How to Brew in a Moka Pot

How To Brew In A Moka Pot

If you love coffee chances are you’ve already stumbled across the Moka Pot. This coffee brewer is found in almost every home throughout Italy and is the brewer of choice for many cafés in Europe. Although this brewer is often touted as being able to make espresso, it really doesn’t deliver a “true” espresso shot like you would find in restaurants or cappuccino bars simply because the commercial machines utilize high-pressure to produce the perfect espresso and often cost more than eight hundred dollars. Moka coffee is brewed at a relatively low pressure of 1 to 2 bar (100 to 200 kPa), whereas real espresso coffee requires a pressure of 9 bars (900 kPa).

The Moka Pot, on the other hand, costs under fifty dollars and uses a tiny amount of pressure when compared to the commercial espresso machines. The Moka Pot still works with pressure in very much the same way as commercial brewers but isn’t exactly like the espresso you would find in high street coffee shops, but it can come close.

The Moka Pot is designed to sit directly on your stove-top, the bottom chamber holds the water, and the center filter basket holds your ground coffee, the top chamber is where your freshly brewed coffee will collect. The principle is pretty simple. Pressure is built up in the bottom chamber which then pushes steam through the grounds and up into the top chamber.

Moka Pot Brewing At A Glance

What You Need

Moka Pot End Result

Total brew time: 5:00

Yield: 1 full mug

Cup Characteristics: Flavor notes are closer to an espresso than filter coffee.

Moka Pot Instructions

Brewing Espresso In A Moka Pot Instructions

The Moka Pot is pretty simple to master, and after reading through this brewing guide, I’m sure you’ll be well on your way to making some great tasting coffee.

Step 1: Preheat The Water

Step 1: Heat Your Water

Preheat your water, simply bring the kettle to a boil and remove from heat.

There are many Moka Pot brewing guides that will tell you to add cold water directly to your bottom chamber and then heat, I disagree. I recommend that you boil your water separately and then add to the bottom chamber, this stops the Moka Pot becoming too hot which can cause your coffee to burn which in turn can give the coffee a metallic taste. You will still be placing your Moka onto the stove-top, but due to it being pre-warmed it takes very little time to brew.

Step 2: Weigh Your Coffee

Weigh Your Coffee

Next, you need to weigh out your whole coffee beans, you’ll need enough to fill your filter basket so depending on the size of your Moka Pot adjust accordingly. For my Moka Pot, I typically use 19 grams of coffee.

Step 3: Grind Your Coffee

Grind Your Coffee

Once weighed out you’ll need to grind your whole bean coffee. Set your coffee grinder to a medium to fine setting, your Moka Pot grind should resemble table salt. You can buy pre-ground coffee, the best coffee for Moka Pot I have found is the illy Caffe Normale which you can find here.

Step 4: Add Water To The Fill Line

Add Water
Add Water To The Fill Line

Take your boiling water and pour into the bottom chamber and stop at the fill line. If you cannot clearly see a fill line stop just under the pressure valve located on the side of the pot.

Step 5: Insert The Filter Basket

Insert The Filter Basket

Insert the metal filter basket into the top of the bottom chamber.

Step 6: Fill The Basket With Coffee

Fill The Basket With Coffee

Once your metal filter basket is inserted, fill it with your freshly ground coffee (or pre-ground) until it is level with the top. I like to slightly press down on the coffee, but not too much, also make sure that there is no coffee around the edges of the rim otherwise you will not get a good seal.

Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker

Want to take a look at the different Bialetti Espresso Makers? (yes there are different designs) Check out this article on the best Stovetop Espresso Makers.


Step 7: Assemble The Moka Pot

Assemble The Moka Pot 1
Assemble The Moka Pot 2

Assemble the pot by screwing the top chamber onto the base, hold the pot itself and not the handle. Again, make sure that there are no grounds on the outside rim as you begin to screw together.

Step 8: Place Coffee Pot Over Heat

Place Coffee Pot Over Heat

Next, place your Moka Brewer onto the stove-top over moderate heat, make sure the handle isn’t over a naked flame. Try and leave the lid open to monitor the brewing, I say try, because you may find that coffee will start to splutter everywhere.

Step 9: Watch The Magic Happen!

Watch The Magic Happen

You’ll start to hear a gurgling sound, and you will begin to see a rich-brown stream of coffee start to bubble up through the top of the filter that will get progressively lighter in color. Once the color of the coffee coming up through the filter starts to get lighter in color, and the bubbling almost stops, remove the pot from the heat.

Step 10: Remove And Pour

Remove And Pour

Pour the Moka coffee into your coffee mug being extra careful not to touch the pot directly with your hands – it’s hot!

Step 11: Clean Up And Enjoy!

Clean Up And Enjoy

Dilute the Moka coffee as I have done with hot water or if you prefer to add cream, milk, or sugar depending on your preference.


Stovetop Espresso Maker Brewing Tips

If find that the center metal filter basket clogs or if the pressure valve pops out, try to use a coarser grind. Also make sure not to pack the ground to tightly inside of the metal filter basket, just a slight tap down is all it needs.

Moka Pot

If you find that your brew time is taking longer than 5 minutes try turning up the heat to build up more pressure in the bottom chamber.

I almost always recommend using whole coffee beans when brewing coffee, however, with the Moka Pot you can get away with using pre-ground coffee made especially for the Moka coffee maker such as this and this.

If you don’t own a coffee scale simply fill your metal filter basket to the top.

Don't own the Moka Pot?

Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker
coffee disclosure This article may contain affiliate links on some of the products I use and recommend. Clicking on an affiliate link won’t increase the cost for you but makes it possible to identify the referral by this site. So if you find my article beneficial and decide to purchase via my links I will get a small amount of commission which I can put towards some coffee (probably not enough for a lobster dinner though). Read my full affiliate disclosure here.
Mark Morphew
 

Mark is the guy brewing up Bean Ground. He likes to think of himself as a bit of a coffee fanatic who can never get enough coffee! You'll often find him in a caffeine induced rant talking about... you guessed it, coffee.

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