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Dentrassi_BBQ
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jun 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Redlands
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Bialetti Mukka Express
Drip: Bodum French Press
Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 4:15pm
Subject: Advice Please
 

I'd been using a Bialetti moka pot for a while and was quite happy with it.  Maybe it didn't produce world-class latte, but it was good enough and i was happy with the fact that it didn't need much fussing or much space in the kitchen.  Then came the day the steam valve blew apart and sprayed coffee on the ceiling.  I am now frustrated with Bialetti because:

  • It was a plastic part that gave out.
  • They made at least three different models of "Mukka Express" with different sized guts and no model number to distinguish which pot an available part will fit.
  • Though gaskets are widely available for this pot, the steam valves are not.

Anyway, i'm now in the market for a new pot and am open to suggestions.  I do want to avoid anything large and/or complicated.  Perhaps the answer is another moka pot, but who makes a good one?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Jan 22, 2013, 7:26am
Subject: Re: Advice Please
 

Dentrassi_BBQ Said:

I'd been using a Bialetti moka pot for a while and was quite happy with it.  Maybe it didn't produce world-class latte, but it was good enough and i was happy with the fact that it didn't need much fussing or much space in the kitchen.  Then came the day the steam valve blew apart and sprayed coffee on the ceiling.  I am now frustrated with Bialetti because:

It was a plastic part that gave out.

Posted January 21, 2013 link

 

Plastic often does not last decades in an application that involves heat.

Dentrassi_BBQ Said:

They made at least three different models of "Mukka Express" with different sized guts and no model number to distinguish which pot an available part will fit.

Posted January 21, 2013 link

Most often the different units are identified by how many cups they produce


Dentrassi_BBQ Said:

Though gaskets are widely available for this pot, the steam valves are not.

Posted January 21, 2013 link

The steam valve is a SAFETY feature, it is a fail  safe device that is there to prevent damage to people should the device become over pressured, If the safety has failed, the device has likely been over stressed and should be discarded anyway, for safety.

Anyway, i'm now in the market for a new pot and am open to suggestions.  I do want to avoid anything large and/or complicated.  Perhaps the answer is another moka pot, but who makes a good one?

They are the leader in making Moka pots, you might try Sweet Maria, they might have an alternate maker.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Dentrassi_BBQ
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jun 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Redlands
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Bialetti Mukka Express
Drip: Bodum French Press
Posted Tue Jan 22, 2013, 8:32am
Subject: Re: Advice Please
 

calblacksmith Said:

Plastic often does not last decades in an application that involves heat.

Posted January 22, 2013 link

True, but in my case "a while" was two or three years.

calblacksmith Said:

Most often the different units are identified by how many cups they produce

Posted January 22, 2013 link

If so, Bialetti never formally identified the sizes.  When i was searching for parts, they were merely listed as "Mukka Express".  It is apparently up to the seller to further describe the pots as being plain aluminum, cow print, or glass vessel.  They probably are also different capacities, but i've never seen them side by side.

calblacksmith Said:

The steam valve is a SAFETY feature, it is a fail  safe device that is there to prevent damage to people should the device become over pressured, If the safety has failed, the device has likely been over stressed and should be discarded anyway, for safety.

Posted January 22, 2013 link

Perhaps i'm using the wrong terminology here.  The valve in question is the one that does the frothing after sufficient pressure has built up.  It 'pops' at that time and needs to be reset after cleaning.  Anyway, it is a part that moves during normal operation and as such is presumably expected to wear out.  I'm just frustrated that when the valve wears out then entire pot becomes disposable.

calblacksmith Said:

They are the leader in making Moka pots, you might try Sweet Maria, they might have an alternate maker.

Posted January 22, 2013 link

Thank you, i will search for them.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 2:30pm
Subject: Re: Advice Please
 

From the Bialetti website,
Moka Express
Description

Moka Express is the world’s number one coffee-maker and has been manufactured in over 200 million units. For an excellent cup of Italian coffee, Moka Express is the classic household coffee-pot and the only one to bear the unique mark of the “little fellow with the moustache”.

Moka Express can boasts a lot of records: it is even the most copied coffee-maker! What else could be said? That its quality just improves with use.

Our Moka Express is available in the following sizes:

1 Espresso Cup = 2.0 fl.oz / 60ml (max. boiler capacity)
3 Espresso Cup = 6.5 fl.oz / 200ml (max. boiler capacity)
6 Espresso Cup = 10 fl.oz / 300ml (max. boiler capacity)
9 Espresso Cup = 18.5 fl.oz / 550ml (max. boiler capacity)
12 Espresso Cup =25 fl.oz / 775ml (max. boiler capacity)

(Please note that the max. boiler capacity is slightly more than the final output since there is always a little water left in the boiler after brewing.)

Aluminum body.
http://bialettishop.com/MokaExpressMain.htm

Have you looked here for parts? You might find what you need, I dun know??? http://bialettishop.com/PartsMainPage.htm
They seem to be out of stock on your part but you might contact them to see if there is another source for them.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 711
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 4:00pm
Subject: Re: Advice Please
 

Mukka Express is the cappuccino moka pot. The safety valves are all metal but the steam button valve is different.

The Bialetti website page that shows the Mukka Express has a link to an "available parts" page. There they show the plastic valve (aka "Frothing Aerator") which they say will fit both the 2-cup stovetop Mukka Express as well as the 1-cup electric base version. The Mukka Express has been discontinued and this part is out of stock at Bialetti. But it was easy enough to do another web search and find it at espressozone.com. They want $15 for it! If you suspect this isn't the right part try emailing Bialetti and asking them for help

In Bialetti's "Quick Online Manual" for the Mukka Express they state that the valve should be removed and cleaned after every use to prevent clogging.

As for a different coffee maker, are you using the Mukka Express to make cappuccino? That's what it was designed for. Bialetti stopped producing them and I'm not aware of another brand. If you just want to make regular coffee in a simple way with a small kitchen footprint, you could look at the Aeropress, one of the many cone filters, a presspot, or another moka pot. All of these are cheap and fit on a shelf in the back of a cupboard.

Cheers.
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Dentrassi_BBQ
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jun 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Redlands
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Bialetti Mukka Express
Drip: Bodum French Press
Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 4:25pm
Subject: Re: Advice Please
 

calblacksmith Said:

Aluminum body.
http://bialettishop.com/MokaExpressMain.htm

Posted January 23, 2013 link

It took me a while to digest this.  They discontinued the "Mukka Express" and release a "Moka Express" that looks exactly like the octagonal-style (aluminum) Mukka Express.  Somebody at the head office is getting a good laugh behind his mustache.

calblacksmith Said:

Have you looked here for parts? You might find what you need, I dun know??? http://bialettishop.com/PartsMainPage.htm
They seem to be out of stock on your part but you might contact them to see if there is another source for them.

Posted January 23, 2013 link

Well, i did actually buy a valve for "Mukka Express" on EBay.  It looked right but when i tried to use it - the new one needed different size locking tabs than what i had, i could never get it on.  It turned out that the new one had come from a cow-print model.
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Dentrassi_BBQ
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jun 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Redlands
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Bialetti Mukka Express
Drip: Bodum French Press
Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 5:18pm
Subject: Re: Advice Please
 

jpender Said:

There they show the plastic valve (aka "Frothing Aerator") which they say will fit both the 2-cup stovetop Mukka Express as well as the 1-cup electric base version.

Posted January 23, 2013 link

I'm coming to the opinion that Bialetti proliferates more models than it can reasonably keep track of, which is part of my problem.  If they had simply given each one a model number it would make all this much easier to deal with.  I'm certain that the glass model was a different size from the cow-print one, though it possibly might have had the same size as the aluminum one.

jpender Said:

In Bialetti's "Quick Online Manual" for the Mukka Express they state that the valve should be removed and cleaned after every use to prevent clogging.

Posted January 23, 2013 link

That was always done.  As a former industrial mechanic, i have respect for pressurized fluids in general and steam in particular.  In fact, i went so far as to run a little water through the hole each time and made sure that it came out the other side.  If anything, it seemed that the plastic body that wrapped around the metal aerator got stretched over time and eventually broke open to release the aerator through the top.

jpender Said:

As for a different coffee maker, are you using the Mukka Express to make cappuccino?  That's what it was designed for.

Posted January 23, 2013 link

Cappuccino and latte, the button had two positions to choose how much frothing was desired.  I did not run it with the upper chamber empty, if that's what you are thinking.

jpender Said:

Bialetti stopped producing them and I'm not aware of another brand.

Posted January 23, 2013 link

Yeah, they stopped producing "Mukka Express" and now they make "Moka Express", as well as varying sizes of Dama Deco, Moka Crem, Brikka, Venus, Musa, and Kitty.  These are just the stovetop models, i'm not even mentioning the electric ones.  Bialetti makes so many different models that they essentially compete with themselves.  It's not even clear to me yet whether there are significant differences between these other than styling.  

jpender Said:

If you just want to make regular coffee in a simple way with a small kitchen footprint, you could look at the Aeropress, one of the many cone filters, a presspot, or another moka pot. All of these are cheap and fit on a shelf in the back of a cupboard.

Posted January 23, 2013 link

Yeah, i already have a french press and an ibrik.  Now that i think about it, all i really needed the moka pot for was frothing and warming the milk.  I suppose i'll investigate frothers now.
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jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 711
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 5:56pm
Subject: Re: Advice Please
 

Bialetti has made a number of models of the Mukka Express but the Moka Express is not part of that family.
The Moka Express models are standard aluminum moka pots -- no milk. The Moka Express is not a new product.

From the Italian Bialetti website I was able to identify 8 varieties of Mukka Express:

Gran Gala - 1 cup and 2 cup models
Spotted (cow) - 1 cup and 2 cup models
Lucida (polished) - 2 cup
Vetro (transparent top) - 1 cup
Orzo (for making some sort of barley cappuccino) - 2 cup
electric base - 1 cup

I believe they are all made from aluminum except the Vetro which has a glass upper half.

Do you know which model you own?
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