New England mornings remind me of a few different things, but one memory in particular includes a large cup of Dunkin’ coffee, sitting out in the yard with the green grass beneath my toes, birds singing and conversations with my grandma. One thing that her and I have in common is that we both enjoy our caffeine fix and it’s the way we love to start our day.
I can say that I have been an avid coffee sipper since a very young age and that I’ve moved on from heavy syrups and sugar to craving that deep, rich taste that these beans provide. Little did I know that I was about to discover the art of espresso and how simple it is to make without a super fancy machine.
When I traveled to Italy for the second time in my life to stay with my boyfriend’s family for sei settimane (6 weeks), I basically said to myself, “HELLO REGNO (KINGDOM) of CAFFÈ!” I learned that Italians take their espresso as seriously as New Englanders take their iced coffee. At first taste I wondered, what is this powerful and ever-so-flavorful substance that has now changed my life forever? Yes, guys — it’s espresso (recognized as caffè). Please note that this does NOT compare or even come close to what I’ve had at Starbucks, not to mention the price is significantly cheaper.
At the “bar” you can get an amazing tazzina di caffè (little cup of espresso) for 1 Euro. Yep, all of that energy for one guaranteed low price. Also, the “bar” is known for espresso and alcohol (sounds good to me). So it’s perfectly fine to say that you are going to a bar before work in Italy.
The first thing I bought to bring back to the states was Italy’s finest, a Bialetti Moka (3 cup gets the job done for 2). This one went to my mom as a gift, but of course we put the Moka through a few rounds of Lavazza before the official handoff.
The Moka below is our little pride and joy and she has contributed to my happiness in countless ways. Yes, I sound crazy, but believe me…if you are a coffee lover, you must try this out!
This is how it’s done:
1, Twist off the bottom and fill up with cold water until you hit the small silver bubble on the side.
2. Place the filter on the top and give it a good tap so that no water comes through the small holes.
3. Fill the filter with espresso, but do not pack the espresso in.
4. Place on the top and screw down tightly.
5. Place the Moka on the stove (gas stove preferred but others work just fine) and wait.
It should only be a few minutes before you will start to hear the bubbling and after a quick peek inside, you’ll see that luxurious substance coming through to the top.
6. Remove the Moka from the heat and place to the side until the espresso has been filtered through.
7. Take a spoon and mix the espresso on top.
8. Pour into your tazzina and get ready for some pep in your step and a buona giornata (good day)!
There you have it, a simple, affordable way to make espresso just like Italians do! The instant pick me up is something that I enjoy every morning and most afternoons. Cheers to you Guppy, I look forward to sharing a tazzina di caffè with you one day!
Con un cucchiaino di zucchero (with a small spoon of sugar),