Wondering how to make a cup of espresso but don’t want to invest lots of money into an expensive machine? Moka pot will be your choice. Long before the automatical espresso machine was invented, Moka pot is the preferred way to make a cup of espresso in Italy and the whole of Europe.
Even nowadays the automatical espresso machine is everywhere, people still use the Moka pot to enjoy the feeling of making a cup of expresso via Moka pot. Come on, coffee is a kind of lifestyle. Enjoying a cup of coffee during the afternoon break under the sunshine is a kind of leisure that everyone shall treasure.
Moka Pots are perfect for the light espresso. It is a kind of coffee that has stronger than drip coffee but lighter than the normal espresso. Therefore, people who seek a balance of light and strong often choose Moka Pots as their destination.
Moka pot was invented by an Italian engineer named Alfonso Bialetti. The pot was named after the Yemeni city of Mocha.
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What is Moka Pot and Its Mechanism
Moka Pot has 7 parts:
- A small column, where the coffee will be flow through.
- A coffee collector, i.e. the top chamber. The used coffee will be collected in the chamber.
- A filter plate. It is used to filter the ground coffee beans.
- A gasket, to seal the top chamber with the bottom chamber tightly to avoid air leakage.
- A funnel to store the ground coffee beans. You will need to put the ground coffee beans into it.
- A heating vessel, i.e. the bottom chamber. This is where we store the water and heat the water.
- And most importantly, a valve. The valve is important because a broken valve may cause an explosion during the heating period. You will need to check the valve every time you want to make a cup of coffee.
Moka Pot uses the steam pressure to extract the coffee solubles from the coffee. Since the bottom chamber is sealed, during the heating, the steam vapour will be generated and push the water to go through the funnel. Because we fill the funnel full with coffee, the water has to push the coffee to reach the top chamber. Hence, coffee solubles will be easily extracted.
You may wonder how it is different from an espresso machine. The answer is the pressure level they can produce. The maximum level of pressure is 3 bar for a Moka Pot but the espresso machine could generate 15 bar of pressure. For the different level of pressure, the different coffee will be made. The Moka is stronger than a normal drip coffee. But lighter than an espresso.
Recall what we have said in French Press or Drip Coffee Maker or Siphon Coffee Maker, there are three phases during brewing, i.e, wetting, dissolution and diffusion. The pressure in the Moka Pot can easily make the wetting perfect by pushing the CO2 out. And in the dissolution and diffusion process, it just uses the pressure to break the cells to drive the pleasant substances out in a few seconds. That’s why Moka Pots could generate stronger taste and some crema from the coffee.
How to Use the Moka Pot
Using a Moka Pot is easy. Following the steps below will give you a rich taste of the coffee.
- Grind about 20 grams of coffee. Don’t use too fine ground coffee beans.
- Boil some water. Then pour the water into the bottom container of the Moka Pot.
- Fill the funnel, i.e. the basket with the ground coffee beans. Don’t tamp the ground coffee beans.
- Screw the top container with the bottom container.
- Place the Moka Pot on a stove. Set the heat to be medium.
- When the top container reaches the level of full coffee, you shall see some foam begins. Remove the pot from the stove.
- Pour the coffee from the pot to your cups.
Things Need to Take Care Of
There are some points you need to be aware of the Moka Pot. It for safety and also a good taste. Don’t skip your time over this part.
- Don’t grind too fine. This time is not for taste only. It is for safety. If your ground coffee beans are too fine, the water will not be able to go through it. The result will be an explosion. Make it less fine. Due to the nature of pressure from the Moka Pot vapour steam, coarse ground coffee beans will also make you a rich taste.
- Check your vessel every time you want to use the Moka Pot. Weel, this is also for safety.
- Don’ tamp the coffee ground coffee beans in the basket or funnel. It will increase the pressure for the steam vapour. In the old-time, people used to tamp the coffee just because they use the stain-less metal but now almost all the Moka Pots are made from alloy. Alloy is not high-pressure resistance.
- Grind right before you use the Moka Pot. Why? Coffee bean will soon lose their freshness and quality after grinding. Therefore, you shall always grind right before any coffee maker is used.
- Use dark roast coffee if you don’t want to much sour taste. Steam pressure will push much more acid from the bean than you are with normal brewing like Drip Coffee Maker.
Moka Pots are the ways for you to enjoy a cup of espresso-like coffee at home if you have tight budgets. Even though the crema from it is less than the espresso machines, it still outperforms many brewing ways. Using Moka Pot is easy but you have to remember some key points of it to avoid an accident. Despite these disadvantages, Moka Pot is perfect for your leisure time at home.