If you’re not from Europe, you’ve probably never heard of the Moka pot before. But if you grew up with Italian grandparents, chances were pretty high they had this mini coffee pot on their shelf as a decoration. It’s uncommon that the Bialetti Moka pot is still commonly used all over Europe by those who love nostalgia and a good strong cup of coffee. Here are some incredible facts about how the Moka pot makes brewing coffee fast and easy.
An Original Italian Exclusive
You have to know that Italy ranks the highest for three great exported inventions, espresso machines, pizza, and Jeans! Well, the name actually refers to blue jeans that came from Genoa and were a type of cotton corduroy port sailors wore called ‘Jeanes’. But the main focus here is their undying love for coffee and the invention of a little gadget called the Moka pot. It was invented by Alfonso Bialetti in 1933 and was a huge hit for making coffee.
It quickly went on to be exported to countries all over Europe and was widely accepted in the UK.
By the end of the Second World War, it was further exported to Australia thanks to its success in the UK and further solidified itself in households all over South America.
And though the imports into America have been few and spotty at most, that doesn’t mean the Moka pot isn’t available anymore. The original Moka express is still selling strong.
What Makes The Moka Pot Different?
The answer is very simple as to what makes it different than other coffee makers. The powerful action of building steam pressure within the lower portion of the pot forces warming hot water to be forced through the finely ground espresso.
It’s essentially a miniature espresso machine.
Since it takes a lot of pressure to force water through the ground coffee, it’s that pressure that forces the water to flow through coffee grounds into the upper pot.
The result is coffee that is brewed using very low-temperature water of 160°F or so to achieve excellent results using sufficient power to drive the water through one chamber to another. Your stovetop burner doesn’t need to be on high for this to happen, so medium heat is all that’s needed. Because it’s designed to be foolproof, it has a built-in safety valve that will allow built-up steam to be released. Here’s a satisfying Moka steam video to prove it!
Why Use a Moka Pot?
Besides being quick and easy, using the Moka pot is not complicated once you familiarize yourself with how it goes together. Several models allow you to make one cup up to several depending on the size of the brewing pot. The lower pot even has a very obvious water line that lets you know how much water is the maximum amount to add. There is also the added bonus of the type of coffee grounds you can use.
You’ll be better off using a medium to a medium-fine ground from beans that you grind yourself. There are products on the market that come pre-ground already, but this lacks the flavor you can get with freshly-ground coffee beans. After it cools down, it can be hand washed without needing to use soapy water! The metal won’t stain just using your fingers to rub away any coffee residue.
After this, all the pieces can be dried with a towel and re-assembled until you use the moka pot again. Don’t ever put it into the dishwasher, since this will ruin the shiny chrome finish on the outside. The main appeal to using a Moka pot is the simplicity of getting a perfect cup of coffee right away. It only takes 5 to 10 minutes on medium-low heat to get things going. You can even add warm or hot water to the lower vessel to speed up the brewing process!
How to Brew with a Moka Pot
Do you want to make an amazing cup of Bialetti Moka pot coffee like a pro? Here is how you do it as they do in Italy without having to leave your home!
1. Adding your water
Unscrew the lower chamber of your Moka pot. There will be a strainer that you take out so you can add your water. Always use clean and filtered water to get awesome results. Tap water can work but the calcium will build up through repeated usage, so you’ll need to use a limescale remover like lemon juice. There should be a water level line inside showing how much water to add.
If there isn’t you cannot exceed the water level based on where the safety valve is sitting, so allow it to be filled just below where the valve is located. This will prevent too much pressure from building. You can put in warm or hot water to speed up your brewing time.
2. Grind your coffee beans
Let1s just skip the part where you’re adding premade espresso or coffee powder, since that cheating and won’t taste as good as fresh beans. Use a good coffee bean grinder to grind up 18 to 20 grams of beans according to making a single cup of coffee. Select your setting for medium-fin to a medium grind and then add this to your strainer filter. This is then added to the bottom section and the top half is screwed on.
The inner rubber gasket will allow for a nice snug fit to don’t over-tighten this. It only needs to be hand-tightened.
3. Put onto your stovetop
If you have a stovetop cover that fits over burners, then you don’t have to fight with balancing it on the edge of the burners. If you have an induction stovetop, this won’t be a problem. A burner cover just helps keep the handle of your Moka pot from getting too hot. Set your heat at medium-low and let the coffee do its’ thing. When you start hearing a bubbling noise as the remaining steam pushes out leftover coffee, turn off the heat.
You can lift the lid to see how your coffee looks and then give it a quick stir with a teaspoon. It’s then ready to serve right away. Just wait until the pot is cooled before you go to clean it. The metal will be way too hot to touch!