Pros:Portability, ease of use, simplicity.
Cons:Don't leave unattended on the stove.
The Bottom Line: A highly recommended product. A classic.
I bought this little pot a couple of years back at the local Wal-Mart for about $12, the cost of two trips to Starbucks. I think this simple little machine driven by the expansive qualities of heating water to a boil and using hot solvent (water) to extract the essence of coffee is sheer genius, I wish I could have been the one to come up with this design! I was thinking to myself, "This thing looks highly portable." I was thinking I was going to take it camping. It's nice in an apartment provided you have a heat source. I don't think the (melamine?)handle gets too hot but I try to keep the handle somewhat away from the heat source. It's fairly easy to use and fairly easy to clean. Just make sure you pack (not too tightly either, a loose pack is best) some espresso into the little aluminum cup, but don't use too much since there needs to be a good seal at the top, so keep the seal area clean and free from coffee grounds as much as possible. It features a simple blow off safety valve on the side, although my safety release has never blown off any steam, it's nice to know safety was take into consideration in the design of the product. Put heat source on high and don't walk away leaving the pot unattended, since your coffee is liable to boil over onto the stove, and this could potentially make a real mess. I love the fact that this product is so simple and seems to be real durable, mine has lasted for more than 4 years now, although I don't use it every day, I use generally use my espresso machine with built in heating element (I find it more convenient, and I think it make more servings per cycle). I don't think there's anything to hate about this little coffee pot and I'm going to keep it around in case of an emergency and the power goes out, as well as being quite versatile while car camping, or even perhaps backpacking since the aluminum design is quite light and transfers heat efficiently. The Bialetti (with the little Italian man on the side), is often replicated but never duplicated, and I'm sure there are a few imposters out there, but insist on the real McCoy, mine was made in Italy. Highly recommended and beats the long term cost of purchasing coffee (espresso) by the cup, which seems far too expensive to me (no offense to the coffee retailers out there, but coffee made by another actual human is quite expensive), and the only thing it can't do is steam milk, but one could always heat up the milk in the microwave or on the stove, and I actually prefer my milk cold (living in Florida is rough). My only minor complaint is the tarnish that forms on the aluminum after a while in our harsh environment, but I suppose that is easy enough to clean off.
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