Moka Pot- An Italian Tradition

The Moka Pot, also known as the Moka Express, is one of three major, classical Italian brew methods, which includes the espresso machine and the Cuccumella (a Neapolitan tradition). Oddly enough, this three-part wonder was inspired by the washing machine and a trip home from France. Talk about a productive day! The inventor was Alfonso Bialetti, who worked in the aluminium industry for 10 years, and began making household appliances upon his return to Italy. Bialetti’s factory was in the beautiful city of Piedmont, just outside of Turin. Bialetti’s idea was to find a way for Italians to have espresso in their homes…and maybe continue to do their laundry. Before the Moka Pot, coffee was generally taken in public coffee houses, whose crowd usually consisted of only male patrons. {Interesting fact- Another reason that the Moka Pot is made of aluminium is due to the imposed embargo that Mussolini had on stainless steel.} So, how can you join in on this European experience? Keep reading to find out.

 

 

Types of Moka Pots:

-Bialetti Original Shape: 1 cup, 3 cup, 6 cup, 9 cup, and 12 cup

-Bialetti Mini Express: 2 cup

What You Need: (6 Cup)

-Prefered Moka Pot (size and style)

-18-22 grams of coffee

-Hot Water

-Stove or Hot Plate

-Mug(s)

How to Make a Moka Pot:

 

Step 1: Coffee and Water

You will want to measure out 18-22 grams of coffee when making a 6 cup Moka Pot. We have found that 19.5 grams works best, and does not require as much work in order to make sure that all of the grounds remain in the small aluminium hopper. Before you grind your coffee, however, you will need to be aware of how this mechanism works. First, choose to either boil water, or at least have it preheated (maybe via microwave and a separate heating vessel) so that the amount of time it takes to pour the coffee into the receiving vessel does not exceed five minutes. We would suggest investing in an electric kettle (the best ones have a gooseneck spout, but that is totally up to you). Next you will want to grind you coffee on a drip grid size, or if you do not have an automatic burr grinder, we would recommend purchasing italian coffee from your local grocery store or World Market, or looking for coffee grounds that you would put in any regular coffee maker. After your water is heated up and you have the proper coffee grind size, pour water until the safety valve (this normally looks like a small gasket on the outside of the bottom water vessel). Then, insert the small aluminium hopper and cover it with coffee grounds. It should be full to the rim, unless you plan on making fewer cups, in which case you will also want to adjust the amount of water. Finally, screw on the top lid, and place on a stove or heating plate.

Step 2: Heat and Watch

After turning on your stove you will want to watch the middle contraption because this is where your coffee will rise up and spill over into the rest of the top vessel. You will be able to hear it just before it begins to come up. {Hint: If you are in a crunch for time, but still want a crazy-awesome cup of coffee, do not preheat the water, and just be near the Moka Pot so that you can hear it begin the last step. This should insure you about 6-8 minutes of getting ready!} Once you see it begin, go ahead a close the lid and wait 15-20 seconds to remove it from the heating source. Then you should hear a sputtering sound, which means it has completed its process. {Pro-Tip- If you would like to summon your inner Italian, or maybe you are Italian, try adding less water, and maintaining a high coffee to water ratio. This will create an espresso like texture sure to make you feel like you are on the Italian coast.}

Step 3: Pour and Serve

If you followed the first two steps, you should have been able to make a successful Moka Pot! Now it is time to pick out that favorite mug of yours, or maybe two if you plan to share that day. It is best to pour it over the sink since sometimes the Moka Pot drips when it is tilted over. Apart from that, you are now done and ready to enjoy! La vita inizia dopo il cafffè!