I read tons of reviews on various stove top espresso pots before purchasing and returning a 4 cup Bialetti Brikka, and then finally purchasing this 4 cup Cuisinox Roma. I hope this review can be as helpful as possible to those considering which coffee contraption to...
I read tons of reviews on various stove top espresso pots before purchasing and returning a 4 cup Bialetti Brikka, and then finally purchasing this 4 cup Cuisinox Roma. I hope this review can be as helpful as possible to those considering which coffee contraption to buy.
There''s lots of stove top espresso pots out there, so how do you choose one? In the end, your goal should be to get a pot that has quality construction and not worry about whether or not other reviews say it makes great coffee. What makes the coffee good will mostly depend on the factors you control anyway. So, IS THE CUISINOX ROMA WELL MADE? YES, IT IS! Here''s why:
-DURABLE AND DISHWASHER SAFE: This pot is heavy and has a nice finish both inside and out. The Bialetti I first purchased, which is supposed to be the gold standard in moka pots, was aluminium and had sharp, jagged seams on the inside. An aluminum pot must first be seasoned and then it can only be rinsed without soap. You can do the same thing with a stainless pot, making it super low maintenance, but you have the added benefit of being able to throw it in the dishwasher occasionally.
-SUPERIOR SEAL: Probably the #1 complaint in reviews on stove top espresso pots is that they leak water or coffee out of the seal onto the hot burner. Some reviews say that eventually the seal will brake in and stop leaking. My Bialetti leaked so much that my pot couldn''t build enough pressure to even make the coffee! The Cuisinox Roma has not leaked a drop from day 1. The rubber gasket provided has enough squish to seal well, and they even include an additional gasket in the box.
-CONSISTENT QUALITY: The reviews for cheaper pots were extremely polarized. Either people loved them or hated them due to product defects. I took a chance and purchased a pot for half the price of this Cuisinox Roma and was extremely disappointed in the defective pot that I received. I purchased this pot because of the high overall percentage of positive reviews. Now that I''ve used my pot, I find those positive reviews to be accurate.
-THE HANDLE: It''s stainless steel, not plastic, and it''s tightly welded in two places. The #2 complaint you will see about stove top espresso pots is that the handle fell off or became loose. Some people have complained that the handle gets hot, but I preheat my water and have never had a problem. More about that later.
ARE THERE ANY DRAWBACKS TO THE CUISINOX ROMA? YES, JUST A COUPLE. Here are the negative points:
-HEAT CONDUCTIVE HANDLE: As I mentioned this is easily avoided by preheating water. When I first read about preheating water, I thought it was totally stupid. Why heat the water beforehand when the pot is designed with a water chamber for just that purpose? If that''s what you think too, let me try and change your mind. A stove top espresso pot takes somewhat of a watchful eye. You need to watch the speed of the coffee stream that emits from the spout to adjust your burner temperature and keep your coffee from over or under-extracting. The pot also needs to be removed from the burner promptly during the characteristic puff-puffs of the pot just before he last bits of overly watery coffee can come through the spout into the reservoir. You can''t just set the pot on the burner and leave it, but it''s not very convenient to sit and stare at your pot until the water finally starts to steam and create pressure. If you boil a kettle of water, take it off the burner for a minute to let it stop boiling, pour the hot water into the water chamber, and set the espresso pot on the already hot burner (after turning down the temp) the coffee begins extracting almost immediately without cooking your grounds while waiting for the water to heat. Now you can watch the show right away and you only have to stand watch for a minute or two while the coffee reservoir fills. It''s so easy! I can let a kettle of water "over boil" for a couple minutes without any negative consequences, but if I let my coffee over heat on the stove top for even a couple minutes then I''ve ruined the whole thing. Trust me, preheat the water.
-RIDGE IN THE RESERVOIR: The inside of the coffee reservoir has a deep ridge circling the outer edge. This makes a butter knife and a towel necessary to wipe out the fine coffee grounds that accumulate down there. It''s inconvenient, but not a deal-breaker. That''s why this review has 4 stars instead of 5.
OTHER GENERAL NOTES:
- The coffee cup in the funnel is the size of a 1/4 cup and therefore needs about 1/4 cup of coffee.
-Without using the reducer, this pot consistently makes about 6 oz of coffee.
-You won''t use all the water from the water chamber and that''s okay. As I mentioned, the last coffee to exit the spout is too watery and will weaken the overall cup. Remove the pot from the burner just as you hear the puff-puffs to avoid this.
-The coffee produced is more like really strong coffee and less like coffee shop espresso, but this is to be expected of all stove top espresso pots.
THIS REVIEW WAS A LONG READ, BUT HOPEFULLY WORTH IT! Now go have some coffee.