Brew Guide: Stovetop Moka Pot
Originally patented in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti, stovetop coffee utilizes steam pressure from boiled water in the lower section to pass through coffee grounds in the mid chamber of the pot. The brewed coffee accumulates in the top chamber. A well-designed stovetop pot will create better pressure, resulting in a strong, more quickly-brewed cup of coffee. Brewing is fast and easy, requiring just a few simple tools.
When brewing with a stovetop Moka pot, you will need:
- A stovetop Moka pot
- A stove
- A coffee grinder if using whole beans
- A measuring instrument
To begin, preheat your water in a kettle. Bring this water to a boil and remove the heat. This is an extra but recommended step; it works to keep the temperature of the Moka pot from getting too hot, which could “cook” the coffee and result in a metallic taste. As the water heats up, grind your coffee to the size of table salt. You will need enough coffee to fill the pot’s filter basket—around 2.5 tablespoons for a 4-cup pot.
Add the heated water to the bottom chamber and fill to the line. Insert the filter basket into the brewer bottom, then fill the basket with your ground coffee. Level off the surface with your finger and brush away loose grounds. Screw the top and bottom together using hot pads on your hands, being sure to not over-tighten.
Place the brewer on the stove, using moderate heat to ensure the handle does not get too hot. Leave the lid open until you begin to hear a puffing sound. This will signal that the coffee is beginning to brew, and you should see coffee begin to accumulate at the bottom of the top chamber. When the stream is the color of dark honey, remove your Moka pot from the heat source and close the lid.
For the perfect cup, wrap the bottom of your pot in a chilled towel or run under cold tap water. This will stop the extraction process, preventing the coffee from developing a metallic taste. As soon as the coffee stops bubbling out, pour into cups and serve. The coffee made with a Moka pot will be very concentrated, so you may choose to dilute your brew with additional water or milk.