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Do you Moka?

Just read about the Moka contraption for making coffee. Interesting.

Anyone use this on a regular (daiy?) basis?

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  1. I did, but am on hiatus now because I'm pregnant. Thank you for the linked article, I appreciated the brewing tips. Our moka came with a milk frother, which is great.
    My sister and BIL also use one regularly, though we didn't know we each had one until a recent visit.
    Ordered mine of amazon for a very reasonable price.

    3 Replies
    1. re: perries

      Is it that much better than regular brew, or even french press?

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Hmm, I like it better than my french press, but this is possibly a fault of mine that could be corrected if I tried harder with my press - which seems to brew up coffee that is too acidic to my tastes, no matter what I'm using. I thought it was a filter issue, but the moka similarly does not use paper filters, yet the resulting brew tastes smooth and not too acidic. Plus even when I think I'm putting in a coarse grind in the press, there are granules in my cup, which doesn't happen with the moka's clever mechanism.

        We also have a drip coffee maker, and I think the chief advantage of the moka (which is 2-cup size) is just making 2 cups worth strong smooth brew easily, plus it seems to me to make a denser brew than I usually get out of the pot (but could be the cook, again).
        I hope this post contained some useful thoughts - considering I'm in a non-caffienated desert for the duration. Bottom line: for coffee fans, it's not a big outlay to get one and... it's fun!

        1. re: ipsedixit

          A few people in my italian class have them (some multiple) and I've had it a multiple functions. I think it's far better than drip. Compared to french press it's hard to say because french press is so variable. What I've had from the Moka doesn't compare to the best cup of coffee I've ever had which is from a french press. But, it's better than most cups of french press I've had. User skill makes a big difference so maybe a great Moka maker could do wonders. But, FWIW, one of the Moka users makes great espresso so he has good coffee making skills.

      2. My preferred method for making coffee at home, I've been using one for many years, IMO the best combination of quality, convenience and price. The article is good, thanks for posting the link, the importance of the grind and not tamping I know, am interested to try starting with cold water and turning of the heat when the pot is half full.

        1. I am so glad you posted this. I have one sitting in my kitchen (it came free with the boyfriend), and whenever I ask him how to use it, he is less than helpful. I never even knew what the thing was called. The website, however, was very much so.

          He brought it back from the Dominican Republic, and despite the fact that he claims it makes superior coffee, I have to wonder if he even knows how to use it. It's clearly been used, but not since he toted it back to the states. And, like perries, I find the french press a bit too much, so now I'm really curious. Thanks! I have a new kitchen toy to play with, once I dust it.

          1. Absolutely! I have three different pots, all in the 1-cup size, since I live alone. It is my favorite go to coffeemaker, and has been since I "acquired" the taste in college over 30 years ago visiting with the family of my Cuban born roommate. I drink it very sweet (3 demi spoons per demitasse) and very hot. I keep one pot at the ready for when I visit my son in New Orleans, because my cafecita is my favorite wake up, even in that great coffee city. I remember posting tips before on Cookware, I think.

            1. For years I switched back and forth (daily) between moka and Turkish. I still have my mill for powdering my own coffee beans for Turkish coffee. And I used a burr grinder for my Moka. The thing I DON"T like about the Moka machines is that they are made of aluminum, and the perforated plate that sits in the bottom of the coffee chamber and allows the hot water to reach the coffee eventually was eaten away by coffee acids and (possibly) hard water. I could not find a replacement, so who knows what happened to the rest of the pot?

              Was the coffee good? Depended entirely on the coffee beans. With the right beans it was excellent. However, I now have a super automatic Jura Capresso, that makes real bona fide espresso with fantastic crema with just the push of a button. And I still have all of my paraphernalia for making Turkish coffee. And I still have my Cona vacuum coffee maker. So no, I'm not shopping for anothr ALUMINUM Moka machine. But if you want a really good cup of coffee for a year or two, go for it! But get at least a "four cup" size. The cup sizes are Italian thimbles. I drink my espresso by the mug.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Caroline1

                Caroline1 (always one of my favorite posters!), while I still use the Italian aluminum pots, I prefer stainless steel. After burning up my favorite ss Bialetti last year (forgot to put water in reservoir!), I ordered a new ss online from Fante's in Philadelphia. The basket is ss, while the strainer is still ss. It's the best on I've had by far.

                1. re: marthasway

                  Aw, shucks. '-)

                  Just looked up the Bialetti on the Fante's website (http://fantes.com/espresso-stovetop.html) My gosh and golly, that ss basket sure shoots up the price for an otherwise aluminum pot! But four demitasse is only about one breakfast mug. And that's exactly what I disliked about my Moka machine... I had to make a whole new pot for a second cup of coffee! And if my (then) husband wanted coffee too (not to mention a second cup) , I spent the morning making coffee, one mug at a time!

                  My next coffee fantasy is an espresso super automatic plummed with water in and a garbage disposal out so it can not just dump the hockey puck of grinds into a basket, but actually flush them away so all I ever have to do is push the button when I want a delicious cup! Oh yeah, and I want a gorgeous hunk type slave to peel my grapes too.

                    1. re: sr44

                      Isn't that a trip and a half! If they would only take away the damned iPhone, I'm there! I suspect there is hope. Will it be under $4,000, and how much cabinet space under the counter will it hog up? But it would look jazzy as heck with my black granite counters. <sigh> I can dream, can't I? Thanks!

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        No, the price is about twice that. And you don't really need an iPhone unless you want to make coffee from another room.

                        1. re: sr44

                          It just went on my dream kitchen wish list, along with the dedicated pizza oven and Brazilian rosewood cabinets. Will I live long enough to realize the dream? I'll plan on it for my 200th birthday! '-)

              2. I use one almost daily. It makes a good sturdy double shot for a cafe latte (nuke a cup of mil, froth with aero frother, pour in shots). It would probably be ok for a substitute espresso or Turkish with some sugar but IMHO if you want straight, black coffee, it is not going to be as pleasantly sippable as black French press or a well pulled true espresso made with a pump machine. But, as I began, for an eminently drinkable cafe latte in 4 minutes total prep time, it's solid. A tip, the quality of the product goes up exponentially if you turn off the heat source about half way through the coffee's coming into the upper chamber. If you don't do this you will get a pronounced burned taste quite quickly.

                1. My 91 year old grandma has a cup from this type of contraption every day... it has to be at least 20 years old. I've never had anything else like it. She uses Medaglia D'oro coffee from the can and it is absolutely wonderful.

                  When I make it, however, tastes like dirt. Same pot, same coffee, same water.
                  I guess I didn't inherit the coffee making gene.

                  1. Saw the article in this month's Atlantic. And there's no doubt that a moka pot can make a pretty good cup of coffee. But as to what's going to be America's next coffee tradition, my money's on the vac pot. The same basic principles are at work, but it's easier to control the process and harder to screw up the final result.

                    It really is the best way to make coffee, bar none.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: alanbarnes

                      You sent me running to Google. That looks really cool, and a little dangerous, which makes it the perfect gift for the boyfriend (I'm not trying to kill him, he just loves both coffee and things that produce good reults through *care*). I really think he would love this.

                      If there is a brand you recommend, I am open for suggestions.

                      1. re: onceadaylily

                        I have several vac pots by Yama. I have no doubt that the more expensive brands (eg Cona) are prettier, and they may even produce marginally better results, but if I break one of mine I won't cry. Much.

                      2. re: alanbarnes

                        The vac pot is so Feb. 2010, here is my prediction for the newest and possibly the easiest, for sure the cheapest.


                        Actually, the V-60 system is the newest rage in some of the better coffee joints. replacing the Clover (thank you Starbucks) Chemex and FP.

                        1. re: poser

                          Pour over cones are so May 1972!


                          1. re: Joe Blowe

                            I bought my cone in June 2000.

                            I prefer to think that I am not behind the times, but leading the charge of a revival.

                          2. re: poser

                            I've been using drip cones for 30 years. They definitely make good coffee, but the vac pot wins on points because (a) you can increase or decrease steep time by leaving it on or removing it from the flame, and (b) heat from the bowl keeps the coffee in the funnel at the ideal temperature during the brewing process.

                            1. re: alanbarnes

                              Ok,Ok, so the drip cone is so 1980! Seriously though Alan, sometimes it seems newest is not the best. Drip cones and Vac pots have both been around for years and now they are both in vogue through out the coffee industry. In San Francisco, the four top coffee outlets are all using either an individual pour over system, chemex pot, vac pot system or in Blue Bottles case both pour over and vac pot.

                              1. re: poser

                                I blame it all on Mr. Coffee. After nearly 40 years in the wilderness, people are finally figuring out that brewed coffee can actually taste great.

                        2. I went from Moka to Espresso machine and never looked back!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: dlew308

                            While I agree with your sentiment (to an extent), the author of the Atlantic article made it clear: Espresso is espresso, and Moka is Moka.

                            I went from using a couple of different moka pots, to picking up a lightly-used Saeco Estro Vapore on craigslist for well under $100. After doing the required pressurized portafilter mod, and learning how to surf the Saeco, it turns out better coffee than my Bialetti Brikka 2-cup (which at the time was the holy grail of moka pots, and had to hunt it down during a trip to Italy).

                            But, they are different tasting brews and both have their distinct places. Giving up moka would be like telling someone they can only eat New York-style pizza, and no longer enjoy anymore pizza Napoletana...

                          2. I Moka'd for about 30 yrs, the last ten of which were exclusively with a stainless Moka pot (an Italian-made Alpha Inox model, purchased from a local (Northern Colorado) retailer). It wasn't a daily thing until I bought the stainless pot.

                            I haven't used my Moka since I got my espresso machine. Now I can make a Cafe Creme which out-mokas the Moka Pot. :::)))

                            1. Hey Moka,

                              I do not know if you have used the Moka Pot or not, but I have used it daily for the past several years. I first had it when I was in Brasil when I was younger and had my first coffee. I was won by the incredible flavor. I began to make them at home, and experience great coffee as I began to travel throughout Europe and then found excellent coffee's in the United States as well. Nothing compares to great espresso - and - well - I find that most coffee does not compare with my own. I do get hounded about this from my wife - HA :o)

                              A few instructions; however:
                              - Use water up to the line in the bottom - or to the steam release if there is not a line (you will figure
                              it out as you begin to experiment.
                              - I use a couple of small ice cubes in my water because - well - cold water makes better espresso.
                              - Use a fine grind of coffee grounds.
                              - Do NOT use flavored coffee grounds my owns opinion, I just think espresso should be espresso.
                              - Fill the "basket" to the top with grounds and gently smooth the top without packing with tightness.
                              - Sprinkle the top of the grounds LIGHTLY with salt - just a dusting - you don't want to taste the salt.
                              Salt just brings out the flavor - I laws know when it is left out.
                              - Screw the top onto the pot tightly - but not so that you cannot unscrew it once you are finished
                              using the pot.
                              - Place the pot on the burner (gas or electric - I do prefer gas). A small burner is the best - but
                              either way - make sure the handle is not over the heat (I made this mistake one time - and - well -
                              it was a mess - melted hard plastic can be a problem).
                              - Do NOT leave the kitchen - it will be done in a few minutes!
                              - A frother is nice to have - and - important if you want a great espresso each morning. Go to a
                              "high end-use" kitchen store - or a William Sonoma - and ask if they have a stove-top milk
                              - Heat up a couple of cups of milk in the microwave - or in the frother on the stove. Watch the stove
                              top heating as the milk may scald - this is the reason I heat it up in the microwave.
                              - Pour the hot milk into the frother and pump the brother several times to make a froth.
                              - The Espresso should be finished. Pour the amount that you need into your cup of espresso with
                              a couple teaspoons of sugar - I like to mix my sugar and espresso before adding the milk - it
                              seems to mix the best with the espresso as it is the hottest part.
                              - Then pour your milk into your espresso making sure you get a rich white froth on the top.
                              - Put a dash of cinnamon on the top (I prefer China Cinnamon by Penzey's - but any cinnamon will
                              - Finally - in a shorter amount of time than you can order a great coffee, sit back and enjoy your
                              own Mocha from your own Moka Pot. It is incredible. The more you make them - the better you
                              will get. There are all kinds of different recipes for the great coffee that I have created - more info
                              if you want it!

                              I hope you do not mind my length. You may already now all of this - but it was fun to share it. My wife and I live in Northern Iraq now teaching school. I make these every day - have for years. I plan on making them until I am 103. :o) Then I am sure that I will graduate to better coffee!!


                              3 Replies
                              1. re: pilgrimdan

                                "I use a couple of small ice cubes in my water because - well - cold water makes better espresso."

                                Please enlighten us -- can't wait to hear this...

                                1. re: Joe Blowe

                                  Well - it sounds ridiculous, but the cold water makes a smoother more tasty Espresso. My friends in Italy all use cold water in their Moka Pots - so I thought I would just try some ice to make - well - very cold water. Try it out and let me know if you think it tastes any different. It may just be my mind playing tricks - but - I still do it every day now!

                                  1. re: Joe Blowe

                                    It is also important to never use soap on your Moka Pot - but only HOT water to wash it. I am sure you know that, but just thought I would say.

                                2. Here is my Moka Pot I use now. It is small, I do have larger ones, but for right now - this is it. My grinder is a Turkish Grinder I bought in Sarajevo, Bosnia a few years back - and the frother (green) I bought in Sicily. The coffee is a 100% Arabica - not an espresso roast. Nevertheless - all the coffee made in my pots is excellent. I use Penzey's China Cinnamon - well - because I love it.

                                  Also - does anyone ever make Thai Coffee using Sweetened Condensed Milk, Milk, and Ice? I enjoy those on hot days. They are amazing drinks.

                                  I never wash my pot with soap wither - just hot water and a good rinse out. I think that soap hampers the taste. As the pot gets used more and more, the flavor gets richer. Anyone do this as well?

                                  2 Replies
                                    1. re: poser

                                      I am not a total purist on my terms, but I do believe that an "espresso roast" lies somewhere between a Italian Roast and French Roast. It is mainly an American term for coffee I do believe. All I do understand is that it is a darker roasted bean for espresso drinks. I like the dark roast. I know what I like and the favorite type of beans - but - I am no professional. Any information to help guide me is welcome!

                                  1. I was all excited to moka, but apparently I've been mokaing for years. I've never heard moka in my life, but have had a macchinetta for years. I took a small 2 shot one with me around Australia, was perfect for making 2 espressi for my girlfriend and I or for making 2 americani. Was not too large or bulky and worked like a charm :D

                                    1. Yes - every day. It makes a great espresso/latte!! If you use a nice grind of a finely roasted coffee - you will love it!

                                      1. I know this is an old thread, but it's new to me!

                                        Yes, I use my Bialetti daily for my esspresso. The only other coffee maker I have at home is some really old school stovetop perkilator made entirely of clear glass. Rarely to be used.

                                        1. Recently picked up a 3-cup Bodum unit, and really enjoy the results. For brewing a single cup or two of perfect coffee, can't think of a better choice. Best results have come from keeping the burner on the low to medium setting, so coffee barely seeps up instead of blasting out.

                                          1. I have one, but it's been in the box for years. I've been using a french press for so many years and have been happy with my coffee. Thank you for posting this link. I am going to give it a try.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: mkatieq

                                              Just make sure the grind is right...what works in a French press -- very coarse grind -- will not work at all for a moka pot, which works with a fine espresso grind. In fact, I would just buy pre-ground (Illy) for starters....yeah, it's canned, but it really is very good. Any other suggestions for coffee out there? Enjoy your new-to-you coffee-maker!

                                              1. re: MikeB3542

                                                Thanks for the tips. This will be a fun little coffee adventure.

                                            2. I am completely in love with my moka. My husband and I each have a six-cup Bialetti, and we drink about 3 pots each a day. I grind my own beans with a medium grind. I do not filter it although my Dad does for health reasons (unfiltered coffee possibly raises your blood pressure?). I find that filtering it cuts out out some of the delicious body that makes moka better than drip.

                                              My stainless pot holds up beautifully. It doesn't get any of the weird residue that the aluminum pots do. I just have to replace the gasket 1-2 a year. I get those from amazon.

                                              I bring it everywhere. I love that I can use it anywhere that has a burner or even on my Weber Performer grill, as it has a propane tank to light the charcoal. We did that several times when the electricity went off, although now we have a gas stove!

                                              I can barely choke down weak drip anymore. It always tastes like water regardless of strength.