I’ve drank coffee for as long as I can remember. But my coffee experience wasn’t all that great to begin with. As a matter of fact, it all started with quick stops at the nearest Starbucks. I relied on those to-go cups of caffeine boost for work. Coffee then was a necessity at the time, and not a necessary pleasure. Working in the busy business hamster wheel on a graveyard shift requires a lot of coffee. I always had my coffee cup cup beside me, loaded with tons of cream and sugar. It was the coffee I drank for most of my young adulthood. But all that changed in a day.
Many years ago I visited my parents for the holidays. When I got home, my mom was brewing coffee with a tall odd-looking pot on the stove. She was ecstatic to see me, but even more excited to serve me the coffee she was brewing. Proud of her work, she served me a small cup of coffee. I found it too small because I always drank mine from massive paper cups. But my mom’s coffee smelled so good it was hard to resist.
I am pretty conservative when it comes to my food and drinks, and for the longest time I never tried espresso. But because that coffee smelled so good, and it was made by mom, I tried it. After the first sip, the way I viewed coffee changed.
First thing to do while sipping from my newly acquired addiction was to ask what kind of coffee maker was that. It was a Moka Pot. Later on, I researched a bit more and found out that people also call it stovetop espresso maker, and sometime geyser coffee maker, because of the way coffee is brewed.
I got one as a gift, when my mom saw how much I loved it.
The moment I tasted the Moka pot espresso, I became a coffee lover. You see, there is a clear distinction between drinking coffee as a necessity, solely for the energy boost it gives you, and drinking it as a luxury.
My coffee routine was driven by necessity. Coffee was essential in keeping my brain active for work. I still get the energy boost, but I love drinking my coffee now, and I don’t have to use creamer and sugar.
The strong aroma of freshly percolated coffee permeating through the entire house, the irresistible scent that wakes me up before even tasting it, the first sip, everything is a unique experience every morning.
I know I sound too romantic over this, but the Moka pot espresso is one of the best coffees, if you know how to brew it. I wrote a post on How to Brew Coffee with a Moka Pot, where I get very detailed about all the steps, and I give great tips to improve your brew.
Get the low down on the stovetop with street cred
What you need is a serious coffee grinder to grind down
Great looking but functional coffee cups
I started to take formal classes of making coffee. I didn’t want to work in the field, it was just as a hobby I wanted to maintain. The course gave me the basis of my future explorations in coffee brewing, and allowed me to tweak my cup to perfection.
I got myself multiple coffee makers. I own all sorts of coffee makers, from the French Press to the AeroPress and an espresso machine. My favorite brewing method is still the Moka Pot, though. Espresso brewed with an espresso machine is my second choice.
I wanted to know a bit more about the Moka Pot, so I delved deeper into the subject, and learned a few interesting facts.
This small coffee pot was invented by the Italiens, and they call it “la caffettiera”. The original pot designed by Alfonso Bialetti about 80 years ago, and is still sold by Bialetti as Bialetti Moka Express. Never changed shape or design since then. Bialetti made some minor changes to valve, but everything else is the same. This is rather amazing, given our ever-evolving world of products. The Moka pot is different. It’s design was perfect from the moment it was made in 1933.
The only other variation they created is the Brikka Pot (which I’m also absolutely in love with). The only difference is that the Brikka has a crema valve. This second valve adds more pressure during brewing, and it makes coffee thicker and with more crema. I own one of these too.
Despite my vast collection of coffee makers, my Moka Pots are my preference. Coffee making is an art. And ni consider the coffee from the Moka Pot a masterpiece.
This Italian coffee maker has precise measurements. With every pot size, the measuring is very simple. Add water up to the valve level, and fill the funnel to the rim with coffee grounds. This allows us to get the perfect ratio of coffee and water all the time.
Other coffee makers make it hard to ‘wing it’. You need a scale and a timer. If you don’t use a scale and a timer you end up with an over-extracted or under-extracted cup.
Coffee from a Moka pot is strong, and flavorful. Many people call it with espresso. It’s somewhat similar to espresso from an espresso machine, but still different. Though I make espresso at home with my espresso machine, I most often than not prefer the Moka Pot coffee.
From a taste perspective, it’s stronger than an ordinary brew, but it has a subtler boldness compared to an espresso. An espresso is pure bitter smooth coffee. The Moka Pot, on the other hand, extracts the best of both brewed coffee and espresso in a cup. If you want, Moka coffee is a happy average between espresso and drip coffee. The Brikka brew leans more towards espresso, and it has clearer features of it, like the generous crema on top. However, it is still not a full taste.
Many people actually debate about calling the coffee from the Moka Pot, espresso. I understand where they’re coming from. We often believe that espresso should be made with high pressure. The Moka Pot has about 1.5 bar of pressure. This is a far cry from an espresso machine’s pressure at 9 bars. As I explained, the taste and overall characteristics are also different.
But no matter which dictionary you look at, espresso is coffee made using pressure. And as long as it has a strong and bold flavor and served in a small cup, in my book is an espresso. To be honest, I don’t really care much about the definition. As long as I like the final cup, I can call it anyway you want.
I always find coffee websites everywhere but none that is dedicated to the Moka Pot I love. I created this website for the mere joy of sharing everything related to the La Moka, or La Macchinetta, (I love how Italians say it). From home-brewing tips to honest reviews and the latest news, you’ll find everything Moka here at Moka Head.