Coffee is one of the most versatile beverages. You can make different types coffee using different types of tools. One of these tools is the moka pot, commonly known as a stovetop espresso maker. Well, it’s actually not exactly espresso but it’s as close to the real thing as it can get. The moka pot uses the pressure of steam to extract the flavor out of the coffee grinds (useful tip: grind the beans just before making coffee to get maximum flavor). In this article we’re going into details on how to use a moka pot.
Understanding the parts of a moka pot
Moka pots have 3 chambers. The physics behind the process are pretty simple. You have one chamber for the water, one for the grounds and the third, upper chamber, for the finished product.
- The bottom chamber is where you pour the water. Most have a pressure valve.
- The middle chamber is where you put the grounds. It’s recommended you grind it fine and fill it as entirely as possible.
- The upper chamber is where the espresso/coffee ends up after the steam passes through the grinds.
Important step before making coffee
Before enjoying the first coffee made with your new stovetop espresso pot, the first thing you should do is boiling about 2-3 full rounds. This way you’ll make sure that everything is working properly and that every part is cleaned and ready to go.
Brewing coffee with the moka pot
- First things first: decide if you want more volume and less intensity or the other way around. You’ll notice a sign inside the water chamber. Fill up to that sign with water if you want an americano and half of that if you prefer a more intense espresso.
- Add medium ground coffee to the middle chamber. Don’t tamp it and make sure no grounds on the edges.
- Screw the top chamber on.
- Put the moka pot onto a heat source. Make sure, if using a stove, that the flames do not exceed the edges of the pot. Turn off the heat source once you hear it brewing and let the cream come out. If you don’t turn off the heat source at the right time and leave it on too much, you risk burning the coffee, and nobody likes bitter coffee.
- Pour the coffee into a cup and enjoy. Pay attention to kids. They might touch the hot pot and get burned. Leave it about 15 minutes to cool down or run it under cold tap water before cleaning it.
- Avoid using the dishwasher to clean your pot. It will only take a couple of minutes to do it by hand. Also avoid using soap.
Possible situations and solutions
- Steam leaks. In case you experience this, the solution is fairly easy: tighten the seal better, making sure it’s properly clean
- The grinds are blocking the steam from ascending. This situation might have 2 most usual causes: the grinds are either too fine or they’re packed too tight.