Espresso is a delicious and sophisticated drink that is actually easier and cheaper to make than you might think. There are several ways to make espresso including using the big copper and cast-iron machines that you see in coffee bars. However you don’t need one of these expensive and time-consuming contraptions to make a good cup of espresso. The best way to make espresso at home is using a stovetop espresso maker, also called a moka express. You can buy one at stores such as Target for under $10.
A stovetop espresso maker is quite easy to use. Unscrew at the middle and remove the coffee funnel (B in the diagram). Fill the bottom (A) with spring water up high enough to cover the pressure valve on the side. Place the coffee funnel back in and add two tablespoons of ground coffee. Don’t pack the coffee. Screw the top back on. Place the espresso maker on a stove burner on high heat. It takes about 3-5 minutes for it to finish. You’ll know it’s done when you hear a faint whistling or sputtering noise or by opening the lid to the top and seeing if it’s full of coffee. Pour it into an espresso cup and serve immediately.
Tips to improve your espresso:
Use espresso ground coffee or French roast. This will result in stronger, richer coffee. If you don’t like it so strong you can use less.
Heat your cup. You can do this by microwaving water in your cup before pouring the espresso. This ensures that the cold cup won’t cool off the coffee and yield lukewarm espresso.