Bialetti Hot Chocolate Maker & Milk Frother
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Bialetti's Hot Chocolate Maker produces incredibly rich and creamy cups of hot chocolate with very little effort. For an easy warm treat, simply fill the clear upper chamber with milk and shaved choc
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
PROS; Does EXACTLY what it say it does! In 2 minutes flat, this amazing machine will turn 4-6 oz of milk and 2-4 tblspns of Chocolate into a thick, heavily foamed, piping hot mixture of pure delight!
CONS; The machine has numerous design flaws, and must be treated with care and attention. The lid hinge appears to be permanently attached to the top of the device and gives one the feeling that it could break at any time. The top of the machine where the mixing gets done is made of plastic instead of glass (which would have been a nicer choice in my opinion), and gives one the feeling that it could very easily break and most certainly scratch unless handled with care. The main control knob can be extremely difficult to turn, especially with wet hands.
I knew NOTHING about drinking chocolate until a few months ago. I live in the North Eastern US, and we have been getting hammered with snow late in the season, and for some reason, out of nowhere, I developed a craving for hot Cocoa, went and picked up some Swiss Miss or some such from my grocery store. After sampling the watery mixture, I decided to see if Amazon had listings for a more gourmet version of the beverage, and after literally hours of reading, discovered that there was a wonderful drink out there, far superior to pre-packaged cocoa mixes called DRINKING CHOCOLATE! After hours of comparing the machines, the mixes, and reviews, I decided to buy this machine. I am extremely pleased with my purchase.
That being said, I must tell you that even more important than the machine, is the proper choice of chocolate. I purchased the Ghirardelli Chocolate Gift Set with Drinking Chocolate and Ceramic Mugs along with the machine, and it proved to be an very good choice. The mugs are demitasse sized, and the chocolate was exquisite. I was lucky in my choice, because having burned through the 12 ozs of the Ghirardellit product, I decided to follow some recommendations I saw online, and was sadly disappointed in my next Drinking Chocolate purchase, HOWEVER, this is the JOY of this machine; With some reading, you can enter into a world of MANY choices of chocolate, and proceed to find your own favorite, KNOWING it has been prepared PERFECTLY by this machine.
I have to go into some of the problems with the machine, because in some respects and for the price charged, the design flaws are almost ridiculous. I noticed the number one complaint with the machine is that it overflows and splashes out. I have to put this down to American users making HUGE batches of product in the machine, instead of the tiny serving sizes a properly made drinking chocolate demand. I noticed immediately that the mixer is graduated up to 32 ozs and this is only about half way up the side. Given the fury with which this machine mixes the beverage, I can easily someone, not using the machine for the purpose it was intended, making 2-3 American size servings of hot cocoa and ending up with an overflow. TO BE CLEAR; This machine can easily make a wonderful mug of hot cocoa, however, since it was designed to make DRINKING CHOCOLATE, a beverage containing large amounts of calories and fat, and intended to be consumed in small amounts, the user needs to be careful and above all, aware of the differences in beverage type.
I was very happy that the Ghirardelli Chocolate Gift Set with Drinking Chocolate and Ceramic Mugs that I purchased with the machine kind of informed me as to what an appropriate serving size is.
My experience with the machine has taught me VERY quickly that this machine DEMANDS great care in its use. Be prepared to deal with a lot of noise, vibration, and having to handle and clean the machine like you are handling a baby.
Having said all this, I must confess that when I got the machine, unpacked it, plugged it in and attached the top to the base, put in the agitator, added my milk and my fancy chocolate, turned the impossible knob to "2 minutes" and got over the amazing amount of fury that is immediately unleashed, I was HOOKED. The bottom of the top of the machine is coated in teflon, and the bottom of the top actually contains the heating element. The bottom part contains the motor and the power supply. What happens is the chocolate is melted almost instantly, and the rest of the mixing cycle is spent whipping the mixture. I found with some experimentation in proportions, I was able to produce a foam that was almost like a mousse without ever using the milk foamer attachment (which I have yet to use).
The long and the short of this all is, if you want to take a step into a wonderful realm of the most amazing hot beverage you may ever have in your life, do a little reading, be prepared to pamper the machine, pony up the 100$ + appx 25$ for a high quality chocolate, and come on over!