There are numerous ways of brewing a cup of speciality coffee at home, and many new methods are being invented all the time. But one that remains a stable member of a kitchen setup is the Moka pot.
Originally invented in Italy by Renato Bialetti, in 1933, this method the closest to an espresso beverage has been used in households worldwide. It grew in popularity especially after the WWII, with its Art-Deco design produced from a relatively cheap material, aluminium.
Why is this method, so popular on a family breakfast table, put aside by the speciality coffee scene? Moka pot is sometimes associated with a bitter taste, and perhaps dirtiness in the resulting cup, but rather than blaming it fully on the brewing device, it can be the issue of the coffee that was brewed with it.
Since the Moka pot was one of the methods thanks to which we got excited about coffee and its flavours, we decided to go step-by-step through the brewing process, giving you some preparation tips for a tasty brew.
Step-by-step of brewing with a Moka pot
Have your coffee beans, a Moka pot, a cloth, and a serving cup ready
Put on your water kettle
Grind your beans and fill the Moka pot basket with them
Fill up the bottom part of the Moka pot with hot water
Insert the full basket and screw the bottom and the top parts together
Immediately put on the stove (a source of heat) and brew
Remove from the stove once you hear bubbling and cracking noises & cool down the brewer with a cold/wet towel
Pour the coffee into your cup straight away
+ Tips for cleaning at the end of the article!
Tips for better brews with a Moka pot
Tip 1 – grinding and dosing your coffee
Choose quality, freshly roasted coffee beans. They should be whole beans, ground only just before brewing, to retain as much of the coffee’s aromas and flavours.
What may surprise you is also the grind size. Unlikely from espresso brewing, this method needs a rather coarse grind, such as with pour-over coffees. The grounds shouldn’t form big lumps and boulders, but rather sit in the filter basket evenly. No need to press the ground coffee in there, either.
Tip 2 – water for brewing
The water you fill your Moka pot with should be always preheated, to shorten the amount of time your coffee is sitting on the stove. If it sits there—warming up in the chamber—the drink will taste burnt.
Hot water inside will help you brew the coffee almost immediately. Get just the flavours that are desirable.
Tip 3 – brewing process
This brewing method is a fast one, and you will need to keep an eye on it. Once the water is boiling, it creates pressure in the bottom chamber, and the water rises through the ground coffee in the basket, filtering through the sieve into the top chamber.
You can see this happening as the first bits of coffee come out quite foamy, from the narrow neck inside the chamber. Once your brew gets to its end, it starts releasing crackling and bubbling noises—a sign that there is no water left in the bottom.
We advise you to take brew of the stove immediately, and even cool it down with a wet towel. This helps to stop the brewing process—the pressure rising through the filter.
The coffee is ready to be served straight away. The best is to pour it into cups and enjoy!
Cleaning the Moka pot
Like with any other coffee machine and brewing device, cleanliness is essential for preserving the brewers, and for producing continuously tasty coffees.
One of the biggest myths we have heard about the Moka pot is definitely the rule not to clean it too much, but rather ‘season it’ with the coffee oils. In our experience, the more residue you have, the more burnt and dirty the coffee will taste.
How to keep your Moka pot clean?
Don’t worry, you can clean your Moka pot after you’ve enjoyed your morning cup, and it won’t even take you too long!
Throw away the ground coffee and clean the basket, as well as the bottom chamber after every use.
There should be no obvious stains or dirt left behind.
Store your equipment dry. This piece of advice from Wojciech Kamień prevents the corrosion of the material.
After every brew, you should also take the rubber seal out and clean the filter in the top chamber. It may surprise you how much dirt there is left in this part of the brewer.
To descale your brewing equipment, just use citric acid powder, or simply lemon juice, and brew some water with it in the Moka pot, as you would with coffee. Then rinse and dry everything.
Keeping to these simple steps will help you prepare a delicious cup with this traditional method. A coffee that you can appreciate together with the rest of your family.