Since the beginning, I've been a big promoter of enjoying coffee at home. With family and friends...getting together over a cup of coffee and something sweet...always made for a good time!
I also believe that you can make a lot of great tasting coffee drinks at home AND they might even taste just as good (or better) than when you head out! I'm not saying to never go out and enjoy coffee, just like I would say to never go out to enjoy a wonderful meal. People tend to go out every day for coffee and spending a lot of money. Instead enjoy coffee out every once in awhile...purchase great, fresh roasted coffee from your local roaster and make great tasting coffee at home.
However, I wanted to talk about a great little piece of old school/workhorse/simple & easy equipment to make coffee or rather espresso right on your stove top. Then... you can use it to make other great tasting espresso based drinks. (wink wink smiley face)
A Moka Pot, sometimes called macchinetta del caffè (means small coffee machine) is a stove top coffee maker. Whether you use gas, electric or right on a campfire...this is a great little coffee/espresso maker to use anywhere.
The basic function is that it works similar to a pressure cooker. It has a valve that goes down to the small water tank to build up pressure to go through the grounds giving you coffee brewed at a higher temperature and a higher pressure delivering more of an espresso.
There a several sizes to choice from...I have a 6 cup (which is literally 6 espresso sized cups). This is the one I sell online as well. However they have some that are smaller such as a 2 cup or bigger like a 10-12 cup.
The great part is that you can make some great drinks right at home with this gem. Here are some ideas.
- Basic Espresso-Right out of the pot right into your espresso cup. Its short but strong. Enjoy straight up. What's nice is that you will get a bit of the crema like you will see when making from a big espresso machine.
- Americano- The name comes from WWII when the American soldiers were in Italy and requesting coffee from the Italian coffee houses. Italians don't drink brewed coffee like we do...it's espresso. So when the soldiers didn't like the strong taste, they asked them to add some hot water. Since then when a solider came in the coffee owners and staff called the drink an Americano. Pour your espresso into a standard size mug and add hot water (close to boiling or from a kettle) up to the rim. Depending on your personal taste, add some creme or sugar or both!
- Latte- A latte s basically 1/3 of espresso and 2/3 hot milk. Depending on the size latte cup you are using, fill 1/3 with espresso and add 2/3 heated milk (whole, nonfat, 2%, almond, soy, cashew, etc). There are several ways to create the froth such as a steamer/frother, microwave can give you that effect or take a whisk and stir in air quickly to give you the billowy froth. Now you have a latte. Add a flavor such as cinnamon, or a couple of drops of extract such as vanilla, maple, eggnog, hazelnut OR add some pumpkin Spice...YUM! Remember, you can pour this over ice for a cold version too.
- Mocha- It's a latte with cocoa. In your latte cup, add some cocoa powder. Or add a square of 100% cocoa chocolate. I like it to be richer with a less sweet taste and if I need it to taste a little sweeter, I might add some stevia. However, you can use chocolate syrup/sauce, a Hershey's kiss (or two), whatever "floats your boat". Finish off by adding your espresso and your hot milk and you have a wonderful tasty treat. Just like the latte, enjoy it hot or over ice. Who loves chocolate? This GAL!
The Mocha Pot, which has been around since 1933, is a great addition to your home brewing accessories. I do have some in stock, however, check out Amazon or look up Moka Pot or Bialetti and check out all the sizes available.
Price point is NOT expensive. (6 cup runs about $39.99) and a great way to enjoy some of the espresso based drinks you love to order out and enjoy! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment or right me directly firstname.lastname@example.org.