1933 Italian patent for the Bialetti Moka Pot

The Moka Pot is an iconic brewing device that can be found in nine out of ten kitchens throughout Italy and in homes all over the world. The device itself is a stovetop espresso maker, and it’s name comes from the city of Mocha in Yemen.

The Moka Pot was patented by inventor Alfonso Bialetti in Italy in 1933 and it produces a strong taste and syrupy mouthfeel by passing boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee. If you are a home brewer that likes espresso but you don’t have the coin to drop on a fancy machine, then this might be the brew method for you!

Brewing Instructions for the Moka Pot

When brewing with the Moka Pot it can be difficult to control the brewing variables and extraction time. But with these techniques and step-by-step instructions, you’ll be brewing a quality cup of joe with a Moka Pot in no time!

Total brew and prep time should take a total of 8-10 minutes.

Our first tip is to pre-boil the water you are going to use. Doing so will not only speed up the brewing time but will also help in preventing the coffee from overheating which will minimize any bitterness.

Then, follow these steps:
  1. First, fill the bottom chamber with the pre-boiled water up to the tiny pressure release valve and set aside.
  2. Next, grind beans to a Fine setting (note: You can buy pre-ground beans at Fine from Javaya).
  3. Fill the metal filter basket to the brim with your ground coffee (make sure you shake the Moka Pot to level the grounds but do not tamp the grounds or compact them!)
  4. Place the basket with coffee into the bottom chamber filled with pre-boiled water and carefully secure the upper half making sure the rubber gasket is in in place.  (Be careful not to touch the bottom chamber as it is quite hot!)
  5. Place the Moka Pot on your stovetop burner at low to medium heat and wait for the steam to boil up, forcing the water up through the coffee grounds. 
  6. Now, this is very important….  Monitor how quickly the amount of coffee is coming through the spout and into the upper chamber.  If it is coming out too quickly, reduce the heat.  If it is not coming out quickly enough, increase the heat slightly.  It should look thick and syrupy, and it should not brew too fast.

When you hear a faint hissing coming from the pot the coffee has finished brewing and is ready to be removed from the burner.  We recommend running the bottom chamber under cold water to stop the brew process and reduce any pressure.

Serve and enjoy!

About The Author: Haden-Polseno Hensley is co-owner of Red Rooster Coffee Roaster in Floyd, Virginia. Red Rooster has grown from a small-town coffee roaster to one of the premier coffee authorities on the East Coast.

One thought on “How To Brew Coffee At Home Using a Moka Pot

  1. I have tried this many times over the years and would not recommend it. On another point, I have never had an expensive coffee maker that really made good coffee. The best experience I have had is with a cheap Black & Decker 4 cup type machine that is really limed up after much use. The water comes down soooo slow, the coffee is almost steam brewed. Awesome. This has led me to believe the magic of steam when brewing world class single origin coffee. French press is ok, but not big deal.

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