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How To Make the Best Espresso Coffee Italian Style

Updated on October 17, 2012

Do You Love Espresso Coffee?

One of the many things that I love about Italy is the espresso coffee. Now it is part of my day-to-day life. There is no way I start my day without it, and another one after lunch is mandatory!

Of course, not everybody likes espresso; Two days ago I was in Paris with one french colleague, and he told me: "when I pay for coffee, I expect to receive a big coffee, not that espresso!". It is like the size of the little cup is not worth what he paid for.

So this article is for real espresso lovers... if you do not love espresso, stop reading right now, because I am showing you how to make the best espresso coffee italian style!

Kimbo Espresso Napoletano
Kimbo Espresso Napoletano

Choose Your Coffee Wisely!

The most important thing is to choose a good coffee; I have tried many of them, and I have found that the one I like the most (and also many of my friends) is this one: Kimbo Espresso Napoletano. If you can not find it in your supermarket, you can find it in Amazon.

Other very valid choices are: Illy, Pellini Top, Lavazza and Vergnano.

illy Coffee, Moka Ground, Medium Roast, 100% Arabica Bean Signature Italian Blend, Premium Gourmet Roasted Coffee, Pressurized Fresh 8.8 Ounce Tin, Stovetop Moka Pot Preparations
illy Coffee, Moka Ground, Medium Roast, 100% Arabica Bean Signature Italian Blend, Premium Gourmet Roasted Coffee, Pressurized Fresh 8.8 Ounce Tin, Stovetop Moka Pot Preparations

Richly aromatic with a well-defined body, moka stovetop coffee is an easy-to-prepare morning ritual in most Italian households / For stovetop makers Boiler temperature indicator Brass boiler to ensure an optimal temperature, and to produce more steam Decalcification indicator Dimensions - 12.2h x 11.0w x 13.2d.

Lavazza Crema e Gusto Ground Coffee Blend, Espresso Dark Roast, 8.8-Ounce Brick (Pack of 4)
Lavazza Crema e Gusto Ground Coffee Blend, Espresso Dark Roast, 8.8-Ounce Brick (Pack of 4)

Lavazza Crema E Gusto Ground Coffee is an Arabica/Indian/Robusta blend pre-ground espresso. It is a bold, chocolaty flavor and dark roasted. Designed for espresso machines it is packaged in 8.8-ounce bricks.

Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend, Medium Espresso Roast, 2.2-Pound Bag
Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend, Medium Espresso Roast, 2.2-Pound Bag

The Lavazza super crema, whole bean, 2.2 pound bag are a premium blend of 80% sweet arabicas and 20% robustas producing a rich, intense flavor with a thick espresso crema that holds up well in cappuccinos and lattes. Super crema can also be used with all other brewing methods for an extremely rich, flavorful coffee.

Caffe Vergnano 1882 Espresso (Fine Grind) - 8.8 Oz Can
Caffe Vergnano 1882 Espresso (Fine Grind) - 8.8 Oz Can

Made in Italy. Made with a 100% Arabica beans. Arabica coffee is the most prestigious type of coffee. The best of the Caffe Vergnano rang, in an elegant black can: the finest varieties of Arabica from Central and South America selected by the Vergnano family in the countries of origin and prepared according to the traditional recipe. The slow traditional roasting gives to the coffee a sweet flavor and rounded aroma. A great blend also for the most demanding connoisseurs with a low caffeine content, ideal to drunk in the evening. Packing in a protective atmosphere guarantees its fragrance and keeps it fresh.

Water on espresso coffee maker
Water on espresso coffee maker

Let the Ritual begin...

be precise on the water quantity

For me is pretty much a ritual now. I have gathered different techniques from many of my italian friends, and have applied them to my coffee making process. The result? Many of them after drinking coffee at my house say: "Wow Luis! this is truly a great coffee!"

First, take your well trained italian espresso coffee maker and add some water inside. It is very important that you do not use hot water. I use water from the faucet, as cool as it comes out. Hard water is not good for espresso coffee, so do not use it. There is a valve inside, fill it up until the water level is right below that little hole.

where do you keep your coffee
where do you keep your coffee

Where Do You Keep Your Coffee?

Keep it away from the sunlight!

I usually keep my coffee in a kitchen cabinet at room temperature, but away from the sunlight. I have heard from people that keep it in the refrigerator, but I personally do not like it; you can try that though, and see if it works for you.

Coffee in coffee maker
Coffee in coffee maker

Let's Add Some Coffee!

I like my coffee to have a strong flavor. So, I take the funnel on my italian moka and fill it up creating a "little mountain" on it. Do not press it, just leave it that way.

Also, make sure that the coffee you are putting on the coffee maker is finely ground.

What's your favorite coffee brand?

Not here? Add it!

The Author recommends: Bialetti Espresso Makers

The Original Bialetti Moka Express - 6 Cup Stovetop Coffee Maker with Safety Valve – brews 9.2 ounces
The Original Bialetti Moka Express - 6 Cup Stovetop Coffee Maker with Safety Valve – brews 9.2 ounces

Adding eclectic character to the kitchen stovetop, this polished-aluminum coffee pot features a unique octagon shape that was first designed in Italy in 1933. The unit makes six 2-ounce espresso cups of coffee in just four to five minutes and is extremely simple to use. Just fill the lower chamber with water and the top filter with fine-ground coffee. Then place the pot on the stove and heat until the water boils. Through a pressurizing process, espresso moves to the upper chamber of the pot, ready to be served. Other highlights include a flip-up top with an easy-grip knob, a stay-cool black plastic handle, and a side-pour spout. When finished using the unit, wash it by hand with warm soapy water and rinse clean. Made in Italy, the espresso maker measures 4-1/4 inches wide by 8 inches tall.

Bialetti Mukka Express Cappuccino Maker (Polished Aluminum)
Bialetti Mukka Express Cappuccino Maker (Polished Aluminum)

With most espresso makers, you have to steam the milk in a separate pitcher immediately after your espresso is brewed. Not so with the revolutionary new Mukka Express, made in Italy by the ever-popular Bialetti. This stovetop espresso maker produces two cups (7-1/2 ounces) of frothy cappuccino by brewing the espresso and steaming the milk into the same container. All you have to do is add the ingredients-water, ground coffee, and milk-and place the Mukka on a stovetop burner. Push in the central button to activate the frother. If you prefer steamed rather than frothy milk, in other words, a latte rather than a cappuccino, leave the button up. When it's done, pour the milky coffee into two cups or mugs, and enjoy.

Bialetti Cappuccino and Latte Set
Bialetti Cappuccino and Latte Set

Set which includes an Italian 6-cup aluminum, stovetop espresso maker along with an Italian milk frother. This set allows you to create a great tasting cappuccino or latte.

bialetti espresso coffee maker
bialetti espresso coffee maker

Flames On!

Screw tight your italian coffee pot and put it on the kitchen burner. Keep the flame to a normal level, because if it's high, your coffee will come out before its time, and it will probably will have this burned taste. Our coffee needs its own time!

Also, keep the lid of the coffee maker up: it will prevent that the condensed vapor going back to our ground coffee, which may variate its flavor.

Drink it the proper way!

Excellent capability of enhancing the aroma of the coffee thanks to the bottom designed especially for this purpose. Numbered collection in hard porcelain, decorated in seven colors, embellished with a fine gold under glaze and taken from original drawings by the artist Laura Sala.

Looking for a professional espresso maker? - Made in Italy!

De'Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
De'Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

With two thermostats for separately controlling water and steam pressure, this convenient appliance makes espresso or cappuccino at the perfect temperature for both. The 15-bar pump-driven machine features a durable stainless-steel broiler, and its self-priming operation allows for brewing a favorite beverage without annoying start-up preparations. In addition, the unit's unique dual-function filter accommodates both E.S.E. pods and ground espresso. Used with ground espresso, the filter mixes air into the brewing process to produce a perfect crema, which, distinguished by its caramel color, is the essence of authentic espresso. And for excellent cappuccinos, the espresso maker's adjustable swivel jet frother mixes steam and milk to create a rich creamy froth. Other highlights include a removable 35-ounce water tank for simple cleaning and filling, an "on/off" switch with an indicator light, and a removable drip tray. Designed and engineered in Italy, the 1000-watt espresso maker measures 7-1/2 by 9-1/2 by 11-1/8 inches and carries a one-year warranty.

stir coffee
stir coffee

Take it out as soon as it brews

Actually... before it does!

Do not leave the coffee on the burner. A second before it comes up completely, take it away from the burner.

If you are using a 1-cup coffee maker, just pour it to your italian coffee cup, and enjoy!

Instead, if you have a bigger espresso coffee maker and you are sharing it with more people, take a teaspoon and stir it a little bit (5 times will suffice).

There you are: you have prepared your own espresso coffee italian style!

Buon caffè!

SquidAngel Blessings!

This lens was blessed by the following SquidAngels:

Photahsiamirabel on 09/23/2010.

CCGAL on 10/10/2010.

Pukeko on 10/27/2010.

MisterJeremy on 11/12/2010.

TravelingRae on 08/23/2011.


Anything to share?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Excellent lens. The most professional advices on making the best traditional espresso. Deserved more than just angels' blessings in my humble opinion. A+:=)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Perfect recipe. If you want to have even a better coffee pay attention to the water as well!

    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 

      6 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Very nice espresso instructions. I have a the DeLonghi model you show and it is great.

    • mglee2010 profile image


      6 years ago

      Great stuff on espresso, one of my favorite drink. Also like my own Cuisinart Coffee Maker

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love to read lenses about espresso. I try all kinds of different ways. Great information!

    • desa999 lm profile image

      desa999 lm 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for the advice and ideas, well done.

    • Frank Edens profile image

      Frank Edens 

      7 years ago

      @anonymous: You are absolutely right there. spot on...

    • Amarant LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Amarant LM 

      7 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for the info Eulogra, and I totally agree with you. However my idea was to give some information on the coffee that you can normally get on the supermarket, and that you take every day (twice a day for me!). Ciao!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Those are not good coffee brands by any standars... You need freshly roasted coffee, and then your grind it just before making it. Also, coffee is only good for about a week. And I'm not just saying that to support indie coffee shop or anything, it's really the best way to get good coffee.

    • fireblazzer profile image


      7 years ago

      nice page

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens, thank you! I didn't realise that I could make espresso on my gas stove without investing in a fancy machine. Another Squid Angel blessing 8/23/11

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi, very nice lens +1 from me :)

      By the way, check out my site

      Its all about coffee brewing machines and coffee beans, you gotta visit :D

    • chezchazz profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      Love espresso (and cappuccino too) and will usually make espresso (or, as my family called it, "black coffee") the traditional way -- on the stove in an Italian coffee pot.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Great advice, I love espresso too. When I worked in Miami we used to make espresso, but a team of us worked to turn it into Cafe Cubano, the famous Cuban Coffee, whipping a little of the coffee with sugar, then mixing it together. It used to taste so good. It's been years since I owned a Bialeti, but we just inherited a good espresso machine. Now we just need to buy coffee for it.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 

      7 years ago

      I want to taste it! Thanks for a terrific lens, real instruction! :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I like it

    • MisterJeremy profile image


      8 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Well done instructional lens. Makes me want to dig out the espresso maker. Blessed.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wonderful and so honest. Thanks very much for this cool lens.

      BTW, just came across this site, if anyone is interested:

      All the best


    • AlexCH profile image


      8 years ago

      Amazing!! My favorite is "Lavazza Crema e Gusto". I have stainless steel maker. Don't you think that flavor differs than aliminium ones? Also, great tip about open top..I didn't know that one..

      I've just did lens review on Gaggia 14101 Classic. Have you tried it?



    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 

      8 years ago from New Zealand

      We love coffee! Great lens. I am lenrolling it to my latte lens. Blessed by a squidoo angel.

    • CCGAL profile image


      8 years ago

      I especially liked that you showed how one of those stovetop espresso makers works - I've seen them, but had no idea how they actually operated. Enjoyed this very much. ***Blessed by a Squid Angel***

    • spritequeen lm profile image

      spritequeen lm 

      8 years ago

      Love this! Thanks for sharing!!

    • cineteq profile image

      John Parr 

      8 years ago from Montreal

      Great job Luis! Nice to see another espresso lover out there. Lenrolled to my Espresso lens. 5 stars!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very cool lens. Informative and fun. Thanks for sharing. Thumbs Up given.

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      I love an espresso - or two... Blessed today :)

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      8 years ago from UK

      Ah, Italian coffee.... and an Italian to tell us how to make it perfectly! Mmm I can imagine the heavenly scent, although to drink I would prefer a cappuccino myself. Hope you plan to tell us your secrets for making one of those too. ;)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      nice Lens! Makes me want to grab a cup-o-joe!

    • VictoriaNTC profile image


      8 years ago

      I drink coffee all day long.

      I even take a small thermos to bed so it is ready for me in the morning!

    • priceandoffer lm profile image

      priceandoffer lm 

      8 years ago

      Hi Luis, you are a very expert of was born in Venezuela and live in Italy...a perfect mix from coffee point of view...

      Alla prossima

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      8 years ago

      I love that Kimbo coffee. That's what my friends call me. My husband loves to make espresso for everyone and just bought himself a large capacity Bialetti. You're right... it's the best!


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