The Moka Pot, or Moka Express, was created in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti, an Italian inventor and aluminum worker, and Luigi De Ponti, under the shadow of Italian Fascism. The Bialetti Legend states that the invention of this coffee machine was inspired while Bialetti watched his wife wash clothes using a "Lessivuse" which was nothing more than a pail and tube. Inspired, he went to work creating this now famous stovetop coffee machine.
The Moka Pot is a three chambered pot: water in the bottom chamber, coffee in the middle chamber, and the top chamber for the finished product. When placed on the stovetop, heat produces pressure which forces the water upwards into the coffee grounds, then ultimately to the upper chamber.
The iconic Moka Pot can be found in museums throughout the world such as the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in Manhattan, the Design Museum and the Science Museum in London, and is also included in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It can be found in kitchens and coffeeshops across the map including the United States, Cuba, and Europe. To date, more than 300 million Moka Pots have been sold.
There are different versions of the Moka Pot which are known as Stovetop Boilers, or Stovetop Coffee Makers. Some stovetops pots cannot be used with electric heat.
Because of it being made out 18/10 stainless steel construction, we prefer to use the Bialetti Venus Moka Pot.
While there are different brewing methods using stovetop boilers, this is our preferred method at Abide Culture Coffee Roasters:
whole bean coffee [20-25g]
*a burr grinder allows the grind to be more consistent.
Measure out 20-25g (or enough to fill the funnel filter basket) of coffee and grind it fine/medium: about 400µm. If using a larger pot, more coffee will be needed.
NOTE: if your end result is bitter, grind the coffee a little coarser; it may be to fine.
Unscrew the bottom chamber. Take out the funnel filter basket (the coffee basket) and remove the reducer disk [if applicable]. Fill the bottom chamber with water just below the safety valve.
NOTE: using off-boil water helps reduce brew time. when using off-boil water: after filling the bottom chamber, it will be HOT.
Fill the funnel filter basket with coffee. Level the coffee but don't tamp. Place the funnel filter basket back onto the bottom chamber.
NOTE: [if applicable] the reducer disk will be used for less than a full pot of coffee.
Screw the bottom chamber back on to complete the pot. Do not over tighten.
REMEMBER: if using off-boil water, the bottom chamber is HOT.
Place the pot on the stovetop, in the middle of the source heat. If using a gas stove, keep the flame smaller than the base of the pot; under the base of the pot so the handle is not exposed to heat. Use moderate heat to begin the process of creating pressure. Be patient: the pressure will "push" a stream of coffee upwards through the upper chamber. Leave the top lid open to watch for the stream of honey brown and listen for the hissing.
NOTE: if the pressure explodes or boils over, reduce heat. if there is a gurgling sound, increase the flame.
Once the hissing is complete and the coffee changes color, remove from heat.
Using a cold water stream or cold towel, cool down the bottom chamber to stop the extraction process.
The brew will be dark, rich, and very concentrated. Depending on how potent you like your coffee, you may want to cut the brew with hot water.
Pour. Sip. Enjoy.