To make authentic Italian coffee all you need is a moka pot also known as a macchinetta (literally “small machine”).
You can create a Caffe Macchiato, Caffe Latte, and a Cappuccino. The difference between them is how much milk you use and if it is steamed or foamed.
Italian Coffee Vocabulary & Definitions:
Espresso is a strong coffee with a thicker consistency. It is a base for other drinks, such as a latte, cappuccino, and macchiato.
Espresso con Macchiato (also called Caffè Macchiato)
This is an espresso with a “spot” of hot milk. Macchiato literally means mark. The espresso is marked with a spot of hot milk.
This translates to coffee with milk. This is just an espresso served with steamed (hot) milk.
This is an espresso with steamed milk and then topped off with foamed milk. The layers are: Bottom third espresso, middle third hot milk, top third foamed milk.
NOTE: You don’t really drink a cappuccino after 10:30 a.m. It is only for breakfast. After 10:30 a.m. everyone switches to espresso.
The reason I was taught this is because drinking warm milk during the day will make you sick and it isn’t good for your digestion.
Another Note: Italians are a bit crazy about their digestion. What to eat, what not to eat – it goes on and on.
Now here’s what you will need to make an Italian Coffee:
– Bialetti Espresso Maker
– Espresso Coffee Grinds (I like Lavazza)
– A handheld milk frother (If you decide to make a cappuccino)
– Milk (If you decide to make a macchiato, latte, or cappuccino)
Preparation: Italian Coffee
1. First you will break down the moka pot into it’s 3 parts. Fill the bottom part with very cold water to the rim.
2. Fill the filter with the grinds to the top of the rim (do not pack it in).
3. Next float the filter with the grinds on top of the water (see pic below).
4. Next screw the top part on tightly and put it on the stove with medium to low heat.
NOTE. While you are waiting on it to percolate take a regular coffee cup and fill with about 3 to 4 teaspoons of sugar.
5. When it starts to percolate pour about 2 to 3 teaspoons of the espresso into the sugar and with a spoon stir fast to break it down.
NOTE: this will make sugar for about 3 cups of espresso.
Note: put the moka pot back onto the stovetop until it is finished and then you take it off the heat.
6. Stir fast until you have a light caramel color like this
7. Now that you have your creama you can take a teaspoon of it and add it to a separate espresso cup.
8. Pour the espresso into this cup and stir, you will see a caramel color surface to the top and now you have a beautiful coffee to drink!
Now remember if you want to turn this espresso (Italian Coffee) into:
– Caffe Macchiato, you add a spot of hot milk
– Caffe Latte, you add about 1/2 cup of hot milk
– Cappuccino, you add a layer of hot milk, and a layer of foamed milk (1/3 each)
That’s It! Now you are can be your own personal Barista at home!