With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: Espresso with Frothed Milk

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Espresso with Frothed Milk

I recently received a vintage Zanzibar Caffettiera Express espresso maker from a friend. It belonged to his mom and this sweet Italian lady hoped someone would enjoy using it once again. I'm now hooked on making espresso at home and topping with frothed milk.
( Scroll to bottom for post update June 2017)

I am not a coffee expert and have only in the past few years began really liking coffee. My son-in-law is the knowledgeable barista in the family and he has inspired me to experiment.

Well, I have fallen in love with this little pot. It makes a strong but not bitter cup of coffee and the process isn't involved. I did a quick search and found many expensive and complicated machines available. This one is just right to make each morning and perfect for my simple taste-buds.

My Zanzibar pot is a 1-cup size. I couldn't find this manufacturer but there are others who currently make and sell ones just like it in various sizes. 
  • Fill the base with cold water to just below the safety valve.
  • Insert the filter funnel into the base.
  • Fill the filter funnel with coffee without pressing down. (I use 3 level tablespoons for this 1-cup maker but you can use more)
  • Wipe the rim to ensure a tight seal.
  • Screw the top firmly to the base.
  • Place the maker on the stove using  moderate heat. (using too high heat will result in bitter coffee) 
  • Soon the coffee with begin streaming from the top and fill the pot. If the espresso begins sputtering too quickly, lower the heat.  Sometimes I lower the heat as soon as it begins pouring into the pot to prevent splattering.
NOTES: I was happy the pot works well on an electric stove.  After experimenting, I set the stove to 7 and in 11-12 minutes the coffee begins quickly filling the pot. Be careful that you achieve a gentle brew and avoid splattering by reducing the temperature.

Making Frothed Milk
A while back, I bought a small French Press. The small size is just right to make frothed milk. I found one for under $10 at Home Goods. I could use my four-cup French Press but I would have to use more milk than I want for my espresso.
 Making Frothed Milk with a French Press
  • In a glass measuring cup, heat small amount of milk in microwave until hot but not boiling (about 45 seconds on high for 3/4 cup milk remembering that microwaves vary)
  • Pour into the French Press.
  • Insert lid and pump the plunger up and down rapidly until the desired amount of froth builds up to about double in volume. 
 Whether because I am frugal or because I actually prefer cold/iced coffee, I cover and refrigerate any unused espresso. The next morning I froth cold milk and add it to the cold espresso for, what I think, is a delicious little cup of refreshing coffee.
umm... lovely breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up.

Want a double dose of espresso goodness? Bake up a batch of crazy good
Chocolate Espresso Whoopie Pies.
Go to Chocolate Espresso Whoppie Pies for the recipe.

Post update...
I really love my vintage Espresso pot but had a little concern about the health risks of aluminum. I did some research and found varied opinions. My concerns were less about flavor differences, how well the pots hold up with use or their appearance. I wanted to know, particularly, the question of a connection to Alzheimer's.  

Is there a connection between aluminum and Alzheimer disease?

I felt much better learning the view of the Alzheimer's Association. Here is their conclusion:

Myth: Drinking out of aluminum cans or cooking in aluminum pots and pans can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Reality: During the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum emerged as a possible suspect in Alzheimer’s. This suspicion led to concern about exposure to aluminum through everyday sources such as pots and pans, beverage cans, antacids and antiperspirants. Since then, studies have failed to confirm any role for aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s. Experts today focus on other areas of research, and few believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat. sourse

Here are some additional facts particularly comparing the aluminum and stainless steel espresso pots. 

Source: Facts from 1710 Coffee:
  • Most people absorb between 30-50mg of aluminum through regular food source and atmospheric exposure daily with no ill effects. In fact, many of our day-to-day necessities such as anti-perspirant, medicine, etc. contains aluminum.
  • Aluminum isn’t readily absorbed by humans, most of our aluminum intake don’t even enter our bloodstream and just passes through our digestive tracts.
  • Most name-brand aluminum moka pots and cookware are use anodized aluminum that prevents food from reacting to aluminum. Even in unusual circumstances where a reaction may occur, the amount of aluminum is far too minuscule to pose any danger long-term.
  • We use aluminum-based food containers on a daily basis such as soda cans and aluminum foil, none of them exhibit any danger of aluminum contamination either.
  • Storing (not cooking/boiling) food items in aluminum containers, including foil exhibit higher amount of aluminum trace than brewing coffee using an aluminum coffee pot, and even so, these items are considered safe for storage.
  • Stainless steel, often considered as the preferred type of stove top coffee maker, contains more mixture of potentially hazardous metals than a traditional aluminum pot. It is essential that your stainless steel pot is made from high quality materials.
  • None of the official government food safety regulation sites have pointed out the connection between aluminum coffee pots and cookware to any form of disease or illness – only private articles and blogs! Note the use of “potential” throughout these articles.
So what did I choose?

Though I would still use my favorite vintage Zanzibar Caffettiera Express espresso maker, I purchased a stainless steel pot. On days I am in a coffee mood, I might make two posts each day and well, I just thought I'd err on the side of caution because that's what I do :). And, why not. Both pots work the same way and both produce a lovely tasting espresso.

I enjoy my espresso maker so much, I purchased one for my sister. If you love espresso and want the convenience of making a delicious cup at home and avoiding the cost of purchasing it, you might just want to get yourself an espresso maker. Decide for yourself if you prefer and aluminum or stainless steel pot. Below is the maker I bought and recommend. My vintage aluminum maker is no longer available but very similar to the one shown below. The French Press and frother set is something I would consider if I didn't already have both.
There are affiliate links in this post. That means if you buy something from that link, I will earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you anything additional.
Adorable cups and saucers for serving your espresso.


Pondside said...

Both drinks look and sound delicious! I have the very same little coffee maker that I bought in Italy in 1983. It makes a very good cup of coffee, still!

Bev said...

That's my favourite coffee!!

Barbara F. said...

That is a one cup espresso pot! I had one just like it, I have two others but shaped differently. I have yet to try my French press. I am afraid I won't grind my coffee beans to the right texture. lol

Rosemary and Thyme said...

This coffee looks amazing. I love a good cup of hot coffee and that French press looks like a great item to add in my kitchen.

Thank you.


Lynn said...

Very nice! I bet the coffee smells amazing while brewing-enjoy:@)

Ann said...

You were the perfect person to give this to. That looks really yummy. For years I couldn't stand coffee. My coffee obsession is fairly new.

Gypsy Heart said...

I do love my coffee and both of these look and sound delish! I don't have a coffee press so this just gives me an excuse to buy one. :) A dear friend that used to live in the same apts I did made a great espresso. I miss our visits, the coffee and her divine sugar cookies.

Thanks so much for sharing!


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