Bialetti Mini Express I Caffe d Italia Single Cup Espresso Machine
The Bialetti Mini Express I Caffe dItalia Espresso System is a new single serve capsule espresso machine that serves up authentic espresso that tastes great but variety is lacking.
Ease of Use/Performance: 4/5
How much I enjoy 4/5
The Bialetti I Caffe dItalia Espresso System is a great espresso machine that makes espresso from capsules that are unique to Bialetti. The Bialetti Mini Express espresso machine comes with the compact pump designed system with a side water tank and pullout tray that collects the empty capsules and drips.
The machine from a retailer will comes with a small variety pack of 10 capsules with the new machine but this may not be enough to see which on you like. The capsules and espresso machine are starting to be available at websites such as Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond as well as the Bialetti shopping website but not in local stores as yet.
The Bialetti Mini Express System uses a 20 bar pump to push the water through the capsules but the machine is a mechanical ejection with the top handle that moves the capsule into position when you close it. When you open it again to put the next capsule in the current capsule falls into the tray which is also an empty capsule container.
The Bialetti I Caffe dItalia has a rear power switch that turns the heater on and the front push button switch starts and stops brewing. When you have placed a capsule in the top capsule spot and have heated the machine you simply place a cup on the tray and push the small espresso cup indicator to start the brewing and again to stop the extraction.
I would consider the Bialetti Mini Express single serve espresso machine a manual one because you have to manually insert and eject the capsules as well as manually start and stop the brewing process. To clean the machine you can add some scale remover to the tank and run this through the machine then rinse out well with the same brewing process without a capsule installed.
The capsule system works well and it’s very easy to put capsules into as well as ejecting them into the tray and the system is quick with only a minute or two to go from off to heated and steamy cup of espresso. The espresso is great with a very good amount of crema and flavor for all the varieties they have available but the choice of only 5 capsules is a bit limiting.
The decaf or Italian Deca is a medium roast while the other four available capsules are a light roast called Milano, mild roast called Venezia, medium roast called Roma and a dark roast called Napoli. I prefer the Roma as the dark roast is a bit too bitter for me but the light roasts are also very good but more variety would be nice.
The variety is a bit of a disappointment and I am hoping that Bialetti will come out with more of a variety like Nespresso has as well as a possibility for refillable capsules. The capsules for the Bialetti I Caffe dItalia are available from Bialetti and Bed Bath & Beyond for 75 cents and 62 cents per capsule respectively.
This is a pretty good price per cup of espresso when you compare it to the other espresso machines that use capsules like Nespresso which I have found cost at least 75 cents per capsule. Comparing to the Nespresso for taste is also not very fair when you consider that Nespresso has a couple dozen flavors of capsules while Bialetti only has five currently.
The Bialetti Mini Express I Caffe dItalia is a great machine and as easy to use as the current Nespresso manual machine and costs about the same for the machine which is $150. The capsules are where you save money and the Bialetti espresso machine can make a better machine for the home with a savings of at least 10 cents per espresso capsule.
While 10 cents may not seem like much over time it could change your mind when comparing the cost for 30 cents per day for three espressos a day means saving about $100 a year. This can be a significant savings if you have frequent espressos and the Bialetti machine does a great job of giving you one after the other of great tasting espresso.
I had no problems taking the machine to a hotel during a conference and using this for a few days and brewing eight shots in a row before checking out of my hotel room. I wanted to have a few shots of espresso for the trip home and ran eight espressos one after the other to put into a small thermos and had no problems.
The Bialetti Mini Express single serve espresso machine does work well and the only thing holding me back from making a top rating is the lack of variety for capsules which I hope Bialetti will solve soon. I highly recommend the Bialetti I Caffe dItalia as a great single serve espresso machine but you are limited to the current five capsule choices at the time of this review.