You don’t need an expensive machine for the perfect cup of espresso. The secret to a perfect cup of espresso comes directly from my family in Naples, Italy…and now I am sharing it with you. Don’t you feel special?

All you will need is a stovetop espresso maker (pictured is the 3 cup version), sugar, quality coffee, lemon peel and some love. Unscrew the top chamber of the espresso maker and remove the filter. Fill the bottom portion with cold Spring or Filtered Water and be sure not to fill past the safety valve. Fill the filter funnel with good quality medium to fine espresso grinds. I would recommend Illy or if you are a real espresso enthusiast like me, go to the Italian market and purchase Kimbo. You’ll thank me later. Screw the top chamber back on securely and place on the stove to brew over medium heat.

Now, here is the secret…the first brewed coffee drippings are the most robust. Gently take a teaspoon of the robust brew and mix it with 3 teaspoons of sugar. As the rest of the coffee makes its way to the top chamber of your espresso maker, mix the sugar and coffee together until creamy and place the mixture at the bottom of the demitasse cup. Pour the coffee over the creamy mixture and stir. You will notice the thick foam or “schiume” rise to the top. Gently stir the lemon peel for a unique flavor and remove before enjoying your espresso. Salute!

Cleaning your stovetop espresso maker is easy. Just wash it with warm water and a sponge. No detergents! Your coffee will taste better over time as a result. Some of the health benefits include an improvement in your long-term memory, reduces the risk of diabetes and stroke and improves concentration. Click here to learn more about the health benefits.