Moka Pots, stove tops, espresso machines, metal thing, Italian coffee maker? Call it what you will, but millions of people use them, and they make a very unique style of coffee that is loved by some and loathed by others.
We’re not judgey here.
Sure, they are a pretty old school way of making coffee, but you like what you like right? So, to hell with them, if they don’t like it.
What started in Italy with early Italian coffee culture, is now common across the globe, as it is a cheap, accessible and relatively easy way of making ‘espresso-style’ coffee.
Named after the Yemeni city of Mocha, it was invented by an Italian engineer named Alfonso Bialetti in 1933. They work by the simple mechanism of passing boiling water pressurised by steam over the ground coffee. Simple, but effective.
Since Alfonso created this little piece of coffee history, there have been various other brands to produce stove tops including Alessi, Jocca, Gator, La Cafetiere, Bonvivo & Pezzetti. Some good, some bad and some are just unnecessarily expensive.
Is it really espresso?
By definition, no. As espresso requires a set pressure (7-10 bars) and temperature (90-96c) to result in proper espresso, in the same format you find from actual espresso machines. Moka Pots can only produce 1-2 bars of actual pressure. That said, many consider this style of coffee to be espresso, and who are we to argue?
Moka Pot / Stove Top coffee is usually very strong, viscous and often a little harsh, but that is just the nature of how it is prepared and the (lack of) control that the device provides over both pressure and temperature.
What can you do to make it better?
There are actually loads of tricks that you can use to make your Moka Pot coffee better, and thankfully none of it is rocket science. Here are our top tips for improving:
- Fill the bottom of the unit up with off boiling water, NOT cold. If you add cold water, as it comes up to boiling point it draws metallic tastes out of the unit and makes your coffee taste like metal. That’s bad.
- Don’t press your coffee down, or tamp, like you would with coffee in an espresso machine portafilter. It doesn’t help it or improve your coffee in any way. If anything, it causes blockage and stops your water hitting the coffee early and can often overheat and burn it.
- Leave your lid open when you are heating up your water. Once you see your coffee start to bubble out of the middle, turn your gas off completely. If you leave it on, you are just boiling your water and burning your coffee. Not good.
How should I clean my Moka Pot?
There is mixed opinion about how you should maintain your moka pot. Some claim that you should not use soap at all as it removes the oils that contribute towards the overall taste, while others suggest you can clean them really well without any form of cleaning agent. We suggest not using any form of soap but do clean them well to remove all residue. Do put them through the dishwasher, as this helps remove all the build-up of residue.
Good coffee tastes much better when it comes from a clean vessel and Moka Pots are no different.