Is a Moka Pot Worth It: How Do Moka Pots Work?
If you're a coffee-lover and enjoy the little things in life, then you know how the smell of fresh brew in the morning, the steam coming out of your cup, the warm feeling on your hands can feel like heaven. You can easily build on the bliss of your fresh brew if you do it the Italian way - in a Moka pot and add up to those moments of joy! Keep reading to find out what types of Moka pots are there and how to pick the best one for you.
What Is a Moka Pot?
When I was a kid, I had a friend with an Italian grandma - Francesca. Whenever I'd go to his place, there was always an aromatic smell of freshly brewed coffee. It made me curious about why it was so special to her, and what was this shiny little pot she made it in.
Now, more than a few years later, I know that a Moka pot (known as machinetta del caffè in Italy) is an excellent little piece of machinery. It was invented almost 100 years ago, and it's very Italian. Italian enough to be in nearly every household there.
In 1933 the Italian engineer and inventor Alfonso Bialetti realized that he needed to find a way to offer consumers a more convenient, inexpensive way of brewing coffee. He initially designed the Moka pot to be a cheap and reliable device. It may not be fancy, but it gets the job done.
The coffee maker’s name comes from the Lebanese city of Mocha. The whole country, and the city, in particular, were a significant stop for coffee trade routes between the 15th and 18th centuries. The Middle Eastern state is well known for its coffee and the arabica coffee beans, which The Yemeni first cultivated there.
How Does the Moka Pot Work?
How it works is very simple. It uses the steam pressure released by the boiling water. To do that, the whole pot is divided into three sections. On the bottom, there is a water chamber. Once it gets to the boiling point, the steam it produces goes through the coffee chamber. The coffee starts to trickle up a little tube down into the brew chamber when there is enough steam. This is how the magic happens.
What Coffee Pots Are There?
Coffee has been around for ages and is one of the most widely consumed drinks in the world. As you have guessed by now, there are many ways to make coffee. For starters, you can use an espresso maker; there's instant coffee, drip coffee, pour-over filter coffee, and Moka pot coffee. Not only that, but there are also plenty of different sorts of coffee beans. However, there are three kinds of metal used for Moka pots:
- The aluminum Moka pot is the classic design you find in most households all over Italy. The aluminum Moka pot heats up quickly and makes delicious coffee. While it heats water faster, there is a major downside to it. It can burn easily.
- The stainless steel Moka pot. Opposed to the classic aluminum Moka pot, this one doesn’t burn that easily and this is why it’s my prefered choice. It also heats up pretty fast, just not as fast as the classic one.
- The copper Moka pots come in 5 different shapes. Each shape gives a very decent temperature distribution, so more brew is extracted from your coffee beans. The Moka pot also makes contact with the coffee grounds longer, so you end up with a stronger cup of coffee.
Moka pots are not only different depending on the metal they’re made out of. You can also find Moka pots with one chamber or with two chambers. The difference between the two is that the one-chamber models take less time to brew.
Does a Moka Pot Make Espresso?
You might think that a Moka pot will make you an espresso shot. It's not as simple as that. Yes, Moka pots brew coffee in the similar way espresso makers do. They both use pressure to brew their beverage. The Moka pot is just a little simpler than the espresso maker.
Due to the lower pressure it uses to brew the coffee, don't expect any crema on top of it. The crema is the layer of foam that some people like. This might be for the best, though, as many coffee experts argue that it makes coffee taste more bitter than it should.
Since it uses lower pressure, the brew is not as strong as espresso. It is the middle ground between drip coffee and espresso. The Moka pot coffee is 2-3 times stronger than drip coffee, so it will give you your dose of caffeine to get your day started. If you think espresso is too strong for you, then probably a Moka pot is the way to go.
The coffee that a Moka pot makes is technically espresso as it uses steam pressure. Just like an espresso, you can have it with sugar or cream but a Moka cup won’t have the soft crema on top. Another significant difference is that the Moka pot takes a little longer than the espresso machine and you need to be around it at all times.
So Moka pots brew coffee, but not espresso. You’d like them if you're more about the experience, the feeling of making something your own, just the way you like it. Moka pots are great if you like traveling and making your own coffee everywhere you go.
How to Prepare Your Mocha Coffee?
Before you get to the brew, you need to do a few things.
Brewing coffee can be a daunting task if you're not sure what to do. Brewing is all about timing, temperature, and consistency. The following guide will help make the process easier!
- First things first: You need hot (but not boiling) water before adding your grounds to get that perfect cup of joe-brewed just how you like it (we know there are many ways). Take one pot of cold or filtered water and bring it up to the stovetop for best results! The goal now is to get it to 160°-170°. An excellent way to know you're there is to wait for the tiny bubbles to appear.
- Once you can see bubbles, pour some into an empty brewer's bottom chamber until its level is equal with lines inside at the base. This way, we'll have enough room for both the liquid and the ground beans. If your Moka pot has a pressure release valve, don’t cover it or your pot might explode.
- How long should you brew? This step is essential! There are different types of Moka pots that make from one to six cups at a time, and the time they need might vary. Once you've added your grounds, cover both sides with the lid. Then wait about 4 minutes for smaller pots and 2-3 minutes for a mocha Moka pot.
How to get Moka coffee for the best flavor?
Brewing Moka is an art. And like all arts, you must know where and how to start. Remember that Moka pots use pressure, which can make the water boil quickly. What this means is you have to be very careful with your timing. Usually, it’s around 2 to 4 minutes but you should just try it many times. There’s a lot of trial and error at first.
What Coffee Maker to Choose?
Buying a coffee machine can be challenging with so many options out there. There are many types of coffee makers and even more brands. Which one is best for you depends entirely on you. There are a few main kinds you should consider:
Drip coffee maker
Drip coffee makers have been a popular staple in American households for years. The combination of ease-of-use, affordability, durability is what some people are after. The main disadvantages are that the warming plate will "cook" any coffee sitting in the pot and that the coffee is not as strong as other options.
Percolators are a great way to make rich, flavorful coffee. They produce a good brew and make a comforting bubbling sound that creates an automatic sense of nostalgia. The main pros and cons are that they're consistent and reliable but hard to clean and assemble.
The French press is an easy, convenient way to make your morning brew. The mesh filter lets all the flavor oils into the drink. They would otherwise be trapped in a paper filter. It is a bit less travel-friendly than the Moka pot because it's made out of glass and fragile.
If you love good espresso and are willing to put in the work for it, buying an at-home machine might be worth it. Also, an espresso shot is strong enough to start your day off just right. They usually cost more than other types of household brewers, and can often be finicky. However, if you get your technique down right, you can brew your own coffee, that’s even better than one from a coffee shop.
The Moka pot is a cost-effective and straightforward brewing device that produces rich, flavorful coffee. You can use it with creamers or other additives to give it more flavor. Camping stove owners find this the perfect way of making their morning cup without having an espresso machine on hand. Not only that, but it'll make you feel like an artist!
How to get the best out of your coffee pot?
First, you learn the basics, start doing what's already known to work, and then you improvise and make it your own.
As with any form of art, there's a learning curve to it, and you need to be patient. As I'm big into photography, I'd compare it to analog photography. At first, you have a mechanical device that you know has been around for ages. You need to buy some consumables, and then you start.
You take your time, make some mistakes, drink some bitter coffee, but once you get the hang of it, it's pure bliss. You've made something out of nothing, and it's all you. It's your own cup of coffee that you made from scratch.
To get to the point where it works, don't be afraid to experiment. Try to get some advice online, see what works and what doesn't.
Are Bialetti Moka pots the only good ones?
Since the invention of the Moka pot, there have been a lot of brands that make them. Some better, some worse. While the Bialetti Moka pots are the original, that doesn't mean they're the only option. Nowadays, many different brands also have great products.
You need to make sure you don't buy the cheaper options as they tend to rust and release metal particles in your coffee, which can be dangerous.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to make a cup of Moka pot coffee?
It depends on the initial temperature of the water you poured in. Usually, it should be around 5-10 minutes. Don't use a timer as it's not always the same. Just listen for the gurgling sound, which will show you that it's done brewing.
How much coffee comes out of a single Moka pot load?
It depends on the model you picked. We offer two models; one is for 3 cups, the other one for six. The original Bialetti Moka pot made one at a time.
How strong is Moka pot coffee?
Usually 2-3 times more concentrated than drip coffee but around 1,5-2 times less concentrated than espresso.
Coffee enthusiasts have been using Moka pots widely for 80 years, and there's a good reason for that. These pots are simple enough to operate, can make fantastic coffee, and provide a very personal experience. On top of all that, they fit in any suitcase and most backpacks, so you can make your homebrew anywhere you go!
So is a Moka pot worth it? Definitely! Our products come at a great price, so head over to our catalog of high-quality Moka pots and pick the best one for you!