Moka Express

Our last apartment was so small that the idea of a fancy espresso machine was simply out of the question. Add to this the fact that once you have used the ‘Grunstein Industrial Coffee Machine’, you can’t really go back to consumer level machines. However, to achieve this level of coffee splendour you need to replumb your kitchen, have a dedicated cubic metre of space and have your coffee flown in from Costa Rica.

The Moka Express is a classic invention that I have often seen people, especially Italians, using but had never quite realized how genius it was. Unlike crappy filter coffee machines and those stupid plunger things, these sit on your hob and generate the high pressures required to extract flavour from your coffee. They are simple to use, quick to clean and do a remarkably good job of making a coffee. Clearly they are not superior to the real thing - but at 15 quid a pop you can’t really go wrong. I use a 6 cup one to make two mugs of strong coffee.

Using these it turns out that the really major factor in making a good coffee - wait for the shock here - is the coffee you use. The difference is amazing. Try Lavazza for a compromise between expense and taste (Carte D’Or Lavazza Latte Macchiato Ice Cream is also delicious!). Don’t bother grinding your own - unless you have a dedicated grinder that produces exactly the right grind size / consistency. You will probably go through coffee pretty fast, and if kept in a sealed jar you should be good to go.

Thanks Jed Needle and Maria Vogelauer for independently making me aware of these things.

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