When we returned from Canada we went to do some shopping to pick up some late Christmas gifts for our nieces and also something for the birthday of my father in law. While we were going through the department store, we of course made a small detour to the kitchenware department. They were having a sale so Normita bought me one of those stovetop espresso pots. Our espresso machine is in Canada so I have been espresso-less for a while now, and I was really missing my morning dose of high octane coffee. I occasionally brew myself a pot of superstrong coffee, and I normally end up drinking most of a large pot and it takes me about 2 days to come down from the buzz that gets me plastered to the ceiling.
I much prefer the strong taste of espresso and the smaller quantity you drink and lower level of caffeine is much better for my nerves. They had the regular Italian aluminum octagonal espresso pot, and also a Chinese version with a round contour. I liked the looks of the Chinese version better and at 3 times less I thought it was a good buy. I lived happily with it for a month and was making myself a pot on average every other day when I needed a boost of energy for work. I had a large can of dark roasted Columbian coffee in the freezer ground for a drip coffee maker. I used this for the first month until I remembered to pickup a can of espresso coffee, as I really prefer the stronger taste. This new coffee was ground much finer for an espresso machine. I did not think much of it until I make my first pot a few days later.
To my surprise the pot started spitting and dripping all over the walls and the stove. It took me a while to clean up the mess. When I did so and took apart the pot, it seemed that the finer grind of the coffee blocked the filters and the little valve in the side of the pot did not open so a dangerous level of pressure built-up in the pot. The top filter was completely distorted with a nice high dome in the middle of it and luckily the pot did not burst. That first pot of real espresso was really tasty, but since then I have not taken a chance of using the fine coffee again. I took a chance a few days later and used the regular coffee again in the pot and it seems to be still working properly except for a small leak from the middle joint, and the fact that due to the dome now the pressure is not as high and the coffee ends up a little bit weaker.
I hope that I will learn from my experience and I took an oath to never again buy something cheap that has the potential to hurt me. Today we were shopping and I saw a line of automatic espresso machines from a top Italian manufacturer that grinds the coffee and does everything but drink it for you. I fell in lust, and now I have to save some money to get one of those so that I can automatically and safely satisfy my thirst for strong espresso. It might take a while until we can afford it, and when we do I am not sure of where we will put it, but the fear of exploding coffee pots will always remain with me, so it will be a good investment.