The humble Moka Pot, also known as a stovetop, is the ugly sister of the coffee world. With so many stylish vessels and brews around these days, the Moka Pot seems to have lost its cool. I'm here to fly the flag for the forgotten 'not quite espresso' maker. Let's start with a bit of backstory.
If you've looked at buying a Moka Pot, you will have come across the Bialetti brand. Bialetti pioneered the Moka Pot back in the 30s and continue to lead the market today. It was invented, not surprisingly, by an Italian inventor, Luigi Del Ponti. The design, for the main part, has remained the same. Though perhaps a few more stylish options are available now.
The mechanics are very simple. There's a bottom chamber that holds the water, a central chamber for the ground coffee and a top chamber to collect the brewed coffee. The Moka Pot is placed on a stove/hob and heated. The boiling water then leaves the bottom chamber and begins to mix with the ground coffee in the central chamber. This is where it brews. As the temperature continues to rise, more water enters the central chamber and eventually spews into the collection chamber via an internal spout. Several minutes later you'll have a Moka Pot full of the delicious amber nectar you so crave.
When it comes to ratios, I'm probably more relaxed with the Moka Pot than other brew methods. I simply fill the water chamber to the fill line and load up the coffee chamber until its level. Rightly or wrongly, it's no more scientific than that for me. You may want to apply more science, but I'm happy with this relaxed approach.
I grind the beans to same consistency as I grind for Espresso. Mainly because when I first got a Moka Pot years ago, I was expecting it to make Espresso. In reality, this isn't the case but the grind works well all the same.
Some will tell you that this is an espresso maker, and I guess technically speaking they're correct. I tend to think of the drink as a kind of halfway house. Somewhere between an espresso and filter coffee. The consistency of the drink is different to both. I wouldn't drink this black as I drink a filter, nor would I drink it as an espresso shot. I prefer to heat milk and mix it 50/50 with the coffee.
If I had to give one reason for having a Moka Pot in the house, it would have to be ease. There's nothing better than waking up on a Sunday morning, casually filling one up with water and ground coffee and leaving it to make itself. It's super easy and tastes great. A unique taste in my opinion, but a good taste non the less.