Bialetti hob espresso makers are a fast and cheap way to create authentic espresso at home. This espresso is not the same as coffee-shop espresso, however, and is less concentrated. Mixed with warm milk or on its own, the coffee from this small manual machine will provide a rich experience in your own kitchen.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Coffee beans or ground coffee
- Grinder (if using whole beans)
Grind your dark roast (French or Italian roast) coffee to a fine grain. Use the "Espresso" setting on automatic grinders or run it through your smaller grinder for longer than you would grind beans for a drip machine or a French roast machine. Freshly ground beans provide a fresher, richer-tasting brew.
Unscrew the Bialetti pieces by rotating the large top piece counterclockwise. Keep the bottom piece stable while rotating and set the large piece aside while filling the machine.
Lift up the straining cup that sits in the bottom piece of the espresso maker and set aside.
Fill the bottom piece with filtered water to the desired level, generally around 3/4 inch from the top. Too much water will result in a weak brew and too little water will not make sufficient espresso. There is a fill line in the machine, but as you brew more coffee the line becomes hidden by espresso remnants.
Replace the mesh cup and fill it with 2 to 3 tbsp freshly ground espresso. Lightly pack the grounds if you desire a richer brew, but do not pack with heavy pressure as you would pack an espresso shot in a large machine.
Reposition the larger portion of the Bialetti by fitting it on top of the water-filled bottom piece and rotating it clockwise. Screw tightly as a loose fit will allow water to escape.
Place the Bialetti on your hob and turn the burner on. The burner flame should just encompass the bottom of the Bialetti machine---too large a flame boils the water too quickly and too small a flame muddles the clarity of the espresso.
Remove the Bialetti from the burner as soon as you hear gurgling. You will burn the espresso if you wait for the gurgling to stop---the steam brew process will finish on its own time if removed from the heat at this moment.
Pour the espresso into a coffee mug immediately and wait for it to cool sufficiently to drink.
Clean the Bialetti once it has cooled by running it through water and wiping off the grounds. Do not use soap or put the machine through the dishwasher---coffee coats the aluminium interior during the brewing process and it is necessary to maintain the coating as aluminium consumption can be dangerous.
Tips and warnings
- Bialetti hob espresso makers make about 142gr. of coffee at a time.
- Wait for the machine to cool before brewing again.
- Add sugar or milk to your taste.
- Brewed espresso is very hot and can burn your tongue if not cooled sufficiently.
- Consuming caffeinated coffee or espresso late in the day can keep you from sleeping.
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