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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Coffee Maker

I do not make a good cup of coffee. In fact, I don't even own a coffee maker. Whenever we have a gang over I have to go begging for a coffee maker to serve up the brew. At my house it's never a BYOB, bring your own booze but a bring your own (coffee) brew.

Each time I borrow a coffee maker the owner has to patiently explain how many scoops, how much water, this button, that plug... the whole shebang. I always aimed for the black tar look myself.

The reason I don't make a decent cup of coffee is because a good friend gave me a little Bialetti stove top espresso maker. It's perfect for my one cup a day habit.

Stove top espresso makers are simplicity in themselves to use. The bottom is filled with cold tap water to the level of the safety valve, the funnel is placed over the water and packed with coffee grounds. Then the top part of the espresso maker is screwed into place. When the coffee pot is placed on the stove top, the heat forces the water and steam to expand. Hot water shoves its way through the coffee grounds and rains into the top part as a perfect brew.

In Italian, this is commonly known as the Vesuvio method. Before yesterday, I thought this referred to the explosion of good coffee streaming upward into the upper chamber of the espresso maker. But now I know better.

Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano in Naples, Italy and it's famous eruption in 79A.D. destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum. This volcano is considered to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.

Back to my coffee maker. I love my Bialetti and I take very good care of it. I regularly take it apart to rinse out all the stray grains of coffee. It's been good to me and I've been good to it. But I did discover how important the little filter plate over the coffee grounds can be....

Without the top filter plate, the Bialetti explodes coffee grains all over the kitchen like Mount Vesuvius seeking Pompeii.

There are no words.

The bottom part was completely blasted clean of every coffee grain.


enza said...

oh dear!
I must apologize, I'm still laughing!
the filter is crucial! and the plastic\elastic gasket around the filter too.
When you wash your moka (ok now some explantion, in Italy this is called moka not espresso) you must use only fresh water not washing-up liquid
nd don't touch the gasket and the upside filter! just wash it with water.
going on the filter can be clogged by coffee so you must change it

ok I must going to work but your story has made me merry :D

Jenny said...

I remember that little expresso pot of yours. It works perfect for when you and I get together and makes exactly enough expresso for us. :-)

BC said...

Oh Enza, I could have used your advice a few days ago!

You're right Jenny - it's a perfect little coffee maker.