Moka Coffee Pot - Italian Coffee Maker - Stovetop Espresso Maker
A Moka Pot is an Italian steam-based stovetop espresso maker that produces a dark coffee almost as strong as that from a conventional espresso maker. Sometimes called the poor man’s espresso and also known as stove-top espresso. These moka espresso makers were invented in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti.
This coffee is not espresso in the true sense of the word, as real espresso is produced using machines that can produce very high pressure water at just the right temperature. Moka coffee is produced using only steam’s natural pressure. If you are looking for an inexpensive way to produce espresso, this is the pot and technique for you!
Do not purchase a cheap aluminum moka pot. Aluminum will leave a very distinct bad
flavor in your coffee. Spend extra money and purchase a good stainless steel moka pot. Remember - you get what you pay for!
Moka pots are three-chambered metal pots. These pots are available in 2-, 4-, and 6-cup sizes and all come in three parts:
Place your kettle of cold water on your stove burner and heat water until hot. Depending on the quality of your water, you may find that using filtered water significantly improves the taste of your coffee. A lot of directions for using the moka pot recommend using cold water. I find that using hot water is much quicker, and it also reduces the amount of time the seal and coffee grinds are exposed to the heat, resulting in a less bitter brew and a longer lasting seal! Your choice if you want to use cold or hot water.
Grind your coffee a little coarser than for an espresso machine (fine, espresso grind of dark roasted coffee). Just coarse enough so it doesn't go through the upper filter holes or block them. If you find there is sediment in your brew, choose a slightly coarser grind, but still finer than you would use for a filter coffee machine.
Place hot water in the bottom section of the pot up to the level of the safety valve.
Insert the filter basket. Fill the filter basket with ground coffee until it is level and then level off with a knife. Do not compact the coffee, because as the water reaches the grounds they will expand effectively tamping your coffee for you. Each individual moka pot makes a set amount of coffee. You should not try to make less coffee by under-filling the basket, or to make more by over-filling and compacting too tightly. This will affect the extraction process and may result in either bitter or weak coffee. If you need a different number of cups, you should buy the appropriately sized moka pot.
Make sure the filter disk and gasket are in place in the top portion of the pot. Screw the top section onto the bottom section of the pot and tighten to obtain a perfect seal. If using a stovetop moka pot, place it on the stove on medium to medium-high heat. When hot, the air and water trapped inside the bottom tank expand due to the heat being applied the device. As this happens, it pushes the hot water up a tube, through the coffee grinds, and out of the spout into the top chamber of the pot.
When the water in the tank has been exhausted, that's when you hear the ‘gurgle’ that signifies the drink is ready to pour (approximately 4 to 5 minutes). Remove the moka pot from the stove. Brewing is completed when all the water has been percolated into the top chamber. Brewing should take approximately 5 minutes. If it takes longer use a slightly higher heat.
Pour into an espresso cup and enjoy.
Do not put in the dishwasher. Wash the pot in mild detergent and water and dry thoroughly after each use. Always keep your moka pot scrupulously clean. Disassemble the moka pot after every use and clean the filter and top pot, being sure that you clean the underside of the top pot. Every few weeks, run some vinegar through the Moka Pot as if you were brewing coffee to get rid of any mineral deposits left behind by hard water.
If the coffee is not brewing properly, check to see if any steam is escaping from the area where the top and bottom parts screw together. If you see steam escaping, this can be the sign of two things.