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Stovetop Espresso - Others - Paul Wilmoth's Review
Posted: February 8, 2007, 10:05pm
review rating: 6.5
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
Stovetop Espresso - Other Models
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Arrow The Stovetop Espresso - Others has 21 Reviews
Arrow The Stovetop Espresso - Others has been rated 8.41 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Stovetop Espresso - Others reviews have been viewed 183,353 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Glenn R. Holmes 8.67
Peter Van de Reep 7.66
Aaron Cooper 7.66
Esben Brun 7.50
Mike Foster 7.42

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.4
Product Reviewed: Star (new)
Manufacturer: Bialette Quality: 9
Average Price: Varies Usability: 10
Price Paid: $3.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Garage Sale Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 2 months Overall 10
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: 2 other Bialettes
Bottom Line: Extremely well made little machine, for a better than "great" cup!
Positive Product Points

Well, for my "positives" I'd say the fact I got this maker brand new, still in its original plastic bag, in the box, with instructions and never been used.............................. for $3.00 is about as "positive" as you can get!
The lowest I've found it, on line and off, for this same model was $35.00. LOVE, garage sales, when the wife is "dumping soon to be ex's belongings, CHEAP, while he's out of town for a few days"!

Negative Product Points

I seriously, have not found ANYTHING negative about this product, when considering this brand's quality of manufacture for what it's designed to do. Perhaps, two little "could improves", but that's it!

Detailed Commentary

As mentioned, there can be few things better, than a spouse seeking revenge, during a divorce, and thus selling off hubby's gear for next to nothing while he's out of town! (Or, perhaps, banished to the local Motel 6!?)
Regardless, I found this little Bialetti-"Star"-4 cup maker at a garage sale for only $3.00. It had never been used and by the look of the box, the plastic bag it was in still, etc...... I doubt it had ever been removed from its box!! Other than perhaps, that "first look". As mentioned above, I'd shopped the known sources for a Bialette of this size to pack along amongst my gear for fly fishing trips. If you want something small, lightweight, very, very, tough and well built.........THIS would be the unit I'd personally recommend. Your average kitchen sink, that's made of stainless steel, is usually 22 or 24 gauge stainless. This little jewel is made entirely of 18/10 stainless, or approx. two times the thickness and weight of your kitchen sink! It has a Bakelite handle as well and is definitely "built for the long haul", as compared to so many other supposedly "pack along pots" for the same purpose.
  The included instructions are in 6 languages, but the one I needed to understand, was very simple, to the point and covered everything from making your brew, to cleaning up afterwards. Even the safety valve on this unit is solid brass and stainless. I, DID, knock this little unit down one point, on both aesthetics and quality of product, only because Bialette could have spent a hair more time, making the top lid fit a little nicer and not so stiff and awkward to deal with. Namely......... also being all stainless, the "thumb bar" on the lid gets very hot, as the unit heats up and stays that way long afterward, too. Since you'll need to open and close this unit several times in the process to "keep an eye on things", they COULD HAVE made a little better lid system for it. But, considering I'd much rather "have a great cup", than "watch it become a great cup", this flaw is pretty minor, really.
  All in all, of the other Bialetti units I have, (bigger ones), I think that this one is soon to become my favorite, whether at home, brewing a cup ,OR, out somewhere, where my coffee is made with stream water!!
  In closing, I would only offer a few suggestions, gleaned from my own trials and errors with this little pot.................DO NOT tamp your grounds! Leave them loose, as the instructions inform you to do. WATCH that lip "thumb pad", when checking the progress of things, it gets plenty hot! Make with grounds from a GOOD burr grinder, so you have no sludge in your cup................ this unit has a great filtering system, ( AGAIN all stainless!), but it's NOT paper, so fines WILL get into your cup as well as can plug the internal tower. Grind your beans to a "medium grind", nothing finer or courser. This is NOT a French Press and does not extract like one, either!

Buying Experience

See above. Suggest going to "divorce in progress" garage sales for some GREAT bargains!!
(My pot still has a $40.00 retail price tab, on the bottom of the box!)

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review rating: 6.5
Posted: February 8, 2007, 10:05pm
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