The Authentically Italian Moka Pot Way to Making Coffee
Invented in Italy in 1933, the moka pot, aka the macchinetta, or, an espresso pot is still a popular way to brew coffee. Its 8 sided aluminum design is so simple and uncomplicated and produces a wonderfully dense espresso. The moka pot works by releasing pressurized steam that pushes boiling water into the coffee grounds for extraction.
How To Use A Moka Pot
- Grind about 20-22g of coffee for a Bialetti moka pot.
- Boil water in a kettle and remove from heat for a couple of minutes.
- Pour the water into the moka’s bottom compartment up to the steam-release valve. This preheats the moka pot and stops it getting too hot so the coffee won’t leave a metallic taste in your mouth because it has been “cooked”.
- Tip the grounds into the filter basket and give it a gentle shake to even the grounds. Place the filter into the bottom compartment.
- Now screw on the moka pot’s top compartment (spouted top) and place the moka pot onto a medium heat on your stove or campfire, and leave the lid open.
- As the water boils it will get pushed by the steam up through the coffee grounds. In about 3 minutes you will hear a bubbling or gurgling sound as the coffee travels into the top compartment.
- You will notice a rich brown foam form just before the coffee is completely extracted. Once the foam starts to change color to a honey-yellow, remove from heat.
- Run the bottom compartment under cold tap water to stop any further extraction and any metallic taste developing.
- Now pour your espresso into ceramic espresso cups and enjoy!
- Be careful as you carry out the step 5 as the bottom compartment will now be hot when you screw on the top compartment.
- Make sure the flames do not lick over the bottom of the pot and hit the sides or this will heat up the handle as well.
- If you’re using your moka pot for the first time, then make 3 brews and throw each one away before drinking a cup.
Recommended Moka Pot Grind
A medium to fine grind – think table salt consistency.
You’ll get a full-bodied, dark, sweet and velvety coffee.
What’s Great About The Moka Pot?
- It’s very inexpensive to buy and completely portable, so you could keep it at home and then pack it to use on a camping trip
- Moka pots are generally small so there’s always space for it even in the smallest of kitchens
- Its distinctive 8-sided shape means it diffuses heat evenly and produces that fantastic smell of freshly brewed coffee
What’s Not So Great?
- You can’t stick it in the dishwasher for cleaning.
- Although it’s fairly easy to use, it’s also fairly easy to get wrong and can take a few attempts to get it right. If the water’s too hot the coffee will shoot upwards and be ruined, and if the flame is too low then you’ll get a slow gurgling sound meaning the flame needs to be higher.
- You might not feel happy about using an aluminum moka pot due to safety concerns, so you might want to consider the stainless steel version instead – but be prepared to pay more for it.
How to Clean a Moka Pot
- Don’t put the aluminum moka pot in the dishwasher and don’t wash it with soapy water as it will taint the pot and the flavor of the coffee. Just simply wash in warm water and thoroughly dry it.
- The stainless steel pot can be washed with warm water and a mild detergent and then polished with a liquid chrome if you particularly want it looking new again.
- Don’t use baking soda or abrasive scouring pads as these will damage the pot and cause discoloration.
- If white deposits form on the inside base then rub them off with warm water and white vinegar. This is usually due to the moka pot not being thoroughly dried after it was last washed.