It is not the most user-friendly brewer, but makes espresso-style coffee without the need for a large and expensive espresso machine. The moka pot is built up of three chambers and solely relies on pressure generated by the stovetop steam, which starts to build up in the lowest chamber and pushes up through the coffee grounds.
The Moka Pot uses a high coffee to water ratio, so oftentimes the brew can come out to taste too bitter. So for the best results from your moka pot, we recommend you choose a light espresso roast or coffee grown at lower altitudes. This will avoid making an overly bitter brew.
As a starter, we recommend 70-80g of ground coffee per 12oz cup of coffee. However, for the Moka Pot you do not have much control over the ratio. You simply fill up the coffee basket with ground coffee and then fill the lower chamber with water until it reaches just below the overpressure valve, so there is little room for manoeuvre.
We recommend a fine grind size but not very fine like espresso grind. We prefer a slightly coarser fine grind to minimize the bitterness in the resulting cup.
Steps to Brewing with the Moka Pot
Grind the coffee just before you start brewing, and fill the coffee basket with the ground coffee so it is even and level. Do not press the coffee.
Boil a kettle/pot of fresh water suitable for brewing coffee. The advantage of starting with hot water is so that the pot is on the heat for less amount of time and to prevent the ground coffee from getting too hot or burnt. This helps reduce bitterness.
Fill the lower chamber with hot water to just below the small overpressure valve. Make sure the water doesn’t cover it or go above the valve.
Put the coffee basket in place onto the lower chamber. Carefully assemble with the upper chamber of the Moka Pot.
Set on top of a stove top on a low/medium heat leaving the lid open.
When the water starts to boil in the lower chamber, the pressure created by the steam pushes the water through the tube that feeds it to the ground coffee. The stronger the heat, the more pressure it will create leading to a faster brewing process - you don’t want to go too quickly.
Coffee will start to stream out from the top chamber.
Listen carefully for a gurgling sound, once that sounds it is time to turn off the heat and stop brewing. The sound indicates that most of the water has been pushed up already and that steam is now starting to come through the coffee, which will lead to an overly bitter brew.
To stop the brewing process, run the base of the Moka Pot under cold running water. This drops the temperature and will cause the steam to condense and the pressure to decrease.