Coffee lovers: try a stovetop espresso maker

Mar 15, 2003
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I got a stovetop espresso maker (3 cups, $10!) and am so very impressed. They're old fashioned and couldn't get simpler: fill with grounds and water to the line, heat for about 5 minutes and you've got yourself a rich, dark cup of espresso. No measuring either. The 3 cup makes me 2 beefy capuccinos (I've figured out frothing in the microwave) or 3 cups of 'cafe americano' if you're not a fan of espresso.

Can't believe I used to use an expensive, difficult to clean machine when the stovetop version takes minutes to clean and use without the counter clutter. It also makes a great supplement to my burr grind and brew coffee maker - a shot of espresso is great for iced coffee to compensate for the melting ice.

link, though there are better ones out there (I would get stainless over aluminum, and 6 vs 3 cups): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DYV4J18?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00
 
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KeithTalent

Elite Member | Administrator | No Lifer
Administrator
Nov 30, 2005
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That's what I have; got it as a Christmas present one year. It works very well.

KT
 

slayer202

Lifer
Nov 27, 2005
13,610
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I've heard similar good things and I should probably try one. I can't figure out how to brew a proper cup with any of the high-brow methods
 
Mar 15, 2003
12,450
27
91
I've heard similar good things and I should probably try one. I can't figure out how to brew a proper cup with any of the high-brow methods
Yeah, I could never get acceptable results with a french press, even grinding my own beans. I also found it messy. Get a stovetop espresso maker, I'm super lazy in the AM and it's literally 1) fill the water to the line 2) fill espresso to the line 3) place on stove and heat on low until you hear a gurgling sound. Clean up is stupid simple, unscrew and rinse. My grind and brew cost $300 and makes a good pot of coffee, but cleanup's annoying and sometimes I don't need a whole pot of coffee.
 

CraKaJaX

Lifer
Dec 26, 2004
11,905
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I've had a 3C Moka pot for a few years now. Love it. I bring it with me if I'm traveling - small, easy to use, easy to clean. I've considered even getting a 6C.

When I was in Europe last year, the bed and breakfast we stayed in in Genoa had 4 or 5 of the GIANT moka pots (12C I think?) Something about a little old Italian lady pouring you your coffee from one of these in the morning made it so much better. Not to mention the food was delicious. :D
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
22,628
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I have one, and they're OK, but they're still a hassle.

They also have a habit of exploding. A family member's one exploded, and covered her kitchen ceiling and walls in hot coffee and grounds. (She's Italian, and they had a real decent quality Italian make.)

I never use mine anymore.
 

Jaepheth

Platinum Member
Apr 29, 2006
2,571
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I got a 6 cup pot a few months back; lets me make a full cup of strong coffee.
Still experimenting with different roasts. I love the Hario coffee mill I got to go with it.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
10,122
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yeah, don't buy a classic bialetti,
(this)

they are not as good as they used to be (they were made with softer steel, which facilitated a tighter grip), and they need to be run in before they make good coffee.. couple years at least.

instead, try to find one of these

(also by bialetti, but we call the model above by the brand name, not this one)

in the top "cup", they have a longer, thinner stem. more pressure, much better coffee.

How is this different than a percolator?
pressure.
 
Mar 15, 2003
12,450
27
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I have one, and they're OK, but they're still a hassle.

They also have a habit of exploding. A family member's one exploded, and covered her kitchen ceiling and walls in hot coffee and grounds. (She's Italian, and they had a real decent quality Italian make.)

I never use mine anymore.
We must define "hassle" differently - a flick of the wrist to dump old grounds, refill water and grounds..> Not much of a hassle to me! I suppose k-cups are easier, but I find them wasteful and the coffee subpar.

Exploding? Not a concern for me, I suppose if I had a huge one, but the 3 cup is so small (about 6 ounces? it's not 3 8 ounce cups for sure) that I don't worry. Never have I felt that it could be dangerous, the whole process is so quick (unlike a pressure cooker)
 

uhohs

Diamond Member
Oct 29, 2005
7,658
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moka pots make a good, strong "espresso-like" coffee, but technically not enough pressure to be "true" espresso.
 

NetWareHead

THAT guy
Aug 10, 2002
5,864
153
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moka pots make a good, strong "espresso-like" coffee, but technically not enough pressure to be "true" espresso.
Correct, they dont build the pressure to the level needed to extract whats needed from coffee grounds. You'll notice coffee from a "moka" style pot does not have the foam at top of the espresso. Coffee from a true espresso machine has foam which does not dissapate.

The moka style pots are good enough though. Especially considering the price of a true espresso machine.
 

CraKaJaX

Lifer
Dec 26, 2004
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quikah

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Apr 7, 2003
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BurnItDwn

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
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I am always tempted by these, I would love a good "mug filled with espresso" every now and again instead of drip or french press. No poison sugar creams added!
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
52,332
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I have one with a ceramic pot, and it blows the coffee in through a straw at the top. I've had it ~30 years, and I'm very happy with it.
 

NetWareHead

THAT guy
Aug 10, 2002
5,864
153
106
I have one with a ceramic pot, and it blows the coffee in through a straw at the top. I've had it ~30 years, and I'm very happy with it.
My parents had/still have one like that. Your post brought me back years ago to seeing it on the dinner table.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
10,122
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btw, these machines do not explode, that's a myth. i even forgot one on the fire once, all it did was burn the rubber gasket.
 
Mar 15, 2003
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moka pots make a good, strong "espresso-like" coffee, but technically not enough pressure to be "true" espresso.
You're correct, but my sub-$200 espresso maker sucked - from what I read a "true" espresso machine is going to cost you close to 4 figures, and at least my cheapie just had so much maintenance and took up a lot of counter space. For $10 (we're talking 2 trips to starbucks) the stovetop version is better than good enough. The cappucino's I make are better than starbucks (not as good as the $8 a cup italian cafes in Manhattan but, again, $10 initial investment).

Especially if you like espresso-milk drinks like I do (lattes, cappucinos, etc.).
 

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