Tools You Need:
- Stove Top Espresso pot (I bought mine from Amazon: This is the one I purchased, but the photo on this page doesn't match the one I ordered or received, so not sure what's the deal.)
- AeroLatte foamer/whipper (also from Amazon)
- Glass measuring cup, or some other microwave-proof vessel
- Finely ground coffee (lots of online resources recommend this from Amazon, but I get my beans from FreshDirect and ask them to grind them for a stove top espresso pot)
- Milk (I find skim foams best)
- Latte mug
Fill the bottom part with water up to a little gold nub on the side. I use tap water instead of Brita water after reading something online that suggested the coffee oils release better. Who knows though.
Then place the mesh middle piece of the pot on top and fill it with ground coffee. I loosely pack my coffee, even though I've read not to do that; the hot water from below will pack it.
Screw the top pot-piece on and place the assembled pot on a burner. Keep it slightly away off-center to keep the handle from getting hot or melting (mine has a plastic handle).
Turn on the heat to medium-high and set a timer for 4 minutes. Watch the pot and when it boils, it's done. But 4 minutes is about right for my 3-cup model. (The water in the bottom chamber heats up, pressure builds to push it up through the coffee grounds and into the pot chamber above. The coffee will be boiling, and if you let it keep boiling I think it gets bitter. Learn how these types of coffee pots works on Wikipedia.)
While the pot is working, put 1 cup of skim milk into the measuring cup. Microwave for 1 minute, or until hot.
Use the AeroLatte foamer to whip the milk. I can get 1 cup of milk to have 2 cups of volume if I spend enough time on it - just pull the foamer up to the top to build bubbles upon bubbles. It's not quite the same as a coffee house steam wand, but it mimics the final product.
Once the coffee is ready, pour the entire content of the pot, all 3 "cups," into the latte mug (it's not 3 fluid cups, but 3 "shots" - you may find you like less per latte). Add the milk on top. The foam will cling and you may have to spoon it on top and can make pretty patterns.
Cleaning the pot is easy, but I think you may have to do it by hand - certainly waiting until it's cool. Don't re-assemble the pot when it's wet, but let the pieces air dry fully before storing. (Making a second pot while it's still wet hasn't been a problem for me though!)
Also, to make other drinks with your "espresso" and "steamed milk," see this illustrated coffee guide, which has been making the rounds online for more than a year, and is still a perfectly concise way to relay the recipes.