If you want delicious espresso at home but cant afford an excellent espresso machine try a moka pot.
Positive Product Points
Delicious espresso when used with a good espresso grind coffee.
Negative Product Points
more trouble to clean than my gold mesh drip filter and coffee pot.
I have always enjoyed my coffee. But I only like it with Half & Half. Milk or evaporated milk will do when camping or in a pinch any time. I don’t like to drink sweet coffee b/c of the calories in sugar or the artificial in sugar substitutes. Maybe that is why I am not hot on Starbucks although I like their lattes.
Anyway, I have been a drip coffee drinker and Kirkland from Costco was what I usually used. Then I went to Italy. I loved that Italian espresso, with 1/2 and 1/2 , of course or latte. So i am not a straight shot of espresso kind of girl. When I came home I bought a Mr. Coffee Espresso machine and used Costco Kirkland drip grind coffee. Uh...no...that was not IT. I gave it to one of my kids. Back to drip.
While in Australia with our whole family there was no coffee maker in our condo so I bought the biggest Moka Pot (cheaper that a drip brewer) I could find to fix coffee in our condo kitchen for six of us. It was very, very delicious. But, it was more work than a coffee maker of course. When I got home I used it for awhile but didn’t like using it b/c it was aluminum so I bought a Guido Bergna stainless steel at the mall and used my costco coffee. It was good but more work that the dripper so I eventually stopped using it.
Then I went to Italy again in 2004. That espresso was so very delicious! I was determined to try to duplicate it at home. That is when I first found the Coffeegeek.com site and other coffee sites. I learned about roasting your own coffee in a popcorn popper. Since I had a hot air popper I ordered some green beans just for the fun of trying it out. And it worked! And my own freshly roasted coffee was good but it still was not like that Italian Espresso. I ordered espresso blends and used my drip brewer. Nope that was not IT. I bought an I-Roast coffee roaster. Good but still not--Italian Espresso. I had a lot of fun just roasting all kinds beans and blending them and drip brewing them. Then I got a Bodum coffee press. Good too but still not, you-know-what. It was more hassle to clean and keep the coffee hot for my second cup so I stopped using it after awhile and continued using my dripper with the gold mesh filter.
Then I bought some really expensive green Kona Coffee. I roasted it and it was just OK. Not as good as the last cheaper Kona i had bought. Maybe too well balanced. I decided to look into getting a real espresso machine. My daughter had gotten one as a wedding present from her husband >$1000. I did not want to spend that much but I would see what I could find out. I was seriously considering a super automatic for a while. Then I decided that I was capable of learning how to use the Rancilio Silvia but before I bought I wanted to taste my daughter’s espresso from her expensive machine when we went over for dinner. It was delicious but such a small amount. I had three double cappas. And then I had trouble getting to sleep that night.
Nevertheless, the next day I was on the verge of buying the Silvia but I chickened out. What if it was too much hassle? I don’t think I can give up my mugs of coffee. I don’t know if I want lattes all the time. What if I buy this and then stop using it? I could get the bottomless portafilter and get a triple shot. But what if the steaming wand is as much of a pain to clean as the one on the Mr. Coffee Espresso machine? These and other questions kept me from buying the espresso machine.
I had a new can of Illy espresso ground coffee I had bought to learn how to make espresso when the Silvia came. So, I decided to pull out the moka pot and use the Illy. I filled the filter completely. No tamping. cleaned the edges of spilled coffee so it would get a good seal and fired up the stove.
Wow! That was delicious....so much body and so smooth. This may not be IT but it is waaaaaaaay closer than anything else I have tried. Later I gound some of my own home roasted beans used them in the moka pot. Mmmmmmm ...delicious...again. Even later, I wanted to use some of my drip grind up so I made drip coffee from the same beans. Yuk! Bitter! That does it. Forget the dripper. The Moka Pot makes such full bodied, delicious espresso.... and lots of it. Absolutely yummy.
I have a 6 “cup” which by the time I add my 1/2 & 1/2 is enough for two real cups of coffee. I just ordered two more moka pots. A 4 “cup” so I can make just one mug in the afternoon and a 10 ‘cup’ for company.
Three Month Followup
Still using my moka pots 3-4 times a day. Love it!