Disclosure: Primula Products provided me with a stovetop espresso coffee maker for review. All opinions and photos remain my own.
Never used one before? It is essentially a percolator, something your grandparents likely used: the bottom chamber gets filled with water, a filter sits on top of that, full of coarse ground coffee, screw the top on and heat it on a stove burner. In just a few minutes’ time, enough pressure builds up in the bottom chamber to force the water up through the coffee grounds and into the top chamber. Once it starts steaming and you hear bubbling, turn the heat off–it’s done. Simple technology that packs a punch.
If you have a gas cooktop like I do, it’s important to turn the heat down enough that you don’t have flames flickering up the sides; it should only be touching the bottom of the maker. Even though you don’t have the stove turned up all the way, it doesn’t take long for the coffee to brew, allowing you to make a quick cup even if you’re on your way out the door.
Verdict: Just like with the coffee press, there were fine grounds present in the bottom of the cup. That said, the stovetop espresso coffee maker produced a much deeper, robust, flavorful cup of coffee than the coffee press. Filling it will give you just one cup of coffee (the 3-cups refers to espresso demitasse cups), but that’s perfect for me most days. The downside is that a stovetop is necessary in order to use it, which isn’t always available when I want a cup of coffee. And that you need to wash the coffee maker immediately after or you’ll get water spots inside, since it is aluminum. For hot coffee, this is my preference of the two options looked at thus far.