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This Coffee Maker Saves Me $3,500 a Year

And it makes the best coffee I've ever had.

this coffee maker will help you save money
The Good Stuff is a place where Good Housekeeping editors share the things they love.

I’m the first one to admit that I’m… um… picky about my coffee. I mean what bona fide coffee enthusiast isn’t, really? Thanks to this passion, I used to spend about $3,500 a year on “fancy” lattes, cappuccinos, and espresso macchiatos at my favorite neighborhood coffee shops. Imagine what I could have done with all that cash?

Thankfully, I started keeping those dollars in my pocket about five years ago when my daughter was born. All of a sudden, it was harder to get out of the house every morning, afternoon, and (sometimes) evening to fuel up with my favorite hot drink — and it became exhausting to pack up the diaper bag and maneuver the stroller to the coffee shop, especially in the dead of winter.

Moka Stovetop Espresso Maker
Bialetti amazon.com

I talked about it incessantly until my husband, a professional chef, brought home a little stovetop espresso maker (a.k.a game-changer) called the Bialetti Moka Stovetop Coffee Maker. It’s the best coffee maker ever and I credit it for saving almost $20,000 to date.

At first, I remember thinking, basic grocery store espresso and this little contraption — how is this ever going to compare to the dark, rich barista-perfect joe from my favorite Brooklyn coffee shop Konditori? I was convinced there’s no way this home option was going to satisfy my very specific coffee requirements: strong, smooth espresso flavor, just the right amount of steamed whole milk or half-and-half (I'm a D4 on the coffee type chart). Boy, was I wrong.

In addition to making the most delicious coffee ever, I love my little Bialetti because it’s a super sustainable choice: there are no paper filters or plastic pods, and the grinds can be placed directly in your countertop compost. I still love supporting local neighborhood coffee shops all over the world, but now it’s a special occasion thing and not a daily obsession.

How to use the Bialetti Moka Express

The Bialetti Moka Express was invented in Italy almost 90 years ago by Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti, and the coffee maker’s metallic body has barely changed since that first model. His invention is so iconic that it’s part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the original blueprints are housed at the London Science Museum. Today, Bialetti is still celebrated as “little man with a mustache” who brought the world great coffee.

Cafe Bustelo
Coffee Espresso
Cafe Bustelo amazon.com

Bialetti stovetop espresso makers are suitable for use on gas, electric, and ceramic hobs. Stainless steel models are also compatible with induction stovetops. Just fill the canister with full measures of water and coffee and place the coffeemaker on a low to medium heat (not full heat — your coffee might burn!). After a few minutes, you'll hear the sound of rising pressure. When the sound subsides, the coffee is ready to serve.

For best results, I clean it with warm water (never use soap) after every use, and scrub the filter daily to keep it free from coffee buildup. And don’t forget to replace the rubber gasket about once a year!

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