How to Use a Moka Pot

A Moka Pot is a stove-top coffee maker. The Moka Pot was invented in Italy in 1933 and continues to be popular in Europe. Much like an espresso machine, it forces pressurized water through finely ground coffee. The result is very strong coffee that has similar characteristics to espresso. Although it does not make true espresso, the Moka Pot is capable of making an excellent cup of coffee. It is probably the closest thing you can get to espresso without investing in the proper equipment.

Moka Pot: Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Makes very strong coffee
  • Brews 1-2 cups
  • Fairly inexpensive
  • Because it is compact and doesn’t require much additional equipment, it is great for the rugged lifestyle
  • The closest you can get to espresso without investing in fancy equipment

Cons

  • More involved than some other methods
  • Clean up can be a pain
  • It is near impossible to control the temperature or the brew time, thus it is easy to either scald or over-extract the coffee
  • Because it must use high heat to create enough pressure, Moka Pot coffee is usually a bit on the bitter side

What You’ll Need

A Moka Pot

Moka Pots are fairly inexpensive and are easy to find. They come in a variety of sizes and colours. There are many different companies that manufacture Moka Pots, but one of the best know is Bialetti.

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You’ll  Also Need

  • Fresh Coffee (whole beans are highly recommended)
  • A good quality coffee grinder (if using whole beans). You can use a blade grinder, but a Moka Pot will benefit greatly from a burr grinder.
  • A stove or other heat source
  • A kettle (optional)
  • A scale (optional)

Instructions: How to use a Moka Pot

Fill with water1. Prep: Boil water and fill the lower half of the moka pot with water up to the bottom of the steam hole

  • You can use cold water instead, but this lengthens the time the water is in the pot, which increases the chance of burning the coffee

Insert the basket2. Insert the grinds basket into the lower half of the Moka Pot

Use a fairly fine grind3. Add Coffee: Grind the coffee to a fairly fine consistency, but not too fine (the particles should be slightly larger than the holes in the bottom of the grind basket). Put about 22 grams of coffee into the basket (it should be full), level the grounds, and clean any loose coffee off the edge of the basket.

  • You may need to adjust the weight of the coffee to suit the size of your particular Moka Pot. The grinds should lie level the the upper rim of the grounds basket.
  • Weigh your beans before you grind them to eliminate waste

Level the grounds

Assemble the Moka Pot4. Assemble: Screw the upper chamber onto the bottom chamber. The chamber should be tight, but not overly so. Do not over tighten.

  • WARNING: If you used boiling water in step one, the lower chamber will be VERY HOT. Use a dishcloth or oven mitt when handling it.
Put on the stove over medium heat5. Heat: Put the Moka Pot on the stove over medium heat

Coffee should not flow too violently6. Brew: Once the water has reached temperature, the coffee will flow out of the tube into the upper chamber. You will know that it is done when you hear a hissing and bubbling sound.

  • The water should not get too hot. If it comes to a full boil, it will burn the coffee. But if it is too cold, it will flow through the coffee too slowly. The coffee should flow out in a steady yet gentle stream. If it comes out violently, the temperature is too high. If it bubbles out slowly, it is too cold.
  • Use caution opening the lid while brewing! If the heat is too high hot coffee can spray right out of the brewer!

Enjoy!7. Pour & enjoy!

Tips

  • Brewing coffee correctly is an important factor in making good coffee. But there are other factors as well; particularly, the freshness of the coffee and the quality of the water. Learn more here.
  • The Moka Pot makes a very strong, espresso-like cup of coffee. If you find it too strong, mix it with hot water to make an Americano. You can even divide the brewed coffee between two cups and top them both up with hot water.
  • If you find your coffee has a bitter flavour, it could be over extracted. To prevent this, remove the Moka Pot from the heat before all of the water has been pushed into the upper chamber. You will end up with less coffee, but it will be more concentrated. Simply add some hot water to the brewed coffee.
  • If you do add hot water to the brewed coffee, the water should not be boiling. This will scald your coffee. Let the water cool for 30 seconds after boiling to bring it into the ideal temperature range (195-205° F/90-96° C).