Mocca, or moka, with a ‘K,’ is an Italian coffee pot that delivers the single most concentrated and flavorful home-made espresso. Not to be confused with mocha coffee, which is today a combination of chocolate and coffee, the mocca is more than a stovetop coffee maker; it is a lifestyle.
How to use a moka pot properly? Ah, the devil’s in the details. But let’s start at the beginning.
The moka pot was invented in 1933 by Luigi di Ponti, inspired by the earliest cloth washing machines. It soon sparked an authentic revolution — people could enjoy an espresso at home, something they could only do at bars and restaurants.
As you probably know, shooting a jet of scorching water through a packed disk of ground coffee is one of the best ways of making a cup of coffee – that’s how those fancy coffee shop machines work. Well, the moka pot does just that, but with pressure and steam.
A moka pot basically consists of three solid-aluminum parts, the water compartment or valve, the funnel and filter plate, and the coffee collector.
To make the perfect moka espresso, you must start by not overfilling the valve. There’s a dented level mark you should never pass. You want to preheat the water, too; otherwise, the stovetop flame will heat the metal and burn your coffee.
Then there’s the coffee. You want to grind your favorite espresso blend as fine as table salt. You’ll use it to fill the funnel/filter to the rim. There’s no need to press the coffee.
Finally, there’s the technique. To brew the finest espresso, you want to boil the water with the lid open to avoid unnecessary condensation that would dilute your coffee. You want to remove the pot from the stovetop as soon as the coffee starts flowing and let it do its thing over the counter.
Be careful when handling your moka pot; it gets insanely hot! And make sure the plastic handle is not over the open flame; it will melt, trust me.
Grind your coffee.
Preheat your water without boiling it and pour it into the coffee pot valve.
Scoop the coffee into the funnel/filter and level with your finger. Do not press. Clean the edges.
Screw your pot, just tight enough.
Place the pot over the stovetop over medium heat with the lid open.
Once the first golden-colored coffee starts to pour, remove the pot from the heat and close the lid.
Wait until the coffee collector is filled and pour into an espresso cup.