Friday, August 20, 2010

Bialetti Venus 4-Cup Stovetop Percolator

Bialetti Venus 4-Cup Stovetop Percolator Review

I've owned one of these for about 5 years now and it still works great. It's beautiful, compact, fast, and doesn't leave a weird taste like aluminum can. I've never had problems with the gasket or handle and it's been through a lot. I've even taken it car camping and used it over fire. Unfortunately, it's much too heavy for backpacking.

You should be mindful the handle though. It's the only non-metal part so don't use the handle as a grip to open it, you could damage it. I also make a point of never having the handle over direct heat if I can, be it an electric range or flames of some type. That's easy to forget because of it's compact size.

The only real down side is you have to watch it closely because it works super fast. I left it on the stove way too long once and damaged the stainless coating on the inside, but it still works great. The damage is cosmetic and only on the inside. Now I just dry it out well to make sure it won't rust before storing it. (All stainless steel is rust resistant, NOT rust proof. Too much heat or certain chemicals can damage it and make it rust as badly as normal steel.)

Bialetti Venus 4-Cup Stovetop Percolator Feature

  • Easy to Use
  • Fits right on the stovetop
  • Produces great tasting espresso
  • Ready in 4-5 minutes
  • Stainless Steel Construction

Bialetti Venus 4-Cup Stovetop Percolator Overview

Stainless steel, stovetop espresso maker produces 4 cups of rich, authentic Italian espresso in just 4-5 minutes.

Available at Amazon Check Price Now!

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Customer Reviews

Handle Dislodged from Coffee Maker on First Pour! - Mr. Breakfast -
This espresso maker has a plastic handle that has been injection molded to a small piece of metal on the side of the coffee maker. On our very first use of the espresso maker, the handle dislodged from the coffee maker! My wife was pouring at the time and coffee went everywhere. Thankfully no one got scalded by flying hot coffee and we were able to clean up the mess. I examined the coffee pot afterwards and in my opinion the design of the handle and how it is molded around a small piece of metal on the coffee maker base is very poor workmanship. You might think that we may have had the temperature too hot, but in fact we set the temperature on 4.5 out of 7. We probably just got a defective pot, but the poor design of the handle made me decide to return it and not replace it. I decided to post a review here because I saw one other person had the same problem. I'm still interested in getting a Bialetti because I have had a great experience with my Aluminum pot, but do not recommend the Venus model.

fast, easy and cute. - P. Oliver - Denver, CO
This little espresso maker is easy to use, cleans up nicely and makes a good cup o' jo! My review is for the 4cup version and keep in mind that the cup sizes are meant to be those tiny little italian espresso cups. I actually use the whole serving for one large latte. If I fill the bottom above the steam release valve (the specified fill line) I can get enough coffee for my latte and a small cup for my husband. If purchasing again, I would get the 6 or 8 cup (if available) just so that I don't have to make multiple brews for company.

All-in-all, I love it! It is easy to clean, looks sharp, and is functioning properly after a month or two of everyday use.

Awful Indian-made quality! - Alessandro Sacco -
Buyers beware: this coffee maker may bear the Italian name Bialetti, but it's made in India and hence its awful quality doesn't even resemble the same product sold in Italy. I am from Italy and I first bought the same coffee maker (only the 2-cup version) there a few years ago. Its quality was flawless and professional, even though the funnel you put the coffee in is made of aluminum, not stainless steel (I called Bialetti to find out for sure, I'm not speculating here). After moving to the US, I wanted to get the 4-cup version of this coffee maker and I bought it on Amazon.

As soon as I received it, I noticed the gasket seal was too loose (unlike the one found on the 2-cup version) and didn't even fit the filter properly (it doesn't hold the filter tightly in place, therefore allowing the water to flow into places where it doesn't belong, and possibly ruining your coffee). This is no small matter but a serious design flaw. Because of Bialetti's reputation, however, I thought I had maybe got a defect and therefore I sent the coffee maker back to Amazon and placed a replacement order for the same product. Upon receiving it, alas, I realized that the 2nd coffee maker had exactly the same loose gasket seal problem, and was actually even WORSE than the 1st in that both the filter and the funnel had some stains (they looked like rust stains, but they could simply be stains due to poor Indian manufacturing). Still determined not to give up on this product, I made some coffee, the same way I always make it, to test its performance. The results: even with the burner on high heat (as suggested in the product's instructions), it took no less than 10 MINUTES for the coffee to start gurgling! The coffee flow wasn't smooth or steady at all: it spewed out coffee off and on, and it seemed as though the coffee maker was about to blow up (this is quite likely due to the loose gasket seal)! Before the coffee even came out, steam started to flow out of the bottom (which isn't that bad: you could use the steam to warm your milk and make some frothy cappuccino!!!). Since the coffee smelled awfully burned (is that any wonder after boiling for over 10 minutes?), I didn't even dare taste it.

To make a long story not quite as long as it really is, and to put it as charitably as possible, this coffee maker leaves much to be desired, features extremely low performance/poor quality, and is deceitfully marketed as being 100% stainless steel. I sent it back to Amazon already and requested a full refund. Need I add more?

What Amazon should do: (1) Correctly display the product's info (Made in India, funnel made of aluminum and not stainless steel, etc.). What buyers should do (if possible): test and check out this product in person before wasting time and money on it. Good luck to all of you.

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