If you’re a true coffee lover, you need an espresso machine to prepare a delicious cup of coffee. But, did you know you can still enjoy flavorful coffee without breaking the bank? A stovetop espresso maker offers a budget-friendly alternative of preparing fabulous coffee anytime. It moves boiling water through ground coffee to prepare a delicious brew. Apart from that, it’s lightweight and easy to use. But, how do you make coffee with a good stovetop espresso maker? Let’s go to learn….
Table of Contents
Step by step guide to making coffee with a stovetop espresso maker
Prepare your coffee maker
First, you should disassemble your espresso maker into three pieces – the filter basket for coffee grounds, a lower portion for water, and the upper chamber for the finished coffee. At the bottom part, you’ll see a safety valve. If you do not have stovetop coffee maker , you may get here.
Preheat the water
Hot water allows the extraction of coffee to take place quickly which may scald the coffee grounds. You should ensure you stop your kettle just before the water boils. It can be quite easy if you’re using an electric stove top – just turn it to medium heat. That way, you don’t have to worry that your coffee will taste bitter.
Grind your coffee
Obviously, the grind should be coarser than espresso. If the grinds are too fine, this can cause over-extraction resulting in bitter coffee. Just in case you don’t know how to go about it, try different grind settings until you find what works for you. For coffee users who like buying ready-ground coffee, the 4.5 setting is ideal.
Fill the bottom chamber with water
Pour filtered water into the bottom chamber just below the safety valve. If you’re looking for richer, thicker Italian coffee you may want to fill the bottom chamber halfway. Note- if you fill water above the valve, it may bust due to high pressure. It’s unfortunate some brands use cheap valves that may cause dangerous accidents as you make your coffee. Stovetop coffee makers come in different sizes and shapes. These machines vary in sizes including 3, 6, and 9 cups to accommodate different groups.
Add ground coffee to the filter
Fill the filter with freshly ground grinds and lightly pat them down. Make sure you don’t compress the grounds to the funnel; otherwise, water will not flow through. Secondly, compressing the grinds can make excess pressure buildup in the water chamber which may create a potentially unsafe situation. Thirdly, it could result in an over-extracted bitter brew. It’s also important that you run the tip of your finger around the filter basket just in case there’re any stray coffee grinds. That way, you’ll be able to screw the top without any destruction.
Secure the top and bottom chambers together
You’re almost ready to make your coffee. Twist the top and the bottom chamber until you get a tight seal. If you don’t secure the two parts you could end up with a failed brew. A word of caution – most stovetop espresso makers have threads. When you over tighten the top part, you may have to use excessive force later.
Place the stovetop on a low heat
The next step is to place the coffee maker on medium heat of a gas or electric stove. Ideally, you should ensure the flame is not larger than the diameter of your pot. If you have a tiny burner, you can tame the flame using a stovetop heat diffuser. Besides that, you should ensure the handle doesn’t get into contact with the heat.
The idea is not to boil water but rather to create a controlled extraction. You can always take the stovetop outdoors or in the campfire. Unlike the electric counterparts, they are convenient to use and don’t need electricity. To enjoy a fresh cup of coffee, all you need is your stovetop espresso maker and a manual coffee grinder.
Watch for the first splutter of coffee
I’m sure you’re probably asking yourself, how long it takes to prepare coffee. A 6-cup espresso maker takes about 5 minutes. If you’ve followed the above process to the later the coffee will trickle out like golden-brown syrup. And as the extraction goes on, the coffee becomes thinner and lighter.
When the espresso starts to run pale, remove it from heat and look for a damp cloth to cool the base immediately. This prevents the coffee from getting burnt and brings the extraction process to a halt. Your aim should be to allow the water to pass through the pot. It’s worth mentioning that coffee produced by stovetop espresso maker is less intense than that of an espresso machine. However, it’s richer and tastier than that produced by the regular coffee machine.
You may be wondering, does the caffeine level change when using an espresso maker? This is a question that runs in the minds of real coffee makers. One cup of coffee (6oz.) contains 105 mg of caffeine while one shot (2oz.) of espresso maker contains 105 mg of coffee. A shot of espresso (2oz.) contains 93 milligrams of caffeine. This clearly shows stovetop espresso contains more caffeine than an equal shot of espresso. So be prepared to take coffee with higher caffeine than usual.
Coffee is ready
When you hear the gurgling noises in your espresso maker, your coffee is ready. It’s prudent that you turn off the flame and let the coffee percolate through. Don’t leave the coffee on fire after the gurgling begins. One of the few challenges of making espresso is that overheating during the brewing process can make it get burned.
The size of grinds is important when preparing coffee. If you want to add some milk you may want to invest in a milk-frothing mug. Alternatively, you can heat the milk for about 45 seconds until it forms the velvety foam.
Add sugar and drink your espresso
Now that your coffee is ready, add some sugar to the top chamber. Because espresso is much stronger than other brands of coffee, it’s important that you reach for a tiny mug.
Wash the espresso maker
These units tend to pick the flavor you put in them. With this in mind, make sure you wash the unit with plain water. To get rid of any coffee grounds use your finder. Don’t worry if you see a shiny film on the top chamber. This is usually a sign of the accumulated coffee oils that help to increase flavor when making your future coffee.
Tame your espresso maker if it acts up
If little or no coffee comes out after 4-5 minutes, run water over it for a few seconds before putting it back on the stove. While this may sound absurd, it works wonders. This problem occurs when you don’t fill the base of your coffee maker with enough water. The process may seem intimidating if you’ve watched those fancy baristas.
Stovetop espresso maker vs another machine
Let’s make one thing clear: stovetop espresso maker offers a simple way of changing your coffee routine without spending a fortune. So, if you’re looking for a perfectly brewed espresso you still have to invest in an espresso machine.
Tips of making the best coffee from stovetop espresso maker at home
Use the best espresso grind coffee
Your coffee grounds are valuable and cannot be overlooked. Ideally, different grinds have a different flavor. When you have too much, you’ve over-extracted it while too little means you’ve under extracted it. To ensure you make a delicious cup of coffee use medium-course grind. Don’t make a mistake of using medium grind unless you like over-steeped coffee.
Although a stovetop espresso maker is perfect for everyday use, you need to clean it on a regular basis. Make sure you clean the unit with warm water and a sponge. If you don’t do this, your coffee will become stale.
Take care of safety valve
Sometimes the safety valve on water reservoir can get clogged due to mineral deposits. It’s prudent that you buy a water filter.
Check the rubber seal
The rubber seal is located on the bottom of the chamber. If it’s full of holes consider replacing it with a new one.
The Bottom lines
From the above information it’s clear we’ve answered the question; how do you make coffee with a stovetop espresso maker?
While the stovetop may sound like an old-fashioned espresso maker, it’s very popular in many Italian homes. It’s not only easy to use but also makes rich, tasty coffee. When searching for a high-quality machine, you should invest in a unit with safety valves. This ensures the coffee protractor can withstand high water pressure throughout the brewing process. Plus, it’s crucial that you grind coffee prior to brewing. After all, making coffee with stovetop espresso machine is not supposed to be a labor-intensive process.
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