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Product Review: Cafe Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker

The Cafe Milano Espresso Maker is a great stovetop Moka pot that brews fresh espresso coffee easily for great tasting espresso drinks without all the expense of an espresso machine.

Ease of Use/Performance: 20/25

Convenience/Storage 20/25

Appearance/Design 22/25

How much I enjoy 24/25

Total: 86/100

The Cafe Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker from Bonjour is a great espresso Moka pot that is inexpensive and comes in three different sizes. The Cafe Milano comes in 3, 6 and 9 cup sizes and is a two part stove top espresso maker that uses percolation to brew the ground coffee.

The Cafe Milano has several integral parts including the main filter that is funnel shaped and the upper filter that keeps most of the grounds out of the coffee after its brewed. The Cafe Milano works like many other Moka pots with the lower part of the pot for the water that has a pressure release valve on the side.

The hot water that creates steam rises through the filters with the lower main filter holding your ground beans then up through the upper filter and through the tower part in the container. The coffee is brewed easily and quickly for fresh espresso in minutes, usually as quick as water can boil.

I have been using the Cafe Milano for over a month and almost exclusively for the past three weeks for my daily coffee brewing. The Cafe Milano is a quick way to brew espresso, as quick or faster than brewing using a conventional drip coffee maker or can be even using the best single serve coffee maker no pods. Café Milano is one of the best espresso makers in the market.

I have a routine with the Cafe Milano starting with the parts of the Moka pot sitting by my dish strainer cleaned and ready for use. I simply start the grind of my coffee beans in one of my grinders and get the lower part filled with water up to the pressure relief valve.

Once my grinder stops its work I fill the main filter, now in the lower part of the pot, with grounds and assemble the rest of the pot by screwing on the top container. The Moka pot goes on my new gas stove for a quick boil using either the medium or high capacity burners and after two or three minutes my brewing is done.

I try to watch the pot carefully by sticking near the kitchen but at least once I have kind of forgotten the pot brewing on the stove. Needless to say this is one downside to the Cafe Milano, you do have to keep an eye on things and take the pot off when the brewing is almost done.

I use the sound of the steam almost being gone from the bottom of the pot and the higher pitched noise coming from the pot to take the pot off the burner and allow it to finish brewing. I pour my first cup into one of my favorite coffee cups and pour the rest into a smaller thermos container to use later on in another coffee drink.

I usually have frothed milk and some sugar or other flavoring in my drink or just plop a dollop of whipped cream and a bit of sugar in my coffee. The Cafe Milano makes an easy to use espresso maker and cleanup is very easy with a quick rinse of all parts for my usual cleaning.

Once in a while, at least two times a week, I do wash the pot parts and take the rubber gasket and the upper filter out to get all the parts clean and looking like new. The Moka pot does come apart easily without any tools except maybe a butter knife to get the rubber gasket out.

I did have a small problem with the first 6 cup Cafe Milano I did receive, the plating on the first Moka pots main filter had peeled off in one spot but I was able to clean it off and prevent more plating from coming off. I asked the company about this and they sent me another Cafe Milano instead of replacing the part itself.

I now have two Cafe Milano pots, the 6 cup and the 9 cup sizes that both work very well and without any other problems. The plating problem is one that is not a big deal and I have seen this on other metal items in the past from other companies.

Plating is a process that involves many steps to ensure things are done right and having previous manufacturing experience in quality control at a manufacturing plant and having seen plating being done I do understand it. It is easy to have a part here and there that gets plated unevenly and these parts do slip through quality control from time to time so it was not surprising to find this.

Bonjour customer support quickly answered my query and when they found they did not have any 6 cup Cafe Milano Espresso makers in stock they simply asked if I wanted another size and sent it that day. I received the Cafe Milano in a few days and was enjoying the larger pot quickly making my favorite espresso based drinks.

I still can use the smaller 6 cup version as I simply sanded down the peeling plating and it works fine, I just have to make sure I dry out the filter after cleaning. The Cafe Milano makes great coffee and espresso based drinks without the expense of those professional machines.

I find that even though I can receive products like this and more expensive espresso makers I have not been able to receive one of those Barista quality machines. Until I get the chance to check out these better quality machines I am quite happy to use these more affordable and still great espresso makers like the Cafe Milano.

The Cafe Milano 6 cup size costs about $17 and the 9 cup size costs about $20 for a very affordable stovetop espresso maker. I found both online retailers and stores like Creative Kitchen, Target and Bed Bath and Beyond that carry the Bonjour products for easy shopping.

The Cafe Milano makes great espresso coffee and with some good beans in your favorite roast and a good grinder you can make coffee house quality drinks yourself. I highly recommend the Bonjour Cafe Milano for a very affordable and easy to use stovetop espresso maker.