One of my favourite things in the world is a really well made coffee, but lately I have been finding it harder and harder to come accross a shop that can make one that I really enjoy. I have scoured all accross the city trying to find the best coffee in Toronto, but it wasn’t until a few days ago that I realized I could make the best one right at home with minimal effort. (NOTE: I understand that many people get coffee while at work so this method doesn’t always work but even if you typically purchase a coffee on the weekend or in the morning this can be a great way to save some money).

It all started about 6 months ago when I was in Italy. I wanted to bring back a souvenir that would remind me of my trip so I decided to buy a Bialetti stove-top espresso maker. I picked up a small 2-cup maker for 18 euros (roughly $27 CDN). Prior to this I had a Breville Cafe Modena Espresso Machine (the most basic one) but never really got around to using it because I felt it was somewhat complicated and required lots of work to clean after each use.

Bialetti Moka Express

This actually sat in the box in my house for almost 6 months after my trip because I never took the time to really figure out how it worked. Knowing that I would like to really try this thing out one day I also invested in a coffee grinder, which I purchased from The Bay for around $20 (on sale for half price from about $40). The reason I purchased my own grinder was I had heard that to make the best coffee it was important to grind the beans just before you used them. This is what I bought:

Hamilton Beach Custom Grind Deluxe

It wasn’t until this past weekend when I bought a similar espresso maker (different brand) for my girlfriend that I really got around to putting these things to use. I am sure the different brands of stove top espresso makers all work equally great so I only mention Bialetti in this post as this is the one I purchased. I stopped in at Sobey’s and picked up some Van Houtte Espresso Beans so I could finally try this thing out. I didn’t expect too much from these beans since they were the ones they sold by bulk, but figured they would be a great test to see how the coffee maker actually worked.

After a few uses I have to say that this combination has made me some of the best coffee’s I have had EVER! The coffee taste is nice and strong, just the way I like it and full of great flavour! I am not sure if grinding the beans makes a huge difference, but at this point it is working amazingly so I won’t change it. I am also not too sure how much of a difference the beans themselves make so I will eventually try other brands, but right now I am very happy with the ones from Van Houtte. I have also been using the steamer on my Breville espresso machine to steam some milk to go in with the pure espresso which has worked great, but I think heating it up over the stove would work fine also.

Bialetti Moka Express Cooling Down After Making Espresso

The Bialetti is super easy to use, all you need to do is fill the bottom with water, add your grinded coffee into a metal filter-like holder and place on the stove for about 3-5 minutes. Here are the instructions shown on the box:

How To Use A Bialetti Moka Express

The cost per cup of coffee (double shot espresso) I would estimate works out to around $0.30 with milk which is a BARGAIN compared to the almost $3 I was spending each day for an americano. If I wanted to make an americano at home I expect the cost would be just about $0.10 per double shot americano! The total time to make one is also only around 10 minutes including clean up time (note you have to let it cool before cleaning, and can only use water to clean the maker)!

Overall, this is definitely one of the best purchases I have made and I can’t wait to play around with it more by trying different types of drinks as well as different types of espresso beans.

If you are looking for a way to save some money on your daily coffee while also enjoying an awesome product this is definitely the way to go!

If anyone has any tips or also uses a similar method let me know in the comments below :)