The Stovetop Moka Pot is a challenging way to make delicious coffee. Unlike its close cousin the espresso machine, it brews hotter and at a lower pressure and speed, which can easily lead to bitterness. We’re not to be deterred however! Let’s make something beautiful with the stovetop.
A stovetop moka pot
Some delicious coffee
A tea towel
First, boil some water in a kettle. We’d always recommend you use filtered water, so some from a Brita. Don’t worry if you haven’t got any. Leave the water to cool for about a minute.
In that minute, get your coffee ready. If you’ve got it from us ground, then great, nothing more to do here. If not, then grind it to medium-fine, similar to what you might use for an Aeropress.
(There’s some confusion about the similarity between a stovetop and an espresso machine. It’s important you don’t use a fine grind in a stovetop moka pot, as you would for an espresso machine. A fine grind works in espresso machines because of the high speed and pressure of coffee extraction. Because the stovetop is slower and applies less pressure during the extraction, a fine grind will lead to a sharp increase in bitterness.)
Pour the water into the lower part of the stovetop moka pot up until the pressure valve and no higher.
Fill your coffee basket with coffee and then level off the coffee grounds with your finger. You don’t need to press or pack the coffee down, let gravity do the work for you!
Carefully drop the coffee basket into the lower part of the moka pot, ensuring there’s no coffee around the rim. Holding the base with something to protect your hand from the heat, screw on the top part of moka pot tightly. Place the pot on the stove onto a medium-high heat.
Lift up the lid so that you can clearly see what’s going on. As a rule of thumb: it should take about a minute for the coffee to appear. Any longer than that you’re on too low a heat. A few seconds after the first bubbles appear and you hear the characteristic percolating sound, turn off the heat or remove the pot from the stove and wait until the coffee stops bubbling from the spout.
There are many kinds of moka pots, in all shapes and sizes, made of different materials and of varied quality. That’s not to mention the varying intensity of hobs. If you find that you’re getting too little coffee, leave the moka pot on the heat for a little longer. Experiment with timing until you get it right for you. Having done tests here at HQ, we’ve found that even if you get half the amount of coffee you expected, that half will be twice as strong as the whole, and taste roughly similar. The moka pot is a wondrous thing.
You’re done! Pour the delicious liquid into two tiny cups and enjoy.