The Bialetti 06800 Stovetop Coffee Maker: Our Review Of This Modern Classic

by | Oct 22, 2019

Now and then, everyday household gadgets are transformed. Take the simple coffee pot. Anyone who loves coffee is likely to have encountered a Moka pot, even if they call it something else – and the most iconic of all is the coffee pot designed by Bialetti.

Bialetti 06800 Review

The iconic shape of  owes at least some of its design to the Art Deco movement. With its clean lines and distinctive octagonal shape, it’s instantly recognizable. The design incorporates an upper chamber, a lower chamber, a filter, and a gasket, as well as a reassuring, built-in safety valve. (Bialetti was an engineer.)

You’ll find a Bialetti in just about every Italian home, as well as in millions of dwellings around the world. By 2016, over 300 million coffee makers of this design had been sold globally. Despite its simplicity, the elegance of the design means you can produce espresso-quality coffee in the comfort of your own home, relatively quickly and very easily.



Bialetti Attention To Detail

Although Alfonso Bialetti patented the stovetop espresso coffee maker, and his engineering background shows in the design, it was his son Renato who turned it into a worldwide phenomenon. Renato was allegedly the inspiration for the pictograph of the little man with the mustache, or “l’Omino con i baffi,” found on every Bialetti device. His sense of humor was apparent even at his funeral: his ashes were buried in a replica coffee pot.

So how do you use a Bialetti espresso maker to create coffee that, if it isn’t quite espresso, is nevertheless fragrant and delectable? It certainly brews an intense, beautiful coffee that is closer to espresso than it is to an Americano. We take you through the features of , a coffee maker so iconic that it is even one of the exhibits in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


Making Coffee With The Bialetti 06800: Stovetop Espresso Method

As with all coffee-making methods that utilize coffee beans, whether fresh or pre-ground, we need to choose our coffee carefully. With the majority of stovetop coffee makers, you’ll get the best result with a medium, regular grind coffee, and fresh water.

Before you start, ideally the coffee maker needs to be clean and dry, so that the seal between the two parts is as firm as possible. Since this brewing method uses pressure as the extraction method, this is essential. Add water to the pot, ensuring that the water does not exceed the safety valve mark, and then add freshly ground coffee to the funnel.

Once the funnel is full and smooth, place the Bialetti 06800 on the heat source. This can be gas, electricity, ceramic induction hob, or camping stove. Start with a low to medium heat, and be patient as you wait for the water to boil, and the coffee to percolate. If using gas, you need to make sure that the flames don’t extend beyond the base.

We especially like the gurgling sound this coffee maker produces: it almost sounds like the device is concentrating. (We know it might sound a little odd to say coffee makers have personality, but this one really does.)

Once the upper pot is around 75% full, take the mechanism away from the heat source. Give the contents of the upper chamber a stir once the coffee is brewed, and wait for it to cool before serving.


Design Features of the Bialetti 06800

We just adore the sleek, distinctive lines of . This Moka stovetop coffee maker is in the traditional octagonal shape, and yet it’s extremely compact, so it can be happily stowed away into the tiniest of corners. We also like the jolly image on the exterior: we know that coffee is a serious business, but it’s also supposed to be fun.

As this coffee maker is composed of aluminum, it is exceptionally light, and the dimensions mean it can fit into the tiniest kitchen area. At just over 1.5 pounds in weight, and measuring a truly tiny 4 by 4 by 9 inches, it’s small enough to slip into your bag to take with you on vacation, or even to have with you in the workplace.


Care And Maintenance

Looking after your Bialetti 06800 couldn’t be simpler. Simply clear out the coffee grounds, disassemble and wash the coffee maker in warm water with a gentle detergent. Ensure it’s completely clean and dry before sealing the two halves together. This approach will result in perfect coffee every time. We wouldn’t recommend putting this item through the dishwasher: handwashing is the safest option to keep it looking lovely.


Pros & Cons Of The Bialetti Moka Pot

What we really like

✔ This Italian coffee maker is made of sturdy, polished aluminum

✔ The classic Bialetti coffee pot shape makes this an attractive addition to any kitchen

It’s a very compact and light moka pot

The Bialetti 06800 Moka stovetop coffee maker is exceptionally easy to clean

This is a very affordable small luxury

How can you not love the “Omino con i baffi”, or the little man with the mustache?

What we don't like

✗ This Bialetti Moka express is not dishwasher-safe

✗ You will need to wash this Moka coffee pot by hand

✗ To avoid scratching the device, you need to ensure you avoid abrasive cleaners

✗ You need to keep a careful eye on how high the heat is to avoid scorching

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Bialetti stovetop coffee makers literally become part of the family, and that certainly applies to this model. Thousands of online reviews from delighted owners attest to its quality. Over the years an estimated 330 million of the units have been sold around the world. The figures speak for themselves.


The Bialetti 06800: Alternative Options

Sure, is iconic, and would look at home on pretty much any stovetop, but we always like to compare our favorites with a couple of other options before we go ahead and purchase. And a couple of excellent alternatives are outlined below.

With any Moka pot method of making coffee, you do need to ensure you have sufficient time on your hands to prepare your beverage. Your drink will still be ready in, on average, under 10 minutes.


We’re sticking with Bialetti for our first alternative choice. looks a little different from the 06800, although it performs just as well. The Kitty doesn’t have that iconic octagonal form often associated with Bialetti; the sleek curves of this Moka pot give it an altogether softer appearance. You’ll be glad to know that the “little man with the mustache” is still there, though, just engraved into the stainless steel.

That’s right: while the Bialetti 06800 is made from aluminum, much of the Kitty is made from stainless steel (this may vary between suppliers). The handle is stainless steel, covered with a hard bakelite type plastic for insulation and safety. The capacity is up to 10 cups at once, or 20 fluid ounces, This compact device measures just 6 x 5 x 9.5 inches high. Although it’s on the pricier side for a Bialetti, it represents outstanding value for money.


We also love – and not just because of its glorious name. It looks a lot like the Bialetti Kitty at first glance, but there are several differences. From a price point of view, it’s usually considerably cheaper than the Kitty, so this is a great budget choice. You still get a lot of stainless steel coffee pot for your cash.

This stovetop espresso maker comes in three different sizes: 4 cups, 6 cups, and 9 cups. We looked at the 4-cup version. It’s charmingly petite, measuring just 4.3 inches by 5.5 lengthwise and widthways, and just 9.4 inches tall. It weighs less than half a pound and makes a perfect companion for vacations or to keep you going on a dull day in the office.


To compare the 06800 Bialetti model with other stovetop espresso makers, you can read our ultimate 2023 guide with all stovetops listed below.

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Should You Buy A Bialetti 06800 Stovetop Espresso Maker?

Our answer to this question is a resounding yes, you should buy . You’re not just purchasing a piece of kitchen equipment that is, for serious lovers of the dark caffeinated brew, as essential as good coffee beans. You’re also acquiring one of the small but mighty engineering achievements of the 20th century.

It’s a cost-effective, elegant way to enjoy not just drinking coffee, but the whole ritual. And when a Moka pot is so iconic you can find an example in one of the world’s top art museums, it’s safe to agree that every home should have one.


  Last update on 2023-06-02 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

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