De'Longhi is no stranger to innovation. Founded in 1902 as a modest industrial parts manufacturing workshop, the Italian company has now become a successful global brand. Historically known as a major producer of portable heaters and air conditioners, the company is also recognized for their robust coffee makers.
In this review, we'll be checking out their modernized version of Bialetti's trusty Moka pot, the Alicia EMK6 Electric Espresso Maker.
About the Product
At first glance, the electric espresso maker looks exactly like a pimped up version of the traditional stovetop. But instead of an aluminum top, this one has a transparent plastic coffee container that allows users to conveniently watch over the brewing process.
To be honest it's fairly easy to operate and the illuminated push-button notifies the user when the unit is in action. As for the number of cups you can make using the EMK6, the included filter adapter allows you to choose between 3 or 6 cups of rich espresso.
Additionally, keeping the coffee warm won't be a problem because the unit has a 30-minute keep warm feature that prevents your espresso from getting cold. Safety wise, the unit has an automatic shutoff switch that prevents burning and eventual overflow from the plastic carafe.
It also has a two-level safety system that ensures that the espresso maker turns off after use or if the container is lifted from the aluminum boiler.
Speaking of its design, the Delonghi EMK6 Alicia Electric Moka Espresso Coffee Maker devoid itself from complicated curves and arches. True to its Moka pot roots, the aluminum boiler takes its inspiration from Bialetti's trademark look.
Its base is highlighted by a matte black finish with the exception of the button surrounded by a silver layer. The words Alicia are etched in a cursive manner on the bottom and the transparent plastic coffee container gives it the final modernistic look.
Notably, the EMK6 is fairly compact and with a standing dimension of 10.4 x 8.1 x 5.5 inches, it does not take that much space on an average kitchen countertop. It's also light enough to carry around considering it only weighs 2.9 pounds.
Durability wise De'Longhi claims that the boiler is made of high-grade aluminum and the plastic used on the EMK6 is BPA free. Speaking of longevity, some owners claim that they've used the unit for several years now and there haven't been any problems whatsoever.
What We Like
To put it differently, the EMK6 is not your average Moka top, but it still functions like the former without the burner or an external heating element. In other words, it spares you of the fuss and messiness of a conventional stovetop. To tell you frankly, this is probably why we like it so much.
Plus its fairly easy to operate and it does not require any supervision since it has an automatic shutoff feature. The illuminated button also comes in handy and its subtle design is perfect for conventional and traditional households.
The two-way safety feature is also one of its best assets. Conventional Moka pots require a lot of supervision and at times, overheating units can cause severe burns if improperly handled. On the other hand, the EMK6 prevents overheating through a sensor switch that turns off the unit after use. The aluminum boiler also shuts off if you lift the plastic carafe.
Another thing worth the mention is its economical price tag. Sold for $50 in most online retail stores, it's easily one of the best Moka top hybrids that you can buy under the $100 range.
What Could Be Better
As much as the EMK6 being a well-rounded Moka hybrid, there are several things that got our attention. If you're not a big fan of plastic, you're certainly not alone.
The unit pretty much steeps in great tasting espresso but after a few runs, we've noticed a strange taste that could have come from the plastic container. Not that we're saying that its the likely source, several users have posted that it could be the possible culprit.
We've tried dozens of plastic carafe's before and this is the first time that we've encountered this issue. Luckily, all of De'Longhi's products are BPA free, and they've guaranteed that they are made out of high-grade materials, but you just can't get over the strange flavor coming out of the container.
There are a plethora of coffee makers available on the market today. Choosing one can get tricky, but you'll always have to keep in mind that having a checklist of the things you want for a coffee maker can considerably make the choice easier.
If you're looking to brew the old-fashioned way, the Moka top is pretty much the best option. With this in mind, there actually two types to choose from.
If you want it done the traditional way, Bialetti's 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker or better known as the Moka Express might just be the one for you. But if you don't want the mess brought by the classic coffee maker, the Alicia EMK6 Electric Espresso Maker is highly recommended.
Despite its age, the Moka top is still one of the most sought-after coffee makers in the world. It pretty much set the standard for homebrewed coffee. However other people might find the process tedious and wearisome.
If you're looking to brew coffee using a stovetop, but don't want your hands to get messy and all tied up, the EMK6 is just the thing for you.