Tag Archives: manual espresso machine

Bialetti Mini Express I Caffe d Italia Single Cup Espresso Machine

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.

Bialetti Mini Express I Caffe dItalia Espresso System

Ease of Use/Performance: 4/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 4/5
Total: 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.

Parts of the Bialetti Mini Express

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.

Capsule Lever and Capsule Bialetti Mini Express

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.

Brewing an Espresso Bialetti Mini Express

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.

I Caffe dItalia @ Bialetti

I Caffe dItalia @ Amazon

I Caffe dItalia Capsules @ Bed Bath & Beyond

I Caffe dItalia @ Cerini Coffee & Gifts

Handpresso Outdoor Set Hybrid Espresso Maker Review

Handpresso Outdoor Set Hybrid Espresso Maker

The Handpresso Wild Hybrid makes a decent espresso and with the Outdoor Set Hybrid you have just about everything you need to make espresso in one handy case on the road or outdoors.

Ease of Use/Performance: 3/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 4/5
How much I enjoy 3/5
Recommendation: 4/5

Handpresso Outdoor Set Hybrid

I love espresso but don’t have the money or a good enough website to get the more expensive machines that coffee centric websites get for reviewing. I love checking out those oddities in every product area and the Handpresso Wild Hybrid does qualify as one of those non main stream espresso makers.

The Handpresso Wild Hybrid is the latest hand pump espresso maker where you only need a way to heat up water to get espresso wherever you happen to be. The Outdoor Set Hybrid does come with a way to store that hot water in a convenient thermos so you’re all set to hit the road and enjoy a fresh espresso.

The Handpresso Outdoor Set Hybrid contains the Handpresso Wild Hybrid, the single-hand thermos-flask, four unbreakable cups, a small napkin and the instructions for the Handpresso Wild Hybrid. I also received an extra rubber gasket for the Handpresso Wild Hybrid but I am not sure if this is in every package as it does not state this on the website at handpresso.com.

Parts of the Handpresso Wild Hybrid

The Outdoor Set Hybrid is very handy and would makes a great set to take on camping and other outdoor trips as well as hotel use or on the road for business trips. The Handpresso Wild Hybrid is the heart of the set and makes some pretty decent espresso for the hand pump espresso maker that it is.

I have made “espresso” in Moka pots and using the Aeropress but would not really categorize their results as real espresso as it does not have the same flavors and richness that pressure extracting gives. Real espresso needs pressure and heat to process the coffee beans or the flavor is just not there so the Handpresso does have at least what it takes to be considered espresso.

The Handpresso hybrid works by adding hot water to the cup and uses either an espresso pod or ground espresso in a basket to extract the shot of espresso. You do need to use very hot water and preheating the Handpresso bowl and cap does help to make better espresso as well as using fresh espresso that is also freshly ground.

The body of the Handpresso Wild Hybrid uses a hand pump to pump to get 16 bars of pressure and the push button on the side of the filter basket releases the air through the filter. To use the Handpresso Wild Hybrid for either fresh ground espresso they have a small basket while the E.S.E. pod uses the adapter that holds the E.S.E. pod above the water.

Handpresso Indicators

The Wild Hybrid does a great job of extracting a decent shot of espresso but it does lack the crema that indicates at least some of the CO2 necessary in its formation. CO2 is important to forming crema and getting the oils out of the grounds as it passes through but it does not indicate good flavor, only that gasses have been trapped.

The taste we get from espresso grounds come from the oils and the soluble liquids that have passed through the grounds and not the gasses trapped in the liquid as it drops into the cup. I have had good shots of espresso from a relatively cheap machine and some great shots from slightly more expensive ones.

I have also sampled coffee shops for shots of espresso straight from the machine to make sure I knew what I was missing at home in my search for inexpensive home espresso and reviewing the machines I was getting. I can say that the Handpresso Wild Hybrid does make a good enough shot and is worth your money as a portable espresso machine.

The Outdoor Set does give you everything you need for on the go espresso in a handy and very stylish case but the thermos does not keep the water hot enough for very long. At home I used water just below boiling and did rinse out the bowl and cap of the Handpresso to preheat it but using the thermos it does not stay hot enough to preheat the bowl and have hot enough water for great espresso.

Handpresso Espresso and Bialetti Mokona

The thermos is a great addition and without any other options out in the woods or on the road where coffee shops are just not to be found the thermos along with the Handpresso does work well. Checking out other people’s opinions about the Handpresso Wild Hybrid I did come across several video reviews but the overwhelming opinion about the quality of the espresso shot can be summed up in a quote. “It’s like really strong coffee”

I just think that the Handpresso Wild Hybrid misses the mark for great espresso even after using the device through two boxes of Lavazza and Illy E.S.E. pods and at least the same amount of shots from ground espresso. I was just not that impressed with the shots of espresso from the Wild Hybrid and felt for the price you should be getting a bit better shots.

The Handpresso Outdoor Set Hybrid does make it convenient to make espresso when you’re outdoors or without the convenience of a better machine which does give me pause in my recommendation. In the end the Handpresso does make a good enough espresso and if you need a handy all in one kit for making espresso on the go or outdoors the Handpresso Outdoor Kit Hybrid is worth a look.

Handpresso Wild Hybrid @ Handpresso

Handpresso Outdoor Set Hybrid Website

Seattle Coffee Gear