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Bialetti Brikka: getting that elusive crema
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Discussions > Espresso > General > Bialetti Brikka:...  
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Owl
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Joined: 30 May 2011
Posts: 37
Location: US

Posted Wed Feb 6, 2013, 7:58pm
Subject: Re: Bialetti Brikka: getting that elusive crema
 

I guess none of it really matters as long as you get a good cup.
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,431
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Wed Feb 6, 2013, 8:00pm
Subject: Re: Bialetti Brikka: getting that elusive crema
 

coffeeapostle Said:

Forums are funny places.

I myself don't use any definition, because as far as I'm aware, there is no official governing body out there that states how an espresso has to be made in order for it to be called "espresso".

Posted February 6, 2013 link

1)  Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano
2)  Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano Guidelines

coffeeapostle Said:

But if you really want to get technical, I guess what the Brikka makes is technically called "moka". It makes no sense to me getting into these technicalities though, and whether or not it's called moka or espresso doesn't really make any difference to me.

Posted February 6, 2013 link

So, should we call it tea?

coffeeapostle Said:

As I said, I no longer feel the need to compare the drink I make with the Brikka with the drink I get at a café, unless I'm asked how it does compare, which is pretty well, if not better. It's a superb coffee making device in its own right . . .

Posted February 6, 2013 link

No one has said that you can't get a good cup of coffee with a Brikka.  You certainly can!  You can also get good coffee using a siphon, a press pot, or a pourover.  But none are espresso.

coffeeapostle Said:

. . . the whole point of this thread was not to start a philosophical debate on the definition of espresso and the laws of crema

Posted February 6, 2013 link

No one is trying to debate you.

coffeeapostle Said:

. . . but to show people exactly how I think the Brikka should be used

Posted February 6, 2013 link

And your expertise is . . . what, exactly?  How many years has it taken you to develop this vast set of knowledge?

coffeeapostle Said:

I can fully understand if espresso connoisseurs . . .

Posted February 6, 2013 link

(I have no idea what that means)

coffeeapostle Said:

. . .  won't go near the Brikka because it doesn't match their idea of what espresso should be like . . .

Posted February 6, 2013 link

Well, a brikka doesn't taste at all like as espresso, but it can taste awfully good!

coffeeapostle Said:

. . . but for someone like me who doesn't have thousands of pounds to go chucking at an expensive espresso machine . . .

Posted February 6, 2013 link

No one has ever said it takes £1,000's (or $1,000's or €1,000's) to make great espresso at home.

coffeeapostle Said:

it's proven to be a wonderful substitute.

Posted February 6, 2013 link

It certainly can be.  There is no debate about that.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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coffeeapostle
Senior Member
coffeeapostle
Joined: 5 Feb 2013
Posts: 18
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bialetti Brikka 2 cup
Grinder: Krupps GVX231
Posted Wed Feb 6, 2013, 9:19pm
Subject: Re: Bialetti Brikka: getting that elusive crema
 

1)  Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano
2)  Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano Guidelines

I stand corrected. How did I not come across this!


So, should we call it tea?

Call it mud if you like! Ultimately, words are just words. I guess I just call it espresso (along with pretty much anyone else who uses the Brikka?) because a) to me I can't tell any discernable difference in flavour to espresso from a machine, b) because if I called it moka, people would likely say, "Oh, where's the chocolate?", and last but by no means least... c) because Bialetti themselves call it espresso...?

No one has said that you can't get a good cup of coffee with a Brikka.  You certainly can!  You can also get good coffee using a siphon, a press pot, or a pourover.  But none are espresso.

And I wasn't suggesting that anybody has. For my taste, none of those quoted methods really float my boat. And what's more, the longer brewing time leads to more caffeine extraction, which I really don't like. With my espresso, or should I say moka, I don't get this nasty kick. But coffee is a highly personal thing.

No one is trying to debate you.

If no one was trying to debate me, we would not be having this conversation. Debate is actually good, but I was hoping not to have to debate these particular areas.

And your expertise is . . . what, exactly?  How many years has it taken you to develop this vast set of knowledge?

What makes you think I've developed a vast set of knowledge? Because I dared to have the cheek to stray onto a coffee forum and utter my advice in a remotely eloquent manner? If you read back a few posts you'll find that I said I worked a little bit in a café and the Brikka is currently my one and only espresso (whoops, did it again!) making device. So I think it goes without saying that my expertise is minimal, and I would never try to fool people into thinking otherwise. But I like to think I'm a fast learner, and have the humility to share my honest opinions whilst at the same time listening to others'.

(I have no idea what that means)

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=definition+of+connoisseur

Well, a brikka doesn't taste at all like as espresso, but it can taste awfully good!

A couple of months ago I'd have totally agreed with you. But now I'd have to strongly (forgive the pun) disagree. But as none of us have any real way of proving this on paper then I guess we'll just have to put it down to our own taste buds. Anyway, have you tried the methods I've shown? I'd be interested to hear your feedback on them.

No one has ever said it takes £1,000's (or $1,000's or €1,000's) to make great espresso at home.

You're probably right. In fact what the heck, you are. But as I also said previously, if I was going to buy an espresso machine I'd want to be able to pressure profile with it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these facilities don't come cheap. But hey, not everybody needs this facility to appreciate their coffee. I just like to be able to monkey around with things.

It certainly can be.  There is no debate about that.

Great, we agree at least on something! :)

--------------------

At the end of the day, all I'm really trying to achieve here is to get people to see the bigger picture and not get bogged down in the philosophy of it. I had hoped people would share their techniques, and maybe even videos. Since there are videos like this one without important questions being answered...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni8oMwxcmR4

... it would be good if we could get some more videos with results like this where people answer comments!

 
One man's meat is another man's poison.
~Lucretius
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coffeeapostle
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coffeeapostle
Joined: 5 Feb 2013
Posts: 18
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bialetti Brikka 2 cup
Grinder: Krupps GVX231
Posted Wed Feb 6, 2013, 9:26pm
Subject: Re: Bialetti Brikka: getting that elusive crema
 

Owl Said:

I guess none of it really matters as long as you get a good cup.

Posted February 6, 2013 link

Thanks for this!

 
One man's meat is another man's poison.
~Lucretius
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,431
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:22am
Subject: Re: Bialetti Brikka: getting that elusive crema
 

coffeeapostle Said:

have you tried the methods I've shown? I'd be interested to hear your feedback on them.

Posted February 6, 2013 link

I used to have a Bialetti Brikka.  I did something very similar to, but not exactly the same, as you do.  It was very good, but it wasn't espresso to my taste.  Not by any means.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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coffeeapostle
Senior Member
coffeeapostle
Joined: 5 Feb 2013
Posts: 18
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bialetti Brikka 2 cup
Grinder: Krupps GVX231
Posted Thu Feb 7, 2013, 2:32am
Subject: Re: Bialetti Brikka: getting that elusive crema
 

If I had a decent espresso machine, then a Brikka would merely be a cute little now-and-again alternative, or an after dinner novelty.

I've found that by reducing the water quantities to way below the line, I can strengthen the flavour of the coffee, and I can't deny that it makes it extremely intense, miles more so than a regular moka pot. I guess filling it to the recommended line would give you what I guess would be equivalent to a "lungo".

What machine do you have?

 
One man's meat is another man's poison.
~Lucretius
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Viper73
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Apr 2014
Posts: 1
Location: Germany
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Apr 25, 2014, 11:52am
Subject: Re: Bialetti Brikka: getting that elusive crema
 

I have an brikka 2 Cups too. Today i cleaned the crema valve. Now i want to screw the valve back on. But i did not check how firm/hard the valve was mounted. Have i to screw it till you can screw it no more or must there be some space for the crema ? Can someone hell me ?
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ingk
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jul 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Melbourne
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Jul 19, 2014, 1:25am
Subject: Re: Bialetti Brikka: getting that elusive crema
 

Thanks for the thread..I have an Expobar machine that I use at home. But have been searching for a portable system for use whilst away. I have tried a few cheap capsule machines but have not been impressed. Have fond memories of a stove top unit I had years ago and after searchining on line decided to give the Brickka a go. Your review and comments have been great. It may not be expresso, but much better than Instant!!
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ingk
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jul 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Melbourne
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Jul 19, 2014, 1:33am
Subject: Re: Bialetti Brikka: getting that elusive crema
 

Hi Viper, . Just google.  Bialetti Brikka user manual. And you will find detailed cleaniing ans maintenance instructions
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canuckcoffeeguy
Senior Member
canuckcoffeeguy
Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 230
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Magica, Mypressi...
Grinder: K10PB, Vario, Hario Slim
Vac Pot: I have a Dyson vacuum, but,...
Drip: Aeropress, Bialetti Brikka,...
Posted Sat Jul 19, 2014, 10:50am
Subject: Re: Bialetti Brikka: getting that elusive crema
 

Enjoy your Brikka. They're great little devices.

I have the 4 cup Brikka and have tweaked many different variables over the course of many cups.

Here's my 4 cup routine for reference . Will be different ratios for 2 cup version. I use room temperature water, counter to the boiling water suggestion for other Moka pots. Remember, the Brikka's special valve makes it behave in mysterious ways.

-Use 25 to 28g of beans
-Grind medium to coarse, less uniform is better in my experience
-Use the water measuring line in the upper chamber, and no more water than that(changing the water amount can affect brew time/pressure)
-Use medium high heat, closer to medium (6.5 on my flattop ceramic stove with a maximum of 10)
-Take off heat when it starts filling the upper chamber and pour until it empties (coffee will continue to sputter out as you pour)

I've even done this with my Hario Slim for grinding, on a coarse for press pot setting, and it worked well. Not bitter, full flavored, and clean.

And I would still recommend fresh, quality beans. I use the same beans I pull as espresso, or for French press, and the Brikka does them justice.

***And don't tamp the grinds. Let them settle into the basket evenly, a light tap on the basket is ok, but don't pack it tight. Level it off and that's it.

OH, and check out this epic thread on the Brikka that's been going strong since 2006:
"Confessions of a Brikka Lover"
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