A Moka is two-chambered stovetop espresso pot that uses steam pressure to force water through a strainer containing finely ground coffee. Italian-made, you’ll find one of these pots sitting on most Italian stovetops as they are both inexpensive and easy to use whilst producing a great full-bodied coffee.
When it comes to the grind, you want something fairly fine (as pictured). The hot water boils through the pressed coffee fairly quickly so you need a finer grind to ensure you get a good extraction. It’s important not to go too fine however as otherwise you’ll find you end up with grinds in your cup.
You’ll need enough coffee to fill the filter basket, which is approximately 17g for a 4-cup moka pot. Although your moka pot is going onto the stovetop, it’s a good idea to heat your water first. This helps to avoid the moka pot getting too hot and essentially cooking the coffee, which can then impart a metallic taste into your brew.
Add your heated water to the lower chamber up to where you see the line and then insert your filter basket. If there’s no line to show fill level an easy way to test if you’ve got it right is to insert the empty filter basket and make sure that once in place, no water seeps up through the strainer.
Next add you coffee, levelling off the surface and brushing away any loose grounds so that none get into the thread and affect the seal with the top chamber. Don’t pack it down as this could potentially result in too much pressure. Screw the top and bottom together so that they are sealed well but not overly tight. You need to ensure there is a perfect seal otherwise when the water begins to boil it will spew out the sides.
Place the pot over a low flame or low heat making sure the handle of pot is not subjected to any heat. A low heat is important as in order to extract the full flavour of the espresso you will want the heat to warm it slowly.
Remove the pot from the heat as soon as the coffee starts to gurgle, before it starts to rise and bubble. That way you’ll be sure to extract only the best parts of the coffee. Once the coffee stops bubbling out you can then pour it into cups, adding sugar or diluting with a bit of hot water depending on your preference.
It’s not hard to learn how to make coffee using a moka pot and as with any brewing method, part of the enjoyment of coffee is actually making it.