In this article, we will tell you how to use a Moka pot. In a short, 7-minutes read you will get to know all of the most important tips, tricks and how to take care of your stovetop espresso maker. If you’re looking for a very cheap, quick, and traditional way to enjoy your favorite espresso-like coffee
This stovetop espresso maker helps in making espresso-like coffee. Although it is not as potent as an espresso, it is more durable than drip coffee.
What is a Moka pot?
A Moka pot is an electric or stovetop coffee maker that brews coffee by pressurized steam through finely-ground coffee. Its history dates back to 1933 when Alfonso Bialetti, an Italian engineer, invented the device.
Generally, the coffee to water ratio for Moka pots is about 1:7. That’s unlike the typical 1:16 rate for regular coffee.
Its construction is of two types – aluminum and stainless steel – and each determines its weight, durability, and its compatibility with cooktops.
It is worth mentioning that although a Moka pot is called a stovetop espresso maker, they technically do not produce espresso. Although there are ways on how to make espresso on a stove, Moka pot cannot deliver the 8-10 bars of pressure; real espresso machines can give.
How Does a Moka Pot Work?
Moka pots operate by the simple principle of evaporation. Precisely, upon heating the stove, the water below heats up and generates steam. This steam passes through the fine ground coffee as the pressure in the pot increases. Although it only produces 1.5bars of pressure, it is sufficient to make quality cups of espresso.
How to brew with a Moka pot
- Fill the lower chamber with water just below its valve
Filling the pot above its valve will affect the flavor as well as reduce the pressure on the Moka pot. Likewise, under-filling the pot might lead to too strong coffee or insufficient pressure.
- Add your finely ground coffee to the funnel
Make sure you don’t overfill the strainer nor tamp the coffee. That is because it will create too much pressure in the device.
- Screw the upper part of the pot to the base
- Place the Moka pot on the cooktop with low heat
Ensure that the temperature is not high, because that will make the coffee taste burnt.
- Check the coffee level
Once the top chamber of the pot is full of coffee, and there’s a brown foam on the spout, remove the Moka pot from heat.
- Serve and enjoy!
What type of coffee should be used?
Whole Bean or Pre-ground?
For a fresher tasting coffee, whole beans are the best choice (check our Top choice of coffee beans for espresso). So, we recommend you get whole coffee beans and grind it yourself just before you brew it. Fine to medium-fine grind is perfect for Moka pot. So, it is imperative to get a good coffee grinder to achieve that.
Still, if you want to save a few bucks on coffee grinders, you can go for pre-ground coffee. However, we recommend you buy pre-ground coffee made specifically for Moka pots. That’s because the regular espresso ground will clog on your pot’s filter. Whereas that of drip coffee is too coarse for it.
What type of roast?
All roast types from light to dark roast are suitable for use in a Moka pot. It is relatively difficult to select a particular roast type as the best as it depends on your taste preference and the time of the day.
While dark roast is excellent for making a morning cup, the medium roast is best for an afternoon blend. Note that on the one hand, lighter roast tends to have more acidity, and on the other hand, dark roast burns quickly in a stovetop espresso maker.
For a better result, the ground size of coffee should be fine to medium-fine consistent grind. Ensure you pay attention to consistency as inconsistent grounds will lead to the brewing of imbalanced coffee.
Espresso-fine or too fine ground often causes clogging of the filter hence causing the pot to generate extremely high pressure. Burr coffee grinders are efficient in producing the right amount of grind for the Moka pot.
What Temperature Should You Brew
The brewing temperature of the Moka pot plays a significant role in determining the quality of coffee you get. The National Coffee Association recommends brewing at a medium heat temperature of about 204° F or 95° C.
How long do you need to brew it?
If you are a novice on how to use a Moka pot, you will need to know that then length of time brewing requires depends on certain factors. If you set the heat to a low setting, it will take longer for your Moka to brew than when it is on a higher temperature.
Although your Moka tastes better when set to low temperature; however, it will take up to 15 minutes for it to brew. On the other hand, if the temperature is high, it will only take about 5 minutes.
Additionally, small Moka pots brew faster than larger ones since a small amount of water gets heated more quickly than a larger amount of water.
With time you will learn the differences and can be able to tell when it is time to take it off the stove. A word of advice – you can hear when the Moka pot stops feeding brewed coffee in the upper chamber. When everything quiets down – that’s when you can take It off. Just make sure you don’t wait for too long or the heat will start burning the coffee.
Moka Pot Instructions on Safety
When using the Moka pots, there is a need to adhere to specific safety tips. Here, you will find some Moka pot instructions and safety tips to help you get the best out of your pot:
- Never use detergent or soap when cleaning your Moka pot
- When you purchase a new Moka pot, ensure you “break it in” by brewing a tea or coffee, or boiling water inside it
- Avoid storing your Moka pot while it is pre-assembled
- Always keep your Moka pot dry by air-drying it or by using a soft cloth
- How to know when it is ready
- You know it is ready when the water in the bottom chamber is about to boil. You will notice that the pot’s pressure will thrust a stream of coffee systematically and slowly via the upper chamber.
- If there is an upward explosion, then the temperature is too high. But if it burbles gradually, the temperature is too low; hence you will need to increase the heat. Immediately you hear a bubbling or hissing sound; it is ready.
Tips and tricks for a better brew
Use hot water as it helps to reduce the amount of time required for the water to boil hence reducing brewing time.
When pouring water into the Moka pot’s water chamber, you must make sure it doesn’t pass the appropriate marked line for safety purposes. That is just below the valve on the lower chamber of the Moka pot.
Always fill up the Moka pot’s funnel but not tamp. Occasionally adjust your grind settings to accommodate differences in beans size.
When the pressure valve pops out, or the middle metal filter basket clogs, avoid packing the ground tightly inside the metal filter basket.
If your brewing time is taking longer than required, increase the heat for more pressure at the bottom of the chamber.
How to clean a Moka pot?
Knowing how to clean Moka pot does not only help the taste of your next brew, it also helps in prolonging the life of your pot.
Cleaning your Moka pot is very easy and straightforward. Firstly, allow the Moka pot to cool down, then disassemble the brewer and then remove excess grounds and water.
Next, rinse the brewer thoroughly with hot water and then dry it using air drying or with the help of a clean cloth. Although some Moka pot might come as being safe for dishwasher, do not use a dishwasher to clean your Moka pot.
In all, the Moka Pot is a compelling and exceptional, fascinating, and powerful coffee maker. Having one will guarantee you a balanced and rich espresso-like coffee all the time.
For a better result, ensure you follow our guide on how to brew, coffee type, roast type, grid size, and other instructions in this article.