Stovetop Espresso Tips
One of the brew methods we don’t talk about that often is stovetop espresso! Using classic percolation techniques along with some physics, stovetop espresso is a fun way to get your caffeine fix! Here are some quick tips to getting the best espresso you can out of your brewer.
Prepare it Properly
One good first step for your stovetop is to wash it in soap and hot water, then brew a few pots with some old beans. This will break it in and clean out any leftover oils from the machining process. After you’ve done this, wash it again with hot water and soap, and you’ll start getting some excellent espresso.
Keep it Clean
Making stovetop espresso can be a messy process. Oil buildup can happen on any equipment that contacts coffee, so keeping your mokapot or other stovetop brewer clean is important. Regular washing of your brewer is important. We recommend doing so after every brew. On top of this, it’s worth descaling with a descaler or vinegar every few months depending on how frequently you use your stovetop brewer. If you really use your mokapot a lot you can also clean it every week or so with a little bit of Cafiza cleaning powder.
Check the Gasket
One of the most common issues we see with stovetop brewers is degradation of the rubber gasket around the piece that detaches. It’s important that this gasket provide the proper seal or the pressure buildup in the lower half of the brewer can be too low. If you’ve had your brewer for many years and the gasket is wearing out, consider replacing it. Keep in mind though, a new gasket will take some time to break-in, so you may need to run some water through it a few times and be patient as it settles.
Get the Grind Right
Like with EVERY brew method, your grind is one of the most important parts of the brewing process! Stovetop espresso doesn’t get its name for nothing. You’ll want to use a grind fine enough for use in an espresso machine to really get it right. This might require a grinder with finer grinding than what you have available.
Espresso grinders are generally pretty specialized, so your slow brew coffee grinder is likely not up to the task. You’ll want something like a Eureka Mignon Notte or other grinder designed for espresso specifically to get the proper grind.
When you want to adjust the flavor of your mokapot, be sure to do it by changing one variable at a time. Adjusting your grind will help you compensate for a sour or bitter taste, but if you change your grind AND your stove setting you’re introducing another variable. For this reason, it’s key that you keep your grind constant when making temperature adjustments, and your temp stable when making grind adjustments.
This is true for your water also, if you switch to a different kind of water, or even a different kind of kettle, it’s good to keep everything else stable to understand how it’s affecting flavor.
With these tips in mind, you should be able to get some pretty tasty stovetop espresso, and get it consistently!