As part of my slow transformation into a fully fledged coffee jerk, I recently acquired a stove top espresso maker. Full disclosure – it was a Christmas present. I got one for two reasons. Firstly, as mentioned already I am slowly becoming a coffee jerk, and this will only help said transformation. Secondly, and more importantly, these things are very clever. They’re displayed at MoMA clever. Designed by an Italian inventor named Luigi De Ponti in 1933, they were manufactured and subsequently made famous by Alfonso Bialetti, aka the founder of Bialetti. You’ll recognise the nicely stereotyped drawing of a moustached Italian guy. Also known as a moka pot, the stove top coffee maker utilises steam pressure to force water up through the coffee and into the top part. Simple yet effective. There’s a whole Wikipedia page about it.
I’ve used mine about 6 times so far and have pretty much got the process locked in. As with any stupid kitchen toy, it took a couple of goes to get it right. The first few times gave some very disappointing, and frankly disgusting results. After switching the coffee to a different type, it started improving. Lesson learned – don’t use coffee that smells disgusting. It will only taste disgusting. A couple more tries and it’s finally producing something drinkable. It’s not an actual espresso as there’s not enough pressure, but it’s definitely stronger than your standard cup of coffee. It’s probably the closet you can get to espresso at home without dropping serious cash on a proper coffee machine. Going back to my becoming a coffee knob, I am slowly coming around to the idea that coffee is in fact better than tea. Roughly 2/3rds of my tea consumption is done at work, and the tea bags they have there are so bad it actually amazes me every time I drink a cup. And yet everyday I’m there with everyone else, complaining about the lack of clean mugs and spoons, scrambling for that mid afternoon caffeine fix. Coffee possess far more possibilities than tea. There’s more gadgets to play with (see above for example), it has a more widely applicable flavour – like, why do you not get tea flavoured things? With tea all you get is a mug full of the residue of dirty leaves and gutter water. Tea tastes like depression. At least coffee is a tangible flavour. Maybe I need to branch out into fancy teas, like Teapigs. Or maybe I need to go full on coffee dick, and get an AeroPress and start taking it to work. But that’s for another blog. What I’m saying is send me free stuff companies.