The humble stovetop
First and foremost, we declare that we do not sell moka or stovetop pots in our store. In fact, we don't sell any brewing equipment at all.
This article was written in 2009, so please keep that context in mind when reading.
Around 14 years ago, being about 6 days before Xmas, we were still undecided about whether we should drive from Melbourne to Newcastle as we had done for the past 10 years, or fly to save the precious time and energy.
The advantage of driving means is that we can lug our wonderful espresso coffee machine and conical grinder.
OK, that's taking coffee enthusiasm to the extreme but those of you who can't settle for a mediocre coffee would surely empathize.
Lugging this extra equipment is like taking another body in the vehicle, but heck we want to enjoy our rare days off with stunning coffees.
That's no case of showing off, it's purely a standard we are accustomed to enjoying - if you can produce exceptional coffees why not enjoy it on holidays and share with family or friends.
This time around, we were suffering from being time poor and the fly option won out.
With the mode of transport now sorted, our minds move to the immediate problem of selecting an appropriate brew method to accompany us on this aerial journey.
Was it going to be Aeropress, Airspresso, Plunger, Cold-Drip or Stovetop. So many choices.
We chose stovetop as it has always been a super reliable performer in our travels.
Grabbing some PNG, Ethiopian and Tanzania, we packed a couple of kilos ground coffee as I could just imagine spending half my mornings, dosing, brewing and repeating the process over and over for all the guests coming and going during this period.
As it had been a few years since we had the stainless cafettera in use, a quick clean and inspect of the rubber seals - yep, it'll be alright (although the rubber seal has always been on the edge of needing replacement).
The first morning in Newcastle after our flight up from Melbourne, we made our way into the kitchen, opened a pack of Ethiopia Sidamo ground coffee and carefully dosed the required amount.
There is a certain kind of enjoyment when firing up the gas burner on the stovetop and plonking the moka pot on heat.
After a few minutes we could hear that familiar bubbling and gurgling sound, followed by strong aromas of brewing coffee, a few high-pitched whistles and we knew our beloved potion was almost ready for consumption.
So what amazed us about this ritual is the pure clarity and depth of the brew from the stovetop.
Maybe we had our coffee goggles on, but wow it was a superb brew.
Sharing that first brew with The Little One, she also enjoyed it - who needs a frothy milk latte/cap........
There is something so simple and elegant about the stovetop brewer that has been lost on me for a short-while. For the next 6 days I experimented with the PNG and Tanzania - all were sensational.
Why would people drink instant when for the cost of $60 they can thoroughly enjoy fresh brewed coffee from a stovetop for years and years with little or no maintenance.
PLEASE NOTE: We recommend using a stainless moka pot/stovetop as we are aware there can be some health risks from aluminum units.