15 thoughts on “coffee

  1. vika

    Have you played with the stovetop espresso makers that have the frothing bit on top, where the coffee comes out? It’s weighted, so the steam has to build up before it’ll go POP, and suddenly there’s a lot of frothy, gorgeous espresso all at once. I highly recommend them both for the crema and for the amusement value.

  2. Jill

    Maybe that’s what I have? Weighted? Huh? Mine, you put the water in the bottom, when the pressure’s high enough it comes, well, not popping out the top but trickling then frothing fast.

    It actually goes pop? Mine just wooshes 🙂

    I like it though.

  3. vika

    Take a look at this page. From the photo you posted, you seem to have a Moka Express or similar. I was talking about the Brikka, which is identical except for the weighted gadget inside in the top part. It goes pop, whereas – you’re right – the Moka just wooshes. 🙂

  4. Jill

    Oh, yes, I have exactly that coffee maker. The Moka Express. I still don’t entirely get the Brikka but I’m going to check it out next time I go to the coffee pot shop which’ll be soon because that rubber ring thing is getting rather scruffy.

    Do you have a Brikka? There’s really a big difference?

  5. vika

    I have one of both: my Moka only serves one, so when Ethan moved here I was looking to buy a larger espresso maker and came across the Brikka in Rome. Sadly, neither kind is significantly cheaper there than in the States anymore. The Brikka is oh, something like 5 Euro more than the Moka. Does it make a difference? If you’re into espresso-without-milk, it does: the frothy crema is much better. Other than that, taste-wise, I have not noticed a difference: if you know what you’re doing, both make excellent coffee.

    Mmm, coffee! I pour myself a travel mug’s worth as I go to teach a seminar on humanities computing in a medieval Italian literature class over here. Two and a half HOURS! I get them all to myself!!

  6. Jill

    Oh, I love your enthusiasm, Vika. And yeah, it is pretty special, having ’em all to yourselfs. Unless you’re exhausted 🙂

    I like milk in my coffee. Strong espresso and quite a lot of milk is my favourite. So perhaps the creaminess won’t matter much.

  7. diane

    You know, I’ve got one of these (the Moka) and I’ve had no luck at all. The coffee is not espresso-like — rather too thin, with very little crema. Tastes not too good. And it comes out too hot, practically boiling. What am I doing wrong?

  8. Jill

    Really? I love the taste of my Moka-made coffee.

    You’re using espresso-ground coffee, not coffee beans ground for a perculator or a plunger?

    I think I’ll go make some coffee 🙂

  9. diane greco

    Yeah… I think I’m using too much water. Any thoughts about the ideal ratio?

  10. Jill

    I fill the bottom bit up to the valve (so water doesn’t cover the valve), loosely place ground coffee in that coffee bit and it doesn’t need to be packed or to be completely utterly full – at least not according to my taste.

    It occurs to me that you also need coffee that’s espresso BURNT. You getting that?

  11. Henning

    There’s a line in the water container that marks the maximum level of water. Look closely cause it isn’t easy to discover at first.

    When it comes to taste. The higher pressure the better espresso. The idea is that the water must travel as quickly through the ground coffee as possible so that as little acid as possible is extracted in the process. The longer time the water takes through the ground coffee the more acid. Thats why good espresso machines have a pressure of at least 15 bar. When it comes to the Moka type machines you get the best results, in my opinion, when putting the Moka on a preheated stove so that it quickly boils.

  12. Henning

    Oh yes.. I forgot to mention that keeping the Moka clean is very very important for the best results. This is something that even professionals in cafes oversees (even in the popular ones) and it really bugs me. Equipment that is not clean makes the coffe kind of sour.

  13. Anonymous

    Thanks, Henning and Jill! The coffee is roasted to a turn… so I think the problem is that I’m using waaay too much water and probably also overpacking it. Will try & report back with my findings. Yum!

  14. Jill

    Oh, pressure, I hadn’t actually realised that about pressure, though it certainly makes sense.

  15. OleK

    trackback test + coffee
    i have tried to set up my blog to send trackbacks. in this post someone comments on keeping their espresso maker clean. i have heard that they only get better with use and that italian families fight over the espresso…

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