How To Brew Perfect Coffee Using a Moka Pot
Who doesn't love the smell of a Moka Pot bubbling up in the kitchen? When it's done well it's a great way to enjoy espresso style coffee without the need for a machine. Here's our guide for making it perfectly.
Lots of people probably made their first ever coffee on a Moka Pot. Lots of people also probably made their most recent one and will make their next coffee on a Moka Pot too. The Moka Pot is a classic of Italian design and has been filling kitchens around the world with the rich aromas of roasted coffee since the 1930's. They carry with them a sort of, continental, nostalgic charm that, no matter what type of barista you are, is pretty easy to fall in love with.
Most of the time, however, in specialty coffee brewing households, the Moka doesn't get much of a look in. It's viewed as a bit of a wild, untamed fast-track to bitterness in the cup This is totally fine if that's your thing but we're here to present a slightly tweaked method that can be used to control the brew a little more and ensure accurate clean extractions that taste of their origin.
The main thing here is to spare a thought for your poor coffee. Traditionally it's ground super fine and then sits in a dirty ("seasoned") basket while it first stews then scalds then over extracts and releases bitterness as we let the boiling water bubble through. Then we usually blame the coffee. We need to stop this.
* pro tip - the second you hear the 'gurgling' sound as the last of the water enters the top chamber take the pot off the heat and run cold water over the base. Metal is a great conductor so will continue to 'cook' your coffee if it's hot but can cool down quickly too. Let's do the latter and 'arrest' the brewing to stop over extracting bitter coffee.
Moka Pot Coffee Recipe:
- Grind enough coffee to fill your basket. This should be slightly coarser than espresso but finer than you'd use for other filter brew methods.
- 1 x Moka Pot (cleaned)
- Boiling water (filtered Ideal)
- Clean the Moka thoroughly. Picture what breadcrumbs would taste like if they were left in the toaster over time. You don't want your coffee to taste like that.
- Fill the base with boiling (not cold) water up to the safety valve.
- Place ground coffee in the basket (don't pack it down) and assemble the Moka Pot (you might need a cloth if the base is hot).
- Heat on a hob until you hear gurgling
- Take off the hob and place immediately under or in cold water.
- Serve and enjoy.
Which coffee is best to use in a Moka Pot?
The Moka Pot is meant to be an alternative for espresso coffee and when brewed correctly creates a cup that's closer in taste to an Americano or Long Black than it is to filter coffee. With this in mind you want an espresso roast ideally. More roast development generally means more robust flavours in the coffee that can stand up to what can be a bit of a rustic brewing method.
How to grind coffee for Moka Pot
Grind it fine. The ground coffee should look like grains of sand and not breadcrumbs. We're trying to simulate espresso brewing here where the finer particles allow for faster extraction of all the flavour.
Can I use filter coffee in a Moka Pot?
You can use whatever type of coffee you want for any method of brewing and, as long as it tastes the way you like, don't let anyone tell you otherwise! That being said filter coffee is roaster lighter to preserve delicate and light flavour compounds. Take special care you don't destroy them with excess heat by following the above recipe.
Can I reuse coffee in Moka Pot?
You can but... coffee brewing is really just dissolving coffee into hot water (not unlike you might do with spices) so you can drink it. Brew methods like the one above are tested using tricky apparatus that measure the precise amount of extraction you're getting. Long story short - if you've brewed it right the first time there's nothing, or nothing good, left to be dissolving.