I’m starting to think that I need a more precise grinder. I love the Hario when it comes to French press but its absolutely killing me with the stovetop espresso maker. I have an off brand stovetop espresso maker (I know, I know, its just the name. It doesn’t actually make espresso as the pressure never gets to the 9 bars, etc. etc.), a San Marco or San Marino or something like that which I picked up at a TJ Maxx for 10 buck. Maybe it’s the machine? Whatever the reason the coffee/espresso hybrid always comes out too bitter and there is always lots of water left in the bottom part of the device. Maybe if I were Italian and had grown up making coffee in one of these things I’d know, but I’ve only been using one for a few weeks (maybe a month or so).
I think that the grinder is at fault; I set it to grind very fine, but I’m not sure it ever get fine enough to create the kind of pressure needed to get a quick, strong, extraction. It just ends up taking forever to get coffee to flow and as a result it comes out tasting burnt.
I bought can of pre ground Illy coffee at Williams-Sonoma that was specifically ground for the Moka which I’ll review later. I know I shouldn’t be buying the pre-ground stuff; I only got it to have a frame of reference for how finely I should be grinding the beans on me hand grinder, and you know what? It’s way, way finer than what I’ve been able to get out of the Hario. Maybe I’m over-careful with the grinder in trying to keep the burrs from touching. They are ceramic after all and I don’t want to wear them down.
Anyways, I think I’m going to try making myself a second pot today; I’ll grind finer this time.
Thought: could it be that machine’s fault? Maybe I’m trying to dodge the blame, but I get the feeling the seal/gasket isn’t very high quality as coffee tends to spray out of the machine screws together (and even leaks out sometimes).
Any suggestions? I may have to pick up a legit Bialetti espresso machine from here just to make sure.