January 10, 2009

Inexpensive home brewed espresso

Prepared beans ground in a burr grinder

I admit my deep adoration of coffee. I have been a die-hard coffee fan since my college days, when one of my best friends used to pick up an entire pot of coffee from the cafeteria line and bring it to the table for just the two of us. It was particularly useful for the two days a week that I had a 7:00 Phys Ed class. Yikes!

But in recent years my coffee admiration has risen to a higher level. I have learned to love good lattes and cappuccinos and espressos. I have become a bit of a coffee snob. I have favorite coffees (McDonald's, Panera), favorite cappuccinos(Starbucks), favorite lattes (Panera), and favorite beans (Seattle's Best, Caribou Coffee, Kroger's Whole Bean). I also have my least favorites in each category, but I won't mention those—I'll let you experiment for yourself.

The moka pot, with grounds in the filter

For the past few years I have been looking for a good espresso maker. But the good ones are very, very expensive. My most desired espresso maker was the Italian La Pavoni Stradavari Lever Press. It's amazing. It also costs almost $2,000, which is why I don't have one.

But today I picked up the most unique coffee maker I've ever seen from our Lynchburg Target. This is an Italian made stove-top espresso maker called a moka pot. It makes a double-shot of espresso in a small pot. And the flavor is outstanding.

Brewing (this takes about a minute)

I made a latte with my new moka pot when I got it home. The moka pot doesn't have a milk steamer attachment, so I used a unique technique for creating the frothy milk needed for the latte. My wife gave me a coffee book for Christmas and I found this wonderful technique in that book. To make the frothed milk, pour milk into a coffee press (French Press). Heat the milk in the microwave until it is too hot to put your finger into it but not to the boiling point. Then use the coffee press like a butter churn. Pump the filter up and down for about a minute. the milk will treble in volume and become very creamy and frothy, perfect for lattes or cappuccinos.

Oh, did I mention the price of this new moka pot? We paid $24 for it. And Target offers one online for less than $10. If you're a coffee fan, you gotta get one of these espresso makers.

1 comment:

  1. MMMmmmm.....very good indeed! I enjoyed seeing what the brewer looked like. Looking forward to next Sunday's coffee!!!!!!!!!


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