Shortly after Brian and I met in the early 90s, he had a cool roommate named Sally, a fellow architecture student and worldly young woman who loved all things Italian. The first pesto I’d ever tasted came from Sally’s hands, as did my first experience with an Italian stovetop espresso maker (or Moka pot), a small aluminum piece with a water reservoir below, grounds in the middle, and a container up top where the dark rich espresso bubbled into. I thought it was so cool.
Flash forward many years when Brian and I sold our house in Orange County to “live vagabond”– something we did for more than a year. Not all AirBnbs we stayed in had decent coffee making devices—and coffee is very important—so I picked up a Moka pot to carry with us. Small, lightweight, easy to use, and delicious coffee. Last year when we were in Prague, we had the same issue with a lack of coffee in the Airbnb’s so once again, bought a Moka pot at a coffee house, and had perfect coffee wherever we went.
Transitioning to full-time Stovetop Espresso
Last year the Illy Espresso Machine I’d had for about twenty years bit the dust. I started looking into a new machine and had sticker shock at the $400 plus price point for the type of machine I wanted. Then it hit me: why not use a Moka pot full time? I found a larger capacity unit made by Grosche, with a lovely wooden handle. It has been my daily coffee maker ever since and now we carry them at the Mercantile!
So how do you use a stovetop espresso maker?
- First, unscrew the top part and the filter funnel of the coffee maker and fill the lower part with water. Make sure not to fill past the safety valve.
- Then fill the filter funnel with freshly fine ground espresso coffee–but DO NOT tamp down the coffee. Let it be loose. Once that’s done, put the filter funnel back into the lower part of the MILANO and screw the top part back on.
- Next, put the espresso pot on your stove on medium/high heat. Turn the stove down when coffee bubbles up from the filter funnel and into the upper section. When the gurgling sound stops, your coffee is ready.
How we Drink our Coffee
Brian’s Coffee: Brian is a coffee purest. He thinks nothing should take away from the beauty of coffee by itself and enjoys the process of brewing in a variety of vintage percolators and pour-over coffee pots, but like me, he really loves the rich flavor of Moka Pot coffee. To make coffee vs espresso, he pours half a cup of the espresso into his cup and tops it off with hot water: a classic Americano.
Lori’s Coffee: Since I drink Bulletproof coffee every morning, I make the espresso really strong. Once it’s brewed, I put it In a blender along with either my homemade Danzeisen butter or the BP grass-fed ghee, BP Collagen powder, BP Inner Fuel Prebiotic, Brain Octane, and some Danzeisen cream then blend it up (make sure the lid is vented!). This gives me incredible energy and mental focus like you wouldn’t believe. You can read more about Bulletproof by clicking this link. Because I believe so much in the Bulletproof products, we carry them at the Mercantile! If you’ve been curious about how you would feel on Bulletproof but don’t want to commit to the full-size containers, I have “go packs” available of the brain octane and collagen, little single-serve packets! If you’d like to see the full selection of Bulletproof we have available, click the photo below.
Looking at the photo, I can see why Brian laughs at me. But I don’t care. I love the stuff! And I love my Grosche Moka pot. The company is pretty cool too. Check them out…
The Coffee & Teapots!
Now I think I need another cup of coffee…