Too much espresso!
December 2, 2017 7:59 AM   Subscribe

I can't singlehandedly drink 6 shots of espresso every morning!

I make my coffee with a stove top espresso maker. This one specifically. It's not great but it only cost 18 bucks.

When I bought it, the thing didn't come with any instructions besides the measurements to make a full pot of espresso (equivalent of 6 shots). From what I can find out online, it's not really encouraged that you change the measurements in one of these things since in order for it to function, it needs a certain amount of water.

So I am left with about half a cup of espresso that I don't know what to do with. (No, reheating it the next day is not an option and I don't have roommates I can foist it onto)

Is there something useful I can do with it? Like baking, dying something, I don't know, making popsicles or something?

Or is there a way to make a smaller quantity of espresso so I don't have to waste so much coffee? ( I can't seem to find any solutions online besides the obvious one of just buying a smaller moka pot).
posted by winterportage to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't think you can make a smaller amount, no--not except by taking it off the stove early, in which case you're still using the same amount of coffee and only saving the water and the energy to continue heating it.

When I had a stove that would work with a Moka pot, I used it primarily in the summer. I'd make a jug of cold "iced latte" with it (so espresso and cold milk) and drink it over several days. Reheating it is gross, I agree, but this was fine.

I like the idea of popsicles. You might want to look up a recipe or experiment with ratios. Freezing it straight probably won't be tasty.

An issue with trying to "use up" the leftovers, though, is that each time you make the coffee you get more leftovers. How many popsicles and cakes can you make? It really probably is worth it to buy a smaller Moka pot, if it will work on your stove. They're not that expensive and if you use them a lot, will save you money on coffee grounds in the long run.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 8:05 AM on December 2, 2017 [4 favorites]

Would it not work to put a coarser grind coffee in it? That way the amount of coffee it produces is less strong? Then you could drink it as coffee and not necessarily espresso.
posted by eggs at 8:25 AM on December 2, 2017

Use less coffee grounds? How much do you fill up the basket? I never fill mine more than 2/3s or so and drink it as coffee, not espresso. Seems to work fine. Makes about one big cup or two small cups.
posted by GregorWill at 8:27 AM on December 2, 2017

You can buy one shot espresso pots - if your one only cost $18 you could probably get a smaller one really cheaply and make the money back pretty quickly on the amount you save on coffee.
posted by penguin pie at 8:49 AM on December 2, 2017 [5 favorites]

Are you absolutely sure you need to use the full amount of water? I have something like that, and I can just use less coffee and less water when I want less espresso.
posted by cacao at 8:49 AM on December 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

I grew up with these, as did everybody around me in Northern Italy, and beware that while you can get smaller mokas they don’t make coffee that’s as good. We just, uhm, drank a lot of coffee.

However, I struggle to call it espresso, that’s from an espresso machine at a cafe, this is just moka coffee and it’s definitely not as strong.
posted by lydhre at 9:00 AM on December 2, 2017 [6 favorites]

I'd make iced coffee for the rest of the week with it. (Or pour the leftovers into ice cube trays, so you can have especially cold, undiluted coffee in the summer, though if you're somewhere wintry this is probably an unappealing use for the next four or five months.)
posted by tapir-whorf at 9:05 AM on December 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: one word: espresso granita

can also garnish with lemon zest or shaved chocolate (dark!!!)
posted by j_curiouser at 9:28 AM on December 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: +1 smaller/1 shot pot, and iced coffee in some guise, whether cubes or mixing up bottles when you are cleaning up breakfast.

Many chocolate cake and bannana bread recipes feature coffee.

Absolutely you can coffee-dye stuff! My guess to how this would work is you would spend a month or so putting your leftovers into a slop pot in the freezer, then when you have enough boil it up, enough for a shirt or a few small things. Most methods just involve submerging for 24 hours then rinse. A salt and water rinse is a good fixer for dyed fabric. Natural fiber in whte to medium colors take best, but don't shy away from prints, as coffee or tea dye can take a print from gaudy to awesome!
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 9:32 AM on December 2, 2017

Like lydhre I also grew up with at least a couple of these bigger moka pots for the whole family. When I lived on my own I had a small single serving moka as well as a 2-3 cup one. The single serving one was perfect when there was no one else around. So personally I’d give up and buy a small moka pot, it will be worth it in the long run than getting leftover coffee every single day.

I don’t see any options not to waste that leftover coffee really. I doubt you’d want to bake coffee cakes or make tiramisu every single day. Iced coffee sounds nice but that means you’d have to drink that too every day...

In my experience, reducing both the water and coffee to a single serving is tricky, it’s true that you do still need a fair amount of water to make the thing work, and even if you find the perfect level to reduce it (and simultaneously reduce the coffee) while still making it work, the coffee will still be slightly diluted, it won’t be the same as using the correct pot the correct way. Get a smaller moka, you won’t regret it. You can still keep the bigger one around for when you have guests!
posted by bitteschoen at 9:43 AM on December 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I typically drink 2 of these pots a day. They are LESS strong for me than the typical, regular Bunn machine coffee you can get at a coffee shop. (So much so that when I have regular coffee once in a while, I get really jittery and can’t sleep).
YMMV but IMHO people are unnecessarily scared of ‘espresso’, especially weak ass mocha pot ‘espresso’. This is nowhere near drinking 6 units of regular coffee!

(Another thing you might consider is using 50% decaf coffee with it if you find the full caf is too strong for you).

Actually answering your question: you could make coffee ice cubes to avoid watering down your iced coffee. But that’s more of a summer idea.
posted by The Toad at 11:01 AM on December 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Feed the extra to your plants?
posted by 8603 at 11:35 AM on December 2, 2017

I'd just make it with half decaf.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:50 AM on December 3, 2017

You can full the water reservoir and the coffee filter full, and take it off the heat when it's made half the coffee. I used to do this all the time because the last bit always tastes sort of over extracted and nasty anyway.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:32 PM on December 3, 2017

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