coffee · how to guides

How To Make Great Coffee Using Moka Pot

Everyone who is enjoying coffee not just for the caffeine, but also for the taste, had tried Moka pot coffee.

I haven’t until recently, but when I did, I was pleasantly surprised.

I was visiting my parents recently, and unfortunately the don’t own an espresso maker.

That’s when I decided to get a Moka pot, about which I’ve heard a lot, but never tasted coffee from one.

And guess what, I’m in love.

I must admit, I had difficulties getting everything right, but this is everything I’ve learnt.

Trust me, your effort will be rewarded with an amazing, strong-flavoured, but not bitter, coffee that you’ll love it!

What Is Moka Pot

moka pot
Moka pot filled with freshly brewed coffee ready to be served

Moka pots were invented in 1930s in Italy. It is often known as “stove-top espresso maker” and it has been part of many households for decades.

And even though it was pretty much forgotten, it gets its popularity back due to its convenience and for the ability to make great tasting strong coffee without a fancy equipment.

It can be used pretty much everywhere, any stove top – electric or gas at home, or if you are outside camping, you can still enjoy a strong cup of your favorite coffee without too much effort.

But, before we get our hands on making this amazing coffee, let’s see how this Moka pot actually works and what else you might need to know.

How Moka Pot Works

Moka pot and two cups of coffee prepared in the moka pot.
Coffee is best enjoyed in good company

Every moka pot consists of three chambers: the bottom chamber or cylinder is reserved for water, the middle chamber or a filterfunnel holds the coffee grounds, and the top chamber – the collector – is where the brew is collected.

There is second removable filter which together with the rubber seal need to be changed from time to time.

Once everything is prepared and the pot is on the stove, the magic begins. The boiling water, or the steam, from the bottom chamber increases the pressure and forces the water up through the filter funnel, extracting the coffee grounds as it goes to the top chamber, filling it with concentrated and delicious coffee.

Grind size for Moka pot coffee

Coffee beans ground to the perfect size for Moka pot brewing method.
That aroma from a freshly ground coffee…

While it is important to have your favorite coffee beans, it’s also important to grind them the perfect size.

Perfectly, the grind should be slightly coarser than espresso, but finer than that for a french press. Just make sure it’s not too fine, because it will result in overextraction and bitter coffee. By trying fewer grind settings you will find out what works best for you.

If you buy your beans from a local coffee roasters, they can grind the beans for you perfectly. But if you are buying ready-ground coffee, the espresso grind size works the best.

Moka pot coffee caffeine content

Moka pot and two cups of coffee prepared in the moka pot

There is such thing as too much caffeine, and those amounts can end up being bad for your health, unless you’re planning to put them to use right away.

Moka coffee can tend to over-extract from the coffee grounds compared to an espresso. This might lead to little bit stronger coffee with a higher caffeine content than regular espresso. So be prepared for some stronger coffee with a higher caffeine content than usual. 

Here are some facts for average caffeine content in three different coffee options:

  • Cup of coffee (225gr) = 105 mg of caffeine
  • Shot of Moka coffee (57gr) = 105 mg of caffeine
  • Shot of espresso (57gr) = 93 mg of caffeine

These caffeine content is just an average calculation and you need to make sure to drink coffee responsibly and take care of your health.

Instructions of How to make the best coffee using moka pot

Now that we’ve gone over the finer details about the moka pot and the grind size, let’s take a look at the basic steps for making this amazing coffee!

Pouring hot water in a bottom chamber of a moka pot
Always have preheated water ready

STEP #1. Preheat the water

Bring a water kettle to a boil and remove from heat.

Starting out with hot water allows the extraction to take place more quickly and prevents the pot overheating, which can scald the coffee grounds.

Also, turn your stove top to a medium heat.

Coffee beans ground to a perfect size for moka pot brewing method in an electric coffee grinder
Grind the beans to a perfect size

STEP #2. Grind your coffee

Grind your coffee as we explained earlier. You will need enough coffee to filter basket, which is about 15 to 17 grams (or about 2.5 Tablespoons) for a 4-cup moka pot.

If you are new in grinding beans, try a few different grind settings until you find the brew that works for you. Experimentation is key here, you need to find your own flavour that will work for you.

Pour the preheated water in the bottom chamber

STEP #3. Add the heated water

Add the heated water and fill to the line in the bottom of the brewer.

Pour the hot water into the bottom chamber; always fill it up to the bottom of the safety valve, regardless of the number of cups you intend to make.

Spare a drop for the bottom of your cup too, warm cups really make a big difference to a good coffee experience.

Filling the basket of a moka pot with freshly ground coffee
Fill the basket with the ground coffee

STEP #4. Fill the basket with coffee

Fill the basket with a mound of coffee, then flatten it with your finger.

It is not necessary to tamp it into the base of the basket, the grounds should be loosely packed.

The extraction is fuelled by pressure created by evaporation in the lower pot and compressing the grounds will lead to an over-extracted, bitter brew.

Placing the coffee basket of a moka pot into the lower chamber of the moka pot which is already filled with hot water
Place the basket into the lower pot

STEP #5. Place the basket into the bottom pot

Place the basket, filled and flattened, into the lower pot.

Filling the basket with coffee before you do so prevents coffee grounds from littering the thread. 

Screw the top on using an oven glove or a cloth as the base will be hot.

Moka pot filled with water and coffee on an electric stove with the lid open ready for brewing
Once on the stove, leave the lid open

STEP #6 Place the pot on the stove

Leave the lid open throughout the process to prevent the chamber from overheating.

A moderate heat will do the trick. You don’t want to boil the water in the pot but rather to create a gradual, controlled extraction.

A golden-brown syrup like coffee strats to extract from the top chamber of a moka pot with the lid open
Coffee starts to brew, now close the lid

STEP #7 The coffee is brewing

Watch for the first splutter of coffee which will be like a thick, golden-brown syrup. As the extraction continues it will become lighter and thinner.

Remove it from the heat when the espresso starts to run pale. Have a cold, damp cloth at the ready to cool the base down immediately. This prevents the coffee from tasting burnt. The longer the extraction runs for, the more bitter your coffee is going to taste.

Enjoy your own Moka pot coffee!

Benefits of Moka pot

Even though the coffee has proved to be a very beneficial drink, there are other benefits of Moka pot that makes it so special.

1. Moka pot makes a rich, thick and strong coffee

The coffee from a moka pot is rich and strong without being bitter. Of course, if you got all the steps right.

But, the learning process is fun, and the result is rewarding!

2. Moka pot is extremely easy to maintain

Moka pots are made using aluminum or stainless steel. Both of these materials are strong enough to withstand any form of pressure.

They don’t bend or break easily, even when they fall. This gives them the ability to last longer. Being easy to clean makes these pots easy to maintain. They can either be machine washed or hand washed.

3. You can take your Moka pot everywhere

And this one has to be the best benefit of all. Whether you are visiting someone without espresso machine, or you are out camping, you can take your Moka pot everywhere and have your cup of joy without the fancy equipment.

4. Moka pot is super affordable

Buying a moka pot is one of the best decisions one can make, since they are affordable. Using them also doesn’t require much, because they can be used on a stove.

This helps you to save on your electric bill, as well as on the cost of having to buy coffee every day. Moka pots also bring out natural coffee that one can drink without adding sugar or sweeteners, helping you to further reduce costs.

Final words from me

By the end of this article, you should be enjoying your very own Moka pot coffee.

And when you are done drinking it, hit me with some comments.

Do you like drinking coffee from Moka pot?

And if you haven’t tasted it before, are you willing to give it a try?

Until the next one,

Enjoy Your Coffee!

And don’t forget to share this article with friends and family, someone might find it useful.

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