no name large aluminium moka pot, and some 1-2 cup ones
Recommended, a well-build, good looking moka pot.
Positive Product Points
The moka pot is excellent equipment for making a strong, tastefull cup of coffee. The Bialetti Stylus does an excellent job of it, and it looks good too.
Negative Product Points
I noticed a few negative points. They are not nearly as important as the HUGE positive point of being able to make great coffee, but here it goes:
- The footprint is rather small so you have to carefully balance it on your heating source. - I have the six cup version, but '6 cups' means 6 VERY SMALL cups. I can pour all six cups worth of coffee in one large mug. - The manual should state how to install the gasket and filter plate properly. - Cleaning is not very easy. The top part of the unit contains space in the bottom for the gasket and filter plate. This space makes it hard to clean the inside of the top part where the coffee goes.
I like a strong cup of coffee, and I do not always have the time or means to make espresso. Drip coffee is ok, but not perfect for me.
In comes the moka pot! I did a bit of research and I found out 2 things:
- Bialetti is 'the' maker of moka pots. - You need a stainless steel version for the best taste.
I searched www.bialetti.it for current models, and decided to buy the Stylus 6 cup version. Searching for e-tailers in Europe that sell coffee equipment for a reasonable price, and reasonable shipping charges, I ended up with internetto.de.
One week later I had the unit in front of me. I opened it, and out dropped the gasket and filter plate! There was no indication in the manual of HOW to install the damn things. After a week of topics on coffeegeek, and e-mails to bialetti.it, bialetti-usa and internetto.de, I finally received the correct instructions from bialetti-usa and I was ready to make coffee.
The diameter of the bottom of the Stylus is only 8 cm! For a moka pot you're supposed to use half the diameter for maximum flame size, so that's only 4 cm! Well the minimum size for my gas-cooker is 5 cm, and I've never seen a smaller one.
No worries, the unit still works like a charm, and the coffee tastes good: Strong (I like it strong) and tastefull. It's not even remotely near espresso, but for a 'filter' cup it is way better than a drip machine.
I have the 'six cup' unit, but don't think you'll get six 'normal' cups of coffee. You get about 200 cc of coffee, just enough to fill one huge mug.
Cleaning of the device is not easy. The bottom of the top half of the unit is not flat, so it is really hard to remove all the coffee from the bottom of the unit.
What coffee to use? I use my Bodum grinder to grind between drip and espresso, and use a reasonably dark roast. This creates a strong cup of coffee, excellent to wake up with. I also tried using 'standard' Illy pre-ground espresso, this also gets you a good cup.
I bought the Stylus from an online retailer in Germany, Internetto.de. Whithin a week I received the unit. For now, if you want to buy there, you have to be able to read German to use their site. I read they are working on an Englisch language site.