Here’s yet another guest post from Brian (sheesh, you think he wants to take over here?). Oh, and can you tell we like our daily coffee?
As you all probably know by now, one of the first things I do every morning is stumble into the kitchen to make macchiatos (which are like cappuccinos, but the coffee is poured through the foam). And like we mention here and here, we use one of those little home espresso machines – the first was a gift and after that we found machines at thrift stores for $10-$15. So if I make two macchiatos every day, that saves us more than $40 a week compared to buying them at a coffee shop.
At least we would be saving that much if I didn’t keep breaking the little carafes. It seems like they make these out of thinner glass than regular size coffee carafes – or that’s how it feels to me as I crack another one by banging it into the kitchen faucet, or against a mug, or into the metal basket on the espresso machine.
The last time I ordered replacement carafes they were $20 for two plus shipping. We’re now down to one. Before I had a chance to break it I decided to make a replacement cappuccino carafe from a little glass pitcher I found at the thrift store. The only reason you can’t use just any old container as your espresso carafe is because you don’t know how much water to put in it to make your two or four shots of coffee – it doesn’t have the little fill lines.
So, to make a working carafe, I filled up the official carafe with water up to the 2 shot line and then poured it into a glass measuring cup. It came out to just a hair more than 1/2 cup. I then poured that into my thrift store carafe and marked the water line with a black sharpie. I then repeated the process with the 4 shot line and marked that on my bargain pitcher. Voila, I had working carafe.
And I actually like the thrift store carafe better. It’s a little taller so the coffee doesn’t splatter as much when it’s being spit out under pressure. And it’s made from thicker glass so I can clank it against everything on the kitchen counter and it doesn’t break. Now I can finally start saving the big bucks on coffee drinks.
The process is pretty simple, but we made a little video showing how to measure for carafe height and then doing the filling and marking. I know you’ll do much better than my left-handed Sharpie work.