Espresso the natural way and gentle on the wallet. Not quite in the same league as high octane machine made espressos but then not as expensive either
Positive Product Points
Stainless Steel. Easy to use & Clean. Makes good espresso-like coffee.
Negative Product Points
Sometimes the steam escapes from the threaded portion where the top half of the pot meets the bottom. This apparently happens with stainless steel pots.
This product can be purchased at varying prices in kitchen supply shops, the internet, etc. The use is simplicity itself. Put enough water in the lower portion to come up to the pressure relief valve. Do not worry if the water covers the valve, it does not seem to affect the operation. To be precise you really should measure 6 fluid ounces of water but that is your choice. I then grind my coffee, about 3 generous teaspoons worth, or according to taste, at medium fine which is a click or two below medium on a Solis 166 grinder. Next, I put the coffee into the basket. I read an article on the internet called "Every Italian Knows" about heaping the coffee into the coffee basket, sort of like a pyramid or conical shape, and not leveling it out. This works just great. The "puck" comes out perfectly formed each and every time. I carefully wipe the threads on both the top and bottom sections to make sure there are no stray grounds, drops of water etc. I do this to primarily to avoid the problem of steam escaping from this area because of something in the threads. It seems to work fine for me. If steam does happen to escape from the side of the pot do not interrupt the process, it does no harm although your infusion will not be as good as it should have been. I place the basket containing the coffee into the bottom half and then assemble the top and bottom halves and place it on the stove. I use a setting of low-medium (about 4 out of 10 on my electric stove). Once you hear the gurgling in the top half of the pot your coffee is done. Pour it into your cup(s) immediately and enjoy. I have noticed some crema each time but it is not enough to get excited about. You may or may not notice a slight burnt undertone to your Moka "espresso". This is one of the reputed drawbacks to this process. I have experimented often and I believe that the faster and cleaner (no side steam escaping) the brew cycle is, the less chance of getting this undertone. I do get these undertones but not as much as when I first began using the pot, or at least not as apparent.
I use it mainly for brewing vareitals (single bean source, not blends) so I can really pick out these undertones if I blew the batch.
To clean the Moka pot simply use hot water and clean all areas thoroughly. Do not use a dishwasher nor any detergent. This will damage the rubber(?) ring located in the bottom recess of the top section. You can use Urnex or failing that, white vinegar. Simply cycle the white vinegar through as you would if you were making a coffee. Use about 1 -2 tbsp vinegar to 6 oz of water.
If you really like your results then later you may wish to step up to one of the machines described elsewhere in these reviews.