First thing most of us need in the morning is a good coffee. Coffee pods may be the trend now, but we still prefer coffee made with the Moka machine. And here are five things to keep in mind to achieve optimal results.
[Two-chambered moka pots operate on the same principle: water is heated in a lower chamber. Vapor pressure pushes the water up through ground coffee in a filter, which collects in the upper chamber as liquid coffee.]
1. How you store your coffee blend is very important. Check that the container where you keep it is airtight and that it’s far from groceries with strong smells and flavors, such as herbal teas and preparations for risotto or broth; coffee easily absorbs the surrounding aromas. Also, the most suitable blend to make coffee in the moka is ground, but not too thin.
If you grind your coffee beans, again make sure you store them properly. They oxidize easily, so they must be kept in an airtight container and in a dry place. If storage is correct, but the coffee still tastes very bitter, then the roasting may be the problem, meaning that you may have purchased overly toasted beans. In this case, you need to buy new ones.
2. Another factor that can spoil your espresso is the water used to prepare it: if it’s too calcareous, the coffee won’t taste any good. The general rule is: make coffee with water you’d drink. So, if you drink filtered tap water, then use filtered water for your coffee too. Otherwise, use bottled water. By the way, when you put it in the moka, the water must be cold.
3. Keep your moka clean. It’s a well-known fact that you shouldn’t wash it with detergent, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be cleaning it. After each preparation, you should rinse it with warm water and dry it perfectly before tightening it closed. After about 30 coffees, the cleaning must be more accurate: the rubber gasket should be replaced if damaged, the filter should be cleaned with a brush or a pin so that all holes are free.
4. During preparation, follow these simple steps. First, the water inside the base chamber should never go over the level of the valve; keep it a little lower. Second, the coffee in the filter should not be pressed, it should simply be filled to the brim. Third, the moka should be tightly screwed and put on the stove over low heat. As soon as the moka starts to gurgle, it must be removed from the stove, otherwise the coffee will burn. The last part of the coffee should come out after the burner has been turned off; in fact, it's a good idea to move the moka away from the warm stove.
5. Last but not least! This last step is often skipped, but shouldn’t: before you pour your espresso, you should stir it with a teaspoon so that the denser part that came out first is well blended with the lighter part that comes out at the end.
There you go: now you know how to prepare your perfect moka coffee – and your day will be off to a good start!