What is the Moka Pot?
The best way to make espresso-like coffee in your home.
The moka pot is a fairly popular manual brewing method for making coffee. It works like a kettle in principle as it brews coffee by heating water through conduction from a heat source. This pumps up water through the coffee until it exits through an inverted funnel.
The heat source is usually a stove which is why the moka pot is often referred to as a stove-top espresso maker. It was invented in Italy in 1933 and quickly became popular by coffee lovers all over the world.
How the Moka Pot works.
The pot has three main parts. The bottom part called the base, the middle part called the funnel which comes with a filter and a ring, and the top part called the coffee collector. It is a simple yet ingenious method that forces pressurized water to pass through ground coffee. This simple process is divided into 5 basic steps.
To make coffee with a moka pot, fill the bottom part with water up to the safety release valve. This is the recommended level to which the water should be added. However, moka pots are sized according to the number of cups. Filling with water to this recommended level will produce the same number of cups as described so you have to be careful with choosing the size of your moka pot.
Add about 20-22 grams (0.70 to 0.77oz) of finely ground coffee to the middle part.
Place the middle part on the bottom part and gently screw on the top part.
Place the moka pot on a stove and set the heat to medium. As the coffee begins to brew, open the top to get a view of the process.
Wait for a bubbling, hissing sound as that is when you should remove the pot from the stove. Pour the freshly brewed coffee and enjoy!
Making Great Coffee
We have explained the basic steps involved in making coffee with a moka pot above. But great coffee is never made with just the basics. It needs attention. Here are some tips that will help you in making sure your coffee is great every time you make it.
Since the body of the moka pot is usually made of metal, it is a great heat conductor. We must remove the pot from the heat source after the water has reached a stable boiling state. For a visual indicator, it is worth knowing that at his stage, the coffee being collected has a yellow, honey-like color. If the pot becomes too hot, it can overcook the coffee and tarnish its flavor.
As with all coffee-making methods, the grind size is important. The ideal grind size is fine, which is the same as that for espresso machines. Another great thing about this grind size is that most pre-ground coffee is ground to this size.
As most coffee makers know, brewing time has much to do with how your coffee tastes like. It is equally important as the grind size and the roast level. One of the easiest ways to prevent over-extraction of your coffee is to start with preboiled water. This is done to greatly reduce the time the pot will spend on the stove. This will result in your beverage being far less bitter and far more pleasant.
The Science Behind the Cold Towel
You might have seen pictures or mentions of a cold towel. So, what’s the purpose? As explained above, the brewing time is a key flavor determining factor. The cold towel dramatically reduces the brewing by reducing the heat flow from the bottom. This stops the coffee from getting over-extracted and ruining the taste. Another purpose is to cool the pot’s body. This is to prevent scalding of the beverage which produces an undesired metallic taste.
As always, we recommend using freshly roasted, specialty grade coffee beans.