How to Use a Stovetop Espresso Maker? Instructions for Delicious Moka Pot Coffee

Are you wondering whether a stovetop espresso maker is the right coffee maker for your needs? Or do you already have one but just don't know how to get good espresso out of it? We've got the answers to all your questions. Let's dig in.

Instructions for the Best Moka Coffee

The Moka pot is known for being easy to use and for making a delicious coffee that's nearly as strong as espresso. Even though a Moka pot is straightforward to use and there are only a handful of things you can get wrong, there's still a slight learning curve. To make everything easier you'll want to get the best stovetop espresso maker you can find. Head over to our store and buy your coffee maker now. Let's see how you can make delicious espresso in a Moka pot.

  1. Throw a damp towel in the freezer. This will help you stop the Moka pot from over brewing your espresso. You'll need it at the end of the brewing cycle.
  2. Heat some water. Even though it may seem somewhat counter intuitive, it's best to spend a few extra minutes heating your water in advance. The amount of water you'll want to use depends on the size and model of your Moka pot but generally you'll want to pour water to the bottom edge of the safety valve in the pot.

As the whole Moka pot will get hot when you put it on the stove, the grind in the filter basket will also get hot and might burn. You'll want to avoid over roasting them and the best way is to keep the pot on the stove for less time.

  1. Put coffee in the filter basket, pour the water in the bottom chamber and put the Moka pot together. Now it's nearly time to start brewing. Before you have your espresso ready, though, you'll want to put some coffee in the pot and put it together.
  2. Put the Moka pot on the hot stove. Be careful not to burn yourself. A few minutes after you've put the pot on the stove the brewing will start and you'll be able to start your day with a delicious espresso.
  3. Wait for the gurgling sound. Not long after you've pot your pot on the hot stove, a gurgling sound is going to come out of your Moka pot. This will mean that your Moka espresso is done brewing.
  4. Remove the Moka pot from the stove. When you hear the gurgling sound coming out of your pot, you should remove it from the heat. If you wait any longer your espresso will be over brewed and you will have to make another round.
  5. Cover the Moka pot with the wet towel. This will immediately stop the brewing and the extraction process of the espresso and will give you the perfect cup of Moka pot coffee.

How Does a Moka Pot Work?

Knowing how to make stovetop espresso in a Moka pot gives you a general idea of how this coffee maker works. What actually happens inside the pot, though? 

You are probably wondering why we keep saying espresso when referring to the coffee from a Moka pot. It's not only because it's very strong and has a similar taste to usual espresso. In fact a Moka pot uses the same brewing method as an espresso machine. It heats up water and turns it into steam. Then it pushes it up under a high pressure through the grind in the filter and you get your delicious stovetop espresso in the upper chamber.

When brewing coffee using this method, you literally press the espresso out of the grind with the water. That's why it's called espresso, as this is the Italian word for pressed out.

How Do You Clean a Stovetop Espresso Maker?

You should clean your Moka pot after brewing a cup of stovetop espresso. This will help keep it ready for work on the next cup and if you clean it right and regularly it'll last you for many years to come. How do you do that though?

There are two ways of cleaning a Moka pot. One is your regular quick clean after brewing espresso and the other is the more thorough clean you'll have to do every one or two months depending on how much espresso you're making in the pot. 

Cleaning a Moka Pot After Each Use

If you want your Moka pot to keep making you a delicious cup of espresso every morning you'll need to take some care of it. Don't worry, though, it's only going to take you a few minutes and you'll only have to use what can be found in every home. 

After you're done brewing, you'll want to take the pot apart and even take the sealing gaskets off. The next step depends on the metal your stovetop espresso maker is made of. If you own an aluminum pot, you'll want to stay away from any strong dish soaps and detergents. As aluminum is a porous metal it can and probably get ruined by stronger chemicals. For this reason you'll want to only give your pot a quick rinse with warm water. You can also brush off some more stubborn spots but be careful not to ruin the metal.

A stainless steel stovetop espresso maker, on the other hand, is a lot tougher. Stainless steel is a nonporous metal, which makes it a lot tougher and, as the name suggests, it won't oxidize. This makes it a lot easier to clean as you can use stronger detergents and even throw the pot in the dishwasher. 

When cleaning your stainless steel stovetop espresso maker you can wash it with warm water and give it a little scrub with some dish soap. Here you won't have to be as careful as with an aluminum pot.

What you should know for both types of coffee maker is that you have to make sure that there are no coffee grounds stuck in the safety valve. This might ruin your Moka pot.

Cleaning Your Moka Pot Thoroughly

As we previously mentioned, you'll have to clean your Moka pot thoroughly once every few weeks on months. How often you do that depends on how much coffee you're making and what's the water you're using.

Aluminum Moka Pot

When cleaning an aluminum Moka pot, you'll have to be careful, as with your regular washing. You can usually get away with using a few drops of a less powerful dish soap and scrubbing lightly. Afterwards you'll have to make sure you rinse the pot with a lot of water yo make sure you've washed all the detergent off.

If you don't want to risk your pot by washing it with a detergent, though, there are a few other things you can try. You can find detailed instructions about how to clean your Moka pot in our blog.

  1. You'll have to get some white vinegar and mix it with hot water.
  2. Then you can let your Moka pot soak in the mixture for a few hours.
  3. After they pass, scrub what's left with a soft brush

Even though vinegar has fantastic cleaning capabilities, it might and probably leave a bad smell behind. That's why you'll probably want to wash your Moka pot without using vinegar. Here's how you do it:

  1. Mix some lemon juice with hot water.
  2. Let your Moka pot soak for a few hours.
  3. Brush away all the coffee grounds still on the pot. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is the Moka Pot Called So?

The Moka pot was invented around a century ago by the Italian engineer/inventor Alfonso Bialetti. Nevertheless, the name Moka comes from the Yemeni city of Mocha. It was a major port on the coffee trade routes centuries ago and that's how it found its away around Asia and later Europe. The Moka pot is named so as homage to the history of the Middle Eastern city.

Is a Moka Pot the Same as a Stovetop Espresso Maker?

Yes, a Moka pot and a stovetop espresso maker is one and the same thing. The Moka pot is also called a stovetop espresso maker as it uses the same brewing method as an espresso machine. Both coffee makers generate pressure from hot water and then push it through the ground coffee to make espresso. Espresso is actually the Italian word for pressed out. 

The stovetop part of the name comes from the fact you make your espresso on the stove.

Is It Fine Using a Stovetop Coffee Maker on a Gas Stove?

Yes, you can absolutely use your Moka pot on a gas stove. You have to be careful to make sure it's washed well before brewing as if it's not, the outside of the pot might turn black.

Can You Use a Moka Pot on an Induction Stove?

This depends. If you own a stainless steel Moka pot, then yes, you'll easily be brewing espresso on your induction stove. If your pot is made of aluminum, though, you'll need an adapter. This can be one especially made for that purpose or any steel pan.

The reason why you can't directly use your aluminum Moka pot on an induction stove is that these stoves use magnets to heat up. Aluminum, unfortunately is not a magnetic metal, which is why you need to use the adapter. 

Does a Stovetop Coffee Maker Make Espresso?

Whether you consider the coffee from a Moka pot espresso depends on your understanding of espresso. If you consider espresso only the one that was made on an espresso machine, then no, a Moka pot doesn't make espresso.

Nevertheless, the proper definition of espresso is coffee that was made by using water pressure and finely ground coffee. The Moka pot coffee covers both of these requirements, so if you go by that definition, then yes, a Moka pot makes espresso.

Is a Stainless Steel Stovetop Espresso Maker Better than an Aluminum One?

For most users a stainless steel stovetop espresso maker is the better pot. This is because it's a lot easier to look after and clean, and will last you significantly longer. Additionally, this pot will remain hot for longer so if you're planning on brewing consecutive rounds of espresso, it might be the best option.

An aluminum stovetop espresso maker, on the other hand, will heat up somewhat faster and can be cheaper. This is why we'd say it's better if you're not planning to make stovetop espresso on a daily basis or if you're on a budget.

Final Thoughts

Even though making stovetop espresso in a Moka pot is generally an easy task, there are a few things you should know. Make sure you use a cold wet towel to immediately stop the brewing so you don't end up with burnt espresso and always clean your pot well after brewing.

Even if you do everything right, though, you might still get bad espresso. That's why you should make sure you get a quality stovetop espresso maker that's made of food safe stainless steel. Get yours now.