How To Use a Moka Pot :: Video Tutorial

 

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More than %90 of all households in Italy, the country that brought us espresso, own a moka pot! Invented in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti, the moka pot became a favorite brewing method in Europe. This video and following text will teach you how easy it is to create a rich cup of coffee brewed in your own Moka Pot. I ordered a Bialetti moka pot, it was very reasonable in price (<$30), and I was impressed with the

bialettie moka potPin It

incredible flavor produced from this brewer. The moka pot is very easy to use, providing you with an excellent brewing method that is easily repeatable. There aren’t very many variables that you have to be aware of, just a few easy to follow steps, that when followed, create a rich and flavorful cup of coffee. The moka pot consists of three parts, the bottom chamber (A), the coffee basket/ filter funnel (B), and the upper chamber (C). The moka pot works by filling the bottom chamber with water just below the steam valve (you can see it on the pic to the left). The filter funnel has a tube that extends into the water of the base, while the top of the filter funnel rests on the lip of the bottom chamber. The top chamber has a rubber gasket seal and a screened bottom, with a tube running up the center of the chamber. The top chamber is threaded and screws into the base. As the water in the base is heated, the water inside is converted to a gas. The gas takes up more space than does the liquid, this exerts pressure on the surface of the water, forcing it up the tube of the funnel filter. The water is moved into the funnel filter at just the right temperature, prior to boiling, where it is mixed with the coffee grounds. As the coffee is saturated with the water, the grounds swell, increasing the pressure and aiding in extraction. The brewed coffee continues up the center tube of the upper chamber, where it is collected. I’ve seen some explanations that claim that the steam travels up the filter funnel tube and condenses in the filter basket, transforming back into a liquid. This is ridiculous and is quite impossible! Now you know the science behind it, here is the step by step;

  1. Boil a kettle of water
  2. Fill the bottom chamber (A) with the heated water to just below the relief valve
  3. Insert filter funnel (B)
  4. Grind your coffee now (I prefer just finer than auto-drip)
  5. Add coffee, filling the basket completely
  6. Screw the upper chamber (C) onto the base
  7. Turn heat on medium
  8. Remove from heat when the brewer begins to sputter, indicating the completion of the brewing process
  9. Serve full strength or mix equal parts with leftover kettle water
  10. Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

 
Here are a few tips and suggestions for better brewing…

  • Using pre-boiled water not only speeds the process, but it keeps the coffee from being exposed to excessive heat prior to brewing
  • USE FRESHLY GROUND COFFEE! (This tip is for every brewing method and vital for optimal flavor!)
  • While I prefer a grind that is just finer than auto-drip, every coffee is different. Do some trial and error to find what works best for you
  • Make a little mound in the center of the coffee basket when filling it. This will add a little more pressure to the process, squeezing more flavor from the grounds
  • Do not tamp or pack the grounds into the filter basket
  • Use medium heat. Using heat that is too high will cause the coffee to be scorched, creating a burnt and bitter flavor.
  • Do what works for YOU! Coffee taste is subjective, so if you find a tweak that works for you, then do it!

So there you have it. Brewing great coffee in a moka pot is not only easy, but very effective in producing a tasty cuppa joe! You will be happy to see that the moka pot is also a very inexpensive way to enjoy a properly brewed cup of coffee. I got mine on Amazon for about $26! Any questions? Maybe you have some tips that have worked for you. Maybe this video inspires you to make your first pot of moka pot coffee. Please share your experience with me and other members of the community in the comments below! You comment just may win you some free coffee too ๐Ÿ˜€

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  • Gservo

    I love MY one cup Moka Pot, will probably to a 3 cup, once i find a perfect one

  • I really like the Bialetti. The one I have is aluminum and I've read that people really like the stainless ones, but then you read that others swear by the aluminum ones. You know what? It's whatever YOU like! Pretty much like anything else coffee related ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for watching/reading.

  • I'll second that….I love my Moka Pot too. I haven't used it for a while, I think I'll have to break it out again very soon.

    Most of the time, I'll either drink it straight or make a syrupy sugar mix to put on top of it. I'm going to have to try it with water.

  • Caroline_lange

    My Italian neighbors will no be impressed if I tell them they aren't making “real” esspresso! hehe

  • Yup, Moka Pot coffee is excellent when prepared properly. Adding hot water makes it like a regular strength cup of coffee. It retains the flavor, but takes the edge off of it. Thanks for watching Mike!!

  • Shhh…don't tell them I said that. Actually espresso was much like that when the moka pot was invented, but today it's a whole other animal! Thanks for dropping in!!

  • dg

    Very kewl, thanks Nate. If I could ever stray from my french press for even one morning, I'll give it a go!

  • Wyo Toads Java

    Great report Nathan. I love cappuccinos so I heat milk and use my little one cup french press to froth my heated milk and mix equil parts.

  • You really should expand your horizons! French press coffee is great, but you are missing out on new experiences. Who knows, maybe you'll find a new favorite! Thanks for taking time to check out my site and comment ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks for sharing Todd! That is another idea to try.

  • Shhh…don't tell them I said that. Actually espresso was much like that when the moka pot was invented, but today it's a whole other animal! Thanks for dropping in!!

  • Yup, Moka Pot coffee is excellent when prepared properly. Adding hot water makes it like a regular strength cup of coffee. It retains the flavor, but takes the edge off of it. Thanks for watching Mike!!

  • I spent a few years trying to find my perfect cup of coffee. I went from drip to French press to 3-in-1s and still would doze off at my desk at 3pm. Finally when I found out about the moka pot, I invested $100+ on the Bialetti Brikka – they're super expensive here on this side of the planet and only a few stores carry them – and a coffee grinder. My mom and I got hooked to it since, stopped going to Starbucks and CBTL, and the best part, I haven't fallen asleep at my desk in the afternoons ๐Ÿ˜€ IMHO, espresso machines aside, this makes the best-tasting coffees, even better than Starbucks – I drink mine with warm milk and raw sugar ๐Ÿ˜› Some people have mentioned they can detect the aluminium after-taste… I think I did once when I drank it black. Or maybe my beans were stale… Also, there's mention on many websites that the moka pots should never be washed with soap. I just scrub and rinse mine with water. After a few months of use, the inside of the bottom chamber starts to turn dark ๐Ÿ˜› Maybe that's normal. Thanks Nate for your post on the moka pot!! I always enjoy reading what others have to say about them ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Darrell O

    Great video Nate, I've been brewing it like that-off'n'on-for years(good to know I'm not messin' up anywhere). I've actually got 2, both aluminum – a little Bialetti 3 cup/demi-tasse & a 9 cup/demi-tasse knock-off that I lucked-out on(works great!) Morning coffee in my kitchen-unless you've got a gun to my head, lol-is Moka Pot coffee! I'll have to try some of those tips though, thanks!

  • Tom

    One of the few brew methods I've yet to try at home. Thanks … now I must get a Moka Pot! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I've seen these but had NO CLUE how to use them – great, simple explanation – and I appreciated the lesson!

  • Scott

    I lived in Italy for 6 months and I can tell you that every single household owns at least 3 or 4 of these little gems. Ranging from single serves to 4 cup capacity. My wife & I bought the new cow colored version, while we were there, it makes the coffee as a cappuccino. You set it up the same as the regular moka, the difference is that there is a steam attachment in the top chamber where you add the milk. During the process the steam is injected into the milk, creating foam.

  • “Even better than Starbucks” …that had me rolling! Great comment and I'm glad that you've found your favorite way to make coffee. I've never tried the Brikka and I have added it to my extensive want list ๐Ÿ™‚ I concur with the consensus to not use soap, but I most certainly keep mine clean. Allowing coffee oils to turn rancid and build up on the brewer is not advisable. If YOU like it that way, and I mean 'you' in the general sense, then fine….just don't serve me any coffee from it..k? Thanks again for dropping in!

  • You are very welcome! I'm glad to contribute to your coffee know-how ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Hi Scott! So the rumors are true…Italians really do love their moka pots! Thanks for the confirmation and your experience with the 'cowppuccino' version ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Hi Tom! At least it's an inexpensive brewer for you to test drive. I could've shown a demo of the Clover I suppose…then you'd really be in trouble!

  • Tcashin07

    Now my next buying decision is even more difficult. Siphon pot or moka pot or replace my awful half-broken french press with a nice one..
    Leaning towards a nice french press for now and then maybe a siphon pot in the near future..
    Moka pot will have to wait unfortunately.

    Don't forget to mention Social's incredible promotion they've got on now, offering free shipping to NA. I've got two bags of espresso on the way.

  • I concur with your priorities! The french press is a must have for every coffee drinker, and I absolutely love siphon brewed coffee! The Moka, Chemex, and AeroPress are also great options, but everyone prefers something different. The press and moka pot are cheaper buys ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Stefan Thor

    Ok here are my two cents. I've been using Bialetti Brikka moka pot for about 4 months now. It has a valve that makes crema that you don't get with regular moka pot. It comes in 2 or 4 cups versions(a cup is 1oz just like an espresso). First the coffee comes out and then the valve starts making crema and by then you wait 5 sec and take it of the heat. Well the coffee I was getting wasn't hot enough and keeping it longer on the heat and I lost most of the crema. So now I pre-heat all the three sections plus my cup with very hot water while I grind my coffee and no problem.

    It's been a long time since I've used a regular moka pot and that was an old one that really would have needed a new gasket set because it was leaking. I always thought also the coffee was a bit bitter in that pot.

    Now I have tried a lot of different coffees and variation from 26-28 grams of coffees and to fill it like you do and put some extra in the middle but I feel I get some bitterness in the cup that way.

    My personal best as for now is with a Selebes Kalossi coffee that is medium roasted(I've tried one that was dark vienna+ roasted and it just wasn't the same) I use 28g and I hold the basket while I put the coffee in and tap slightly on each site with my index finger to get the coffee loose and to level it out. The coffee does not stand above in the basket rather a little bit lower so I'm not filling it all the way just almost. The result is the sweetest cup I've ever tasted from a moka pot and one that is just the right temperature to drink right away.

    There was a problem with connecting this site to Facebook but you can find me under this name on Facebook(i'm also a fan of CoffeeNate on Facebook.)

  • Stefan Thor

    I personally think that different coffees requires different brewing method. For example I think the spicy flavors in the Mocha Java blends are too strong in a French press so I like it more in manual pour over drip and then again I think the chocolate flavors in the Gvatemala comes best out in the French press.

  • Barrylazar

    Hi – what grind do you use on the Breville for moka?

    • Hi Barry, For Moka pot I like to use a finer setting. You are asking about the Breville BCG grinder? I set it for a couple of clicks finer than the “auto-drip” indicator. Give it a shot and adjust as you see fit. Results can also vary from coffee to coffee as well. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  • domwakeling

    At last … my moka pot has been sitting in the cupboard ever since I bought it because I couldn’t make a decent brew with it; just followed your instructions (although I’ve made it closer to 2:1 water:coffee) and I have a DELICIOUS cup of coffee …

    • Exxecutor000

      I’ve also found that ratio 2:1 (water to coffee) is the most enjoyable one, especially with a bit of steamed milk ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Exxecutor000

    Good posting! Me too adding water to the brewed coffee, either 1:1 or 2:1 (the later is my preference). Consuming it directly is too strong for me, unless when makingย cappuccino.

    Previously, I often frustrated when adding milk to instant soluble coffee – the result is inferior compared with freshly brewed coffee. Then I went for a french press, which is much better ย – but still not good enough due to the coffee residue left. One day on an unexpected trip to the town centre, I bought a moka pot (not a Bialetti, but still an Italian). I like it very much. The moka pot is simple to operate and brew nice hot coffee, which can be used as a base to make various coffee drinks. Even though it is not as strong/thick as 9-bar espresso, it is good enough for me. Planning to get a bigger capacity 6 or 9 cups :).ย 

    About the rubber seal, I rub a little olive oil to the screw thread (avoiding the coffee basket) – reducing wear to the seal (found this tip on the internet).ย 

    • jalvarogutierrez

      Doesnt the olive oil adds flavor to the coffee?

  • Daniel

    Well I absolutely love moka pots. They are so simple that no manufacturer can get it wrong. (That said, I’d always stick with an Italian make.) It is the closest thing to an espresso that you can get without actually buying an espresso machine, and actually beats any home espresso machine in the lower price range.

    My method that works best is the following:- Use a fine grain grind, just above an espresso grind. (My grandmother’s 100 year old hand grinder at its smallest setting works very nicely.)- Do pack the coffee in the basket. I’m not talking jumping up and down on it, but make sure that it’s nice and dense in there.- Set the stove to the ABSOLUTE LOWEST flame (or wattage) you can get out of it.
    – Keep an eye on the thing. No really, every family who have used these for more than a generation have had a kitchen repainted at least once after they got coffee on all four walls AND the ceiling.

    • Daniel

      Another huge advantage of the Moka pot, it is like a tank. Of course you need good materials (water and coffee), but what would result in a disaster with an espresso machine can yield drinkable, even great results with a humble moka.

      When I took the grinder home from my grandmother that her mother bought before the World War, she gave me a pot of whole coffee beans, almost full.
      …that she got as a present almost 20 years ago!

      I know what you might be thinking, and I was thinking the same. It’s old, no aroma, maybe even stale, just throw it out. But well, it was good beans, a very nice Vienna roast, so I decided to give it a try.
      And you know what? It was good coffee! Not simply drinkable, it was actually GOOD. Not a gourmet symphony of tastes like a really good espresso, mind you, but something that beats the shitty brown water most people drink for breakfast hands down.

      So while espresso is the uncompromising, mystical, artistic, posh top dog of the world of Italian coffee, the moka pot is the other end of the equation, that of the simple Italian household that, while down-to-earth and pragmatic, still suffers no compromise when it comes to food and coffee.

  • Linda

    Hi Nate!

    I notice that youยดre using a Wilfa to grind the coffee with. I have one too and Iยดm using Lavazza beans. Which grinding degree are you using on the Wilfa?

    Thanks in advance!

    Regards,
    Linda