I admit it. I am a self professed coffee addict. Espresso flows in these veins. My boys will tell you, “Momma is not happy until she gets her coffee”. They have even been known to bribe me by saying, “ Can we go to Target and get a toy? Target has a Starbucks”. I have at least one pot of coffee at my house a day and stop once a day sometimes twice for a frozen coffee drink. There are many things in this world I love and towards the top of my list is my espresso pot.
My love affair began six years ago when my best friend bought me this contraption. I was spending over $6 a day if not more on my 5 shot, 5 Splenda, iced caramel macchiato. I could have bought a pack of diapers every other day for that price. As far as addictions go though, I picked a fairly cheap one.
I am on my second espresso pot, the old one served its time and I had to let it go. This is a great, very cheap way to make your own espresso. The bottom half unscrews from the top half and inside is a removable metal brew basket/ filter. It is sort of a double broiler for coffee. The basket comes out and the bottom is a metal cup. The picture doesn’t show it, but there is a steam release hole on the other side about 7/8ths from the top of the cup. You fill the bottom chamber with cold water to right below this hole. Replace the filter and load your espresso. I like Café Bustelo, but if you do not like a very strong brew you can experiment with different dark roast just make sure that it is ground super fine. If there is a grinder in your grocery store coffee isle there is an espresso setting. Do not over fill the basket or pack it down. Screw the top back on and you are ready to brew.
Put the pot on a stove burner and turn the burner on high. Here’s a tip. The handle is plastic so set the pot as close to the edge of the burner as possible so that the handle is not over the burner. You only have to sear your hand once to remember that burning plastic and your fingers don’t like each other. There is no set time as to how long it takes. I watch for steam to start coming from the spout. You will hear it start to bubble. Once all the racket stops carefully lift the lid to see if your espresso has filled the top chamber. If so, take it off the heat, remember to turn the stove off, and you are ready to make your tasty beverage.
Using this pot I can make my $6+ drink for pennies. I do not use exact measurements instead I go by color. In a 16 oz. cup I pour espresso to a count of three, I add three Splenda’s, a splash of imitation vanilla extract, and a little over half the cup with ice. I use 2% milk and fill until my drink is a medium caramel color. The darker your mix the stronger it will taste. I experimented a lot until I got it just the way I liked it. If I have splurged at the store and got caramel syrup, I top off my drink with it. I have also tried it with Almond extract and it was delicious too.
I have the exact pot as in the picture above. It is a 6-cup Bonjour Milano Espresso Maker. You can find them online for around $17.00. I got both of mine from ROSS. I always see them at stores like ROSS, Marshalls, and T.J. Maxx. Most people don’t know what they are so they leave them on the shelf. Good news for you! Both of mine were under $7. The espresso I use is under $4 and you only use a scoop and a half of it per pot. I can make three drinks from one pot of espresso. A large bottle of imitation vanilla extract (8oz.) is under $2. Sweetener of your choice if you buy store brand is usually under $4 for a 100 count.
Coffee store iced caramel macchiato $6.50
Homemade iced caramel macchiato ~$0.50
The best part is that you can experiment with different flavor syrups or types of milk, using honey instead of a sweetener. Now you can add Barista to the list of things Moms rock at!