Bialetti espresso maker directions

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Bialetti espresso maker directions
Simple hob espresso makers offer an alternative to coffee-shop drinks. (PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

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:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Coffee beans or ground coffee
  • Grinder (if using whole beans)

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Instructions

    Preparation

  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    Lift up the straining cup that sits in the bottom piece of the espresso maker and set aside.

  4. 4

    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.

  5. 5

    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.

  6. 6

    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.

    Brewing

  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    Pour the espresso into a coffee mug immediately and wait for it to cool sufficiently to drink.

  4. 4

    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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