Prepare yourself Food-ology friends, today is a day I will not blog about cake.
I know, I know, cake is all I post these days. And that's because it's the only thing I've been making in the kitchen since my move back to Chicago. But I've got a little treat today, and it isn't sweet.
I went to visit Silvia at her house in Napa where we played with her cute girls, cooked more delicious pasta (recipe to come soon) and got a little wet while wine tasting and museum visiting at Hess Winery.
It's ridiculously simple, but I took some step-by-step photos to remind myself (and show you) how it's done. The real, Italian way, as told to me by Silvia*.
*Note: I am not an expert in this process, I'm just relaying you the information that was given to me. If you don't like what I'm saying- don't shoot the messenger!
Step 1: Purchase the proper equipment.
The espresso maker has three parts: a bottom receptacle (filled with water), the metal filter that sits on top of this bottom piece (filled with finely ground coffee beans), and the upper receptacle, which will fill up with your finished espresso after heating.
Step 2: Fill the bottom receptacle with water.
But whether you're a packer or not, you have to fill this filter with a lot of beans, otherwise the espresso will come out weak. Which is one reason why Silvia recommends getting the smaller machine. If you buy the bigger one you can't chose to make 1-2 servings of espresso, you have to make the whole shebang. So unless you're drinking 6+ espressos a day, it'll be a waste.
Step 5: Screw the top part of the espresso machine to the lower half and heat on a stove.
At first, the top receptacle is empty while the water is still heating up.
Step 6: Stir the espresso before pouring.
And a few more notes to help you make your perfect cup of espresso at home:
* When you first purchase the machine, make a few batches of espresso and throw them out. Apparently the metal on the inside needs to be "seasoned" a bit, and the first few batches might taste weird. On the plus side this means that like me, the espresso machine only gets better with age. ;)
* If you use the machine regularly, a simple rinse with warm water will suffice in cleaning the pot. If it's been a while perhaps you could use a little bit of soap, but not much and don't go crazy trying to scrub it clean. It won't and shouldn't look spanking new on the inside.
* Don't use regular coffee grinds with this machine, it won't come out the same. Make sure your coffee is ground specifically for espresso.
And there you have it, a perfect espresso!
Yours in making foods the real, Italian way,