I just purchased a stove top espresso maker. I love coffee, but can not seem to brew a good cup.
I have searched all over the internet for tips on how to use my new espresso maker and am at a complete loss. All anything says is the typical, use good water... place coffee in filter (no specifics on grind or amount) put on stove and wait for a great cup of coffee. I do all they suggest, and my coffee is horrid.
I can't even make a pot of coffee in a regular coffee maker (not including the fact I am clumsy and have broken all the carafes)
Can some one give me any pointers on how to use my stove top espresso maker?
Janet from Salem, OR
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I do know that Espresso must be made with espresso beans and grind. When I've ground my coffee at the store (gasp, I know that is the WRONG way to do it but grinding my own it way too much) they have an espresso grind on the machine, I think it's really fine. I also know that I've seen cans of Espresso coffee, towards the top of the shelves. I've seen Giada DeLaurentis (sp?) on the food network make it, maybe you could try her?
The most important thing is to use espresso grind, not regular coffee grounds. I like Albertsons Cafe La LLave. I tried a slightly less expensive Mexican espresso grind and I didn't like it as well, Probably just because I am not used to it.
Coffee may be ground any where from fine to coarse. Different brewing methods will require a specific grind.
When you use the grinding machine at the supermarket, pay special attention to the grind dial.
Also, if you don't like the coffee, I'd like to suggest that you try a low acid brewing method like
www.toddycafe.com (which sells low acid concentrates and a brewing system with carafe)
or look up
on ebay for a small quantity brew system.
The absolutely only coffee I like is made with either of these 2 methods.
I have a small stovetop espresso maker. I use Goya fine ground coffee. You fill the bottom of the carafe with water. You fill the top part with the coffee up to the line. You should see a line marking the spot on the sides. Put the lid on and put it on the stove. It will start to boil and then "perk". Listen for it to stop perking and then remove from the heat. It should come out good this way. Good Luck!
Sorry for the duplicate link!!!
This might help get your started.
I recently got a stovetop espresso maker. I had one years ago and never had any problems making it. The first couple times I've made it with the new one, all has been fine, but the next few times not all the water came up from the base, only about half. Any suggestions? It was on the stove about 20 minutes on a medium gas flame that circled the entire bottom of the pot. It seems to stop making the gurgling noise when only half the water has come up. So, it sounds like it's done. Any ideas?
Janet, I can offer some suggestions. For "good water" any bottled or filtered water is fine; it's preferable to tap water.
The grind needs to be fine, like powder. It's preferable to grind your own -- a burr grinder is what you need, or you can buy coffee that is ground for an espresso maker, usually labled as such in the store. A "regular" blade coffee grinder (not good!) will not be able to give you the right grind. So if you don't want to spring for a burr grinder (might be a good idea, as it will give you excellent grind for regular coffee, too), than buy already ground espresso at a store, or someplace where you can have it ground for you.
First it is important that your maker be clean and dry. The base, the funnel filter, the filter plate at the bottom of the pot part, and the pot where the coffee will go once it's brewed.
Fill the base with water just to the level of the steam release valve. This is the funny little hole you see on the base. If you have a six-cup maker, and you only want two, you must still fill it to the level of the valve, which is why people will often have several stove top espresso makers for different amounts.
Fill the funnel filter just about to the top with the finely ground espresso. Again, if it's a larger pot and you want less, you must fill the filter with coffee. Smooth it lightly, but don't press it down hard. Place the top chamber, what looks like the coffee pot, on top and be sure it is secure. Put this on the stove on about a medium heat. If you have a gas stove, you want the flame to be circling the bottom, but not flaming up the sides. I don't know what to advise about an electric stove or some of the newer cooktops, as I've only used gas.
After several minutes, you should hear some gurgling noises from the unit. This means the water is passing through the coffee and coming up brewed to the top chamber. When the noise stops and the top chamber is full, your coffee is done.
Hope this helps!
An additional tip that might help: having lightly tamped the coffee, ensure a tight seal by running a finger lightly round the rim of the coffee basket to clear away any stray coffee grains or dust (I believe the trainers at Starbucks and the like refer to this as 'loving' the coffee yuk!)
Also, you don't have to use an 'espresso' roast because they work on steam pressure, stovetops operate at higher temperatures than automatic machines (which are pumped mechanically), which can result in an overly thin and bitter brew when used with a very dark roast, such as espresso. I get great results with regular roast Colombian or Guatemalan, but I suggest experimenting to find out what works best with your water supply and suits your taste.
I would highly recommend using Cafe Du Monde coffee which can be found in Asian groceries or your local supermarket if it's big enough. This coffe is delicious and cheap. If you can't find it try the espressos in the Spanish foods aisle until you find one you like. Cafe Bustelo is pretty drinkable if you're not a snob and it's the coffe they use in the Cuban eateries around me.
I was looking at a couple different versions of stove top expresso makers at www.gourmethomeentertaining.com and I was wondering if there is a taste difference between the aluminum, Anodized Aluminum and Stainless Steel versions?
Try this web site! Although it is describing them from a selling standpoint, some of them give brief descriptions that may help you. Good Luck!
You should use finely ground coffee. The grind should be uniform and it should be slightly finer than what you use for a drip machine, but coarser than the espresso grind.
Even simple tasks are a mystery until you see how it is done once. Any kind of coffee beans can be used, but the traditional southern Italian espresso is dark roasted and bitter arabica beans. The grind for the stove top makers should be a "fine drip grind". (Do not grind to a fine power as for commercial style espresso machines.) Generally. fill the filter funnel completely but do not pack the coffee down. As the coffee hydrates it expands and compacts on its own.
The amount of water used is critical. My pot (Bialetti Brikka) came with a measure cup. In addition there is a level mark inside the bottom portion of the pot. Use the measure or fill just to the mark, carefully. Using too much water may cause the coffee to boil over. Wipe the parts that mate to clean off any stray coffee grounds that might prevent a good seal. Screw the upper and lower parts of the pot together. The gaskets that seal the various parts need to be in good condition.
If you start to make the coffee and you see steam or water leaking from the middle joint of the pot, either you have a bad gasket or you did not twist the parts together tightly enough. Now that you have loaded the pot with water and the coffee, place the pot over a small concentrated source of heat at medium level. I have a gas stove so that is all I know.
It should take about 3-4 mins. for the whole process. If it takes too much time use more heat. Just be careful not to let the flames come around the outside of the pot where it would heat the handle. The heat will cause the water to boil and the steam generated will force the water up through the funnel stem and into the upper part of the pot.
When all the water has been forced through the coffee you will hear a sudden gurgling sound. Listen for this carefully. This is the end point. Remove the pot from the heat immediately. Place the pot on a heat proof surface (trivet pad) and let stand for another 3-5 seconds for the last traces of water to come through the system. Quickly pour your coffee into a waiting cup, add what you like and enjoy.
If you have tried all these methods and your coffee still turns out tasting bad, Janet, You may want to put your coffee in the freezer. Coffee that sits out for over a week will taste stale, bitter, and outright terrible. Buy a higher quality coffee instead of Folgers which taste terrible and stale the day you buy it!
Put your coffee in the FREEZER! I guarantee it will taste better.
Never put coffee in the freezer. The beans or grinds will develop frozen crystals on them and when they start to melt you are adding moisture into the coffee which will weaken or change the taste of the coffee. Coffee should be stored in a dark, air tight container at room temperature. (Moisture, light, heat, and oxygen aren't good for coffee beans or grinds). If you have your own grinder (or are going to get one) get a burr grinder, it will have a more consistent grind size than a blade grinder, and coffee will be fresher if you grind it right before brewing.
If your coffee doesn't taste right, try a different grind size, add more or use less coffee, use filtered water (could use a brita, bottled water, boil the water first, or your town might already have good water), and of course use fresh coffee.
Also, espresso is just a term for compressed coffee (basically) and you can use any coffee to make espresso. A lot of places have a special roast or blend called espresso, but it's more of a marketing theme, and also the beans they use to make their espresso. So try different coffees and find one you like (again, any coffee can be used to make espresso).
I just got the "basics" one at wallyworld and followed some of the advice posted here. It worked great. Lots of good tips here. It was only $20. I looked on ebay etc, but with shipping I would be out as much. Anyway, again great bunch of info here, thanks.
Hmm. Lots of funny info here. Treat this thing like an espresso machine. 1) If you don't have a burr grinder (at least $400-$500 to start) have the local espresso bar set and grind your favorite espresso blend to espresso. Yes, just like the machine uses, and store it in an airtight container. Or get some pre-ground Illy espresso from the market. This is in fact what is used in almost every household in Italy. They are to Italy what Coca Cola is to the U.S. Trust me on this, use fine ground espresso.
2) Tap water in the Pacific NW is good enough and over filtered water is far worse for espresso than bad tap water. You need the minerals to extract proper espresso. Fill the water to different levels for different shots. Lungo or the long shot should produce two full once shots after water has pre-infused into the espresso grounds, about three ounces of water total. For ristretto or the short shot, back off by just under an ounce of water. And this may sound strange, use the hottest water from your tap or pre heated you can find. This way the extraction will be quick. Around 28-30 seconds for the lungo and 22-24 seconds for the ristretto.
3) Fill your porta-filter basket (holds the ground espresso) full. And when I say full. Heaping. If you have a tamper, tamp it. It should be packed and full to the top of the basket after you tamp. If you don't have one, it will tamp itself when the upper screen and gasket meet with the lower basket filled full with espresso. And again I stress, fill it over-full.
After you have done this a few times, you will see what I mean. When you have pulled your shots and the espresso has long since been consumed, the espresso grounds will be firm, moist (almost dry) packed, puck of espresso. If you are using a good espresso blend, you should see the extraction of cremma, the light tan to rust colored thick tasty stuff on the top.
You need a lot of espresso and tamped hard to reduce the risk of channeling or the water taking the path of least resistance through the coffee. This little device works on the same basic principles as the big machines just with less control. It sounds like some of the posts in hear are talking about making a variant of Turkish coffee. This is an espresso maker.
Two little shots. Enjoy with milk if you like, I like mine as espresso in a little 2 ounce demitasse. If you google my name with coffee, you will see I have some coffee know how and am not just yanking your chain. (Google Austin Gregory coffee)
I'd just like to reiterate, it is not necessary, and not helpful to put coffee in the freezer. You seem to be getting varied responses on this issue, and let me assure, you just don't need to do it. An airtight container stored in a cool, dark place will suffice. A jar with a seal in the pantry is a good way to go.
I know what you mean about the stovetop espresso maker, mine keeps making coffee that is quite bitter (and I am used to drinking shots of espresso from the coffeehouse, so my tolerance for bitterness is pretty high). I think a help might be using slightly less finely ground coffee. Still fine ground, but not just like for an espresso machine. My theory is that a too fine of a grind will result in sediment in your cup, because the fine ground coffee will pull through the filter. That's what I'm going to try next.
Here is what I use to make Stove Top Espresso. So far this plan has been easy and consistent. I purchase the Illy Fine Grind Coffee. Fill cold water about 1/4 inch below the safety valve. Place two scoops of coffee loosely into the filter ( No packing or tamping etc). Place on stove medium heat. Listen for water to boil then turn heat off. Wait another minuet and it's been ready. I have tried using other coffee brands but so far illy has been very consistent and easy. It has a good taste and doesn't turn sour or bitter on me. Like to grind my own but I don't always have the time. Good luck!
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When I make espresso on the stove not all the water comes up and I end up with half a pot of espresso.