't get into the grinder details, that's what the reviews are for : P).

How you apply heat is also a factor of great contention among moka pot fans (henceforth known as "potheads").  Some potheads maintain that with the Brikka in particular, a high and fast heating is necessary for long-lasting crema, but I would tend to disagree.  I've had the most success with the same low and steady heat that has long served me so well with my moka express.

Alright, I'm kind of rambling and I want to get to sleep soon, so here's the summary:  You're going to be able to make good coffee with your 4-cup Brikka, better than any coffee you've made so far.  You will be able to pour a cup of delicious moka with crema provided that you're willing to experiment with different blends, roasts, grinds, tamps, heats, etc.  Eventually, you will find Brikka perfection and you will forget that you ever had any doubts.  Make no mistake, you will make a lot of crappy coffee on your way to Brikka-nirvana, but if you keep experimenting, and stick with it, we'll make you into a regular pothead yet!
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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CoffeeRoastersClub
Joined: 6 Jul 2005
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Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
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Posted Thu Aug 28, 2008, 8:03am
Subject: Re: Bialetti brikka 2 cup or 4 cup?
 

Sparkalo Said:

As a 4-cup Brikka owner and moka pot enthusiast, I've read this debate and I even had the same worries about the two models.  When I bought my Brikka, they didn't ship the 2-cup model from the United States, and I wasn't willing to go through the international shipping ordeal for my moka pot, but last I heard, you can currently ship them stateside no problem.

Because I only own one version, I can't make a comparison for you, but I can tell you that the coffee I make with my Brikka is delicious and satisfying on every level.  Of course it's not espresso, but in my humble opinion, the moka you can make with this pot easily trumps the stale muddy water and poorly pulled espresso you'll find in most chain cafes, and it holds its own when compared to consumer espresso makers ten times its price.  This being said, the quality of any sort of coffee is largely dependent on a number of factors, most of which you're likely already aware of, and most of which you can control.

First and foremost, there is an ancient saying in the world of computer science which I believe holds true for making coffee, "Garbage in, Garbage Out".  If you use stale, pre-ground, beans, you'll end up with a lousy pot of moka, regardless of whatever kind of moka pot you use.  Moka pots are absolutely unforgiving in this regard, and if you use a lousy roast (or even a good roast ground too coarse, too fine, or more than an hour or two ago), your crema will be thin (if it doesn't disappear entirely) and your coffee will be absolutely revolting.  Where are you located?  If you don't want to roast yourself, try to find a good, local micro-roaster, and grind your beans yourself, as close to your brew time as you can (I won't get into the grinder details, that's what the reviews are for : P).

How you apply heat is also a factor of great contention among moka pot fans (henceforth known as "potheads").  Some potheads maintain that with the Brikka in particular, a high and fast heating is necessary for long-lasting crema, but I would tend to disagree.  I've had the most success with the same low and steady heat that has long served me so well with my moka express.

Alright, I'm kind of rambling and I want to get to sleep soon, so here's the summary:  You're going to be able to make good coffee with your 4-cup Brikka, better than any coffee you've made so far.  You will be able to pour a cup of delicious moka with crema provided that you're willing to experiment with different blends, roasts, grinds, tamps, heats, etc.  Eventually, you will find Brikka perfection and you will forget that you ever had any doubts.  Make no mistake, you will make a lot of crappy coffee on your way to Brikka-nirvana, but if you keep experimenting, and stick with it, we'll make you into a regular pothead yet!

Posted August 27, 2008 link

Ditto.  I have the 4 cup also and love it.

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

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Eiron
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Eiron
Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 343
Location: Loveland, Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill 0930
Grinder: Quick Mill 031,...
Drip: TechniVorm KBTS
Roaster: Behmor 1600, Presto Poplite
Posted Thu Aug 28, 2008, 9:15am
Subject: Re: Bialetti brikka 2 cup or 4 cup?
 

Hi Alan,

RE: heating...

I know there's debate on this, & I have no idea if the Bialettis come with any heating suggestions or not, but my Alfa pot recommends high heat to start the water boiling & then lowering the heat as (or immediately before) brewing begins.

I view this in the same light as Melitta instructions saying to boil your water but then let it rest a minute before pouring it over the grounds.

I guess I'm a coffee heathen.  I put it on high & turn it off just as bubbles start to come out with the coffee.  But that's on an electric stove, where the Calrod units stay hot long enough to finish up the brewing.  On a gas stove I'd probably do something different.

Greg

 
"Just what I need - another 'geek' label..."
- my friend Mark, on being told of Coffee Geek's existence

Good, affordable espresso: www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/355707
Coffee's hot enough for OCD: www.coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/machines/330079
Personal & global health: http://www.broomfieldenterprise.com/ci_12802509
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StrawStock
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Joined: 22 Aug 2008
Posts: 10
Location: USA, TX
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Aug 28, 2008, 10:59am
Subject: Re: Bialetti brikka 2 cup or 4 cup?
 

While I am waiting for my 4-cup Brikka to arrive from UPS. I have been doing a little researching on web trying to get an understanding on the differences between 2 and 4 cup Brikkas.

My theory so far as to why the 2-cupper produces more “Brikka crema” and why everybody likes it more over its bigger brother I feel has to do mostly with brew time.
If you watch any Brikka Utube videos you can see most of the best brews are poured almost as soon as the first sound is herd from the pot. I believe most people using the 4-cup may have better results simple by not brewing any longer than what is seen in the Utube videos for 2-cup Brikkas.
My theory also seems to be supported by Bialetti’s new product call the “Cour di moka pot” its controlled brewing" system is nothing more than the pot automatically stopping the brew before it’s finished.
A salesman at BialettiUSA told me you could stop a Brikka before it has finished its regular brew time and in essence it would be the same thing as what the new Cour di moka is going to do automatically..
I also believe in less coffee maybe ½ to ¾ full instead of up to the rim… A good Grinder, Freshness of beans and the type of coffee you use..All play a major role in what the Brikka produces.

When it comes to actually making the coffee and heating, I will have to find my preferences through experiments.

Greg.

I have read about the temperature ideas just as you described on other posts..It is something I’m definitely going to experiment with and see what I can come up with.

I feel like a kid waiting for Xmas……Who knew Coffee could so much fun!!

Alan
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StrawStock
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Joined: 22 Aug 2008
Posts: 10
Location: USA, TX
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Aug 28, 2008, 11:35am
Subject: Re: Bialetti brikka 2 cup or 4 cup?
 

Yikes......The UPS man just arrived with my 4-cup Brikka.....What a PeeWee...How they consider 5-OZ = 4 Cups is beyond me.
I guess the 2-cup is a whimmpy 2.5-OZ....Oh well..Off to the kitchen for some experiments...
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Sparkalo
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Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 3
Location: Ann Arbor, Evanston
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Aug 28, 2008, 11:58am
Subject: Re: Bialetti brikka 2 cup or 4 cup?
 

Yeah, your moka pot won't fill a hulking 12oz coffee mug, but it'll look beautiful in an espresso cup.

Remember to make a few throw-out pots to get your Brikka primed for the real thing!  Your first few pots will probably taste metallic and chemically, but those flavors are completely temporary and will fade after the first three pots or so.

Keep us posted on your Brikka experiments!
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Eiron
Senior Member
Eiron
Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 343
Location: Loveland, Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill 0930
Grinder: Quick Mill 031,...
Drip: TechniVorm KBTS
Roaster: Behmor 1600, Presto Poplite
Posted Thu Aug 28, 2008, 11:59am
Subject: Re: Bialetti brikka 2 cup or 4 cup?
 

LOL, yeah, you drink moka out of espresso-sized cups.  1.25oz per "taz" sounds right, since espresso shots can range from 1oz to 1.5oz ea.  That's how my 3 cup Alfa brews a perfect amount for a single mug breve.

 
"Just what I need - another 'geek' label..."
- my friend Mark, on being told of Coffee Geek's existence

Good, affordable espresso: www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/355707
Coffee's hot enough for OCD: www.coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/machines/330079
Personal & global health: http://www.broomfieldenterprise.com/ci_12802509
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ristrettolungo
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ristrettolungo
Joined: 15 Jul 2008
Posts: 275
Location: MI
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia (non-PID)
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Timer
Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Thu Aug 28, 2008, 2:09pm
Subject: Re: Bialetti brikka 2 cup or 4 cup?
 

The 2 cup is superior according to Bialetti's R&D:

Click Here (groups.google.com)
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StrawStock
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Joined: 22 Aug 2008
Posts: 10
Location: USA, TX
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Aug 28, 2008, 2:34pm
Subject: Re: Bialetti brikka 2 cup or 4 cup?
 

Thanks for the Link: I was afraid that the "Volume" between the Brikka's might be the real reason for the differences and why people prefer the 2-cup version......Hummmm

...Oh well.....BialettiUSA will have the 2-cup in stock in about 2 to 3 weeks..I will probably just order one so my curiosity does not kill me...

Alan
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