The Italian Stove Top Espresso Maker
They’re messy, complicated and time consuming, but boy do they make a great cup of coffee!
For some years now, the Italian stove top espresso maker has been the cornerstone to my day. It is the first thing I go to when I wake up. I love fresh coffee and try to avoid instant at all costs. I know some people may find the whole process lengthy and messy, and I’d have to agree, but like cooking up a bag of heroin is to a junky, making fresh coffee has become one of my life’s most essential rituals.
I love espresso and normally only ever order them when out and about. The only time I don’t is if a decent “Flat White” is available which is usually from an independent Australian owned coffee house. My favorites include both the Milk Bar and Flat White in Soho and Federation Coffee in Brixton Village. I try to avoid the big franchise versions like the plague as they tend to be a version of latte which is a big no no for me. Save those for the yummy mummies!
I used to use a cafetiere (or the french press as it is sometimes known) at home, but found the devices only suitable for an americano style brew. As I like coffee to be black, sweet, thick and sticky, the french press is just not suitable. If you try to make an espresso with one, the chances are you’ll add too much coffee for the machine to handle and end up with a spray of scalding hot, granulated water all over your hands, kitchen ceiling and the cat.
It saddens me to say that my curren stove top coffee pot is on its way out. The rubber band that creates the seal has eroded so badly that half the water spews out the side when it begins to boil. I must say while the extra noises add to whole early morning coffee experience, its getting so dysfunctional that hardly any coffee gets made and the electric hob has globs of charred, evaporated coffee all over it. Even the cleaner, who speaks no English whatsoever pointed to the device, saying “Broken?” as she began her weekly clean up.
Buying a new one has not proved easy. I went into John Lewis and while they have many fine espresso machines made by Gaggia, etc., their range of good old fashioned stove tops was poor. It only had one brand in stock, and while it was adequate, was not of the sufficient robustness I was looking for. While I have seen some beautiful designer ones, like the Alessi Pina Espresso Coffee Maker (below) found in Scandium which I think are as sexy as your going to find, they may be more style over substance plus a little expensive. The classic is the Moka pot by Bialetti, it’s what I have already and is a tried and tested design at a decent price. I’ll probably end up with another.
One last thing, a friend told me about the AeroPress Coffee Maker, made by Aerobie, the people that bought us the flying ring! He swears buy it. I have yet to see or use one but I am open to the idea of it.
Replacement Rubber Rings and Seals for The Moka Expresss
It has been bought to my attention that replacement rings for standard stove tops of varying sizes can be purchased very cheaply here Bialetti:Replacement Rubber Seal for 9 Cup Moka Express