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We Try It! Bialetti Mukka Express

I’ve already mentioned in these parts how much of a coffee snob I am. It shouldn’t surprise you, then, to learn that I’m just as picky about more difficult coffee drinks than just plain old joe. Cappuccino at home can be yummy, is certainly cheaper and allows for more smugness than heading to a coffee shop, but it can take some time. I had a cappuccino maker at home already: the kind that requires a lot of work, steaming, grinding, dripping, and so on. I’ve only once attempted this feat from start to finish, as I usually delegate this task to my more-experienced spouse. In other words, it’s a bit of a hassle.

That’s why, for some time, I’d been considering buying a Mukka. As you’ll see in the picture here, it comes in an adorable cow pattern, but you can get it with a regular stainless finish as well. What’s so special about the Mukka? It’s a stovetop, one-piece cappuccino maker, that’s what. It does the vast majority of the work for you, using the heat from your stove. All you have to do is put in the grounds, a little water, and some milk. Put it on the stove, and a weird little sound will let you know it’s done.

Sounds amazing, right? But maybe too good to be true? I’d read the many, many reviews on Amazon and Williams-Sonoma with interest but hadn’t bit the bullet to cough up the cash (anywhere from $65 – $95 on average). So you can imagine my happiness when I received one out of the blue as a non-registry wedding gift. After performing the several water-only rinses that the manufacturer recommends, Mr. McDoogal and I were ready to try our first Mukka cappuccino.

Loading the Mukka is easy. You don’t have to measure anything; there are lines on the machine for fill levels for the water that brews the coffee, as well as the milk that is either steamed or foamed. There is a small basket for the grounds. You compress a large button on the top of the kettle, and set it on your stove with the burner at a relatively low setting. If you have a gas stovetop, they recommend that the ring of flame be smaller than the bottom of the kettle.

Once it’s done, it’s done. All you have to do is pour and enjoy. For a cappuccino, you just spoon on the remaining foam after you’ve finished pouring. If you’ve got cinnamon, nutmeg, or another garnish on hand, sprinkle some on top. (Yum!) The size I have makes two average-sized cappuccinos, so it’s perfect for a couple, or one caffeine junkie. And since all the components come apart, and there are only three major pieces, it’s easy to clean ““ and this is from someone who has to do all her dishes by hand.

The moral of the story is the Mukka is awesome. It’s easy to use, easy to clean, and it makes an at-home cappuccino that is just as good as the more elaborate home machines. While it’s a little expensive, it’s certainly less of an investment than the whole shebang. The only possible drawback is that you don’t have quite as much control over every step like you do with a full espresso/cappuccino machine, but you could probably play around with the levels of the ingredients to get a little customization. I’d also recommend getting high-quality grounds and using an espresso roast, rather than your usual coffee beans, so you get a nice strong flavor.

Cheers!

Photo: bialetti.it

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