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As any true coffee drinker in the world knows, it’s very important to get your favorite coffee drink right. Whether it’s the perfect cup of black coffee or a thoughtfully made cappuccino, we’ve all got our preferences. My go-to morning beverage of choice changes every now and then. For a long time, it was an 8 ounce cappuccino, but I’ve been on a long stretch of only small double iced lattes with extra ice. I started thinking about my favorite drinks back in my early days of coffee drinking, and my husband reminded me about my past love for white chocolate.
I had almost forgotten about this old favorite! It was a double espresso with a little bit of white chocolate, and I’d add a heavy-handed splash of milk. It was total perfection. I’m throwing it back today to my old go-to, because I miraculously have some Ghirardelli White Chocolate powder in the cupboard! Yahoo! (I actually prefer to use the powdered white chocolate in this drink, versus the syrup. Totally up to your own preference, though.)
I don’t have a fancy espresso maker at home (I wish…), but I do have my trusty little stove top espresso maker, which I love dearly. I love it so much that I want to teach you how to use one properly! It pretty closely mimics espresso from your favorite coffee shop (not exactly, but close enough), and you can take it with you wherever you go.
I learned this technique from a barista friend of mine, and I don’t deviate from it because from my experience, it results in the best espresso, and it never turns out bitter when I follow these instructions.
Step 0: You need to get a stainless steel stove-top espresso maker. I tried to use a non-stainless steel one in the past and it turned all sorts of colors, got a weird coating on it, and quickly became useless. This is the exact one that I have at home. You’ll also want an espresso tamper, to press the coffee grounds into the espresso maker.
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Step 2: Heat your water on the stove in a tea kettle unit almost boiling. This makes a difference because you’re getting your water hot before exposing it to the coffee grounds, which helps keep it from becoming bitter from brewing too long.
Step 3: Pour your hot water into the bottom of your espresso maker, only up to where the screw is. Don’t pour water above that level. Do this with the bottom sitting on a towel so you don’t burn yourself.
Step 4: Place the basket part into the bottom and fill it with espresso grinds, tamping it down. It doesn’t need to be packed crazy-tight, just firm enough that it’s not going anywhere.
Step 5: Screw the top portion tightly onto the bottom, holding the part with the water using a towel because it’s HOT!
Step 6: Set the espresso maker on the outer portion of a burner so that the handle isn’t directly over the heat. Leave the lid open so you can see inside.
Step 7: Turn the heat to high, and keep a close eye on it. The hot water will start bubbling up through your lovely espresso grounds, and you’ll start to see your espresso in the top portion. Let it collect in there until the color of the espresso starts to turn a little lighter, more tan color. (It’s really important to not let the brewing process continue past this point..this is where you’re going to get bitter coffee if you let it go too long.)
Step 8: Carefully remove the espresso maker from the heat and run the bottom portion under cool water to stop the brewing process.
Voila! You have just made some lovely espresso! If you want to turn it into a mocha, add some of your white chocolate powder while the espresso is still hot (I don’t like it super sweet, so I just add a little scoop), pour in your desired amount of milk, and add some ice! Then take it out in the sun and enjoy it!
P.S. Just a quick little mom hack..I like to make espresso in the evening, add a little milk to it (I think it keeps it from becoming bitter while it sits), and put it in a sealed container (or a glass with plastic wrap) in the fridge. When you get up and face the morning, all you need to do is add some more milk and ice! I know it makes my mornings smoother.