Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Bialetti Review: This Mini Espresso Made Me Love Making Iced Lattes at Home

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Recreating the coffee shop drinks that you love at home has always been difficult for me. It’s hard to beat the quality of coffee beans and expensive coffee machinery that come from coffee shops. Trust me, I tried changing up the coffee beans, milk types, and different forms of coffee machines. And when businesses were shut down this past year my daily coffee shop visits were halted completely. While I fell in love Dalgona Coffee I preferred something stronger. Luckily, when I discovered this handy espresso machine by Bialetti it became my go-to coffee drink at home.

Bialetti is an Italian brand that was founded by Alfonso Bialetti in the early 1920s. The coffee-making brand produces everything from its own coffee beans to coffee makers and a line of coffee in capsules. It’s most popular and well-known item is the Bialetti Moka Coffee Maker. Its simplistic and functional design has made it a staple in kitchens across the world. The Mini Express is a variation of the Moka. I’ll dive into what makes it unique and why it’s worth adding to your kitchen.

Out of the Box

Image used with permission by copyright holder

As the name suggests the espresso machine is super small but it’s also very sturdy. The directions on the box were very simple — though in Italian. The language barrier wasn’t a big deal because a simple Google search told us everything we needed to know. I grabbed this set in red because it was on sale and I love a great espresso machine deal but there are many designs available online such as aluminum design or a green cup set.

This machine does not come with the Illy Classico Espresso Ground Coffee but I definitely recommend buying it to pair with this.


Image used with permission by copyright holder

The components of the machine are comprised of three parts: the bottom heater or pot for water, the funnel for coffee grounds, and the top with the aluminum plates for you to place your two cups. There are several features of this machine that make it an excellent piece.

First off, the bottom pot has a distinctive eight-sided shape which allows your coffee to diffuse heat and perfectly enhances its aroma. The top seals tightly, which helps evenly distribute the coffee beans so that water is infused evenly. You don’t have to worry about a coffee distributor. And the aluminum saucer helps keep your two shots warm if you leave it on after brewing.

How it Works

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Bialetti made it all very simple. The same rules as using a regular Moka pot apply for this tiny two-cup pot.

Start by filling up the pot with cold water but don’t overfill it. I normally fill only fill around 3/4  or up to the safety valve for a one cup iced latte or a cortado. Next add your espresso to the funnel. One ounce is a shot of espresso, two ounces make a double shot. You don’t have to press hard after adding to the funnel because as mentioned, the sealing helps distribute the espresso throughout. Seal your machine and place one cup on either side. Turn on your stovetop to low heat. I made the mistake of using medium to high heat and the handle melted slightly. The flame should not go over the rim of the machine. Then simply wait for your coffee to brew. You need to stay nearby because while it does make some noise, it’s not very loud and you don’t want your espresso machine to burn. It should only take around 5-7 minutes depending on the amount you’re making.

I made my iced latte by filling a cup with ice, adding my choice of milk which is the Califia Farms Almond Milk, and then adding my two espresso shots. I add a pump of Tarrani Caramel Syrup for some light added sweetness and mix. It makes a perfect iced latte.

The only con in evaluating this espresso machine is that it can cause a mess if you brew too much espresso. I place a paper towel underneath sometimes to fix this but it is an issue that might come up when brewing.

To take care of the Mini Espresso, make sure to only hand wash and check that the holes on the funnel filter plate are thoroughly washed.


Image used with permission by copyright holder

I’ve had the Bialetti Mini Espresso Machine for over a year now and other than the tiny melted mark on the handle from my initial use it’s in perfect shape. I especially love that it’s super small for my tiny kitchen apartment. At just $40 it’s definitely worth the price if you calculate how much you’ll be saving from visiting coffee shops.

Most days I’m only making coffee for myself and it provides the just the right amount. If you’re just one or two people in an apartment you’ll appreciate this device. And while this machine isn’t for a huge family or group it definitely makes for a great conversation starter. Impress your friends with some quality Italian espresso the next time they’re around.

In short, making my own coffee at home was never fun until I discovered this unique two cup espresso machine and now I fully enjoy my iced lattes at home.

Editors' Recommendations

Jenifer Calle
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jenifer was a Commerce Editor, updating readers on the best deal and products to shop on the internet. Formerly a writer for…
Our chimichurri recipe takes seconds to make, lasts for weeks in the fridge, and is great with everything
Seriously, this chimichurri recipe is just so darn easy!
Plated steak dish

If you've never had homemade chimichurri, you've been missing out on one of the brightest, tangiest, zippiest, most delicious sauces in the culinary kingdom. Perhaps even more significant than its exquisite flavor is the fact that it's tremendously simple and risk-free to prepare, making it a rare jewel in the sauce crown. With just a few simple ingredients thrown into a blender or food processor, this luxurious condiment comes out perfect every time. No need for temperature control or worries of breaking or curdling. This forgiving chimichurri sauce recipe is divinely idiot-proof and perfect on everything from a hearty grilled ribeye to delicately fresh and briny shellfish.

With the help of a good blender (we recommend Breville's Super Q Pro), this simple chimichurri sauce comes together in just seconds and will keep in your fridge for weeks, waiting to be poured on all of your favorite dishes.

Read more
5 incredible tequila recipes you’ve definitely never heard of
Have you ever heard of these tequila drinks and applications?
Corralejo Tequila Tropical being mixed with.

Tequila has always been an incredibly popular drink, especially when it's mixed into a variety of cocktails. Better still, the agave spirit is a lot more versatile than you might think. Sure, we've all heard of and even mixed up a few margaritas or some tasty Palomas. But what of lesser-known applications, like cocktails kissed with bittersweet amari or salsas for dipping?

With several distinctive styles, from blanco to reposado, tequila's uses are many. The lightest versions can perfectly accent an unbelievably refreshing batch of ranch water. Darker, aged versions can be used to cook with or join unexpected ingredients in your cocktail shaker. Want some proof? Check out some great, lesser-known tequila recipes below.

Read more
How to make hard cider (it’s not as complicated as you think)
Making your own hard cider is a surprisingly easy and an incredibly fun new skill to learn
Hard apple cider in a glass, surrounded by apples.

There's never a bad time to start drinking hard apple cider. Not only is it a wonderfully different, crisp, and refreshing adult beverage to enjoy, but making your own hard cider at home can be an incredibly fun hobby. If you're looking to try something new, consider learning how to make your own hard apple cider.

As much as we'd like to talk about beer, that's not what we're here for — not right now, at least. We're talking hard cider here, which is not only as tasty as beer, but it's also simpler to make in the confines of your home/apartment/Quonset hut. Read on and start brewing your own hard apple cider.

Read more