In search of the perfect Mocha machine.

Ok, here's the deal. My wife loves mochas in the morning. The maker she current has is on its last leg. I want to buy her a new one but I want it to be a surprise. I know nothing about coffee and other morning drinks. So I am turning to you for assitance. A few questions...
1. What is a mocha?
2. Will an espresso machine make mochas?
3. What features should I be looking for in a new machine? I know she complains a lot about the big hassle to clean it.
4. Any brands or model to stay away from?
5. Better yet, any brands/models that are highly recommended. ($250 budget.)
6. I will occasionally drink regular coffee in the morning. Can a mocha maker also brew regular coffee?
Thanx to all who respond.
Reply to

Mocha is generally confused with espresso, and the difference is subtle... Where as espresso requires a rather high pressure (130 psi) mocha is extracted more slowly and with a smaller pressure, the pressure produced by boiling water itself. (Espresso machines require pump or piston action)
The process is rather simple, water is boiled in an enclosure, when it reaches a pressure of 5,8-6,9 psi, it is released through a valve, allowing it to flow through the coffe pod. This extraction takes around 60 seconds. Original mocha pots come in two versions, the most basic ones, including the original octagonal, as designed by Alfonso Bialetti in 1933 are for use on stove tops, and starts from 10 USD and up (most expensive models includes designer ones by Allessi and are in the 100+ USD segment) - if you want one that you can use without putting it on a heating element of some kind (gas, kerosene, electrical, whatever) - you can go for one of the units with an integrated heating element - those ship for around 30 USD and up.
Coffee grind has to be slightly fine - somewhere between filter coffee (medium) and espresso machine coffee (super-fine) - if you have your own grinder, adjust so an extraction takes one minute with a full pot (if too fast, grind finer - if too slow make your grind slightly coarser)
As with any coffee ...the machine itself is slightly forgiving about most factors, but what really matters is the quality of coffee and the grind size. So make sure you spend your bucks on freshly roasted coffee ground to the right size - and then you can produce the superb mochas with a 10$ pot!
Kind regards, Claus
Reply to
Claus Trillingsgaard

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