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Confessions of a Brikka Lover
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Enkerli
Senior Member
Enkerli
Joined: 1 Aug 2004
Posts: 722
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 Thu Dec 28, 2006, 12:46pm
Subject: Innovation (was: AeroPress)
 

Ken,
Sorry if I touched a nerve. Wasn't my intention. I really do respect your opinion on this.

Here's my own humble take on coffee innovation, biased by my background as a musician and an academic.

Adler can and will profit from his invention, even after his patent runs out. The great thing about the patent system (as opposed to the copyright system as currently implemented in some places) is that innovative breakthroughs become part of the general practise, helping others innovate. The whole "shoulders of giants" idea. Music and academia were like that before copyright became so strict. The patent system isn't at all perfect, but in this sense, it gets closer to the British and American ideals under the idea of "intellectual property."
To go back to Adler and coffee. When I wrote my previous reply, I was thinking of our good friend Bialetti. He designed the moka pot in 1931 and it remained pretty much the same ever since. The company his son started is still in business and even expanded a few years ago. Since the 1930s, they let competing products be made. Not "knock-offs" per se, though some other moka pots are visually very similar to Bialetti's. The upshot is that it's now really easy to buy a moka pot anywhere, in all sizes, in either aluminum or stainless steel, often in an eye-catching design, and producing as good a cup as a Bialetti-marketed Moka Express.
The key thing, especially for this very thread, is that they kept innovating. Oh, not every single year. In fact, their release cycle is somewhat long and several devices they sell, like the Mukka, seem to just milk the Moka Express cow. ;-)
Especially important for us, Bialetti did come up with our beloved Brikka, a few years ago. Yes, it's a version of the same design. But we just know that they experimented a lot before coming up with that design. And they still seem to have issues with valves and such. Not to mention the limitations in sizes. But, eventually, someone will find a way to improve on the basic design and everyone will benefit from those improvements.

Compare moka pots with homeroasting. According Ken Davids and others, a lawyer copyrighted a roaster design a while ago and is making it hard for manufacturers to market home coffee roasters. Different designs have been made, of course, but there's not been a widespread acceptance of homeroasting in those devices. I trust Davids when he says that part of the reason comes from this copyright holder's actions.

Yes, Adler should get some profits from his invention. And I'm sure he is. Maybe he should share some of those profits with the designers of the French Press and other coffee-making devices... ;-)
Point is, there's room in the coffee world for excitement over innovative coffee methods. Beyond personalities.

I mentioned Adler specifically in the previous message because he has been quite vocal about specific uses of his invention. For instance, people have been experimenting with alternative filters with allegedly really good results but he doesn't seem to welcome these alternatives very well. In fact, some of his public statements about the product (and comparison with other devices) have possibly made it less desirable to some people. He's surely a great guy (and an active CG member). I'm sure he knows what he's doing. But, according to what coffee people say about it, his invention seems to deserve a larger audience than those who want an Aerobie(R) AeroPress(tm).
What I'm saying here has nothing to do with price (the AeroPress is inexpensive enough, without shipping fees). It might have something to do with supply and demand, but not much. It has to do with innovation, creativity, and experimentation. And with getting people to experience coffee in new ways, not dictated by anyone else's idea of what is supposed to be proper.

(Yes, I know I'm a broken record...)

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


Joined: 29 Dec 2006
Posts: 18
Location: Seattle, Washington
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Moka pot (Mukka &...
Grinder: Blade, will upgrade soon
Drip: Press only - Bodum Columbia
Roaster: Considering Whirly-Pop
Posted Fri Jan 5, 2007, 11:03am
Subject: Re: Confessions of a Brikka Lover
 

Whew! I forced myself to read this entire thread to avoid being the moron who asks "Is the 2-cup really better than the 4-cup?" in a thread that has already answered the question. I think that the answer is moot, though. For me, even though I might get the same "crema-like foam" with either pot, I don't need 4 shots of espresso in the morning.

I have a recently-purchased Mukka that I use for two cappuccinos in the morning; one I put in a thermal cup for my husband, who wakes up an hour or more after I do. He does not drink coffee without milk & cream, and is not bothered that it is not a fresh drink. I simply cannot have a double cappa every day and still fit through doorways. And I don't want skim milk. I really like the Mukka, btw. No, it does not make a REAL cappa, but it makes something that tastes better than *$, it is quite foolproof, and it is a durable piece of equipment.

Then I brew a pot of Moka coffee (6-cup) for my mug for the drive to work.

I have used FP and Moka pots almost exclusively for over 15 years. I actually brewed in a Pyrex measuring cup for about 2 years because I was tired of FP beakers breaking.

I have decided to order a 2-cup Brikka from Italy, because as I said earlier, I only need one double in the morning. I cannot wait to try it.

I returned the discount espresso machine that DH gave me for Xmas because it would be my fourth cheap espresso machine. I have already been down that road. I am not getting another cheap one. Ever.

I have actually fried my gasket a few times. I just bought some gasket material and made a new one.
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kbuzbee
Senior Member
kbuzbee
Joined: 2 Feb 2006
Posts: 568
Location: Mentor, Ohio
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: I don't drip
Posted Fri Jan 5, 2007, 11:14am
Subject: Re: Confessions of a Brikka Lover
 

Hi Lynne!

First, welcome to the most MONDO Brikka thread ever conceived! Kudos for slogging through the whole thing! No small feat.

I support your choice of the 2c. It's a great little brewer. I'm sure you know, but those "cups" are about 1.3 oz each, so it isn't much. And though it's delicious, it isn't espresso....

I understand your returning the cheap espresso machine. Maybe next Christmas you can ask for a LaPavoni Europiccola. Though finicky and needing lots of TLC during brewing, they are capable of WONDERFUL results. DW got me one several Christmas's ago. She's so good to me.

Sounds like you are well on the road. Be sure to post your impressions once you get your 2c. Also, don't be shy about experimenting with the grind. Of all the variable you control with a Brikka, the grind, to me, makes the greatest changes.

Again Welcome,

Ken
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Enkerli
Senior Member
Enkerli
Joined: 1 Aug 2004
Posts: 722
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 Fri Jan 5, 2007, 12:41pm
Subject: Re: Confessions of a Brikka Lover
 

There really should be a kind of trade-up for owners of cheap espresso machines to come to the world of Brikka. Then, they'd be more likely to become actual espresso enthusiasts with the Brikka to only whet their appetite or titillate their espresso sensitivity.
Cheap espresso machines are the best way to misunderstand espresso, IMHO.

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


Joined: 29 Dec 2006
Posts: 18
Location: Seattle, Washington
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Moka pot (Mukka &...
Grinder: Blade, will upgrade soon
Drip: Press only - Bodum Columbia
Roaster: Considering Whirly-Pop
Posted Fri Jan 5, 2007, 1:53pm
Subject: Re: Confessions of a Brikka Lover
 

The LaPavoni Europiccola was actually the machine that I wanted. Poor DH really tried to do his research. Neither of us truly understood the importance or expense of a decent grinder. We knew that "burr grinders were best." But we did not know how expensive a really good one was. And we *had* agreed that we were *not* going to buy a POS.

I think that we could have gotten drinkable coffee out of the Ariete, but our coffee knowledge is woefully lacking, our grinder is a whirly blade, we don't know how to tamp, etc. I want to work on my coffee tasting skills first.

Edit:

Yeah, I know how little the "cups" are. If you gave me a 20 oz. mug of espresso, I would drink it. I'd have three, in fact. I could probably come close to the lethal dose of caffeine. I know better than to make 2 double shots every morning. I would drink them.
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Enkerli
Senior Member
Enkerli
Joined: 1 Aug 2004
Posts: 722
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 Fri Jan 5, 2007, 2:15pm
Subject: Re: Confessions of a Brikka Lover
 

lynnety Said:

I think that we could have gotten drinkable coffee out of the Ariete, but our coffee knowledge is woefully lacking, our grinder is a whirly blade, we don't know how to tamp, etc. I want to work on my coffee tasting skills first.

Posted January 5, 2007 link

Wise decision! Too many people (IMHO) start with the gear before they get the palate. Or think they can buy their way into a taste for coffee. What pains me is that they may not get to enjoy coffee as much as we all do. We're not better people. But we're definitely having more fun. :-)
Of course, none of these "buy gear first, enjoy coffee eventually" people hang out on CG. ;-)

 
Alex
http://enkerli.com/
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kbuzbee
Senior Member
kbuzbee
Joined: 2 Feb 2006
Posts: 568
Location: Mentor, Ohio
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: I don't drip
Posted Fri Jan 5, 2007, 2:42pm
Subject: Re: Confessions of a Brikka Lover
 

Well.... I'm sure SOME do. ;-)

Lynne, you are so right about the importance of the grinder. I would recommend you get a really good one as soon as you are able. That will free to to try ANY kind of brewing method you want to.

Grinding, dosing, distribution, tamping etc are all skills you learn "on the job" so to speak. Where you wind up really depends on what you like in your coffee, but, much like the Brikka, the LaPavoni allows a lot of variety.

Enjoy

Ken
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lynnety
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Dec 2006
Posts: 18
Location: Seattle, Washington
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Moka pot (Mukka &...
Grinder: Blade, will upgrade soon
Drip: Press only - Bodum Columbia
Roaster: Considering Whirly-Pop
Posted Fri Jan 5, 2007, 2:59pm
Subject: Re: Confessions of a Brikka Lover
 

The grinder will probably be a Rocky or Mazzer, something that I will *never* need to upgrade. What is the point of buying anything less? I do eventually want to pull lovely shots at home, so there is no need to buy something that I'll need to upgrade in the future. If I buy a lesser machine and then upgrade, I'll just be spending more money.

I will also get some sort of manual grinder, probably Turkish. I live in the land of hurricanes. We have to think about brewing without power. I have made plenty of FP and Moka coffee on a gas grill outside, ground by hand in a mortar & pestle. I can't wait to try the Mukka & Brikka on the gas grill, in fact. When you have survived a hurricane, you need a nice cup of coffee.

For now, I will use my whirly blade or mortar & pestle. Maybe Turkish handmill first, then an electric burr grinder that will serve me for the rest of my days.
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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 Fri Jan 5, 2007, 6:35pm
Subject: Re: Confessions of a Brikka Lover
 

Welcome, Lynn!
I, too, am from the land of hurricanes, although mine are the East Coast variety (South Carolina, to be precise). I have a La Pav, among other (many) coffee excesses, and somehow, in all the tasting and experimenting, and Brikka-ing, I have learned that I love moka pot coffee best. I have a Gaggia Classic, too, which also makes decent espresso. I think the La Pav broke my heart when it broke, and although it's working just perfectly now, doing without it made me realize that I like moka better. I do have a great grinder, a Super Jolly that I got from a fellow CG'er, but it's a little overkill for the moka and brikka pots. Exceedingly necessary for the La Pav and the Gaggia, however. I suppose I wouldn't prefer moka if the dad gummed La Pav would only make just a tiny bit more per cup. I only use it now when my husband doesn't want a cup. (So much babble.) Anyhow, all these coffee methods are delightful experiences, and I wouldn't take anything for this thread which has been so helpful. And Ken and Alexandre have led me down the primrose path of decadent coffee drinking, for which I am everlastingly grateful.

Gatewood
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richedie
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 683
Location: Pennsylvania
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jan 5, 2007, 10:41pm
Subject: Re: Confessions of a Brikka Lover
 

What is considered a little cheap espresso maker? Are we talking the little Capresso steamers? I have a Gaggia Coffee and it seems fine as I feel about my Baratza as well.
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