An economical, ecological, ergonomic cappuccino maker
Bialetti’s Mukka Express model is unique in that you can make a cappuccino or café au lait, with real espresso and foamy milk, all in one pot.
The Bialetti looks very similar to Bialetti’s traditional 6- and 8-sided, stovetop espresso makers.
It does not require paper filters, so it is ecological. It does not take up much space, so it is ergonomic. It is all metal and hard plastic, so I’ve not yet found a way to break it. It lasts for years, so especially when you consider its low cost as compared to an electric coffee maker, it is a long-term, economical investment.
Mukka Express: Difference in use as compared to Bialetti’s traditional stovetop espresso maker
Start by pouring the water into the bottom part, as with the traditional Bialetti. Then insert the coffee filter/funnel and fill it with ground coffee, just like with the traditional model.
Then comes the difference. Unlike when making a simple espresso, you pour milk into the top part. Then screw the pressure valve onto the tube built in to the top part of the coffee maker.
When the water in the bottom half of the pot gets hot, the steam it produces rises through the tube. The pressure valve then opens (rather like on a pressure cooker) and heats the milk. Afterward, the coffee comes up and mixes with the frothy, steamed milk.
And there you go, two espressos ready to be served, all in the space of 4 minutes.
Simplicity of use and simple design
The Mukka Express is indeed of simple technical design, but even so, every single aspect is extremely precisely calculated, and if you don’t follow the instructions to the letter, you can end up with coffee all over your new silk robe, the kitchen ceiling, soaking your newly coiffed hair, and running down from the stovetop into the drawers of the kitchen cabinet. This is definitely not the way to start the day, so I will give you a few words of advice drawn from my own disastrous experiences.
Tricks drawn from the experience of a coffee drinker who makes her coffee while still half asleep
I am not a morning person, so being precise before I have my first cup of coffee in the morning is quite a challenge, and one that I have not always managed to live up to.
Never fill the coffee filter so high that coffee grains get into the screwthreads of the bottom part of the coffee maker. This makes it difficult to screw the top half onto the bottom half, and often makes it difficult to unscrew it after use.
Observe the filling level marks. They are precisely calculated and can bring on major kitchen catastrophes if not adhered to.
Never clean with soap. This risks giving your coffee a soapy taste. Rinse well with hot water.
Make sure all coffee grains are removed from screwthreads before reusing.
Always check that pressure valve is completely screwed on before putting coffee maker on heat.
If you are in a hurry and start the coffee on high, stand by it and as soon as you hear the water starting to rise in the tube, lower the heat.
If after use, you can’t manage to unscrew the top half from the bottom half, remove the pressure valve. Then run cold water into top half, letting it run down the pressure valve tube. This will usually disengage any stray coffee grounds that are making it stick.