Artisan Espresso Maker

Want to impress your guests with brilliant coffee that requires a little bit of effort? In this article I look at some of the more artisan methods of brewing an excellent espresso for you and your guests. Some of these gadgets are down right gorgeous to look at, and don’t require an awful lot of outright skill, more that they require a bit of practice and perseverance.

My quick recommendation? The Bialetti Moka Express! At $35 this beautifully designed stove top coffee pot is a really great buy. It produces fantastic, high quality, espresso with ease and simplicity. They’ve been making the Moka Express since 1933, so it’s stood the test of time… Combine with Lavazza’s Crema e gusto (I know, breaking my own rule) for a truly authentic Italian coffee experience! Also consider a grinder, like my favourite Bodum Bistro coffee grinder, and some roasted coffee beans to grind, and the whole set up won’t set you back more than $150! That will give you fantastic coffee, with just a little bit of effort. Trust me, I mean “ LITTLE bit of effort”, it really doesn’t take much to produce high grade coffee.


Bialetti, the Italian godfather of coffee! Bialetti hasn’t just been around for years, they have been around for decades, in fact, next year will mark 100 years since Alfonso Bialetti opened his workshop! But it wasn’t until 1933 that he started to produce the Moka Express… So Bialetti is in my eyes the pinnacle of moka, in fact, I have my own 6 cup Bialetti moka pot, picked up in Rome during my travels around Europe. I love using it!

So, what are the benefits of a Bialetti 6 Cup (12 Oz)? Well it’s a cheap way of getting great coffee, you can buy Bialetti moka pots for gas stoves or electric. You fill the base with water, the basket with ground coffee, screw the top on and then heat it on the stove. The pressure builds up in the base, and eventually the steam pushes through the ground coffee to give you fantastically rich coffee.

At $35 for the gas stove version, it isn’t going to break the bank. I would even break my cardinal rule. Buy a pouch or two of Lavazza’s Crèma e gusto… The only ground packed coffee I will drink! For the truly authentic taste of decent Italian Coffee. I can’t really fault this set up and its one of my go to set ups when hosting a small dinner party.


Coffee has become big business, and for some, finding the next big coffee making method has become somewhat of a quest. In recent years, there has been a new movement in coffee, that follow the art of the pour over… Gator is one of many manufacturers, who make glass vessels that you put a filter in the top of, put your ground coffee in the filter, and then literally just pour boiling water in, gravity naturally pulls the water through the coffee and into the capture vessel below. I don’t like these, but hey, each to their own. Benefits include, the price (at under $30), reduced electricity use, and softer (or is it weaker?) coffee. J Just don’t expect this to make barista style espresso – that’s all I have to say on the matter…


Flair is a reasonably recently formed company, that specialises in beautifully designed and crafted hand press expresso makers. The Flair signature is a gorgeous two tone, of aluminum and copper, it just looks stunning. The idea here is that the pressure is controlled by you, pressing down on the extended handle. Look’s great to me, and no doubt, it works well. Downside though, it’s around $150, doesn’t make much coffee for the effort, and is quite labor intensive… Look’s great but are you buying a bit of a white elephant with this? That depends on how much effort you want to put in. As a barista, I would buy it on impulse because of the design, but realistically hardly ever use it. Instead I would probably revert to using my Bialetti…