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Nov 14, 2010 06:04 PM

stove top espresso maker

Does anyone use one? Do they make shots as good as the VERY expensive machines? Only care about shots, don't care about timers, steamer wands, GPS, wifi blue tooth or any other stupid thing they put in coffee makers anymore.

saw this:

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  1. Those are essentially the same as the moka pots - just a different way of catching the coffee. A search on 'moka' should turn up a number of threads. The short answer, this isn't quite the same as espresso, but it is the most popular way of making coffee in Italian homes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: paulj

      i see. I had always thought those moka pots were the same as percolators which reheat (and destroy) the coffee as it brews, but now I see they have a different setup.

      1. re: j8715

        They don't make espresso by definition but they do make good strong 'espresso like' coffee. They are cheap enough for you to give it a try to see if it makes a shot as good as your expectations. I've had some pretty bad shots from very expensive espresso machines by people that didn't know how to pull a proper shot from their machine. These were in places where the latte flavor of the month was what people were purchasing.

    2. The basic Bialetti has been my home coffee maker of choice for years;
      Used correctly the Moka pot does make very good, strong coffee but espresso it ain't. And like any method the quality of the coffee is also paramount, I buy small quantities at a time of locally roasted beans and grind (with a burr grinder) immediately before brewing. This link gives excellent instructions on how to best use though my preference is for a coarser grind.

      1. Agree with the others that a moka makes a damn fine coffee, but it isn't *quite* espresso quality. If you are drinking your shots straight, you will definitely notice the difference, but if you plan to mix with milk, you may find it close enough to satisfy. The mistake most people make with the moka is to not use enough coffee for the amount of water they are using. You can achieve an espresso-like concentration of flavor, but without the crema.

        Also, after years of happy use of two different-sized Bialetti's, my husband picked up a Giannini moka on a trip to Italy, and the difference in coffee quality is stunning. It's a more expensive moka, made out of stainless steel and with a locking mechanism rather than the screw-on mechanism (ours is the Gianninina model). I'm not sure why the coffee from the Giannina is so superior (smoother, richer), but we suspect it has to do with the tighter seal and finer mesh. Just wanted to share the results of our research. (We too use freshly roasted beans for the best result.)

        1. I have an aluminum 4 cup made by LaRoma that I bought at Macy's for about $10. My Grandma has a 6 cup aluminum one (not sure of the brand) that is almost as old as I am and she uses it all the time. Finally I figured out how to make my moka pot coffee taste as good as hers--I needed to use more coffee!

          Moka pots make a good cup if you use the proper grind (very fine) and roast (dark) and don't skimp on the amount of coffee.

          1. In my Italian family that's all we've ever used. That's what relatives in Italy use in their homes, too.