A moka pot is a traditional Italian way to brew coffee on the stovetop. It’s also commonly used in Latin America and other parts of Europe where it’s prized for being quick and easy to use.
Moka pots incorporate a pressure regulator that functions similarly to a pressure cooker. As the water boils in the lower chamber, powerful steam pressure forces the water through ground coffee in the filter and into the pot, creating a smooth, aromatic brew. This particular method of coffee brewing produces an intensely-flavored brew with exceptional body and richness reminiscent of espresso.
To achieve a perfectly-brewed moka pot, you’ll want to focus on two important things. First, make sure you have the right grind: You’ll want a relatively fine grind, slightly larger than what’s used for espresso. Second, remove the pot from heat as soon as brewing is complete to avoid over-extraction.
Because they utilize steam pressure, moka pots can appear intimidating, but let us assure you that they’re much simpler to use than they look. Learn everything you need to know below, thanks to our step-by-step guide and instructional video.
What you’ll need:
- Whole beans of coffee, such as Illy
- Coffee grinder
- Stovetop moka pot, like the Bialetti Moka Express
- Heat source (stovetop or burner)
- Pot holders
- Demitasse or espresso cups
What to do:
- Grind the beans: use a medium-fine grind (not the powdery grind used for true espresso). You’ll want to grind just enough coffee to fill your pot’s filter basket.
- Add water: Pour cold water into the base of the pot, filling just to the indicator line.
- Insert the filter: Place the filter basket in the base of the pot.
- Add coffee: Spoon ground coffee into the basket until just past full, then level it off with your finger without pressing the grounds down. Brush away any loose grounds from the filter and brewer.
- Screw pot onto the base. Screw the pot onto its base. Be careful to keep everything upright, and don’t twist too tightly.
- Heat the pot: Put the pot (with the top flipped open) on the heat source over moderate heat. If you’re using a gas stove or burner, be sure to keep the pot’s handle away from the heat.
- Keep an eye on brewing: Watch ofr signs of coffee—brewing will start with a puffing sound and spurt of liquid. Once the brewing stream is steady, close the lid and remove the pot from the heat source. Be sure to use pot holders; a Moka pot’s handle tends to stay hot for quite some time.
For extra credit, watch the whole process of brewing a moka pot in action here…
Have you ever tried the moka pot? What’s your go-to way to brew coffee every morning?