The espresso maker (also called espresso pot, mocha pot, caffettiera, or bialetti) should not be missing in any house today. In Italy, it is part of every morning ritual to fill the small jug with water and ground coffee, put it on the stove, and wait until the whole thing starts to bubble gently…. And then a moment later a loud hiss signals that the coffee is ready.
In this country too, the espresso maker is now part of the standard inventory of many households. The espresso maker is also known worldwide under the name of its inventor, the Italian Alfonso Bialetti, who applied for the patent for the espresso pot in 1933.
Strong coffee with the espresso maker
The colloquial term “espresso maker” is misleading, as no real espresso is extracted with this type of preparation. Espresso requires high pressure (9 bar) to create the characteristic crema. A pressure of only 1.5 to 2 bar builds up in the espresso maker cannot offer this characteristic. What the espresso maker brings to the fore is a small, black coffee – more of a kind of very strong and bitter espresso variation without crema.
Do you want to prepare espresso with a portafilter machine? Then read through our ultimate espresso guide for beginners.
How the espresso maker works
An espresso maker consists of three parts: a kettle with a safety valve, a funnel insert with a riser pipe that is filled with coffee grounds, and a pot top with another riser pipe.
Water is heated in the lower part. This creates steam and overpressure. The hot water can thus run through the riser pipe into the coffee in the funnel insert. The coffee then reaches the upper part of the pot and runs through the riser pipe, from which the finished coffee slowly drips into the pot.
A selection of espresso makers
Brewing temperature on the espresso maker
There is a design-related problem when preparing coffee with the espresso maker: The brewing water temperature is so high (well over 96 ° Celsius) that too many bitter substances are dissolved from the coffee powder. The high temperature of the rising water is enough that the coffee generally tastes too bitter because coffee is burned when the temperature is high.
Important! After the coffee has run through the riser pipe, you have to take the pot off the hot stove as quickly as possible. Otherwise, further water vapor would rise through the coffee and dissolve many unpleasant bitter substances (“stove pot effect”).
5 valuable tips for preparation with an espresso maker
1. Tip: You should always fill the funnel insert to the brim with coffee grounds. The sieve must not be underfilled. An espresso maker of a certain size is only suitable for preparing the intended number of cups.
2. Tip: During the extraction of the coffee with the espresso maker, temperatures of 100 ° Celsius, and more arise. The coffee burns as a result and tends to taste bitter. You can compensate for this by working with a higher dose, i.e. using more coffee grounds. At the same time, you should also set the grinding degree a little coarser. This increases the acidity while the bitterness is somewhat compensated, and the drink tastes more balanced in the end.
3. Tip: Always use preheated or hot water, which you fill in the lower part of the espresso maker. This means that the espresso maker does not have to heat up so much. This will reduce the time that the coffee powder is unnecessarily heated before the actual extraction begins.
The result: the coffee will taste more aromatic and less bitter.
4. Tip: While the espresso maker is on the stove, we advise you to leave the lid of the pot open. This gives you more control over the extraction. When the jug is about half full, it’s time to take the espresso maker off the stove. Another advantage: when the lid is open, the condensed water vapor cannot run back into the jug. You can use it to further improve the taste of the coffee.
Tip 5: After you have taken the espresso maker off the stove, the best way to stop the brewing process is to hold the lower part of the espresso maker under cold running water. Alternatively, you can wrap the lower part in a cold, damp cloth. As a result of the temperature drop, the steam condenses, the pressure drops, and the extraction is completely stopped. No further bitter substances are thereby dissolved. The finished coffee will taste even more balanced.
Bialetti espresso maker Instructions: step by step
Preparation with the espresso maker is very popular. Below we have written down step by step instructions for the espresso maker with which, in our opinion, you will get the most out of the coffee taste.
Bring filtered water to a boil in a kettle. Fill the hot water from the kettle to just below the small valve in the lower part of the espresso maker. Make sure the valve is not in the water.
Grind lightly roasted espresso beans directly before brewing. Use a grinder with a conical or disk grinder. Now, fill the coffee grounds into the funnel insert of the espresso maker. Spread the coffee grounds evenly, but do not press it down. Avoid using dark roasts because they tend to produce bitter coffees.
Place the funnel insert with the coffee grounds on the base of the pot. Then screw the upper part onto the base. Make sure the rubber seal is clean so that it closes well.
Now you can put the espresso maker on the stove with the lid open and turn the stove on to medium heat.
As soon as the water in the lower part starts to boil, the coffee starts to run out in the upper part. Wait until the jug is full and you can hear a gurgling or hissing sound. Now, it is high time you switched off the stove and interrupted the brewing process.
Take the espresso maker off the stove and hold the base under cold running water. This will stop the extraction. As a result of the temperature drop, the steam condenses and the pressure decreases. As a result, the coffee does not burn as much.
Pour the coffee into a cup and let it cool for another 2-3 minutes before drinking it.
Grind & coffee beans for the espresso maker
You should grind the coffee beans right before preparing the coffee – ideally with a grinder with a conical or disc grinder. We recommend using lightly roasted espresso beans. You will also achieve good results with darker coffee roasts that have reduced acidity. When choosing the beans, you should make sure that nutty, caramel, or chocolate aromas are involved. Then the coffee tastes pleasantly strong and full-bodied.
We recommend a fine grind, but not a very fine espresso grind, but a slightly coarser grain. This means that the coffee does not taste so bitter.
Clean the espresso maker
Cleaning the espresso maker is very easy. After use, the jug must be well cooled before you disassemble it for cleaning. First, you remove the coffee grounds from the funnel insert, then clean the filter plate with the metal sieve thoroughly with warm water and then rinse the kettle and the upper part of the jug with warm water. Finished! You shouldn’t use soap or washing-up liquid as this can negatively affect the taste of the coffee.
Before you put the espresso maker back away, it should be dry. Make sure that the jug is not stored tightly screwed together. This will protect the rubber seals. If a rubber seal has become porous, you can replace it inexpensively in most models.
Bialetti espresso maker recipe (10 cups)
Espresso Maker Recipe
By John Ordishy
May 10, 2020
You can prepare a strong coffee with the espresso maker at home with simple means if you follow our recipe. Here you can find our recipe for 10 cups of coffee with the Bialetti Venus espresso maker made of stainless steel.
Nutritional information (500 ml):
0 grams of fat
– Bialetti Venus espresso maker for 10 cups
– 500 ml hot water
– 48 g coffee grounds
Instructions for preparing 500 ml of coffee with the espresso maker:
Step 1: Fill the hot water from the kettle to just below the small valve in the lower part of the espresso maker.
Step 2: Pour freshly ground coffee into the funnel insert of the espresso maker.
Step 3: Put the funnel insert with the coffee grounds on the base of the pot.
Step 4: Place the espresso maker on the stove with the lid open and turn the stove on over medium heat.
Step 5: Wait until the pot is full and you can hear a gurgling.
Step 6: Take the espresso maker off the stove and hold the base under cold running water.
Step 7: Pour the coffee into a cup and let it cool for another 2-3 minutes before drinking.
We have a hard time explaining the popularity of the Italian coffee pot because it is user-friendly. And in our opinion, the coffee that is prepared with it does not taste as good as filter coffee from the hand filter ( e.g. with the Hario V60 ).
So it is not surprising that our two espresso makers are gathering dust in the kitchen drawer since we bought an espresso machine with a dual boiler and are increasingly preparing coffee with the Chemex, the Kalita Wave hand filter, or a Hario V60.
Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to always have a small Bialetti with you when traveling, because it is robust and easy to stow away. And with the Bialetti espresso maker instructions described above, you can achieve acceptable results and prepare a strong black coffee.