Cuisinox Liberta 6 cup Espresso Coffeemaker
- 6 cup capacity
- Heavy gauge 18/10 stainless steel
- Induction base
- 1 extra gasket & reducer included
- Sizes based on 1-1/2 ounce "cups"
COFL6 Size: 6 cup Features: -Coffeemaker.-Induction base.-Sizes based on 1.5 ounce ''cups''.-Material: Heavy gauge 18 / 10 stainless steel.-Cleaning and care: Dishwasher safe. Color/Finish: -Mirror finish.
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First time I used this, I made coffee with Seattle's Best Dark Roast and it came out PERFECT! Tasted just like espresso from a local coffee shop or a Starbucks. I thought I'd finally found the perfect espresso maker. Second time I used it, I walked away and left it on too long, the coffee burnt, and the bottom half now has a lovely burnished-copper look to it. Third time the coffee tasted burnt. I couldn't believe burning the coffee once could cause the maker to brew future pots with a burnt taste.... so I got on the internet and looked up "espresso burnt flavor" or some combination of search terms. Turns out, making espresso is a fine art. There are many many variables.... the type of coffee, ratio of water to coffee, how fluffy vs. packed the grounds are in the maker, the temperature of the water, the temperature the brew reaches.... it's no wonder it's so difficult to make the perfect cup. Now I allow the coffee grounds to fall into the holder, and very gently smooth it flat without tamping it, use cold water from faucet, and as soon as I hear the coffee maker, I turn it off. It gurgles up into the coffee reservoir without hardly a sound... when it starts making a loud audible noise, that is partially sucking air.
The insert for making a half pot works well. Just be careful not to throw it in the trash with the grounds.... very easy to do until you get accustomed to pulling it out. I had to dig through a full garbage bag to find it at the bottom.
I purchased the Cuisinox Liberta because of the good reviews and cute style. It seems to be well made and I liked that it came with an extra gasket. I was a little intimidated by all of the instructions and thought there would be a lot of trial-and-error involved, but found this not to be the case. As instructed by the manufacturer, I threw out the first cup of coffee. Right from the start I used a dark, fresh ground locally-roasted coffee and experimented with several blends. My first attempts were a little too strong so I just cut back on the amount of coffee that I use.
It makes awesome coffee and I love it!
First the name - espresso needs 9 atm pressure and temps 88-92 Celsius, among other conditions. Making consistently good espresso at home without $2K plus in equipment and lots of effort is mostly not possible.
The moka pot works by forcing hot water up a funnel atop which sit the coffee grounds. The water is forced up by steam pressure but steam does not go through the grounds. The extracted coffee then goes up a spout and collects in the top chamber.
This moka pot is well made and looks good. If the handle doesn't fall off due to torque (the box says to avoid screwing the pot using the handle) I don't see why this shouldn't last a long time. I purchased this instead of the other aluminum ones because it's made of 18/10 steel.
I find that grinds somewhat finer than drip work well. You don't need an expensive grinder - I use a Zassenhaus hand mill - but you can experiment with how dark a roast you want and how fine the grinds should be. You should not pack the grinds in tightly or tamp. Again a bit of trial and error makes it easy to do it right after a couple of tries.
I use medium heat and stop the extraction by dunking the bottom in cold water before bubbles start to appear in the top spout. The brew is fairly concentrated and I find it makes enough for at most two people.
The one negative I find is that the top spout is hard to clean, you need a thin bottle brush which fits into the spout. You definitely need to clean it regularly, as coffee oils will accumulate and go rancid after some time. The rest of it is easy to clean, and there is an extra gasket included.
I use it on my induction cooktop on the 7 inch burner and it works great. At the time when I purchased the cooktop, I was not aware that the diameter of the pot had to cover at least 2/3 of the diameter of the burner otherwise I might not have bought a stovetop coffeemaker. Fortunately, even though it does not cover even 1/2 the surface of the cooking element, this coffeemaker works. It might be the amount of iron on the base since it certainly feels heavy (in a good quality kind of way). I am very happy with this purchase!
UPDATE 4/4/14: Due to my first induction cooktop repeatedly giving me trouble (Whirlpool for Ikea), I changed to a higher-end brand of induction cooktop (Jenn-Air 36 inch), also made by Whirlpool...). I called to make sure that my coffeemaker would work with their burners and they said that they did not see why not since it was made by the same brand. Well, it turns out that it does not! The sensors do not detect this coffeemaker!!! This is very frustrating because I love the coffeemaker and now I will have no use for it... (sigh). Which leaves me with no other choice than buying a countertop espresso machine.... Let's see what DH has to say about that...