Making espresso

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by Bouillabaisse, Mar 11, 2010.

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  1. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    I've finally decided to admit my addiction and do something about - start making my own espressoes rather than buying them. I've had a look about and there's a range from a simple stove top maker to the all singing all dancing electric version that makes cappucinoes. Anybody got any recommendations? I'm after real coffee, not the coffee in a packet variants.

  2. stove top
    can't beat it
    had mine 12 years from harvey nics in leeds

    and seeing as the missus has gone decaff mad(whats the ******* point in that then?) its the only bit of decent coffee i get

    well short of spending 2.65 a day in starbucks
    which i do as well :oops:
    one wet venti four shot skinny latte to go later and i can face the woild!
  3. I live in Italy and have tried a few. The stove top Moka's are very good and simple, and you can now get plug in electric versions. However we also have a Dolce Gusto.
    Advantage of this is that you can make Espresso, decaf and Capuccini with no mess and only use what you need. It gives a perfect crema every time. Bit more expensive than a Moka but you could justify it to the other half on account of the decaf option.
  4. Having used all sorts over the years to satuisfy my craving for concentrated caffeine, pumped expresso machine are the best, used with a decent expresso coffee. They also have the added benefit of being able to produce cappucinos for the ladies which can generate the odd brownie point.
  5. An Italian friend who lives in the UK swears by her stove top maker. She uses Whittard of Chelsea Italian Espresso coffee beans. I also introduced her recently to Adams & Russell Coffee Roasters and the Espresso coffee beans they do.
  6. They're handy, but they're not espresso.

    I'd recommend Gaggia machines. Also, get a proper burr grinder if you're getting a manual. The coffee tastes much better from bean than old grounds and you control how fine you want it.
    Don't forget a milk jug and thermometer, otherwise you'll end up with cold coffee or partially steamed milk.

    Imperial Teas sell possibly the best teas and coffee in the country.
  7. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    Why not espresso? You mean slow? How long to make a brew?

    I like the Gaggias a lot, but I think I need my wife to crash the car or something before I'll be allowed to buy one of them. Mind you, its still a lot less than I spend at Costas every year
  8. Really....well there must be another reason why I feel pretty espressoed after her tiny cups of coffee then.
  9. A stovetop makes good cofee, except you don't get the creama like you do with a real espresso, but it still tastes good (it's also produces nowhere near enough pressure to produce real espresso).

    I have a stovetop, but personally I think if you get the knack of it, the coffee from this is some of the best I've had (I use this at work, and the americanos from this are fantastic - lots of people now prefer this to there normal, expensive espresso makers) Aeropress:

    You might also want to consider roasting your own beans too. If you buy green beans from one of the online suppliers, you can roast them in a frying pan - just google pan roasting coffee beans for plenty of advice on how to do it.

    Oh, and this is my next purchase (when they're available again):

    If I was still serving, for the field/tour (I was an RE sigs mutant):

    edit: for beans, I use:
  10. Stovetop, best way, highly recommended :D Oh, do make sure you get good beans....get yourself a grinder while your at it. Oh, and no sugar please...pronto :lol:
  11. Stove top ones can't get the best pressure and tend to over cook the grind due to the higher operating temperature but they are very convenient. As with most things in life, the more you pay the better the machine. So, it all comes down to palate, cost and convenience.

    I have a (cheaper end, about £120) barista machine that is OK for a couple of cups before the froth function runs out of steam pressure. I've also found out that the finer general purpose grind is better than the specific espresso grind. But that's probably just down to my machine.
  12. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    I'm not too fussed about the cappucino/latte bit, more small concentrated cups of pure caffeine. It sounds like I'm wandering blindly into a whole new world of perfection seeking for the perfect bean and the machine. So, start with a stove top and see how I get on, I think.

    Mind you, I did look at the mypressi recommended by amazing lobster. Their British website has stopped selling them (negotiating the rights with a big manufacturer) otherwise I'd have placed an order immediately. I want one.

    Thanks for the help
  13. Forgot to add, if you're going to grind your own, you'll need an adjustable burr grinder. Again, you gets what yo pays for.
  14. You should also check out the Aeropress - it makes a very strong, smooth coffee. Lots of people are dismissive at first, because it looks more like some sort of 'male enhancement' device... But the coffee it produces is great.
  15. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    Had a Nespresso capsule machine for 2 years now - excellent coffee and excellent customer service.