Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The Frugal Latte: The Moka Pot Answer
Wasting money on lattes? Ever so righteous financial pundits say this is bad. Very bad. Do the math--I found I was frothing away a full month's mortgage payment every year ($4/day = $1460/year). Pay attention here, Mr. Bernanke.
I crave the taste of a nice espresso based drink but I started to feel guilty when I was caught red handed with a retail latte in my car. I started hiding the evidence of my fiscal irresponsibility. But I couldn't give up my trips to see the barista. SO what to do???
As luck would have it, I found a Moka Pot left behind in a house we bought. I am way too cheap to buy an espresso machine and didn't want to have one cluttering up my counters or have to deal with the cleaning and complex operation of an $1000+ appliance. Well, you can imagine my glee at finding a stove-top espresso maker.
The Moka Pot is easy to use, requires little storage space and cleans easily. Mine was FREE!!! You can probably find one at an estate sale for a few bucks and they sell for about $18 online for a one cup pot. Now the coffee afficianado will inform you that a "Moka" is not a true Espresso. But I can't tell the difference.
The Moka Pot unscrews into three pieces. Fill the base with water to just below the pressure relief valve, fill the basket with your preferred amount of fine grind coffee (I fill a little less than half full), screw back together and place over medium high heat. A nice steam sound will ensue when done.
I also froth some milk to top it off. This I do in a small enamel pain over medium using whole milk and a hand frother -- I found this too--I think it belongs with bartending utensils. I beat the milk vigorously as it heats and, voila, foam. Spoon on top of your espresso.
So far I have not fallen off the wagon...