Basic Cooking: How to Make Espresso on the Stove

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How to make stovetop espresso: Serve and enjoy!

Now, I know that I’m treading on hallowed ground for some, discussing how to make espresso.

Like beer and good wine, espresso is one of those things that folks are very particular about. (Espresso afficionados out there, please be kind!)

I’m not an expert barista�or a super fussy coffee person�by a long shot. I’m just a girl who likes a strong cup of coffee. I drink my coffee and espresso black. And as long as I start with a quality ground espresso, I’m generally very happy.

How to make stovetop espresso: Fill the filter

This how I make espresso at home. (In fact, it’s how I made the espresso that went into my Gentlemen’s Brownies.)

It doesn’t yield quite the same brew that you get from a professional machine or coffeeshop, but this is the way that a lot of us know espresso: Made at home, by an aunt or a grandmother, on the stove, using what’s traditionally known as a moka pot.

I love my trusty stovetop espresso maker. I’ve had it for years and it never fails to make delicious espresso. Mine is made by Bialetti and looks like this:

Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker

The Moka Pot: What does it do and how do you use it?

This little guy is basically a stovetop percolator designed especially for espresso.

Simply fill the bottom with cold water, fill the filter with ground espresso, and set it on the stove to boil and bubble away. As the water heats, it’s forced up through the ground espresso in the filter, and into the empty pot above.

How to make stovetop espresso: Wait for your espresso to brew

Stovetop espresso makers generally don’t make enough pressure to produce a thick, top layer of cream, that mocha-colored, foamy emulsion that you see at cafes.

For homemade, that’s just fine with me. It’s still a mighty fine, strong cup of coffee.

One thing to note about this kind of pot. Depending on how hard your water is, this type of pot can develop a mineral buildup on the inside.

Italian specialty stores sell little tablets meant specifically for getting that deposit off.

If you make your espresso differently, I’d love to what you do.

(Do you only use spring water? What’s your favorite brand of espresso?)

Here’s my method.

A step-by-step guide to making espresso on the stove

Disassemble your pot.

It’ll come in 3 pieces: the bottom chamber that holds the water (left), the filter basket that holds the ground espresso (center) and the top part which holds the brewed espresso (right).

How to make stovetop espresso: Disassemble your pot

Fill the bottom part with cold water.

How to make stovetop espressp: Fill the pot with water

Don’t fill it past the steam valve (that little round brass thingie):

How to make stovetop espresso: Fill the pot with water

Next, nestle the filter basket into its place on the bottom of the pot.

How to make stovetop espresso: Fill the filter basket with coffee

How to make stovetop espresso: Set the filter basket in place

Fill the filter basket with ground espresso.

How to make stovetop espresso: Fill the filter

Fill it right to the top, then smooth the espresso down so it’s fairly level.

How to make stovetop espresso: Fill the filter

Set the top of the espresso pot on the body and screw it tightly into place.

How to make stovetop espresso: Cap your espresso pot

Set the pot on the stove over high-ish heat.

Because it’s a smaller pot, I turn the heat up high enough so that the gas flames cover the bottom of the pot, but don’t lick up the sides.

How to make stovetop espresso: Set the pot on the stove

Keep the lid closed. (I opened mine a few times to snap these pics.)

It will take a few minutes for your water to get hot enough to start brewing the espresso.

After a few minutes, the espresso will start to pour out of the center of the pot.

How to make stovetop espresso: Wait for the espresso to perk

It will trickle out at first.

How to make stovetop espresso: Wait for your espresso to brew

And then pick up in speed and volume.

How to make stovetop espresso: Wait for your espresso to brew

How to make stovetop espresso: Wait for your espresso to brew

When your pot is a little less than halfway brewed, it should be pretty much gushing.

How to make stovetop espresso: Brew the espresso

Peek a little if you like, but do keep the lid closed as it brews.

Once it gets going, the pot fills up very quickly and can spit, sputter and let off a fair amount of steam.

How to make stovetop espresso: Brew the espresso

How to Make Espresso on the Stove: How do you know when the espresso is done?

Good question. Use your ears, then your eyes.

When the espresso is brewing, you’ll hear it bubbling and splashing about in the top of the pot.

When those happy sounds taper off, lift the lid and take a peek. If the espresso has stopped pouring out of the center, your pot is done.

It’s really that simple.

Remove the pot from the heat immediately.

How to make stovetop espresso: Brew the espresso

How to Make Espresso on the Stove: Serve and enjoy!

Now, what you do next depends entirely on how you want to serve your espresso.

You can pour steamed milk into it for a cappuccino.

You could add hot water to it for a cafe americano (one of my favorite things to do).

How to make stovetop espresso: Serve and enjoy!

Or, you can serve it straight in demitasse cups.

How to make stovetop espresso: Serve and enjoy!

Enjoy!

How to Make Espresso on the Stove

Here's how to make espresso on the stove using an old-fashioned moka pot.

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Ingredients

Ground espresso
Cold water

Instructions

  1. Disassemble your Moka pot. It’ll come in 3 pieces: the bottom chamber that holds the water, the filter basket that holds the ground espresso and the top part which holds the brewed espresso.
  2. Fill the bottom part with cold water. Don’t fill it past the steam valve (that little round brass thingie).
  3. Next, nestle the filter basket into its place on the bottom of the pot. Fill the filter basket with ground espresso.
  4. Set the top of the espresso pot on the body and screw it tightly into place.
  5. Set the pot on the stove over high-ish heat. Because it’s a smaller pot, I turn the heat up high enough so that the gas flames cover the bottom of the pot, but don’t lick up the sides.
  6. After a few minutes, the espresso will start to pour out of the center spout inside the pot.
  7. When is it done? When the espresso is brewing, you’ll hear it bubbling and splashing about in the top of the pot. When those happy sounds taper off, lift the lid and take a peek. If the espresso has stopped pouring out of the center, your pot is done. It’s really that simple. Remove the pot from the heat immediately.
  8. Serve immediately! Enjoy!
http://www.thehungrymouse.com/2009/02/18/basic-cooking-how-to-make-espresso-on-the-stove/


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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

106 COMMENTS

    • Oh, fantastic! 😀 The other thing I forgot to mention about these pots is how inexpensive they are compared to most espresso machines. You can usually find one of these little guys for $20-$25.

      Cheers!
      +Jessie

  1. mmm. i just adore espresso. when i lived in italy, everyone made it on the stove top. fancy machines were for coffee shops. yours look lovely, i really like the pictures 🙂

  2. Wow. I’ve always wondered how these things work. Despite my caffiene addiction, the coffee bean is a relatively new friend. I can barely use my French Press without injuring myself.

    Thanks for posting this!

    • Hehe, oh happy to help, honey pie. 😀 They’re great fun and make super strong coffee.

      Ya know…I used to have a French press, and I wonder what’s become of it. Hmm.

      *runs down to the basement to look*

      +Jessie

  3. Love those pictures of the steaming cup! Lovely! I actually switched to a stainless steel moka pot because of reading conspiracy theories about aluminum causing health problems. Works just as well as the bialetti.

  4. I make cafe cubano or cafe con leche like this all of the time! Cafe cubano is made the same way except that you mix in sugar to the espresso grinds prior to making your espresso. You *can* add the sugar after brewing but it really does make a noticeable difference. If you wish to do it afterward, it’s best to have sugar already in the cup and stream the espresso in slowly while stirring.

    Cafe con leche is cafe cubano mixed with hot milk. It’s great with breakfast 🙂

    • Oooooh cafe cubano. I totally forgot about that! It’s so, so good!

      Years ago now, I lived around the corner from a little Cuban joint, and they made the most amazing coffee. And now I know how they did it! 😉 Thanks so much for sharing!

      +Jessie

  5. I am one of those people who likes good coffee made in lots of different ways. I won’t even tell you how many coffee makers I have in my home. Sometimes I want a nice strong cup of percolated coffee, other times, something with a good thick crema, and still other times, a press pot of moka pot.

    I will say that I have two moka pots – one aluminum and one stainless steel. If you can find the stainless steel variety and can afford the slightly higher price, I recommend it for a slightly less “metallic” flavor.

  6. That is beautiful and sooooooo fresh I love it, however is missing the espresso crema (for some), there are two ways of achieving this one is to have and identical machine (which I have one) that pours straight into espresso cups, fundamentally working the same way.
    Another is to mix a a coffee spoon with a drop of two of water and mix really well until a creamy white paste is achieved, mix that in with your espresso and there you are, or if you like sugar, put a spoon (tea) of coffee one of sugar again a couple of drops of water mix well till cream paste forms and put a little or all in your espresso. Well done thx for sharing xxx

  7. What a great article and photos, congrats! I just published one on Bialetti on my blog and received a question from one of my readers on how to use the moka! I will send her your way for sure.

    In the meanwhile you are all welcome to take a look and join in over at ItalianNotebook.com (a free daily email from Italy).

    Ciao da Roma!
    GB

  8. Hi,

    What a great picture tutorial! Thanks! I was just wondering how you got that orangy-yellowish colour in your espresso? Mine always turns out black and tastes a little burnt 🙁

    Thanks

    • Thanks so much, Alex!

      Hmmmm, I’m guessing that the color difference might have something to do with the brand espresso you use? Maybe give a different kind a shot. I like Illy Espresso a lot (www.illyusa.com).

      Let me know what you try? 😀

      +Jessie

      • Hmmmm I think i’ll try a different espresso then. I’ve had Illy in Spain, I loved it… I’ll give it a try and report back. In the meantime i’m still trying different techniques to make the best possible espresso with this low-end device.

        I’ve substituted tap water with filtered water to improve the taste, and also shutting off the stove before the brewing is complete. Seems to taste less “burnt” now.

        Thanks for the advice!

        • I just bought a vintage stainless steel 3 cup espresso maker. the thing was never used it only cost me 15 bucks 🙂 I love antique shops.
          To the point: the directions in mine say to use it on medium heat. I’m curious if this might be to keep the burnt or bitter flavor out of the finished product. My friend who had the larger version of the above pot always used high heat.

  9. I love these espresso makers as well. Does anyone know if there is a way to make the espresso even stronger. Could one for example, put the heat a bit lower but for a longer time or something?
    thanks!
    beautiful photos, by the way.
    Brandon

  10. Wow, thank you for this post, it is making me drool for it and now I want to buy one of those cute pots!!! Which brand of grinder do you use to ground up the beans so fine? I have not found one that can grind up the beans to the proper texture. We have Illy in the grocery store, will have to try that brand of beans! 🙂

  11. In a French Press you can make a stronger brew by increasing the ratio of coffe to water.
    For a stronger brew in a Bialetti, you might try brewing a batch. Pour out..set aside to cool…then brew a secong time with fresh grounds.
    THAT should be strong enough..

  12. I would love to try making espresso with one of these machines (great instructions and pics!) but I do not like my coffee pure black. So what is the best way to steam milk at home? Does it have to be “steamed” or just hot? (i.e. can you just throw it in the microwave?) Or do you have to have some sort of special milk-steaming machine?

    • From the surfing I’ve been doing to learn about good (no great) coffee there are milk frothers that you first put in the nuke machine, glass ones that is, and then create the froth by physically irritating the milk in an up and down motion. Have never used one so can’t testify to the results. The reviews I’ve seen seem to be satisfied with the results.

      Jessie, you have done me a great service with this description. Thank you, thank you!!!

  13. This is awesome. I have just been staring at my boyfriend’s esspresso maker (the exact same as yours) for the past 10 minutes, trying to figure out how to use it. Thanks to this post, now I can brag to him later that I made delicious espresso without his help!

  14. The instructions on my Typhoon model say not to use it on a solid top stove. Is that really so? Has anyone else made the espresso on that kind of stove? If it’s not going to work I guess I’ll have to return it to the store. : (

    • i’ve used them on solid top electic stoves with no problems besides some staining on the stove. but if it is a decent stovetop then it should clean up just fine

  15. Thank you for your detailed instructions and techniques. It was exactly what I was looking for. Do you then let the suspended grinds settle before you pour?

    Steve

  16. Old post. Hope you still read the comments.

    I have a question: how do you re-warm the rest of the coffee? Microwave? In the same moka pot?

    • Hiya! I definitely still read the comments! 😀

      I’d rewarm it in the microwave. You could probably use the pot, too, but the microwave is probably easier/faster.

      Best wishes! Thanks for reading.

      +Jessie

  17. Hey, you are the best! I bought the little pot and made 3 brews already. I threw the first 2 away because that’s what the instructions said to do.
    All because of you….I am delighted! Thank you.

  18. In addition to my coffee love, I really love photography 😛

    The pictures are awesome, what kinda camera is this?

    Thanks for posting these awesome info and pictures 🙂

  19. I have another question- After I make the brew and use a bit of it, can I store it, how do I store it and how long can I store it? Till the next morning? Or maybe it loses something?
    Thanks again!

    • Oh gosh, I think it depends on how fussy you are about your coffee. Espresso is always best right when its brewed. If you have to, I’d stick it in the fridge and use it by the next day.

      Let me know!
      +Jessie

  20. Fantastic, Jessie! Such an informative post with great pictures and simple instructions – the kind I like – “brass thingie”!). I am going to check out the rest of your site!

  21. My family is Cuban and the way we make our espresso foamy on top, “la espumita”, is by adding a couple tablespoons of sugar to our little carafe and mixing it separately. You put the sugar into the carafe and wait for the first couple drips of espresso and pour a splash into the sugar, just enough to make a pasty, thick mixture. Then you pour in the rest of the espresso.

    • Absolutely, to make “Un Cafecito” you first mix the sugar with the initial percolated coffee (about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp). You must really mix,stir,crush the coffee and sugar to make a smooth paste. Then when the rest of the coffee is brewed just pour it into the coffee/sugar mixture, stir, serve and enjoy. If you just pour the espresso into sugar and stir well, then it’s just a shot of sweetened espresso which dont get me wrong is tasty but its just not a Cafecito.

  22. I have to same one and love it! But mine is made for six and there is only one of me drinking it. What ratio of water to coffee should I use so I don’t have to drink 6 cups each morning?

  23. Another fun way to drink it that my landlord in Italy showed me – put a spoonful of sugar in your espresso cup. Then watch for the very first drips to come out the top of the espresso maker. Catch a spoonful of the first coffee drips and mix them with the sugar until it forms a paste in the bottom of the cup. When you pour your finished espresso in, you will have a gorgeous crema on top = sort of a film which will be a lovely light brown color. It will look just like what they serve in an espresso bar and it’s delicious.

  24. thanks for your lesson. I have one of these pots and my son wants espresso with zambucca for thanksgiving. I took out the pot and did a trial run. the sides of the pot were dripping and sputting. Maybe I didn’t have the top screwed on tight enought. I’ll try again. thank for you help.

  25. Thanks so much. My electric pot just stopped working this morning and I was dying for a cup of coffee but couldn’t remember how to use it. The photos are the best!

  26. I haven’t been able to get my espresso to trickle out slowly. It usually comes out pretty fast (even started shooting out almost horizontally). I first had the stove on just below halfway which wasn’t enough heat so I turned it up just one more notch and after awhile it shot out. Any advice?

  27. Hey Matt, do you have a ceramic cooktop? I do and also face the same problem at times with my coffee pot.

    The way around this is to keep it on medium heat and as soon as coffee starts to come out the top, take it off the heat. A bit more coffee will continue coming out, then put it back on the heat and if it starts coming out quickly, take it off immediately again.

    Ceramic cooktops are great because its a flat surface for the small base of the coffee pot, but they don’t deliver consistent heat like gas.

    I often use boiled water in the bottom of my pot to speed up the process, however you need to be even more careful because it can pass through way too fast that way if you’re not careful. If that happens you’ll get a watery coffee because it hasn’t had long enough to extract all the flavour.

    The other thing is the coffee needs to be ground very finely. If the grind is too coarse, the water passes through too quickly and spits out. If its too fine, then it will turn to sludge and you’ll get grinds in your cup! Its a very fine line between too course and too fine.

    You’ll need to experiment a lot, but when you get it right you’ll be rewarded with a great cup of coffee!

  28. Just got a pot from Son in Italy, I am in love with it. I may just work another year to enjoy it and get work done. Love much to the world. =:)

  29. Im stationed over in Italy and I’m a cook. I couldnt think of anything better to send my mother for mother’s day.lol

  30. Jessie,

    Thanks so much. My mom came across a little pot like yours, she gave it to me. I knew it was for brewing coffee but had no idea it was for expresso! I not only learned how to make it on my stove top but learned I had a moka pot!

    You are awesome, thanks! Can’t wait to make some. I need to find the “little cleaning pills” you referenced first.

    Thanks again.

    Paula

  31. Can filter grounds be used? Have just purchased a stove top espresso jug & have a “mountain” of left over filter grounds since my electric filter coffee maker became unreliable & I chose to replace it with a stove top percolator instead. Don’t want to be wasteful!

    Thanks

    • Hi Elizabeth, thought I’d chime in here – you can use the coffee ground for your auto drip machine in your stove-top percolator, but it’s too coarse for espresso makers. You can try grinding it finer by using an electric coffee grinder available at most any store, (including most supermarkets that carry small appliances), for $10-20.

      Jessie, great tutorial!!! As a former barista, (pronounced bare-ees-ta, fancy name for someone trained to make espresso in cafes, for those who don’t know), the big machines are well-known to me, but I have never used a stove-top model before. I just recently bought one made by Bodium, and although the instructions were OK, I still wasn’t comfortable trying it until I found this great page – between your article and other readers comments, I’m ready to begin enjoying espresso at home now – thank you so much!

  32. We just received a Bialetti espresso maker and are making our first brew. The espresso came out great, reminded us of our trip to Italy this year!! Your information helped us alot. Thank you so much!

  33. I love this! I work shift and spend a lot of money on buying energy drinks and such, and this was very useful because I love espresso and making it this way would pose the least cost! I could never do coffee though, and drinking espresso by itself hasn’t really been my thing. I’d like some recipes now on drinks I could make with espresso shots after using this pot? Any more ideas?

    • Rekeena,
      Here in New York there are two main brands:
      First choice is Medaglia D’Oro or Lavazza. which can be found in most supermarkets.
      Or a great substitute is the Spanish coffees “Bustelo” and/or “Cafe Caribe”.
      Drink-up this rounds on me! Buon Appetito!

  34. Jessie – Thanks for sharing! I am a bartender who is making espresso martinis tomorrow. Now that I know how to make espresso on the stove, should be a cinch.

  35. Thanks for this great info! These pots are sold as 1 cup, 3 cup, 6 cup, and 9 cup. Is that the exact yield? Do you have any helpful tips on how to pick which one to buy? And, how do you steam your milk? THANK YOU!

    • Mmmm… maybe it’s time for a new gasket and to scrub out the filter plate under the top pot? Also, periodically, I fill the bottom with 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 water, leave the funnel in (but with no coffee grounds), and perk away. Wash well afterward. Helps get any hard water deposits/calcification out.

  36. Many thanks for the excellent step by step instructions and appropriate photos. The additional info from the comments was also helpful, I had been wondering if I could use the device on a ceramic hob, and it seems I can. All I need to do is buy the Bialetti and I’m away. You may know that Brits are notorious for being unable to make decent coffee, well I’m fighting back 🙂

  37. What a delightful four-year string of coffee adoration! I once owned an aluminium Bialetti and used it for years then lost it in a move. Just returned from Tuscany where we learned again what ‘un cafe’ really means. I picked up a Kontessa 2-cup stainless in Siena for 26 Euros. Makes a great espresso, but no crema, and for me that lovely velvet-foam texture is part of the essence of espresso. I am testing the sugar-in-demitasse-cup method now, with high hopes….

  38. How much does one pot make?
    Once it is brewed, how long can it sit before it should be consumed? I run a B&B and I have some guests from Italy, they asked for Espresso and I was thinking I might try it tomorrow morning, but I want to make it ahead of time. They are eating at 7:30 am. How much time will it take to make?

  39. thank you so much, i’m housesitting at a new place, and have been looking at the house’s moka pot for days and decided today was the day to try it… yours was the first article that popped up when i searched how, and you answered both questions (how high to fill it and how to know it’s done) with awesome pictures! you saved my morning, it worked perfectly and now i’m enjoying a sweet cafe au lait with cardamom, nutmeg, and cinnamon 😉

  40. Thanks so much for the detailed instructions. We’re on vacation in Rome and staying in a little residenza where we are expected to make our own breakfast. Our hosts provided the little stovetop espresso pots and I didn’t know how to use it. Now I do! You totally saved my breakfast (coliazone!) and now in a pinch I can make my own latte.

  41. H drandreai, I like the sound of the cardomam nutmeg and cinnamon – what’s the recipe? Amounts/ratio etc? I presume you use fresh pods and sticks or do you use ground spices? Also to the originator of this post – Jessie – fabulous – I love the photos, instructions and 4 years of comments – wonderful!

  42. Be careful though. I started mine on high heat and forgot to check it – I started smelling something burning – it was the pot! The rubber melted off, everything inside had boiled away and the whole thing had to be thrown away (after it cooled off)! Got another one though . . .

  43. Thank you so much for this tutorial. i just bought my machine, too and was at a loss. your photos were really great and explained everything so perfectly.

    i’m brewing my first cup now. let’s hope i don’t screw it up.

    cheers

  44. Oh this is perfect. Embarrassing enough as it is I have my barista certificate ( not certified until I build up my hours but as I did it for fun that might take a million years) and can use those machines to make a beautiful coffee but had no idea how to use my poor lil moka pot that I picked up at the op shop for three dollars. Thank you.

    Ps opp shop Australian thrift store for those reading.

  45. As an Italian (Italy-Italian, not Buddy Valastro-Italian), this post was very funny to read – I mean that in a nice way 🙂
    Actually, moka coffee is not espresso. It is moka coffee. That’s why it doesn’t have the “crema”. Espresso is only made with those huge professional machines (and, yes, with those fancy home machines, but it’s still not the same as the one you get from coffee shops)
    I’ll add a couple fun facts that might be interesting to you: don’t expect your coffee to be good for the first few brews on a new pot or if you haven’t used it in a long time. It is normal to discard the first few brews.
    NEVER wash it with soap or in a dishwasher. That will alter the taste of your coffee. Just wash it/scrub it with hot water.
    Aluminium ones make better coffee. We are all here to tell the tale 🙂
    About the 3-6-9 cup moka size- that’s usually accurate, but it means Italian coffee cup, aka espresso cup, aka about 3 table spoons?
    Someone above asked how long does it keep… culturally, it doesn’t. You brew it, then drink it while it’s still hot. Some people don’t mind reheating it if there’s some left over, but it wouldn’t be nice to offer reheated coffee to a guest.

  46. Thank you! Your instructions were clear and easy to follow. I have the same maker and the Italian pamphlet didn’t have clear
    Directions

  47. Thanks for sharing that!

    I love my Bialetti 2 cup but I decided to add some colour to my kitchen and go for the 6 cup Pedrini espresso maker from http://www.grosche.ca/ .

    Both great options but the Pedrini colours are a little more fun!

  48. Great pictures; thank you.

    We just got a Bialetti 6-cup. We considered a Chinese model at half the price, but in the end decided maybe it wasn’t safe. We’ve used the Bialetti a half-a-dozen times.

    My only complaint is that the coffee doesn’t seem as strong as it did 50 years ago, when I was a kid in Italy for a summer. Should we pack the coffee tight in the funnel (the instructions imply not)? How fine should the grind be? – we’ve been grinding it down to almost a powder. Or, (tell me it’s not so) is my memory failing me?

  49. Hi Jessie, the tutorial is great. I do love espresso. I’m sure many espresso lovers would definitely try espresso making on the stove. I wonder if you could also share some of your espresso recipe? I would definitely wanna try it at home. I suggest you should also use a good frothing pitcher when it comes in making hot coffee. You can buy one from amazon and here’s my favorite brand, http://amztk.com/frothingpitcherbr.

  50. I found my stovetop espresso maker at a thrift shop for $5, and it gets used almost every day! One picky note, though: you’re confusing “coffee” with “espresso”, by which I mean “coffee” is the ingredient, “espresso” is the process/finished product. You say, “And as long as I start with a quality ground espresso…” What you should be saying – if we’re to be totally accurate about it – is “…quality ground coffee to make my espresso”. I love the tutorial, though, and the pictures are great! Medaglia D’Oro (“gold medal”) and Café Bustello are both great off-the-shelf coffees. M-D is my goto when I don’t have some other special varietal someone gave me.

  51. […] coffee if you don’t have espresso) 1/2 cup milk Make espresso or coffee, to your liking (here’s a great set of instructions for stovetop espresso). Once brewed, pour your espresso into a coffee […]

  52. I usually make mine into Americano’s, but I only fill the bottom pot with an amount of water equal to the start of the spout of the top part of the moka.

    I also pack the grinds a little, not tampered as there’s not enough pressure but just a little. Then a wet aeropress filter sealed over the bottom of the moka pots own filter.

    Get it on a hot stove, and as the crema slows take it off the stove, this is the crucial part as it avoids the burnt taste at the end if you let all the water steam through.

    There’s your shot, because you packed it a little and developed more resistance with more coffee and an aeropress filter you will find you get a bit more crema.

  53. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CREATING THIS PAGE.
    I am getting into prepping smoothies at home that include espresso and was really bummed thinking there’d be no way for me to realistically spend $300 on a fancy maker.
    You rock!

  54. Buongiorno everyone!!! I would like to chime in with a couple of points for making the perfect espresso. Firstly, The lid of the espresso maker should be open slightly while the coffee pot is on the stove. This is to avoid water droplets to fall back into the coffee thereby diluting it. Secondly, turn off the stove as the coffee is coming up to avoid burning the coffee. Thirdly, make sure you use great coffee like Lavazza, Illy, Segafreddo etc. Fourthly, make sure you purchase a Bialetti espresso maker…. quite frankly, they are the best. Lastly, never wash the coffee pot with soap but simply wash the coffee pot with water. Enjoy!!!

  55. Thanks for an effective “idiot’s guide” to making espresso, as too many site are concerned with machines rather than the traditional method.

    After finding a 3-cup percolator in a charity/thrift shop for about $4, I was ready to take the plunge and make espressos for myself. That I am now zinging around like a hummingbird tells all you need as to my level of success!

    A cheapskate idiot from the UK thanks you!

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