on December 15, 2008
I have been using stove-top espresso makers for years, generally Italian espresso makers, so I was a little skeptical when I purchased this one. I purchased it because I thought that the design is lovely. Also, there is no rubber or plastic on the handle that might be subject to burn on my gas stove. I gave it a test run as soon as I received it. And, boy was I surprised with how well it performs. There was no spurting or spilling over as I poured. I did have to use a potholder to pour the espresso, but I have found that if you wait a couple of minutes, the handle cools off. This espresso maker puts out at least 6 full espresso cups, or fills one large mug. I couldn't be happier with it. After using it for over a week now, at least twice a day, the Cuisinox Roma is not showing any wear at all--in other words, no darkened burn marks on the sides. Very easy to clean, and it comes with a spare gasket, which is a plus. Also included is a screen filter that you place in the filter so that you can make 3 cups instead of 6. I would not hesitate to recommend this espresso maker.
on August 10, 2012
This review may be a bit premature, but my purchasing has benefited so much from Amazon reviews that I wanted to pass along this feedback to fellow coffee lovers. I have only had the Cuisinox Roma 6-cup for a couple of days, but here is some background and the current feedback; First let me say I fall in the school of coffee that says that none of the stove top pots actually make true espresso - but some come close and essentially some can produce a coffee close enough to espresso to make a decent cappuccino or latte. After giving up on the hassle of espresso machines I started using stove top pots and about five years ago I upgraded to a stainless steel stovetop from my old aluminum Bialetti. I bought a Veg Vigano Kontessa Oro. That pot made very good coffee and very near espresso, even producing a small amount of crema. The problem with that pot is that the handle is only attached at one point and fell off recently - it should be noted that I used the pot everyday, making multiple pots for about four years. I've also read and share some of the concerns with possible chemical coating on the inside of the water chamber of the Veg Vigono so I decided to try the Cuisinox. This is a very nice looking pot and seems well made. It produces more volume than previous 6-cup pots that I have had, but the coffee is not as thick or as close to espresso as with the Bialetti or the Veg Vigano. Using the reduction filter it is even worse, producing only what would be called "Americano" type coffee - not what I was looking or hoping for. If you want just a very good cup of strong coffee, this would seem to be an excellent all stainless steel stove top pot. However if you are looking to get as close as possible to espresso with a stove top pot, you may need to look elsewhere. I've written Veg Vigano to ask about the coating on their pots and will update this review if I receive an answer. If there is no chemical in their coating I will purchase a new Veg Vigano and use this Cusinox as a back-up or second pot.
Update to the above: I did not hear back from Veg Vigano - I was disappointed not to, granted they are in Italy and I wrote in English and perhaps I did not send to the right address. I did follow-up with a trusted seller - Espressozone.com. I have bought from them before and their feedback and tech support is always prompt and helpful. They advised that it is not a chemical coating, but rather just a sand blasted finish. I took their word for it, bought a new Veg Vigano and returned the Cusinox - the Cusinox is a beautiful pot, but did not make the type coffee I wanted. I am very pleased with this Veg Vigano. I'll tell you it did leak just a tad - a small amount of steam and water would come out just at the very end of the brewing process from where the top and bottom screws together. I examined the threads and everything looked just like my old Veg so I decided to wait a few days to see if maybe the seal just needed to be broken in a bit. Sure enough that seems to have been the case. I've been using the pot several times a day since and no leakage, just great coffee. Hope this helps you achieve the brew you are looking for - life's too short to drink lousy coffee!
on February 18, 2012
Before this "moka pot" espresso maker, I've owned (and returned) a string of the <$150 countertop steam-pressure/pump espresso machines, only the first of which actually worked... until the pump finally gave out. All subsequent makes and models failed to seal properly around the basket. So, as an alternative replacement, I bought this Cuisinox stovetop espresso maker about 3 weeks ago, and have been SUPREMELY pleased with it. I sprang for this all-stainless model because of concerns over aluminum oxide exposure from brewing coffee (an acidic liquid) in an aluminum vessel like the original Bialetti models. Also, a friend's Bialetti had trouble sealing after repeated use, as the soft aluminum threads malformed over time. Double advantage with a stainless model.
Although it is pricey, it appears to be VERY well made. The stainless steel is thick and heavy, the silicone gasket seals perfectly, and the extra replacement one included in the box is an added bonus. I have yet to use the 3-cup adapter, and probably never will.
Please note: the 6-cup capacity indicates *espresso* cup sizes, or "shots" which are roughly 1 - 1.5 oz each. This is plenty of espresso for 2 standard-strength lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, etc. ...or 1 stout one, which is how I take mine. If you need to make more than that at once, Cuisinox also makes a 10-cup size worth considering.
The instructions indicate (as others have mentioned) not to screw the top and base together while holding it by the handle, as the torque could loosen it from the pot, despite the fact that it appears to be welded on quite sturdily. I have no problem twisting it together or apart: for grip, just place one thumb against the pour spout on top and the other thumb against the pressure relief valve (in the opposite direction, obviously) on bottom.
I find it makes the BEST espresso with lots of "crema" if I grind fresh whole beans very, very fine, then *gently* tamp them into the basket with the back of a spoon. (If they're not somewhat packed, you won't get the luxurious crema; but over-packing will cause too much resistance, and the steam pressure will be forced out the safety pressure-relief-valve, and not up through the coffee grounds.) I haven't seen the need to invest in a burr grinder yet - I use a simple blade grinder to get the grind as fine as I possibly can, to an almost powdery consistency that compacts easily.
Be sure to keep your burner on a medium or medium-low setting for 2 reasons: 1) so as to avoid boiling the already-made espresso in the the upper chamber as the pot is continuing to work, and 2) to keep the handle cool enough to lift the pot and pour. Doing this, I've never encountered the handle becoming too hot to touch, as others have mentioned.
Another advantage this pot has over steam-pump espresso machines is the ease of cleaning. Every serving of espresso is fresh and delicious, because every part is easily accessible to thoroughly clean. That's not the case with the reservoirs in pump-machines, which acquire a stale spent-coffee-grounds smell rather quickly.
The ONLY downside to this gadget is the need to let it cool before disassembling. If I'm in a hurry to make a second pot for guests, I simply place it on a potholder in front of a fan to quickly air cool it. Some have suggested placing it in cold water, but I would advise against this, as the thermal stress could potentially damage the welds, the pressure relief valve, or warp the threads where it screws together.
If I had to make this purchase again, I'd do it in a heartbeat. It's unquestionably worth every penny. 5 stars for functionality, 5 for style & appearance, and 5 for the AMAZING coffee it produces every time.
I've had this Cuisinox Moka Pot for almost 2 years now, and I'm coming back to re-review because I'm considering also getting the 10-cup size for when I have houseguests. I still haven't had to use the included replacement gasket, I've given it daily use, outdoor campstove abuse, and it still makes amazing espresso. It works fantastically on all the electric, gas, and induction surfaces i've had it on, although each heat source heats it & produces espresso at a different rate.
The reviews I've seen about it making watery/bad tasting brew or leaking coffee appear to me to be from improper use, so I've also included the follow tips which would apply for any moka pot espresso maker.
Tips for awesome results:
--Don't fill the water reservoir above the brass safety pressure-relief-valve.
--Just like ANY espresso maker, wipe the excess coffee grounds from around the grounds-basket-lip (where it comes into contact with the gasket) to get a perfect seal so it won't leak.
--Leave the lid open while it brews so you can watch it brew; when the crema forms and covers the espresso, it's done. The oily-black liquid should gently roll down the spigot sides until the pot fills and the crema gathers like sea foam. If you walk away and hear it begin quickly coughing air/steam up through the tube/spigot: it's slightly over-done, and the crema will then break up and dissipate. At this point, the espresso's still OK, but will seem more watery and bitter, and not as perfect as this gadget was meant to achieve.
--Use fine-ground coffee (espresso grind) or you'll have watery coffee.
--clean it regularly (it's a cooking utensil, duh!)
on October 8, 2009
Cuisinox Roma 6-cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Espresso Maker
i've had this espresso maker for a few months now & it is Spectacular & worth every penney ! ( never thought i'd be gushing over an espresso maker - in fact, i almost never review prodcuts myself, though i read them thoroughly before making purchases - but here i am . . lol )
If you've used stovetop espresso makers in the past, i think you'll find its performance Exemplary & if you haven't, the web makes it very simple to learn. Best of all, this pot makes it Fun.
PROS : really substantial construction
sleek, elegant design - eye candy ! lol
( this product is amasing actually . . i'm a sucker for things aesthetically & materially Well Done & this pot ROCKS - makes me happy everytime i look at it ! )
25 YEAR warranty ( how often do you see THAT ??!!! )
delivers lovely cups of espresso in no time, with no mess ( and you can watch it happen - doesn't spurt all over with the top up so you can )
comes with an insert that allows the option of 3 espresso sized cups if you so choose ( about 3/4 cup total ), in addition to its normal 6 cup / 1 1/2 cup capacity
comes with an extra gasket as well
looks as Beautiful after alot of use as it did out of the box
CONS: Zero that i can see
It may seem pricey at first but if you love espresso & want something that is just lovely to look at AND that will last, this is definitely the way to go. ( We have used stovetop espresso makers for years & this one trumps all i've come across. The aluminum ones end up looking crummy in no time, plus you really don't want aluminum in your body if you can help it & coffee is a known acidic. And the stainless steel on this one, is not a flimsy layer that's going to wear off. In fact, i just sent this to my daughter for her birthday. She loves to entertain and this makes a lovely impression whether for one or for guests. You definitely won't want to hide this away. )
This product is apparently made by a Canadian company but IN China according to the literature that accompanies it - which speaks Volumes for company oversight in terms of quality control & definitely not the usual made in China purchase you wish you'd passed by.
Ok, have i gushed enough yet ?? lol
Cuisinox, Take a Bow !!!!!
on February 16, 2013
After reading reviews on all the stove top espresso makers I could find, I decided on this one. It is made out of a heavy gauge stainless- so there is some substance there. It also had fairly good reviews. It's a bit pricy at $99, but I wanted quality, not cheap. I also liked the handle being welded on in two spots.
I also bought the Cuisinox Cappuccino Frother with it, since that is what I mainly wanted to make. It's also a bit pricy at $30, but again, seems to be good quality.
The both have a nice mirrored finish on them. Both are made in China. The thing about things manufactured in China, or any where else overseas, is quality control. Cuisinox apparently takes quality control seriously, and these are both first rate.
Amazon shipped them, and they arrived in good shape within a day after ordering. Packaging seemed adequate. ( I happen to live where Amazon has a main hub- so stuff doesn’t have to come very far.)
I was anxious to try out my hand at espresso making. I went to Starbucks, and bought their espresso blend, on their recommendation, and had them grind it for me (~$13). As I’m new to this, I wanted to see what an espresso grind looks like. Turns out, it’s not much grittier then baby powder. (Bad Parenting Thought: Hmm, I’m out of baby powder, wonder if I can use this espresso in a pinch…)
It came with adequate instructions. I didn’t wash the items with soap, but used very hot water and wiped everything out with paper towels. To season the pot, I used the reducer, so as not to waste a lot of coffee. A note about the reducer: The reducer is to reduce the amount of coffee you use. I read several reviewers who didn’t have a clue what it was for. It says in bold letters in the instructions, never to put it over the coffee. You put the reducer in the funnel first, and it reduces the funnel capacity by about a third.
Fill the boiler with water to just below the brass safety valve. Then put the funnel into it.
After putting coffee in the funnel, you want to take care to carefully wipe the rim area off that seats against the nylon gasket. I read several reviews where the reviewers had steam coming out the side of the seal, or coffee too weak, etc. This isn’t rocket science. You have to have a good gasket seal for the boiling water to be forced through the coffee. Also, I could see a potential problem if the funnel rim ever gets pushed in, or the lip on it ever got bent up slightly. As the funnel is of fairly light gauge, both issues can be easily fixed. You just have to do quick eyeball on it, to look for potential problems. On this particular unit, the gasket is fairly wide, and the tooling on where the funnel and boiler pot meet is fairly tight. I had no problems with a leaky seal.
The top kettle part is then screwed onto the base. I didn’t use a whole lot of pressure to screw them together. Just enough to snug the seat into the gasket.
I have an old electric stove with the ring elements on it. I turned it up to around ¾ high. As pointed out in the instructions, keep the handle off the element area. If you do this, the handle doesn’t get hot at all. It takes maybe 5-6 minuets to boil the water up into the top kettle. You can check it as it’s boiling- the lid never got hot (it‘s double walled), so you can stand there and watch it if you want. (be careful of the coffee though- it’s very hot!)
While the coffee maker was doing it’s thing, I decided to try my hand at frothing. I had half a burner open, so… why not heat the milk on the other side of the burner? Well, it worked, but… more on that in the clean up section… The whole idea for heating the milk, is so you don’t cool down the coffee when you add it to it. (You can froth cold milk if you want.) I heated it to where it was hot to touch, but not boiling.
Then I set it on the stove and started doing the frothing thing. You don’t have to be very aggressive or fast on it to work up a good froth. I used 2% milk (‘cause that was what was in the fridge…) You just plunge it gently to where you feel the plunger hitting the milk. I kept checking it thinking I didn’t have much froth there- but I did notice that the volume of milk had about doubled. It wasn’t until I poured some that I realized it was so frothed most of the bubbles hadn’t gotten to the top yet. OK- well, that worked way better then I anticipated…
I had set the coffee aside on the stove while I was finishing frothing, then decided to try the “seasoning” brew. I added about 1/3 coffee to 2/3 froth/milk into a mug, and called my son down to try it. (he’s of legal age… let him be the guinea pig) He actually liked it, and said the coffee was very bitter. I gave it a try- it was actually very good. I tried some of the espresso with out the creamer in it- very good, but a little on the strong side for me.
This morning I tried a pot without the reducer in it. It was very good as a cappuccino (with the frothed milk). It was way strong as an espresso, at least for me… Think I’ll stick with the reducer for mine.
Clean up was easy, but you do have to do it. It is more work then using a drip brewer. I read some reviewers complaining about having to wait for the pot to cool down. Why? I filled the kettle with cool tap water and ran tap water around the boiler. Instant cool pot. It’s stainless steel, you’re not going to hurt it. In the instructions they tell you not to use the handle to unscrew the parts. I would head this advice. I don’t see much heat penetration where the handle is welded, looking at the inside of the pot. It seems sturdy enough, but just take care. Also, when you clean the top kettle portion, be sure to pull the gasket and top strainer out every time. I noticed water under the gasket, and this could be a potential rust spot. (yes, stainless steel will rust- it just takes longer) How do you get the gasket out? I took a thin pairing knife and slipped it down the side of the gasket, and gently pried it up with the dull side of the knife- easy. Also, the espresso maker comes with an extra gasket. (in case one might like to pry it up with the sharp side of the knife)
Clean up of the frother basically involves rinsing with hot water, and wiping it down. Although, where I set the frother on the burner, the milk burned to the metal. Not hard to clean- used a scouring pad. Today my wife heated a cup and a half of milk in microwave for 2 ½- 3 minuets, and we kept the frother just for frothing.
Overall, I think both the espresso maker and frother are of pretty good quality, and should last a long time. I’ll be using it just on weekends, instead of the drip brewer. If I run into any major issues, I’ll keep you posted.
on July 13, 2014
I have to admit to being a bit obsessive about this thing. Excellent coffee brewed in this moka pot is dependent on 3 things; Brew time, heat intensity and coffee quality. Everyday for 4 years I have experimented with it to perfect my morning coffee and see what it is capable of, so here are the results:
1. I put 12 oz. of good water (I have good, clean, soft well water) in the base.
2. Grind your beans fresh; I use this bean grinder: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0043095WW/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1
3. Set the grinder on 12 1/2 seconds at the finest setting or use a different grinder with similar settings.
4. Use good quality medium roast coffee beans. Don't use espresso beans! They are too roasted and the coffee's subtle, complex flavors are missing. Store them in the freezer or do what I do and fill a 2 qt. canning jar with beans and use the Food Saver Wide Mouth Jar Sealer (you need a Food Saver with a vacuum tube) to vacuum seal the jar between refills of the grinder hopper.
5. Fill the basket with the ground coffee and tap it on the counter a few times to settle it. Don't use a tamper to tamp it down.
6. Screw the top onto the base until tight but not too tight. If steam escapes from the body during brewing, it's not tight enough. DON'T use the handle to leverage your tightening, eventually you will break it off!
7. Adjust your heat source so that coffee starts to spill from the stem (leave the top open) in as near to 6 minutes as you can get (somewhere around medium low setting).
8. Wait until you have a few bubbles that are larger and don't dissipate and at that point turn your heat source down to it's lowest setting. At the moment that you see the foam violently spurting out of the stem (or just before) after a cap of crema has formed, turn the heat off completely.
9. Wait until the spewing is almost done and you can barely hear it to fill up your (12 oz.) cup.
There you go, you should have incredibly complex delicious coffee which is at least as good, if not better than, the best espresso. I wash my Roma in the dishwasher maybe twice a year. The aficionados sat that leaving a residue layer on most of the time makes it taste better. I don't know but I do know that this little moka pot can equal or surpass the best coffee that you've ever had.
After using a Bodum stainless steel French press for 10 years with a burr grinder, I was at my wife's uncle's house when he made us stovetop coffee with an aluminum Bialetti Moka Pot (we have the identical one at home but never used it). My wife and I both noticed that the coffee, though not espresso, is far richer and more intense than the French press preparation. So when we got home for a week we used the Bailetti in the afternoon (only makes 2 small cups of coffee) and the French Press in the morning (makes 3 big cups). We decided for sure we were going to use Moka pot style, but we wanted stainless steel and something that could make 2 generous cups of coffee, so we purchased the Cuisinox "10-cup," which is not really an espresso maker. It is a Moka pot. I did research and found that espresso requires more intense steam pressure than what you get from a stovetop Moka pot; however, some argue that Moka pot is still a form of espresso. I tend to agree wit them. I look at it this way: You're getting an espresso that is closer to a Turkish or Armenian coffee. In Cuba, not surprisingly, it's called Cuban coffee.
So how does the Cusionox measure up to the Bialetti? My initial impressions are that the Bialetti is slightly richer than the Cuisinox, but that the Cuisinox is slightly richer than my French press. My opinion may change as these are initial impressions. After thinking about this, my theory is that the smaller Bialetti has a stronger ratio of ground coffee to water. It makes sense since more water is in the Cuisonox's bigger chamber. What's interesting is that the Cuisinox and Bialetti are mechanically the same. You fill the bottom chamber with water; you fill the coffee bean chamber; and then you put the screwed-on pot on the stovetop.
On an attempt to make richer coffee, I ground the beans finer, as instructed, and tamped them. This proved a disaster. The steam jettisoned out the sides. I can only make barely richer coffee than my Bodum French press, so I'm giving the Cuisinox 3 stars.
Update: I compared the coffee compartment with my smaller Bialetti and the Cuisinox's is bigger, so the lack of richness remains a mystery.
Second Update: After experimenting with the Cuisinox, I find that it's important to tamp (but only gently) the fine ground beans to maximize the amount. Too much tamping is really packing it and that will result in steam shooting out on the sides with NO coffee. With the right amount of beans, I am able to get a rich brew, but not quite as rich as the aluminum Bialetti. Still, if you're trying to avoid aluminum you might give the Cuisinox a try. My wife says the Aeropress, much cheaper, is a very effective do-it-yourself espresso pump. You might give that a try.
Third Update: I'm getting almost as intense, rich coffee flavor as my aluminum Bialetti, not enough difference to take off any stars from the Cuisinox. Also the Cuisinox is making more consistently, rich and NON-BITTER coffee unlike the Bialetti, which if you're not careful (too fine a grind) can give you very bitter coffee. Considering my consistent 10 batches in a row of rich coffee from the Cuisinox and that's it' stainless steel, I'm upgrading to 5 stars.
on April 19, 2014
This brewed 3 fantastic cups of coffee. Then the cheap plastic grommets started to leak coffee all over my kitchen.
Make no mistake, this is NOT Alessi quality. It's a great, solid device, but the seals are poorly designed. Another charity giveaway for me.
on September 27, 2015
We've been using the Roma daily for two years, and the espresso it produces, with the right technique, is really impressive, even compared to a full size, many thousand dollar commercial machine, which we also own. I don't know how this is possible, but too many knowledgeable espresso drinkers have agreed in back-to-back tests.
The espresso community typically says that the order of importance in making an extraordinary espresso are 1) beans 2) grinder 3) barista 4) espresso machine, and this rings true to me. If you get the first three right, this stovetop will not hold you back.
Just as background, we typically use counter culture beans, a Mini Mazzer grinder, filtered water, and an induction stovetop. We also have a commercial Nuova Simonelli Appia espresso machine in our home (which we also love).
If you are deciding between the Roma and investing in a regular espresso machine, I'm skeptical that you could consistently match the espresso quality with a machine that costs less than about seven hundred, like a Rancilio Silvia, and even then I'm not sure. The difference in price would pay for a lot of beans. The two big differences between a big machine and this stovetop is 1) in the volume of high quality espresso you can produce: trying to serve a group of six people a double shot each with the Roma will take a long time and be very hot for your hands - our espresso machine can make a high quality double every 50 seconds. And 2) steaming milk. The advantage of the Cuisinox is that it doesn't take a billion watts and 45 minutes to heat up, like an espresso machine.
I can say confidently that the quality of coffee this is capable of producing will destroy what comes out of consumer machines like those made by Delonghi, Krups, or the less expensive Brevilles.
One tip: the base of the pot is so efficient that if you use induction, try using moderate heat. We use a setting of 8 out of 10 on our Bosch because we are too impatient to use 7.5 which would probably be better. At higher heat too much pressure is exhausted out the over pressure valve.
Summary: having used the Roma at least six hundred times over two years, and having compared the espresso it makes to many other stovetops and a range of espresso machines, I can say confidently that this is an extraordinary espresso making-device.
on December 30, 2010
This is a beauty... I bought it because of the 25 year warranty and the price I found it for earlier. I like the design its very sleek and also I brew with the top up because there is no spurting, the coffee flows downward so u dont get coffee stains all over like on some pots. What I dont really like is you can't wash the pot right away because its so damn hot.
Also, I am usually the only one drinking coffee so I wish I would have gotten a smaller model. I got the larger because some reviewer said that it doesnt make the regular esspresso size amounts like it says it does. This is false. In truth, it makes exactly the esspresso cup sizes its supposed to. I use the reducer so I end up with 3 espresso cups which means I have to throw some away. Which sucks. Also the reducer is very uneven and could have been constructed better which is why I gave this machine a 4/5.
I use mine on an induction surface and have found that if I lower the temperature to a number 4 heat setting it makes way better coffee with less sediment and less bitterness then on number 5.... so be sure to play with your temperature settings a little.
Here's how I make my moka,,,, Im a beginner so if you can comment with your own tips they are welcome. I havent invested in a burr grinder yet... so I ordered the very expensive and much talked about Illy Moka preground can for my first try at Moka. I was attempting to recreate the esspressos I had every morning in Sicily... I like the flavor alot better then northern esspressos. So here goes:
1.First I poured cold bottled water a little more than halfway up (I was making half the size of esspresso).
2. Then I took preground IllyMOka coffee can out of the fridge and taking the reducer I filled it up and made a mound on top.
3. I assembled my pot.
4. Put induction stove on setting four which is less then medium heat... It takes more time to heat up.. BUT the results were worlds apart from my medium heat moka. It actually came out exactly like the Sicilian esspressos hardly any sediment but a little more watery than the real esspresso. Taste wise was same.
I took it the pot off the heat when it started coming out in spurts. And there was some water still left in the bottom of the container.... Dont know if this is the correct way but it works for me.