Bialetti knock off at Ross was cardboard.
In years past we have burned through Bialettis, Mr Coffees, and a Francis Francis (it was so beautiful) but over time I quit enjoying the taste and went back to my coffee roots. It doesn't help that my husband has a "More is more!" attitude and makes/cooks everything ever stronger as the years go by. I realize its really nice of him to do this and that's probably why I drank cappuccinos for a couple of years after I ceased to enjoy them.
(on my Flickr)
But this time around I googled how to use the knock off espresso maker so I wouldn't get that metallic taste. (I know, I google everything. I even dream about googling.)
First, I vowed to always take it all the way apart and clean after every use. This may curb my caffeine habit, but so be it. Then, I ground the beans for 16 seconds or so, intermittently, so they wouldn't burn. I filled the coffee basket, but didn't tamp. I kept the heat on medium and pulled the pot as soon as the espresso began gurgling up, so it wouldn't burn.
With just a touch of sugar it was perfection. I felt like I could finally rest on the inside after a month of appetite soul- searching.