To Make Authentic Italian Coffee it starts with Espresso:
Espresso is a technical term for the type of coffee grind being used to make the coffee. In Italy when you order a coffee you would ask for ‘un caffe’, which is simply a coffee made with espresso. Now all you need is a moka pot also known as a macchinetta (literally “small machine”).
Espresso is brewed by expressing or forcing out a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. It has a rich flavor with a thicker consistency and is the base for other drinks, such as a Latte, Cappuccino, and Macchiato. If you are interested in coffee drink recipes go here.
Typically, you would not order a Cappuccino, Caffe latte, or Caffe Macchiato after 10:30 a.m. and especially not after a meal. The Italians believe that too much milk on your stomach mid-day or after a late night meal is not good for digestion.
Now here’s what you will need to make an Italian Coffee (Espresso):
Below is how you setup the Moka Pot step by step and make the Espresso. I am also showing you how to make the cremina, which is the sugar cream that you will find in certain regions of Italy. If you don’t want the cremina simply ignore those steps.
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.
If you want to make the cremina (sugar cream) take a regular coffee cup and fill with about 3 to 4 teaspoons of sugar. If not just wait for the coffee to percolate and once it is finished you can pour yourself an espresso. The directions below continue on to make the cremina.
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. 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!
That’s It! Now you are can be your own personal Barista at home!