Bialetti Moka Express Espresso Maker 3 Cup

9.8 out of 10
9.8 out of 10

Bialetti has been making these coffee makers since 1933 and have made more than 200 million coffee makers in that time.

That tells you an awful lot about the Bialetti Moka Express Espresso Maker before we even dive in to the review.

Anything that can survive 9 decades and still be going strong must be doing something right.

What this coffee maker does is make good coffee at a very affordable price. Let’s find out how.

Overall Score 9.8/10

Design 10/10

Is the best design we have ever seen on a coffee maker? No.

Is it something that was designed by a vast team of people that spent months conducting market research into consumer trends and needs? No.

Part of the design beauty is its simplicity. It has become an iconic deign which has not changed in 90 years.

It is so iconic that it is displayed in various design museums across the world.

There is an old saying which goes “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. This definitely falls into that category.

This a wonderful coffee maker that fully deserves the maximum score for design.

Functionality 10/10

The simplicity of this is one of the biggest reasons that it has stood the test of time.

3 parts. That’s it.

  • The base – suitable to be used on all gas or electric heating surfaces but NOT induction
  • The basket – holds the coffee and gets inserted into the base
  • And of course, the top which gets screwed in to the base ready for the coffee to be brewed

There really is nothing to it so if you are looking for something with no moving parts and simplicity itself then this could be what you are looking for.

Much more important is to understand how to make the best coffee possible. We will explore this in detail next.

Ease of use 10/10

The kind of coffee that you will be able to produce with this device is going to be somewhere between a filter coffee machine and a pump espresso machine.

So stronger than a filter coffee but not as strong as an espresso.

They can get a bit of a bad rap for producing bitter coffee but that will only happen if you don’t do it correctly. Following a few simple steps will ensure a great tasting cup of coffee.

To get the best flavour the first thing you should do is buy whole coffee beans and grind them yourself.

There are two reasons for this. Firstly freshly ground will give you the best flavour every time because as soon as the beans are ground they will quickly start to lose freshness no matter how quickly they are vacuum packed. This is why coffee shops do it this way.

Secondly you can choose the coarseness of the bean once ground. This is important because too fine and the water will not be able to push through the coffee during the brewing process and too coarse and the coffee will be weak. Ideally what you want is a grind finer than what would be used in a filter machine but not as fine as for espresso (very fine)

The best way to achieve this is with a burr grinder.

Next you add the coffee to the basket. Just enough to fill the basket with loose coffee. Do not compress the coffee and add more.

Make sure the coffee maker is always clean to ensure no bitter flavour comes through from any old and stale coffee than may remain on the inside

Then fill it with water up to the line inside the base. Most people make the mistake of adding cold water. Use hot water from the kettle to g the best flavour.

Insert the basket with the coffee into the base and then screw the top on. Be careful to not hold the base with your bare hands as it will be hot! If you do then you will only do it once 🙂

Next the whole thing goes straight onto the heat and as you added hot water it will only take about 1 minute for the coffee to start coming through.

Put on a high heat for a stronger coffee and a medium heat for medium strength.

Keep an eye on the coffee coming through and as soon as you start to see steam and it starts to make a spitting noise then take it off the heat. Coffee will still start to come through for a short while afterwards so let it settle for a minute and then you are good to go.

This review is for the 3 cup version but it applies to all sizes, Something to be aware of is that it depends on your own definition of cup size.

Bialetti say that the 3 cup will  hold 200ml of water but the amount of coffee produced will be less because some will evaporate and some will be left in the base.

In our tests this really only produces enough for one “proper” cup of coffee or 2 small ones.

If you need to make more coffee in one go then consider the 9 cup version

Quality of coffee 9/10

How good the coffee is will depend on how closely you follow the instructions of the grind of the coffee and the freshness of the coffee itself.

If you follow everything to the letter then you will get a coffee which is not quite on a par with a great espresso machine but not that far off and you are paying a hell of a lot less for it.

Value For Money 10/10

This is not an expensive coffee maker. Beware of the cheap Chinese imitations. They are not worth it. Why save a few pounds when you can buy the original which is proven over many years and is enjoyed by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

Here is a short video on how best to use the Bialetti Moka Express Espresso Maker