Let’s talk about the question I googled way too many times last month…does the Brikka produce crema?
Last month, my espresso maker finally kicked the can. Adam had it for years before we met, and it had seen the better part of a decade or more — which is more than outliving the lifespan for a base model espresso maker, which retails for just over $100. It did its job, and I would highly recommend for anyone not sure if they’re ready to invest.
But with its demise, came an opportunity to upgrade. And that upgrade required research, research that I couldn’t do overnight. In the meantime, I needed something inexpensive to tide me over. Somewhere, I came across the Bialetti Brika.
Now, if you’ve been here for a while, you know that I loved my Moka Pot. Until I accidentally forgot it was on the stove one day and melted the bottom. I cheaped out and tried to replace it with a $19 Amazon version…which is not the same. At all. Yet, I still haven’t replaced it with the real thing, so there was also a missing hole in my coffee routine there. Again, enter the Bialetti Brika.
How is the Bialetti Brikka Different From the Moka Pot?
The Bialetti Brika generally looks like the Moka Pot, but the key difference is inside. There is a valve in the middle that increases the pressure with which the coffee is pushed up from the bottom. That produces a crema, which you typically do not get with a regular coffee maker.
What Did I Think of the Bialetti Brikka at First?
Didn’t get it. I thought, okay, cool, this is like a Moka Pot except the top is open, so if I don’t remove it in time, it erupts all over my stovetop…
And I don’t see any crema. To be honest, I could not figure out how to get crema from it the first week or two I used it. The only reason I chose to keep it was that the coffee is bold, dark, and smooth. There’s a different flavor from this versus any other type of coffee, Moka Pot, French Press, Pour Over or otherwise.
Is There a Trick to Using the Bialetti Brikka?
So, a few weeks in, I finally started to get it. There are a few tricks, and this is not a low effort cup of coffee. First, grind fresh beans to an espresso grind or finer. Then, fill the cold water up exactly to the line on the plastic cup that comes with the Brikka. Use filtered water, if possible.
Fill the ground coffee almost to the top of the basket, but don’t press it down! Just level it off.
Put it over medium heat and let it slowly heat up, then turn it up a bit higher. Just as it starts to gurgle, reduce the heat back. Pour before it gurgles over!
So, Does the Brikka Produce Crema?
Yes! It’s not going to be as rich or as thick as what you’ll get from a standard espresso machine, but if you follow the tricks above, the Brikka does produce crema, in addition to a bold, deep flavor that can’t be beat.