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How does a Stove Top Coffee Maker Work?

Some stove top coffee makers are used to make espresso.
Stove top coffee makers use stove top burners as a heat source.
Roasted coffee beans.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2014
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The traditional stove top coffee maker was sometimes also called a campfire coffee pot, since it adapted well to making coffee over an open fire. Usually this type of coffee maker was made of aluminum or stainless steel and resembled a coffee carafe. The bottom of the pot contained a reservoir for water, and the top had a round basket with a stem reaching down to the bottom of the pot. One placed ground coffee in the basket, which was then supported by the stem.

Once the water reservoir was filled, the basket was added, and the coffee was set over heat to reach a boil. As the water began to boil, it came into contact with the coffee. Often, a little glass top on the lid allowed one to see the coffee percolating upward. When the water in the top was brown, the coffee was done. One easy final task was removing the basket. Failure to remove the basket would result in coffee with a significant amount of coffee grounds in it.

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Newer types of the stove top coffee makers include espresso pots, which use steam as well as boiling water to percolate the coffee. These occasionally come with a steam jet that can be used to foam milk for cappuccinos or lattes. Many coffee lovers insist that this type of coffee is far superior to drip coffee because of the available steam, and because the coffee grounds get infused with both steam and boiling water as the coffee cooks.

Some now function in a way similar to a French press. Once the coffee has been allowed to percolate, the grounds are pressed down to the bottom of the carafe, creating a much darker and richer cup of coffee. Some people, however, feel that making coffee on the stove top is too much work, because a lack of careful observation can make the coffee taste either burnt or bitter.

One can avoid making burnt or excessively strong coffee by adhering closely to the instructions that come with the coffee maker. Usually, it uses less coffee than a manual or electric drip maker. A smaller amount of coffee can help keep the beverage from becoming too strong. Additionally, it is important to remove the stove top coffee maker from the heat once the coffee is done to prevent burning. To keep it warm, many coffee experts recommend transferring the finished drink to an airtight carafe.

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Amphibious54
Post 3

My favorite home brew coffee is Turkish brew. My fiancee got me this interesting coffee pot when we went to Russia called a Briki.

To make the brew, I grind the coffee until it is a powder. I add it to the Briki, which looks like a copper beaker with a wooden handle. I put sugar and the powdered coffee in the bottom of the Briki and add water. I boil on the stove until the mixture froths, let sit for a minute to let the grinds settle on the bottom, and pour into a small teacup and enjoy.

My Briki makes great coffee that gives me a good buzz.

Babalaas
Post 2

@ Fiorite- I too use a stove-top coffee maker. I use an Alessi and it makes great strong coffee. It is similar to the Moka pot, except it is stainless steel, and the design is a little different. I paid a pretty penny for it, but it was worth it. The coffee is about as strong as espresso, but without the crema.

I used to go to the big chain coffee houses to get my espressos and iced coffees, but they were inconsistent and expensive. I hated paying five dollars for a coffee that was made different every time. The chain coffee shops always burnt the coffee, and you cannot pick the beans.

I go to the grocery store once a week to pick my favorite fresh beans, and I have the option to change it up whenever I want. I also save probably $1000 a year brewing my own coffee. Making my daily coffee has almost become a hobby.

Fiorite
Post 1

I use a Moka pot and it makes great coffee. I live in Phoenix so I like to drink my coffee over ice, and a Moka pot makes my coffee almost as tasty as espresso. Coffee made in a Moka, or stove-top espresso, pots is technically not espresso. Espresso is brewed with at least 10 bars of pressure to extract the oils. Moka pots only brew at about two and a half to three bars of pressure, about the same as a cheap counter-top espresso maker.

It is a little bit of a process, but I have gotten used to my early morning ritual. I look forward to grinding my fresh coffee beans and waiting in anticipation for five minutes as the smoky, chocolaty smell of coffee fills the air.

For the ultimate coffee drink, I blend cold milk with homemade vanilla simple syrup. Pour it over ice, and then pour in my fresh Moka brew.

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