Making Better Stovetop Espresso


I do like my stovetop espresso. A little more robust than the plunger, the stovetop has long been the go-to when I wanted my ‘fix’ of coffee. However, I recently learnt a couple of things I would like to share with you. You might like to try them out as well.

See what you are doing.

I have used the Bialetti Moko Crystal for some time now. The best feature? You can see how much coffee has come up and get it off the heat before it boils over. To me, boiling over (all the water is out of the reservoir and into the pot) also means a bit of bitterness and ‘over extraction’. Instead – I know how much water to put into the base and when to take the pot off the heat to ensure it just gets to the line on the top half.

Use boiling water in your stovetop espresso

This is probably the big one. It was only recently suggested to me, and makes a big difference! The stovetop can be known as a strong, syrupy coffee. Which is why many like it. However, if you boil the jug, then use that piping how water in the base, put it on a hot element, you get a quicker extraction. The quicker extraction means less bitterness and acidity and more subtle flavours coming through from the coffee. Try it. Like me, you might just prefer it!

Fine, fine grind.

All of this is, of course, personal preference – you can play with the amount of water, the heat of the water and the amount and grind of the beans to get your personal taste. At the moment, I am grinding as fine as possible. You still won’t get much in the way of residue in the bottom of the cup and I find that’s how I get the best results.

Experiment, experiment, experiment.

There is no ‘right’ way. Just your preferred way. Have fun, try it different ways. You can always go back to how you were making it if you don’t like it!