How To Use a Moka Pot

How To Use a Moka Pot

Everyone loves an Espresso at the beginning of a long day or even during a long tiring day. You must have been in a place where you wanted a great cup of espresso at home, but it didn’t seem reasonable to invest in an expensive machine. What you should know is that there is a way to make a perfect cup of espresso-like at home without having to spend money on an expensive machine. The Moka Pot is a traditional, economical utensil that can be used to brew great cups of espresso-like coffee, at home or anywhere with a stove.

What makes the Moka Pot incredible is that it makes coffee similar to espresso but on a lighter tone. However, the strength is greater than what you would get with a drip coffee maker, so the Moka Pot does its job fine. You can make a perfect cup of coffee that is neither too strong nor too light. The in-between strength gives out the middle flavor and vibe. The Moka Pot brews 2-3 times stronger than a regular drip coffee maker, so it is safe to say that it does the job as close as an espresso, satisfying your craving. So, it combines the traditional warm charm with the modern need for an espresso and brews a perfect hybrid.

The Moka Pot is known to be famous in Italy and is literally on every other house. It is not famous due to the beautiful design and affordable price. The reason behind its popularity is the simple method of brewing a great cup of coffee.

moka pot

What is a Moka Pot

In today’s world, modern high-tech espresso machines and drip coffee makers are seen everywhere. However, people still have not gotten over brewing a cup of coffee using the old-fashioned way. Since the introduction of Moka Pot back in the 1930s, the espresso maker is still in use at homes and cafes to brew delicious and marvelous cups of coffee throughout the world.

Before we move on to how to make the perfect cup of coffee using Moka Pot, let’s have a look at what it is made of. Knowing this will help you understand the design. Consequently, you will be able to make a better cup of coffee, knowing the whereabouts of the machine. The Moka Pot has four main components:

  1. Bottom Chamber: the water is held in the bottom chamber where it is then boiled to a good 100 degrees before adding the coffee.
  2. Top Chamber and Tube: This is the part where the coffee is collected after it has been through the brewing process.
  3. Tube and Basket: The basket is located above the bottom Chamber (with grounds in it) which is joined to the lower Chamber with a tube providing a passage for the water to go down and reside
  4. Filters: Moka Pot has two filters in total. One filter is located in the basket, and the other is in the top tube

How to use a Moka Pot

There is a rule of thumb that says to use grinds that are slightly finer than grinds used for drip coffee makers but are coarser than grinds used in an espresso coffee machine. The middle ground grinds are what is recommended for a perfect brew in the Moka Pot due to the way it is designed. Making coffee in a Moka Pot is no rocket science, but there is no exact method that gives you the perfect cup of coffee. The reason behind that is that everyone has their own preferences so you would have to go through a hit and trial process until you find the perfect brew for yourself.

However, this guide will make your journey far easier and less time-consuming.

It is suggested to start with grounds that are less than 250 grams, and then experiment from there onwards. The whole process of making espresso in a Moka Pot is efficient and beautiful in its simplicity. The magic of the perfect cup takes place due to two vital phenomena’s namely pressure and heat. All the four main parts mentioned above play a vital role in these.

The Moka Pot uses steam pressure to force the water through a strainer. The water is filled in the bottom Chamber of the Pot, and the middle fine grind coffee is placed in a strainer above it. Then heat is provided that generates steam. The steam forces water above the strainer, resulting in a strong shot of coffee.

moka pot

 Here is a step by step guide for the whole process:

  • Step 1 – Add water to the Moka Pot

Fill water in the lower Chamber precisely below the valve. Make sure the water is cold and doesn’t overfill as overfilling will water-log the coffee and have an impact on the flavor.

  • Step 2 – Grind the coffee beans

This step requires consistency as more the consistency of the grind, the better the coffee. Grind the beans until there is enough product to fill up the funnel with coffee. Grinding can be done at home, or pre-ground coffee can be bought directly. Just make sure the grind is not extra fine because it will clog the Moka Pot.

  • Step 3 – Add the grind to the Moka Pot

Put in the funnel in the Moka Pot and fill it with ground coffee. Make sure to clean the edges of the funnel before starting the process. It is also important to not overfill the strainer with excess coffee as well as avoid tamping the coffee because it creates pressure inside.  

  • Step 4 – Get ready the remaining of the Moka Pot

Now comes the part where the rest of the Moka Pot has to be prepared. Make sure you tightly screw up the upper part onto the base of the Pot. Be gentle and delicate while screwing the Pot and make sure you don’t hold it by the handle while doing so as it is quite fragile when pressure is applied.

  • Step 5 – Put it on Fire!

This step requires some attention to detail. Here you have to choose a burner that exactly fits the bottom of the Moka Pot. If you are using a gas stove, then make sure that the flames don’t go around the sides of the Pot. Once you have found the perfectly sized burner or stove, put the Moka Pot on it. Let it stay on until the water starts to boil. When the boiling starts, wait till the coffee starts coming out of the center post. You should make sure that the heat is slow and not too quick and intense. You need to heat the Pot slowly to get the best results out of it. Better extraction happens if heat is provided slowly. Too intense heat will cause the coffee to pour out, and it will have a burnt taste to it.

  • Step 6 – Checking and Stirring
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This is the step where you have to check when the top of the Pot is full of coffee and hazel brown foams can be seen out of the spout. The foam is an indicator that tells that the coffee is almost made. So, the second you see it, know your coffee has been brewed. Before putting it in a cup, it is optional to stir the coffee slightly.

  • Step 7 – Time to Serve

You have done a great job, and near to a perfect cup of coffee has been brewed. Now put it in a fancy cup and enjoy the wonder you just did.

Top Coffees to make in a Moka Pot

Choosing the right can make a huge difference when you are brewing in a Moka Pot. Here are the three best:

  • 5-pound bag of Sulawesi Kalossi (Whole Bean Coffee) is an excellent option to go for if what you are looking for is a dark roast coffee, strong and full-bodied. The coffee has low acidity that enables it to produce excellent results on stovetop coffee maker.
  • At times when you are in the mood for a decaf, then the best option to go for is Lavazza Gran Filtro Decaffeinated – Whole Bean Coffee. This coffee offers and sweet, intense and smooth flavor when made on a stovetop coffee maker.
Lavazza Gran Filtro Decaffeinato Whole Bean Coffee Blend,
  • If you are looking for something that you can use on a daily basis, then go for Lavazza Qualita Rossa Ground with your Moka pot. This coffee offers a naturally sweet flavor as well as strong coffee that will do the job for you
Lavazza Qualita Rossa Ground Coffee Blend

Things to consider when buying a Moka Pot

  1. The first thing to consider when making a Moka Pot purchase is your lifestyle. Ask yourself if you need a Moka Pot for your Kitchen in a home or apartment. If yes then there are some classic options like Bailettis and Cuisinox that will do the job for you. On the other hand, if you need to make a purchase for your dorm room or for coffee on the go, go for the Tops model or De’Longhi’s Alicia.
  2. The second thing to consider is the material. Moka Pots come in two different materials: Aluminum and Stainless steel.
  • Aluminum

The first thing to know about aluminum is that it rusts if it is not left completely dry. Moreover, aluminum made Moka Pots are a bit high maintenance. Another thing to worry about is checking the electric stove compatibility. Aluminum is also harmful to the dishwasher. Given all the drawbacks for aluminum, the Moka Pots will still last you quite a few years before they start to die out.

  • Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel is the real deal here as it is non-corrosive, non-porous, and extremely durable. This is something that can last you a lifetime, providing great coffee throughout. The only downside to stainless steel is that it is comparatively expensive than aluminum which can also last around a decade. On a better note, they are easier to wash and clean and are low maintenance.

So, if you are in the market to save money but can afford high maintenance, go for aluminum. On the contrary, if you are ready to spend money and avoid high maintenance, then stainless steel is the road you should take

  1. The cup size. It is also vital to keep in mind the size of the Moka Pot. A six-cup Moka Pot can get comfortable brew enough coffee to accommodate about two regular espresso drinks. In case you require more than that, then you can always size up the cup.

What’s the best Moka Post?

Bialetti 06800 Moke Post

  • The design is classic and recognizable
  • Bialetti’s patented design
  • Sizes ranging from 3 to 12 cups
Bialetti 06800 Moka stove top coffee maker

How to clean a Moka Pot

Making the perfect cup of coffee from a Moka Pot requires a lot of things to be followed, and keeping the Pot clean is one of them. To clean the Pot, you will need the following things:

  • Moka pot
  • Warm water
  • Soft cloth

Now follow these instructions to perfectly clean the Pot:

  • Dump the grounds: once you are done brewing and have poured all the coffee in a cup, let the Moka Pot cool off. After giving it ample time to cool off, dump the coffee grounds out of the basket.
  • De-assemble the Pot: after taking out the grounds, take apart all the pieces of the Pot. Don’t forget to take out the basket and the filters.
  • Rinse: Rinse each piece of the Pot with warm water. Make use of your fingers to get out any debris left behind.
  • Dry: drying is important as water left behind on any piece may corrode the metal. You can use a soft cloth or air dry each piece separately.
  • Reassemble: after you are done with the drying, put back all of the pieces together, and the Pot will be ready to brew a perfect cup of coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you know when a Moka pot is done?

The water in the bottom chamber acts as an indicator. When it reaches the boiling point , the pressure will push a stream of coffee slowly through the upper Chamber. If water explodes upward, your water is too hot, if it burbles lethargically, turn up your flame. You will know it’s done when you hear a hissing, bubbling sound of water. 

2. Can I use a Moka pot on an electric stove?

Yes, you can use a Moka Pot on an electric stove. It doesn’t heat like gas, but it works

3. Can I use regular coffee in a Moka pot?

Regardless of the​ type or brand of Moka pot you’re using, if you don’t use the most appropriate coffee, your efforts to brew a perfect cup of espresso or full-bodied coffee will fail!

4. What size Moka pot for one person?

Moka Pots usually come in several different sizes: 1-cup, 3-cup, 6-cup, 9/10-cup, and 12-cup.

5. How much coffee do you put in a Moka pot?

Measure 25.5 g of coffee (3.5 tbsp) and grind to the consistency of table salt for the six-cup Bialetti Moka Pot.

6. Which is better French press or Moka Pot?

If you don’t like sharp-tasting coffee or espresso, but you want something more flavorful than standard automatic drip, go for a French press. Those who prefer coffee with absolutely no sediment and a brew that’s more akin to espresso typically enjoy having a Moka pot

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