The Moka pot is a simple coffee maker that can produce an amazingly rich and flavorful cup of coffee. Brewing with a Moka pot is not difficult, but it can be tricky to get the perfect ratio of coffee grounds to water that creates the best tasting cup. This blog post explores Moka pot ratio and everything you need to know about using a Moka Pot!
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What Is A Moka Pot?
The Moka pot is a coffee maker that was invented by Luigi De Ponti for Alfonso Bialetti in 1933. Moka coffee makers first became popular in Italy, but they have spread to many other countries.
Moka Pots creates strong coffee concentrates using steam pressure and an external heat source.
The basic construction of Moka pots
A Moka pot is often has stainless steel or aluminum body. It is designed to withstand high heat and protect against rust.
Three major parts a Moka pot: a bottom chamber, a coffee basket and a collecting chamber.
A water chamber, which often sits at the bottom of the device, holds the water while it’s heated. Directly above the water chamber is a coffee basket that holds the grounds. When heated, steam pressure pushes the water through tiny holes on the bottom of the coffee basket to extract things (like oils, acids, flavors) from the coffee grounds.
The filter screen directly set above the basket enables the brewed coffee to rise (but not grounds) via pressure, through a funnel, out a spout, and into the upper collecting chamber.
The Stovetop Espresso Misunderstanding
Even if the Moka Pot is called a “Stovetop espresso maker”, it doesn’t actually make espresso.
Espresso is made by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee to make a concentrated drink at an incredible 8-10 bars of pressure. It must be brewed using a real espresso machine.
However, the Moka pot generally runs at 1-2 bars of pressure, which is more than that created manually, but less than a real espresso machine.
Though it’s still very much concentrated coffee, it’s not quite espresso. This doesn’t pass the crema test, which means that the pressure is not high enough to create a fine layer of espresso. Still, flavor-wise, it’s pretty close. Many people won’t notice the difference when you use it to make espresso-like drinks.
How To Brew With A Moka Pot
Brewing with a Moka Pot is actually pretty easy to use and improves your skills.
Moka Pot Ratio
Moka pots produce a very strong coffee, as the ratio is typically 1:7, which is 2x stronger than normal. The normal ratio for coffee brewing is usually 1:16.
Pre-steps and Thoughts
Before we delve into the brewing process, there are things that you need to know beforehand.
Before you begin your brewing process, there are a few considerations that will have an effect on whether your brew will fascinated and rich-flavor as you’d expect or not.
The quality of the beans can have a great impact on the taste of your brewed coffee. Using freshly roasted coffee beans is generally considered best for brewing, and grinding the coffee just before it’s brewed is the key to preserving the flavors, oils, and freshness. This will not happen with pre-ground coffee at any rate.
Choosing the right size is important. When you want to brew 1 cup of coffee, select the maker that makes a single shot; for 2 shots, choose a pot that will make 2 cups and so on.
Keep in mind, you can’t half-fill a Moka pot, so don’t buy a 6-cup sized brewer for making 3-cups of coffee. Moka pots cannot be partially filled. Make sure to buy one of the right size coffee makers for your needs because it will not work as well when not filled properly.
Grind size matters a lot. For a Moka pot coffee, medium-coarse ground works extremely well. Never use espresso-fined grounds, otherwise, it will clog the filter screen and amass a dangerous amount of pressure.
Make sure you use only good quality water with low calcium content. Along with freshly ground coffee beans, this is essential in preserving your coffee’s delicate flavors and tastes.
Pre-heat your water before putting in the Moka pot to reduce the amount of time it has to be placed on the stove. This also reduces the risk of accidentally “cooking” the grounds while the pot warms up, which would damage the flavor and create a lot of bitterness.
A Step-By-Step Moka Pot Coffee Guide
Step 1: Fill the water chamber with hot water.
This will make the brewing process more convenient and water won’t take much time to get to the right temperature.
On the side of the bottom chamber, you will see a pressure valve. Always fill boiled water to the very bottom of this valve, as it will regulate pressure. Don’t cover it, or it won’t be able to release emergency pressure.
Step 2: Grind your fresh coffee beans.
The size of the basket determines how much ground coffee you will need. Filling the basket properly with medium-fine coffee.
Step 3: Add coffee grounds to coffee basket
Before assembling the two parts of the Moka pot, make sure no grinds are on the ridges where the pieces screw together. Rogue grounds stuck here will prevent a full seal, which will damage flavor and balance.
Step 4: Place filter basket into the base and assemble the pot
Once you’re done cleaning the coffee basket, place it comfortably in the bottom compartment. Finally, screw the upper chamber tightly with the water chamber.
Be careful not to touch the reservoir that is filled with hot water with your fingers when assembling unknowingly. To hold and assemble the bottom chamber properly and safely, you can use a towel. Finally, be sure to secure the two chambers before you place them on the stovetop.
Step 5: Place the pot on the stovetop
Now set your Moka pot on the stove and start heating it on medium-low heat. If If you have a gas stove, keep the flame low and make sure no flames are going up the sides of your boiler (this could scorch the coffee inside).
If you have an electric cooktop, set the burner to low and place the pot on the edge of the burner instead of directly in the middle to prevent your coffee from scorching.
It could take up to 5-10 minutes before you start seeing anything, if nothing happens, then turn up the heat slightly high.
Now, look closely at the collection chamber; eventually the coffee will start oozing into it from the spout. This means, pressure is working, and that your brewing has started.
If coffee is funneling madly and spewing, it means the heat is too high – hold it in your hand, just above the flame, then turn down the heat on the stove to lessen this effect.
Step 6: Remove from the stove and serve immediately
Once the brewed coffee has reached 80% of the way up to the spout, remove it from the stovetop and place it on a cold towel. Cooling down the pot prevents over-extraction and bitterness.
Enjoy your coffee!
If the coffee is too bitter, You most likely over extracted from the grounds and thus created an overly bitter brew. Here are a few ideas for your next time brewing in order to extract less for more balance and better flavor.
- Grind your coffee slightly coarser.
- Stop brewing after a shorter amount of time.
- Brew with lower heat.
If the coffee is too weak, it’s possible that water vapor is creating channels in the grounds. As such, it’s only extracting a small amount of yummy stuff from all the grounds instead of extracting yummy stuff from all the grounds evenly.
- Next time you brew, try tapping the filter basket to distribute the grounds more evenly.
- If it still doesn’t work, you may need to use a finer grind to boost extraction
If water or steam leaks from the side, Remove the pot from the heat immediately. Let it cool before carefully cleaning and tightly sealing the pot to keep any of its good qualities intact for your next brew session!
Your coffee grounds may have been too fine, causing a clog. Try using coarser grinds next time if the pot checks out.
If steam leaks from the release valve, you’ve got a little too much pressure and need to remove the pot from heat. Try one of these:
- Make sure you didn’t overfill with grounds
- Make sure you didn’t tamp the grounds
- If you can check both of those two things off, be sure to reduce the heat.
What grind is best for Moka pot?
The best grind for a Moka pot coffee is medium to medium-fine, coarser than that use for an espresso machine but finer than for a drip coffee maker. For the best quality, we recommend buying whole bean coffee and grinding it yourself.
How do you know when a Moka pot is done?
When the water in the bottom chamber reaches a boil, the pressure will push a stream of coffee slowly through the upper chamber. If you hear a hissing, bubbling sound, Moka pot is done.
Why is my coffee bitter?
Bitter coffee is caused by a few things, mainly these two: Over roasted, stale, or low-grade coffee beans or Over extraction (brewing too much).
Make sure you’re using specialty-grade, freshly roasted beans. The issue also can come from over extracting your coffee. This means that you are pulling more flavor and oils from the grounds than is optimal. Your goal is to extract less.
Moka pot is a powerful coffee brewer, it’s a great alternative for espresso enthusiasts who can’t afford a pricey espresso machine.If you’re interested in brewing your coffee at home, we recommend obtaining a Moka pot. It’s both efficient and easy to brew with one. They are budget-friendly and can be found easily as well.
I am Ralph Mason and I am a passionate coffee drinker. I worked as a barista for a few years and since 2012 I have been trying to convince as many people as possible of good coffee.
I started writing on the barista blog on RepublikCoffeeBar in 2018. It was a pure hobby site and I tested coffee products like coffee machines, beans, mug, and other accessories. After the first year, my blog is becoming a well-known coffee site with about 100 thousand visits per month.
In 2019 I decided to focus on RepublikCoffeeBar only. I became a full-time coffee blogger and was declared crazy by many.