This Delonghi electric moka pot rocks the house period. This is coming from someone who is big into espresso, starting out on moka pots in college, moving to vibe pumps and levers later on. I still use my moka pots at home occasionally to crank out the huge batch of espresso needed for tiramisu rather than make like twelve espressos on a real espresso machine. Anyway about this guy. I just started working in an office where there is no coffee machine!?!?!? Whaaaat? Yeah, I've never seen one w/o coffee either until now. The other guys run out to one of the three or four cafes located within a block our two of our office to snag some joe. Now they ain't big coffee drinkers, usually one cup in the morning and maybe one in the afternoon. I am more used to drinking maybe four or five cups throughout the day plus the two doubles at home in the morning. After hitting up the cafes a few times and spending $3 on double espressos, I figured that I was going to be in the poor house before bowl season if I kept that up so I decided to become self sufficient at the office in matter of the roasted bean.
I was initially looking at espresso machines. My criteria were: small (couldn't take up too much space on my desk), easy to clean (no kitchen in office, have to rinse out in bathroom sink), not to messy loading in coffee since it is on my desk, and inexpensive. Well most of the espresso machines were big and expensive. I didn't want to pay $400 on a Gaggia or $600 for a La Pavoni for the office, plus they are big and messy but I was going to use the espresso pods to make things cleaner and easier. Still the expense and size of even the cheapest machines (about $250 refurbed) were looking bad. Then a light went off and I thought about moka and wondered if they made an electric moka pot.
Well looky what we got here... ...practically made to order. This thing is dang near perfect ladies and gents. Diminutive, low key, cheap, easy to clean in bathroom sink, and caffe eccellente. The only slight negative is that since it doesn't use pods you have to use your own coffee which is good economically but a little messy when loading. I just load it on top of a sheet a paper and toss the paper when done. That is it other than that this machine rocks the heezy.
As to the operation of the machine, so simple and easy with a few nice touches. The coffee chamber holds enough coffee for six demitasses of espresso. I used it this way the first few times but never drank all of the coffee soon enough. Delonghi also gives you a little metal disc which effectively cuts the coffee chamber in half so you can make three demitasses at a time (there are markings in the water chamber to let you know how much to fill for a 3 shot brew). At first I thought that the disc was a gimmick and the coffee would turn out crappy but I gave it a try and badabing it tasted just like full 6 brew. Now I am in business.
Now on to to cup size. The 3 shot brew yielded basically two double espressos. I've had the Nuova Point espresso and cappucino cups for decades and that is what I brought to the office. For a while there I just used the espresso cup and would have two full cups per three shot brew. That was too much trouble so now I just pour the whole 3-shot brew into a cappucino cup and it fills it nicely.
Some operational details, the machine after it brews, will stay on for half an hour to keep things warm. There is a mechanical switch on the base that turns off the heat once you lift up the pot to pour your coffee. You could just hit the switch again for another 30min of heat if you want. Brewing time, here is where it gets phenomenal, it only takes about two minutes to crank out a pot. This is super fast and when I make moka on the stove it usually takes about twice as long. It totally surprises you how fast it is. Having the see through top is a nice touch so that you can see when it is done, might not be as solid as the regular full aluminum top but it takes the guesswork out of whether it is done or not, just be a little more careful. As far as clean up, after it cools down, unscrew it holding on to the bottom of the pot and the metal at the base of the top section. Rinse out the bottom, the coffee holder, the top of the upper section and the bottom side of the top section making sure to clean the gasket of stray grinds. That is it.
Final thoughts, to those jerks who dis moka coffee, go screw. Those anal retentives deserve to wallow in their misery and I hope they end up married to hoarders. Sure the coffee isn't the exact same as full fledged 9-bar, big ol', $600, espresso machine. This thing is only like $60 or so and makes legit moka. For me, moka is real good. Way better than the regular office coffee that I had been drinking for years simply because it was available. On the coffee scale of things, regular coffee is like Pop Warner, Moka is like NCAA Football in the SEC, and a Cimbali, Gaggia or Pavoni are like NFL Football with the Cimbali being the Champion New Orleans Saints. Basically if the high dollar machines are like 100% espresso, the moka pots like this one are maybe 80-85% espresso which is still leagues better than drip and swill and pretty darned close to the real thing. If you drink lattes or add cream to moka, I'd say that it is practically indistinguishable from a latte made with real 100% espresso and forget about tiramisu. In the cake no one can tell the difference.
One more thing. Bialetti makes an electric mukka I see that costs around a Benjamin or so. For those cappucino lovers the Mukka may be the one to get. I bought a stovetop for a girlfriend once who loved cappucino but didn't need a full sized expensive machine. The cappa's were really good with it. There was a switch to make regular moka or a latte if you weren't doing the cappucino thang. I opted for the Delonghi since I only really drink espresso and save the milk for chicks at parties and Sunday mornings.
Enjoy your moka pot and don't be ashamed. This Delonghi electric one is really nice and works great anywhere, no stove required!!!