Okay, so the first of my top 5 list of stove top kettles is a bit different in that it has the sole purpose of making espressos, not tea. However, the Bialetti Moka Express Espresso Maker still deserves to be in the list. Anyone who grew up with Italian relatives or who has Italian friends will undoubtedly have seen one of these at some point in their life as most Italian households seem to have at least one that has lasted a very long time. Bialetti are one of the biggest Italian house ware manufacturers and they have been making espresso makers since the early 30’s.
This particular model has that instantly recognisable and traditional stove top espresso maker look. If you love a good espresso and have people to share it with in your house, then this is the machine for you. The brand name alone lets you know it is been designed and produced to a high standard. It has a very thick base which stops the water reservoir from heating up too fat when over gas and the handle is very strong and comfortable to hold. Although it is stated as being a 6 cup maker, it is more likely to give you 4 espresso measure cups out of it. If you want a longer coffee, it will do 2 mugs full. Obviously, how far the coffee goes is entirely dependent on how much you want to drink, as well as the size of your actual cups and mugs.
There are some things you should know before buying when it comes to actually making espresso with this maker. Although the instructions suggest that you don’t tamp down the coffee or grind the coffee to fine, you may be disappointed with the results if you followed the enclosed advice. Instead, as you will know if you have any Italian friends or relatives, it is better that you grind the coffee to a much finer consistency than stated in the instructions and that you should definitely tamp down the coffee. It is important that you remember to do this gently so that you don’t block all the holes.
Another good piece of advice that I would offer you is that it is better to take the espresso maker off the heat before all the water has fully evaporated. Although this will take some practice runs to time it just right, if you want to avoid drinking coffee that is way too bitter, then this is the way to do it.
Using this maker is very much similar to using other machines of the kind, whether stove top or not, as getting your espresso to taste exactly the way you like it will take some experimenting. For me, this is all part of the charm of this handy and great looking little thing. Tweaking the amount of coffee you put in, your tamping technique and anything else connected to the making process all with the goal of making that gorgeously thick and intense espresso coffee. This is a must buy for all fans of fine and strong Italian coffee.