Our moka pot brew guide will show you how to nail this clever little brewer. We know they’re pretty old school, but they’re making a resurgence recently, thanks to their ability to smash out a hair-raising brew. Also commonly referred to as a Bialetti, or stove top or even “espresso maker”, although the latter is a misnomer. This is still a surprisingly common brew method and can yield some decent results if done right. The key thing to understand is that this brew method is not recreating “espresso” as such. It’s more like a percolator, and works using steam pressure created from boiling water to push hot water up through the grounds to extract the coffee. As such, it is susceptible to brewing really hot (the water is at boiling point when it’s forced up through the grounds) which is why darker roasts work better. Also, the grind degree needs to be coarser than most people think. Think caster sugar, rather than espresso grind. Due to a lack of a proper filter it will create a fairly “muddy” cup profile, but this can be comparable to a cafetiere. Expect a full-bodied and intense cup with a distinct bitterness and low acidity. We recommend The Espresso blend. Here’s how to nail it.
First thing to do is to boil your kettle. Temperature doesn’t matter at this stage. Fill the base of the moka pot up to the top mark with the hot water.
Add your coffee. This needs to be a fine/medium grind. Coarser than espresso, but finer than filter. The water needs to be able to flow through the coffee freely. We use the filter basket as a guide to how much coffee to put in rather than sticking to a specific brew ratio. Just fill it up and put your faith in the Italians.
Level the grounds off with your finger, but remember not to pack down or tamp the grounds. Leave them loose.
Carefully place the filter basket in to the base.
Using a tea towel to hold the base, screw on the top chamber.
Turn your heat on. We recommend a medium heat to start with. Using hot water in the base allows the water to reach brewing temperature more gradually.
The next bit is key. Lower the heat when you hear the water start to boil in the base. You’re aiming for the coffee to ooze out of the top spout like honey (and yes, you can keep the lid open!). You do this by controlling the heat. There’s a knack to it, but when you nail it you’ll know. If the coffee comes shooting out and spluttering it’s too hot and you’ll burn the coffee.
Keep controlling the heat to keep the coffee flowing out smoothly. As the bottom chamber starts to empty there will be some spitting and spluttering. This is normal.
Once you hear a hissing sound and the top chamber is full take the moka pot off the heat and serve immediately. Leave to cool before drinking as it will be hot!