How to Use an Italian Espresso Maker

Updated November 21, 2016

Espresso is coffee served in its most potent and richest form. It is a strong-brewed coffee served in a quaint 85.1gr. demitasse cup. Often referred to as "caffe" in Italy, espresso has been traditionally ordered as an after-meal delight, and at-home Italian families use a hob caffettiera or moka espresso maker. It has become a significant cultural staple. Many coffee enthusiasts gather in coffee houses to socialise while sipping the enticing full-bodied flavour of espresso. Become a home barista to save some money and prepare an excellent cup of espresso in a few simple steps using a traditional Italian coffee maker.

Open the top of the moka pot by unscrewing the top chamber, then set the chamber aside.

Pull out the funnel-shaped filter, and fill the bottom chamber with cool water up to the safety valve level. The safety valve is a small button on the inside of the chamber.

Securely set the filter back in place above the water chamber.

Fill the coffee grinder with roasted espresso beans, and grind the beans on the finest setting.

Take a tablespoon and measure two tablespoons of fine-ground espresso coffee (freshly ground or pre-ground). Place the two tablespoons of fine-ground espresso coffee inside the moka's filter.

Screw the top back onto the moka pot. Make sure that the top and bottom section of the pot are level and tightly closed together. This will ensure a good seal and prevent any loss of steam.

Place the moka pot on the hob and set the stove on medium heat.

Allow the espresso to percolate for about 5 minutes.The brewed espresso will fill into the top chamber of the moka pot.

When all the water has collected into the top of the moka pot, turn off the stove and place the pot on a cool burner.

Pour into a 85.1gr demitasse cup and enjoy.

Tweak the espresso to your liking by adding ingredients such as milk to create a latte, or milk and chocolate syrup for a more decadent mocha latte.


The taste of the espresso may be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the amount of grinds used and also the texture of which the bean has been ground. Finely ground espresso will have a stronger and more bitter taste, while coarsely ground espresso beans produce a weaker taste.


Do not cook the espresso for more than 5 minutes on the hob, because overcooking will cause the espresso to have a burnt taste. Never overfill the bottom water reservoir past the safety valve level, because this will make the espresso boil over.

Things You'll Need

  • Roasted espresso beans (ground or whole bean)
  • Coffee grinder
  • Tablespoon measure
  • Moka or caffettiera (Italian hob espresso maker)
  • Water
  • Stove
  • 85.1gr. demitasse cup
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