I've recently discovered the secret of how to make real Italian coffee at home – we're not talking a big cup of coffee here, but true Italian espresso. Using my new found method has the added bonus of saving me money in the process.

For years I've been making my coffee with an expensive coffee machine. This machine was hugely expensive and the coffee I would make never tasted quite like that I had on my only trip to Italy. Three months ago the machine broke down, and rather than purchase another one at great expense I decided to purchase a three-chambered aluminium pot like the one shown in the picture. The one shown is mine and it is called a Bealetti Moka Express. This saved me more than one hundred dollars on the price of an electric coffee machine and actually makes espresso which tastes better!

bialetti coffee italian

It's a very simple device, having just three components, so it should last for many years. It works as follows. In the bottom chamber you put your water. Then in the middle chamber you put your coffee (note that you don't need much coffee – again saving money). The top chamber is left empty. Then you simply place the coffee pot on a gas stove, the water heats up and passed through the middle chamber as steam, and a few minutes later you have hot, delicious, Italian espresso coffee in the top chamber ready for you to enjoy.

Other advantages of a three chamber pot over an expensive coffee machine are firstly it looks a lot cooler, being quite retro in design (I'm sure you agree!), and secondly it takes up a lot less space in the kitchen than an expensive coffee machine.

If you already have your Moka coffee maker, here are a few tips for making the perfect cup of coffee:

- If your coffee tastes burnt: either you're using coffee which is too strong, in which case buy a lighter one next time, or you've left your coffee pot on the stove for too long, in which case it's best to make a fresh pot.

- The coffee is far too strong: the answer to this is simple; use less coffee!

- There is water in the bottom chamber that isn't coming out: in this case you've probably compacted the coffee too firmly in the middle chamber.

I hope to get many years of enjoyment out of my new (well, 2 month old) coffee machine, and impress my friends when they come for dinner by being able to make real Italian coffee at home for them. The saving of money is a nice bonus, but I don't think I'll mention that to my friends.