It seems today that about the only acceptable addiction is that of coffee. At least in America, we not only start our days with coffee, but we drink it throughout the day, whether we need it or not. If you’re one of the millions of people who drink at least one cup of coffee a day, have you ever tried going a day without coffee? I have. My head was pounding by two o’clock! It’s no surprise with our lives being so dependent on coffee that we’d come up with a million ways to make it. If you want a strong, rich cup of coffee, or maybe you want to make a cappuccino or latte, your best option is to make espresso.
Espresso is not a type of bean or the roast of the coffee bean, it is actually the method of brewing the coffee. With espresso, the beans are ground super-fine and tamped (packed tightly) into a “portafilter”. The espresso machine forces near-boiling, high-pressure water through the grounds and what results is espresso.1 The problem with espresso is that because it needs such high pressure, the machines making them need to be of good-quality, meaning that they can be pretty expensive. High-quality espresso machines can run from $450 to $4000. I was able to find an affordable one on Amazon, but due to its low-cost, I am weary of its durability. If anyone has tried it out, please let me know how it holds up.
Insert the moka pot, a much more affordable option for brewing espresso. The moka pot can be put on the stove, and when the water in the base starts to boil, the steam is forced through the basket containing the ground coffee. Once passed through the grounds, the steam continues to rise into the collecting chamber at the top of the pot. The result is a velvety-smooth, strong cup of espresso. The most popular moka pot brand is Bialetti, named after Alfonso Bialetti though the inventor of this moka pot was actually Luigi De Ponti. The Bialetti Moka Express comes in multiple sizes: 1-cup, 3-cup, 6-cup, 9-cup, and 12-cup. These all have their different uses, but I think the most versatile is the 6-cup, which is the one that I have.
Bialetti Moka Express Brewing Guide
- Start with your favorite espresso roast coffee. If you’re new to espresso, I would highly recommend Cafe Bustelo Espresso Ground Coffee.
- If you’re using whole beans, you’ll need to grind them into a fine consistency.
- Fill the bottom chamber with boiling water.
- Fill the filter basket with your ground coffee and place it in the bottom chamber.
- Screw the top chamber onto the bottom, but be careful! The bottom chamber will be hot.
- Place your moka pot on the stove at medium heat.
- Keep the lid closed and just trust that your espresso is brewing. The top chamber will fill with espresso and you’ll know it’s done when you hear hissing and bubbling noises coming from the pot.
- Enjoy as straight espresso or use it to create a Macchiato, Cappuccino, Latte, or Americano.
- How to brew the perfect cup of coffee, espresso, latte and other concoctions… by Go Coffee Go
- Feature image by Bill Rice