I typically use a press pot to make coffee. However, I find this method to be a little tiresome on some mornings. You've got to boil the water, grind the coffee, combine the two in the pot, stir, and either wait there or come back at the appropriate time. If I'm too late, the coffee could be overextracted. Also, sometimes I don't want to think about when to pour the water (worrying about getting the proper temperature)-- I just want to make some damn coffee and drink it too.
I've had moka pots in the past, but I found it awkward to heat something with such a small footprint on a stove. On a gas stove, you need a heat diffuser, and this will quickly create a heat bath. On a hot plate, you're still pumping out way more heat than the pot needs, and the handle can become quite hot by the end of the brewing process. When I first saw this product, with its incorporated heater and electric base, I knew I wanted one.
In terms of operation, the MokaEasy is quite simple and convenient. Like a stovetop pot, you put cold water in the base, coffee in the filter, and then you screw the two halves together. Then, just plop the pot onto the base. Once the water begins to evacuate the lower chamber of the pot, the heating element automatically turns off. Therefore, once you have the pot on the base, you can do whatever you want-- brush your teeth, get dressed, take a five-minute nap, etc. When you get back, the pot will be turned off, and the coffee will be sitting in the top chamber. This is a huge luxury when you consider that with a stovetop moka pot or a french press, you basically have to be present for the entire brewing process.
The only snag that I see with regard to operation is cleaning. You have to be a bit more conscientious than with a stovetop moka pot. Because the base has an electric heater in it, you cannot immerse the bottom half in water, and you can't really run the tap over it. I open the tap over the open mouth of the bottom half, fill it about two thirds full, swirl, and then dump. It's not a huge inconvenience, and it is more than adequately balanced out by the positive aspects of the electrics.
I'm really excited about traveling with this pot-- paired with one of those nifty Zassenhaus Turkish-style mills, it would be a formidable travel maker. Since it is quite small, it would be easy to pack it into your bag. It is self-contained and only needs to be plugged in to operate, so you can use it almost anywhere. I'm even planning on using it in my car with a power inverter (only when stopped, of course!).
The only real concern that I have is the temperature at which this pot brews-- I assume that this concern is inherent in these pots. While moka pots produce a very rich cup of coffee, the coffee does taste a little bitter at times, and I wonder if it has been overextracted. To be fair, however, I am not yet using a good grinder. I will have one soon, and will certainly compare performance differences with respect to grind quality in the three month followup. I will also attempt to get a thermocouple into the thing to observe the brew temperature.