The moka, the stovetop coffee machine that has become a symbol of the ‘Made in Italy,’ was invented by Alfonso Bialetti in 1933.
Culturally, the Moka Pot marked a historical shift from espresso as an out-of-the-house-only beverage to one that could be approximated in the home, which coincided nicely with Italy’s economic downturn of the 1930s. Bearing in mind that espresso made in commercial-grade machines is brewed with a much higher amount of pressure (9 bar) than the boiling water in a stovetop pot can provide (maybe 2 bar, if you’re lucky), these brewers are able to produce an intense, concentrated brew that many home drinkers enjoy as a substitute for traditional espresso.
The Bialetti moka has become so iconic that it is even on display in the permanent collection of the MoMA museum in New York
How to brew in a stove pot step by step
- Preheat the water. We do this to prevent the moka pot of getting too hot and cook the coffee plus giving the coffee a metallic taste.
2. Add the heated water under the safety vault.
Adding water over the safety vault might make your stove top to explode because it is the one responsable for releasing pressure, in any case that it is too high when boiling the water.
3. Insert the filter basket into the brewer bottom and fill the basket with coffee, slightly mounted, and level the surface off with your finger.
- If you use less coffee, the water pressure will go through the filter too quick and will move all the coffee leftover causing overextraction and bad tastes.
- If you fill the filter and press it, the water won’t find a way of passing and will cause the pressure to get higher dragging sediments and undesirable soluble compounds to your cup.
4. Screw the top and bottom together and put the brewer on the stove and use moderate heat. Leave the lid open.
5. The coffee will begin to come out. Once the stream gets the color of yellow honey, remove from heat source with hot pads and close the lids.
6. Wrap the bottom of the pot in a chilled towel or run under cold tap water to stop extraction. With this we prevent the coffee from getting a metallic taste.
7. When the coffee stops bubbling out, pour it into cups.
Did you know?
When brewing in moka pots the idea is to get relatively small amounts of coffee (concentrated and rich) and dilute it with hot water depending on preference.