My aunts would roll their eyes in unison and with great fanfare if asked for a coffee with the word macchiato in it. In our house, you can have black or brown, Italian or American. Take it from me, you want the black, which most folks call espresso (there’s no x in it, y’all). Your cup comes with a lemon peel because it is delicious, no matter what you may have heard about lemon’s historical purpose as a coffee sanitizer.
While brown coffee is made with an electric Mr. Coffee machine, espresso requires a beat up old stovetop espresso pot that has seen better days but produces black gold in five minutes flat. Don’t bother with fancy coffee – my father suggests a regular old grocery store can of Café Bustelo or Medaglia d’Oro, which will give you a great brew for a few cents per cup.
Black Coffee, a.k.a. Espresso
- Café Bustelo or Medaglia d'Oro espresso ground coffee
- cold water
- lemon peel
Fill the base half of a traditional aluminum or steel stovetop espresso pot with cold water to just below the screw band.
Fit the funnel basket onto the base and fill with espresso, packing it lightly with the back of a spoon.
Screw on the top half of the pot, place on the stovetop, and turn the heat to medium.
When the water in the bottom half of the pot comes to a boil, steam may escape from the release valve in the base of the pot. Turn the heat to medium-low so that the steam escapes, but not too forcefully. The boiling water will rise through the coffee into the top part of the pot, and steam will decrease when the coffee's ready - about five minutes or less.
Serve tiny cups with lemon peel and sugar.