Gadgets 018: Stovetop espresso maker, Seinfeld trick calendar generator, speed reading and more


I rather like the following description of moka pots: “an inexpensive alternative to making good coffee”


My grandmother used one of these for decades. I recall her serving me and my sisters tiny cups of espresso (so we’d have a proper drink with our biscotti) made with a well-used Bialetti. (I don’t know if she was the operator, but her restaurant, Fugazzi’s, had a towering espresso machine used to crank out shots for the old italian men and beatniks who frequented the place.)

I picked up a classic Moka and a larger round-topped knock-off, and use them periodically:


You look less like John Oliver in the full size picture.

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I have been using one of these since the glass pot for our percolator broke for the third time. Of course you have to buy a replacement glass jug for the percolator, from the manufacturer which makes it so expensive that you might as well buy a new percolator . I find that I can get two full mugs of good coffee from our stovetop, which is a slightly larger one, by filling the filter to the brim with coffee and not pressing it down tight then screwing the top and simply adding boiled water to half a mug of the percolated coffee. Its just about the right strength. The stronger the blend number the stronger the coffee. This morning I used a number one and it was fine. I keep the percolator for when we have guests

I use our Bialetti every single day after we get home from work, same cooking method on the stove with the “6 cup” version, but I go full high on the heat till it slowly spews for a bit, then turn it down to the lowest simmer and watch it finish.
Never did the sugar trick, I’ll have to try that.
For the milk, I put about 8 ounces in a quart wide mouth jar and froth with my stick blender. Then put that in the microwave for 1 minute 25 seconds (the right amount after trial and error) then pour into regular coffee mugs for two.
In case you’re wondering, frothing prior to heating creates a superior creamy concoction. Better than 90 percent of the baristas I have encountered using steam.

I love these Stovetop espresso machines, since I think they make realy the best tasting coffee!
I used a similar machine since night and day, but I changed mine recently for an inox model, since the previous one was made out of aluminium…
It seems that aluminium has a bad effect on our body and health, so I decided to exclude aluminium from my daily food and drink processing and intake.
Same brand, same good coffee, but a different model…
(I hope U can see the image, since I’m not allowed to display images)


Here is your picture :smile:

I froth using a small french press; I’ll have to try froth first then heat next time.

What do you use as the frothing mechanism? The included plunger thingie?

Yeppity yep.

I’m being utterly subjective about this but it seems to me that the coffee is better out of a steel pot as well.

Currently I have a 4 cup Musa and that’s just about right for a single cup. (The cup sizes refer to espresso cups, obviously.)

3 teaspoons of ground coffee, no tamping, water up to the valve, and let it go on the stove for a few minutes. I don’t bother doing anything fancy with the milk, just straight in.

Sometimes I think it’d be nice to get a machine, but when I actually think about the stuffing around it involves, yeah, simplicity is best. Just make the stove’s turned off when you’re done!

After melting a few Bialettis, I found this one. Metal and glass, same price. Problem solved.

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