March 18, 2011

Make Espresso at Home

Need an extra jolt of caffeine to get you started in the morning? It is very easy and inexpensive to make good quality espresso at home in ten minutes.

Come along as The Musician demonstrates how he makes espresso coffee on the stovetop.

Espresso is used for making cappuccino and lattes. All you do is add steamed milk and foam to the espresso shots. If you have a way to steam your skim milk to 140°, then you can make all three coffee beverages.

An espresso cup (shot) is roughly 1/3 of a measuring cup and a regular size cappuccino cup holds two espresso shots, plus milk and foam. Therefore a 4 cup espresso maker will produce 4 espressos or 2 regular size cappuccinos.

What you need to make a simple espresso:
  1. A stovetop espresso pot. We prefer stainless steel instead of aluminum and purchased the Primula® Stainless Steel Espresso Coffee Maker, 4 cup for around $30 USD at our local Macys®. 
  2. Good quality espresso coffee. Make sure you purchase espresso strength as regular ground coffee will not be good. We select beans at the local shop, A Southern Season®, and have them grind the beans for us. If you can't get fresh espresso coffee, the Illy® brand is very satisfying.
  3. A tablespoon to measure the ground espresso coffee.
  4. A stovetop burner.
  5. Four Espresso cups—or two cappuccino cups if adding steamed milk/foam.
Assembling the pot and heating the espresso:

Fill the bottom of the pot with water per instructions 
with the espresso maker.
Our pot is filled with water to the line just below the
screw shown on the front of this section.
Drop the espresso basket onto the bottom section 
of the pot.
Fill basket with espresso. 
Do not pack tight, loosely smooth.

This pot makes 4 espresso shots and uses
2 heaping tablespoons of espresso coffee.

Screw top of the pot together 
over bottom/basket.

Place over medium low heat.

Listen for gurgling sound.
When gurgling stops, remove
immediately from heat.

Pour into 4 ESPRESSO size cups and enjoy!
Cappuccino variation:
  1. Before espresso is ready—heat 1/2 cup of skim milk to 140° using a special steamer device with a stainless steel pitcher and thermometer. There should be ample foam on top of the milk.
  2. Hold foam back with a spoon and pour hot milk into 2 cappuccino cups until 1/3 full. 
  3. Spoon foam on top of hot milk until cup is half full.
  4. Immediately pour hot espresso (2 shots per cappuccino) through the foam in a steady stream. 
If you prefer a latte, grab a mug and use all of the espresso, all of the milk and less foam! It's that simple! 

Some cappuccino and latte recipes will instruct you to pour the espresso first, then add the milk and foam. We prefer to carefully pour the espresso through the foam and into the steamed milk to mix it without stirring.

As you experiment, you may want to adjust the ratio of espresso, milk and foam to suit your taste.

Carefully pour espresso through steamed foam and milk 
to make a cappuccino.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel.  All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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Click Pic for Travel Stories

Click Pic for Travel Stories
Paris, France; September 2013

The Musician. My late husband

The Musician. My late husband
Paris 2011