This isn't really worth reviewing; I have a little time to kill, and I'm reviewing it in case any of you out there ever saw one and were curious about this thing. I bought it two or three years ago, and haven't seen it in stores recently.
It's called the "Expresso Mio" , and it comes in a shallow box with a moka pot and a press pot that can be used, the instructions say, for frothing milk.
The gadget itself is a stylish cylinder with a rounded top--kinda looks like R2D2 without legs and with a handle sticking out of the side near the top for pouring. It's a combination of greenish-blue rubber and high-quality black plastic. It looks really good, and feels really good in the hand.
The idea is great--a moka pot made of high-quality rubber and plastic that can be put into a microwave, and afterward can be washed by hand or put into the dishwasher. Unfortunately...
THE COFFEE SUCKS!
I really, really wanted to like this thing. I tried hard; I really did. I just couldn't make it work worth a damn.
The instructions say to use drip-ground coffee, and not to tamp it. There are vague warnings in the booklet and embossed into the plastic that make you think that this could be a tool of terrorism if used contrary to the instructions. If you use a drip grind and don't tamp, the coffee comes out about as strong as your average cup of drip coffee. This wouldn't be bad--I occasionally drink drip coffee--but the capacity of this thing is one demitasse cup, and I bought it thinking I might get espresso!
Before throwing it out, I decided to be brave. I ground the coffee finer. I tamped it pretty hard (still could get only six grams in it, which is part of the problem). I only put an ounce of water in the bottom when I screwed it together. I waited until a Saturday, when somebody else was home, and when I would have at least a day (if the thing exploded) to be treated and released from the hospital before having to return to work. It didn't explode, but the coffee still tasted like brown dishwater. I decided to give up after making about twenty cups with it. I could, I'm sure, if my life depended on it, devise a way of getting better-tasting coffee out of the thing, but I have three conventional pump machines and a superautomatic, and I just don't care that much.
On the bright side, it comes with a thing that I would call a French press (they called it a milk frother). The idea is to fill it about 1/4 full with milk and pump the plunger up and down to froth. I never tried it; I don't like milk drinks, and I would never waste milk by adding it to the dreck the "expresso mio" makes, anyway.
After examining the "milk frother" closely, I decided it would make a decent one-cup french press (it holds 14 ounces), and it does. Unfortunately, it has no handle, and the glass conducts too much heat to comfortably handle, so you have to surround it with a towel to pour.
Despite all this, if you're a coffee fan, I think you should buy as many as you can get your hands on (should you ever see one on clearance, or something). Why is this? It's simple--we have to get these out of the hands of the unknowing public so that they don't try this and get the wrong idea about espresso. You think I'm joking, don't you? I'm not. I returned to the store and bought up all they had (four more), and I'm throwing them all away. We need to stick together on this. I'm counting on you.
A second reason to take these out of circulation is that it was made in Canada, and you don't want to spread the idea that the fine people in Canada know nothing about coffee, do you?
There is an alternative, of course--if you own a coffee shop, you can buy a whole bunch of these and give them away to all the local folks. This will both convince them that you're generous and drive them into your store.