How to Prepare Stove Top Espresso (Moka Pot)


Grind Size: Fine - similar to espresso

Brew Time: 3-10 minutes - depending on heat source temp

Items Needed: Coffee, Moka Pot, Grinder, & Kettle

Recommended Coffee: Parioli, but any of our espresso blends go well with this brewing method

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

Why Stove Top Espresso?

I often speak with people who are interested in making espresso at home, but don’t quite have the budget to justify purchasing an actual espresso machine. In these instances I typically suggest that they try out a Moka Pot. This brewing method is a great way to get you a similar flavor experience, for a much smaller investment!


So How Does it Work?

Simply: it’s a lot like a geyser! Steam-pressurized water starts in the bottom chamber, where it moves up a funnel and pushes through the coffee grounds in the middle chamber. The resulting coffee is then collected in the top chamber after moving through what looks like another upside-down funnel.


How to Brew:

  1. Add water to the bottom chamber, just below the valve

  2. Add enough ground coffee, to fill the filter-basket (do not overfill or tamp the grounds)

  3. Assemble by placing the filter basket inside the bottom chamber, then twisting on the top chamber until it’s securely fastened

  4. Brew on medium heat

  5. Enjoy!


Tips for Best Preparation

Water: Use the right amount of water! Not using enough or using too much will cause issues. Fill the bottom chamber to just below the pressure valve being careful not to cover it! I like to start with preboiled water, to avoid burning the coffee, and harsh metallic tones. Coffee: I like mine about the same grind size as espresso.(Some people like it a just touch coarser). Fill the filter basket fully, but don’t pack the coffee which may cause harsh or bitter flavors. It is okay to gently level off the top!

Assemble: I use a towel to help, because the base will be hot if you preheat the water!

Brew: I use medium heat which usually takes about 3-5 minutes to brew if I preboil the water. I always leave the lid open so I can see the action!


How Do I Know When it is Done?

See that the coffee flow lessens, or stops trickling out

Hear a gurgling or bubbling noise

Smell a strong coffee aroma

Remove from heat immediately to prevent over extraction. I like to wrap a cold towel around the base, to cool it quicker. I feel like it helps yield a better flavor!


Talk About Loving Coffee to Death

The Moka Pot is a stove-top coffee maker invented by Luigi di Ponti and manufactured by Alfonso Bialetti in 1933, and named after the Yemen city: Mocha. It was actually the son of Alfonso, Renato Bialetti, who made the brewer popular. When he eventually passed away in February of 2016, he had his ashes placed inside a large urn shaped like the very brewer he was known for! Many different versions have been made since, but the Bialetti Moka Pot Express is the original.


Last Tip

I have noticed if I leave the coffee in the aluminum pot for too long, the flavor becomes sharp. I try to pour the coffee right away.


I hope you try out this home brewing method and enjoy the flavor of espresso without the cost of a full blown espresso machine.

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