How to make Italian coffee in a moka pot
Italians are crazy about their coffee and both going to a bar for a cup of coffee or making a coffee at home means an entire world made of rituals and same gestures always and always. Let’s focus on the homemade coffee, the coffee made with a moka pot.
What is a moka?
A moka, also known as “caffettiera”, is a coffee maker that produces coffee by heating the water and passing it through ground coffee; the most famous one is the Bialetti, invented in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti and imitated by many other companies. The result is a very intense coffee which is consumed at home, with or without milk; the aroma depends on coffee variety and also water and the level of heat used.
The moka pot comes in various sizes based on the number of cups they produce:
This is how a moka pot looks like:
How to make a perfect Italian coffee using a moka pot
- Fill the boiler with cold water up to the level of the valve. Insert the filter.
- Fill the funnel with ground coffee but do not overfill it otherwise your coffee will be too strong or the moka will suffer while heating. Do not tamp the coffee.
- Make sure the filter and the gasket are in place. Screw the two part of the moka tightly together.
- Place the moka pot on the stove keeping the heat low.
- Remove pot from heat when coffee starts to gurgle and before it starts to rise and bubble to get only the best parts of the coffee.
- Pour your coffee into espresso cups.
- Rinse the coffee maker with hot water and let dry thoroughly before screwing chambers back together.
Advices for a perfect Italian coffee at home
- Use coffee ground specifically for the moka;
- Always fill the pot with water;
- Never use other contents besides coffee;
- Use filtered water for best coffee flavor;
- Store coffee grounds in airtight container away from sunlight.
Common problems in making Italian coffee
1. Coffee has a burnt taste
The heat is too high so you’ve to reduce the heat firstly. If you feel the same taste then you should change your coffee grounds.
2. Coffee is too strong
You’ve probably used too many coffee grounds.
3. I got very little amount of coffee
If you’ve pressed the coffee into the funnel it hasn’t had space to go out. You should also have used too less water, Ot maybe the filter is dirty so it has to be checked and eventually changed.
Where to buy an Italian moka pot?
These days it is quite simple to find a moka pot in every store also outside of Italy even if way too expensive than buy a moka pot in Italy. You can save a few quids by using Amazon where you can select the brand you want (I strongly recommend Bialetti because it’s been the first one to make the moka pot), the size you want and also the budget you want to spend. Here a selection of ideas from Amazon.
Buying the correct coffee beans for moka pot
If you make your beans by yourself, then the basic moka pot rule is to use a grind slightly finer than drip not as fine as espresso. If you buy your coffee beans then you’ve to buy coffee ground specifically made for the moka. There are a few Italian brands you can take as an example, all available on Amazon: Illy, Lavazza, Kimbo, Pellini.
What’s the difference between a moka pot and a coffee machine?
The moka pot passes pressurized hot water through the coffee grounds: first of all it takes practice to make the coffee right and then it doesn’t allow immediate consumption because it takes a little bit of time to make the coffee.
The coffee machine uses a different a quickest system which allows for immediate coffee consumption.
A moka pot is only capable of a brew pressure around 1.5 bar while a coffee machine arrive to a brew pressure of 9-10 bar, ideal for espresso.
The moka pot gives you a nice and strong Italian cup of coffee but technically it’s not an espresso because of it’s lower brew pressure (so you won’t have the typical cream on top [you can make it at home, I’ll show you how]).
What’s best: the moka or the coffee machine?
Being an Italian, I can surely say it’s 2 different things and there’s no one better than the other. I own both and I suggest everyone to try the moka experience at least one to decide if it is worth or not. The coffee in the following picture is prepared with a moka, how does it look to you?
[Disclaimer: None of the brands I’ve shown in the post have paid or given me a free gift for being reviewed here. If you click on the Amazon links and you’ll buy I’ll receive a little commission]