The world is a better place once you have managed a good stovetop espresso, so to get you riding down the road to nirvana you’ll need to get yourself equipped with the following:
It’s crazy to think that’s it between you and a good fix of the caffeine!
If you are to learn one lesson on this ride that will make a big difference to your street credibility, then this is the one: Grind your own beans.
With the range of budget to blockbuster grinders out there today, it makes no sense to have your beans ground at your local artisan coffee bean pickup and have them air tight at home for the next four weeks. They’ll lose all their character and worldly worth as they age in secret in your cupboard/fridge/freezer.
You will at best enjoy your first week of pre ground beans and then slowly find yourself serving up excuses for the following weeks until you have emptied the soulless remnants of your once fine beans.
Unless you’re living in remote places, it’s best to buy small amounts of beans that have a roast date between 1 to 7 days old. This gives the beans and you the best window for which they should be consumed. Remember, once beans are roasted they are in a cycle of change that can no longer be held back.
As the gods intended it, best pure. I have used everything from local tap (chlorine infused) to filtered and even the boiled kettle. All work, but to be fair the filtered tap is the best. Let’s face it – we are typically out to extract the bean flavours and not so much the other elements of our water supply.
If you have one of those nifty kitchen gadgets (Zip Hydro Filters) that expels filtered hot water on demand, then your pulling water wheelies and are likely to have graduated past stovetop and have a mean commercial espresso machine on the bench as well.
The fire of life, may it be from the gas top stove to the outback billy boil. Preferably your heat source is not larger than your stovetop moka. If you’re using a gas stovetop like me, grab yourself a stove trivet.