How to Make Espresso on the Stove

How to Make Espresso on the Stove


There are many ways to enjoy a cup of coffee, from brewed coffee to lattes, to a simple espresso. This strong coffee brewing method packs a punch, and espresso is the base of many other coffee drinks. Most coffee shops use expensive espresso machines to make shot after shot of rich espresso. You do not need an expensive espresso machine to brew espresso at home. Keep reading to learn how to make espresso on the stove.

Stovetop Espresso Pot, or Moka Pot

Moka Pot

The Moka pot is a small stovetop pot that brews an extremely strong cup of espresso on the stove. These pots were invented in Italy over 100 years ago and can be used on gas, propane, or electric stovetop burners. Moka pots come in a variety of sizes and brew anywhere from a single cup to several at a time.

The lower chamber of the stovetop espresso pot holds the water. Above this section is the filter basket, holding your choice of ground coffee. The top portion often called the kettle, is where the brewed espresso will go after the water has been forced through the coffee grounds.


Brewing Espresso on the Stove

Fill the bottom chamber of the Moka pot with water, to just below the safety valve equipped on the pot. This valve releases steam as the coffee brews and is a necessary part of the pot, as it is under pressure when it is brewing the espresso.

Fill the filter basket with your choice of ground coffee. Take care not to pack the coffee in too tightly, but press the coffee gently and brush off any excess coffee. Place the filter basket in place over the bottom chamber containing the water. Screw on the top portion of the Moka pot.

Keep the handle of the stovetop espresso pot away from the heat, and turn the burner to medium. As pressure builds in the bottom portion of the pot, it will force the water up through the filter basket, brewing the coffee. When the upper portion of the Moka pot has filled, you can remove it from the heat. Usually, the pot will make a distinct sound when the bottom portion has run out of water. Pour the brewed espresso into cups and enjoy, or use it to make another coffee drink such as a latte.


Types of Water and Coffee 

Filtered water will result in the best coffee, as unfiltered water can contain minerals that will alter the coffee’s natural flavors. For coffee, any ground espresso will work when using a stovetop espresso pot and is up to your preference. For a rich, dark espresso, use a bold dark roast blend or single origin espresso. Many prefer a lighter roast, so try medium or blonde roast coffees. You may purchase coffee already ground, choosing an espresso or fine grind. You may also use a coffee grinder at home to grind whole beans as you use them, for a much fresher cup of coffee.


How to Serve Espresso

Espresso is typically served by the shot in small cups. It is rich and slightly bitter, and very strong. Serve alongside baked goods or drink alone. You may also use brewed espresso to create many types of coffee drinks. An Americano is an espresso that has been added to hot water (or cold water and ice for an iced Americano) and produces a smooth cup of coffee with little bitterness common in brewed or drip coffee. To make a basic latte, heat whole milk and use a hand frothing wand to create a light layer of foam on the milk. Add the frothed milk to a mug and add the shot of espresso.

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