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How To: Make Stovetop Espresso

Allow us to introduce you to the magic that is stovetop espresso. No crazy-expensive machine required.


This is the Italian way of making coffee, and it’s also become the official Salt House way. You may have heard of the moka pot. It’s a small metal device that sits on the stove, and makes coffee by passing boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee.


Coffee fanatics have a lot of extra tips that they integrate into the process, but we find our simple method gets the job done well. Just be sure to remove the coffee from the heat as soon as it’s done, or you’ll risk burning it. Depending on the size moka pot you use and how hot your water is, it takes between 9 and 12 minutes.


How To Do It

1. Fill lower chamber of moka pot with hot or warm water. It’s better to use hot water so that the process takes less time, in turn decreasing your chances of burning the coffee. You want to add enough water so that the filter basket sits right on top of it, without the water coming through.


2. Place the filter basket over the lower chamber. Spoon ground espresso into the filter basket until it’s full.


3. Screw top of moka pot onto bottom and place onto stovetop burner.


4. Brew over medium heat. You’ll hear the coffee bubbling as it fills the top of the pot.


5. When it’s done bubbling, the coffee is done. Serve and enjoy!

About The Coffee

We like Illy Dark Roast Ground Espresso, available here and at most local grocery stores.


You can also buy beans from your local coffee shop. They can even grind it for you; just let them know you’ll be using a moka pot to brew it.

Tips For Serving

AM –– Enjoy it with a homemade nut milk for a creamy, delicious latte at home. Learn all about our morning coffee ritual here.


PM –– A great way to turn a very simple dessert into more of an experience, try serving salted caramels or a simple cookie with your café for a special treat. Particularly useful for the end of a large meal, when you just don’t feel right about asking everyone to get down on a huge slice of apple pie.


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