Stovetop espresso makers are also known as Moka pots, percolators, bialettis, and Italian Coffee makers. Since the 1930′, this simple gadget has been incredibly popular among coffee lovers who prefer old-school, classic approach. If you’ve never tried before coffee made with Moka pot, you need to know that it has an incredible flavor and aroma.
Usually, the coffee made in these devices has a rather strong, thick, and rich flavor as well as very solid crema. Even if you enjoy your instant coffee with a bolder taste, you will still appreciate this rich brew.
If you are looking for the best way to brew your morning coffee, a stovetop maker can be exactly what you need. As well as a premium pour-over coffee maker, it is easy to use and can provide you with a good cup of coffee.
What Is a Stovetop Espresso Maker
This coffee maker is one of the most popular ways to brew coffee all over the world. This device uses pressurized boiling water (steam) that is passed through a layer of ground coffee. If you are not good at physics, it may sound somehow difficult for you.
A Moka pot consists of three chambers: for water, coffee grounds and a brewed drink. You just need to feel your pot with some water and coffee grounds and place it on a stove.
As soon as it is placed on a stove, the water starts heating and boiling, which leads to the expansion of his t air. As a result, it is pressed to the chamber that contains coffee grounds. The water starts to infuse with coffee grounds and expands, creating even more pressure.
As soon as your coffee is properly saturated, it goes to the last chamber through a special tunnel. During this process, you can hear sputtering sounds that mean that the brewing process is completed and you can enjoy a good cup of coffee.
As you can see, it is really a very simple way to brew your coffee and it is even simpler than the best dual coffee maker. You just need to choose the best stovetop espresso, maker. If you don’t know anything about this brewing method, just keep reading so you can learn everything about Moka pots.
Benefits of Using a Stovetop Espresso Maker
Stovetop espresso makers have been widely used by many coffee lovers for many years. The reasons for such popularity are the simplicity and incredible charm of this method. Nevertheless, they are not the only benefits of Moka pots and there are some other incredible advantages of this brewing method.
One of the main reasons why these makers are so popular among coffee lovers around the world is that using this brewing method; you have an opportunity to preserve a rich flavor of your coffee. While coffee from pour-over kettles tastes incredible, stovetop coffee maker brew is known for its deeper taste.
Due to the fact that Moka pots have a system that uses a water vapor principle, there almost no chance that coffee grounds will get burned or crushed. As a result, you will get a cup of coffee with a rich aroma and excellent taste.
In other words, a Moka pot is an absolutely safe bet for those who want to get a perfect cup of coffee. It is, for sure, an incredible pleasure to enjoy a cup of aromatic and full-flavor cup of coffee.
These devices are usually made of aluminum or stainless steel. Both these materials are very durable and strong, so you can be completely sure about the longevity of your Moka pot. Buying this device, you can be sure that it will last for many years as it is even more durable than Keurig k55 reviewed by experts. Moreover, you can easily get replacement parts for your stove espresso maker easily. In other words, you can repair it if necessary without spending lots of money.
Also, one of the main reasons why these devices are so durable is that there are no electrical Moka pots. Moreover, usually, they are rather cheap and considering its longevity, you can save lots of money without sacrificing the taste of your everyday coffee.
The modern market offers a wide range of makers that differ in many ways. You just need to choose the one you like.
How Does a Stovetop Espresso Maker Work
As we have mentioned before, this coffee maker consists of three main pieces, also known as chambers. The first one is the bottom chamber that is filled with a required amount of water. The second piece is a funnel where coffee grounds are placed. The last piece is a top chamber where the brewed coffee is gathered.
Speaking of how a Moka pot works, you need to know that the whole process is pretty simple. First of all, the water in a bottom chamber is heated until it boils as the steam appears, it creates a high pressure that pushes the water right through the funnel that contains ground coffee.
The water goes through the grounds and moves right into the top chamber. As a result, you have brewed coffee with an amazingly rich aroma and bold flavor. Using a stovetop espresso maker, you can prepare various amounts of coffee depending on its volume. There is a great variety of Moka pots of different shapes and sizes.
The most common volume options are 3, 6, and 9 cups. Just keep in mind that the volume is measured by standard espresso cups and not by mugs. Nevertheless, while varying in numerous ways, this espresso makers have the same structure and use the same principles for brewing coffee.
How to Choose the Best Stovetop Espresso Maker
As it was already mentioned, there is an unbelievable selection of Moka pots on the modern market. It means that you will for sure be able to find your perfect product. Nevertheless, it can be rather challenging due to the enormous variety. If you want to avoid numerous problems, you need to know what points you should pay attention to. Below, you can find some of the most important factors you should consider when buying a Moka pot.
The first thing you should pay attention to is the material the item is made of. It is important because of many reasons, including the type of your hob. The point is that aluminum Moka pots cannot be used with induction hobs. The reason is that aluminum does not have any magnetic properties.
If you do not want to worry about all these things, give preference to modern stainless steel espresso makers. This type of Moka pot can be used with all types of hobs and stoves.
However, some stainless steel makers may still not have this feature, so if you have an induction hob, make sure to check whether a Moka pot you are going to buy can be used with this type of stoves.
Cup Size / Capacity
As soon as you have decided on the material, it is time to think about its capacity. It depends on your preferences when it comes to the volume of your Moka pot. In other words, you need to choose an espresso maker that can provide you with an amount of coffee you need in one brew.
The best way to make the right choice is to decide how many espresso cups you usually drink. For example, a unit that has a capacity of a little more than 0.6 liters can provide you with about 3 cups of brewed coffee.
All manufacturers usually indicate the number of cups on a package. However, in most cases, this number tends to be slightly overestimated. If you want to make sure it suits your needs absolutely, choose an item with a bigger capacity. In such a way, you will, for sure, be able to get exactly the amount of coffee you need.
Almost all Moka pots look almost the same as it is a simple item with a little room for various designs. In fact, there are several common design options used by all manufacturers with just a few changes. Most makers are not colored, so they are just polished or matt. If you want to buy a colored Moka pot, you will hardly be able to lots of color options.
Just keep in mind that your espresso maker should be not only beautiful but also safe. So make sure that the item has a handle and a spout that stay cold in any case. Also, make sure that a product has a spout that guarantees a drip-free pouring.
Where You Use It
One of the most wonderful things about Moka pots is that they can be used almost anywhere. Using a stovetop espresso maker, you can brew coffee at home, while camping or during your stay at a hotel during your trip. If you choose a pot that will be used both at home and outdoors, give preference to those models that are compatible with high heat.
If you are going to use it only at home or somewhere with access to electricity, you can buy an electric Moka pot. Just keep in mind that most coffee lovers claim that stovetop models brew better coffee with a richer taste.
Aluminum vs Stainless Steel
Aluminum is a traditional material. This metal is known as very light and cheap with excellent heat-conducting capacity. It is, for sure, an important aspect when it comes to coffee brewing. Nevertheless, almost all m offer stainless steel Moka pots as well, and there is a certain reason for such decisions. First of all, this material looks much better than aluminum. Moreover, stainless steel has a bunch of great advantages in comparison to aluminum.
While aluminum has a high level of resistance to corrosion and oxidation, stainless steel is absolutely non-corrosive and non-porous, which means that it is much more durable than aluminum. Of course, stainless steel is slightly more expensive than aluminum, but it is easier to clean, maintain, and take care.
Moreover, it has an incredible rusting resistance, so you can use it for coffee brewing for decades.
Some modern Moka pots have various great extra features. For example, you can find makers that are dishwasher safe so you can clean it without any difficulties. All aluminum Moka pots cannot be washed at a dishwasher, which means that you should spend your time washing it with your own hands that may require more time. However, even hand washable pots can be easily cleaned under a tap. Only of you burned your coffee; the cleaning may take lots of time.
How to Use a Stovetop Espresso Maker
Just follow simple steps and you will be able to get a good cup of coffee just in several minutes. To help you deal with this task, we have created a step-by-step guide on how to brew coffee in these devices:
Step 1 – Prepare your Moka coffee maker
The first thing you should do when brewing coffee is to prepare your Moka pot properly. You need to separate all three parts of a pot. You need to have such separate pieces as:
- The bottom chamber for the water;
- The filter for the coffee grounds;
- The upper chamber for the brewed coffee.
Make sure each part is clean, dry and is not damaged.
Step 2 – Grind the coffee
Install a fairly coarse setting on your grinder. Take your favorite coffee beans and put them into a grinder. Just keep in mind that a very coarse grind can be not the best option as it may lead to leaks and cause a whole bunch of other issues. Also, make sure that coffee beans are grounded evenly as it can influence the intensity and flavor of your coffee.
Step 3 – Add water
Take the bottom piece and pour some cold, clean water there. It is better to choose filtered water. Also, make sure that the water is filled up to the safety valve maximum.
Step 4 – Add the coffee grounds
Take the freshly grounded coffee and put it into the filter basket. Make sure to fill the whole basket with coffee as it should be completely full. It is a very important aspect as if the basket is not full enough; it may lead to numerous problems related to the brewing process. As soon as the basket is completely filled, it is time to move on.
Step 5 – Reassemble the unit
Now, preparations are almost completed and you are just a few steps away from your perfect cup of coffee. The only thing you need to do is to make together all the pieces. First of all, attach the filter with coffee grounds to the bottom chamber with cold water. After it, attach the top piece and make sure it sits well.
Step 6 – Add heat
Now is another very easy step. First of all, put your coffee maker on your stove and turn on the heat. After it, you should wait until the water starts boiling. Considering the small size of all parts, it is likely that it will start boiling pretty soon.
Just make sure to keep an eye on the pot as should be right near it when the water starts boiling. Control the whole process and be careful not to melt plastic parts with high heat, especially if you use a gas stove.
Step 7 – Serve and enjoy
As soon as your coffee starts gurgling, it means it is ready and it is to switch off your stove. After the brewing process is completed, the top chamber will be full of excellent just-made coffee.
Take your device and pour a cup of very delicious and fragrant coffee. Take your time so you can enjoy it on its fullest. If you want something more unusual, you can add a flavor to your coffee using a syrup.
How to Clean a Stovetop Espresso Maker
There are several tips you should follow if you want to clean your Moka pot properly. Just make sure to follow them every time, and your espresso maker will serve you for many years.
Step 1 – First use
If you are going to use this product for the first time, you need to complete several simple steps. The first thing you should do is to wash each piece properly. After it, you need to brew coffee several times, but make sure not to drink it. You can use some old beans or a coffee you do not like for those first brews.
Just keep in mind that it should be the only time when you brewed your coffee several times in a row without washing your Moka pot.
Step 2 – Disassemble coffee maker before cleaning
Before cleaning your Moka pot, make sure to disassemble it so you can wash each piece separately. Use clean water to rinse the pieces and wash away any coffee grounds. Clean the gasket and the funnel properly after each use.
Step 3 – Use soap
Use soap to clean your unit properly. With the help of soap, you will be able to remove oily stains from your Moka pot, especially if it is made of aluminum. Considering the fact that aluminum is more porous than stainless steel, you may need a little bit more soap to clean it properly.
Step 4 – Avoid over-perfumed cleansers
It is better not to use very strong chemicals with strong scents. You only need to wash away some coffee, so there’s no point in using such chemicals.
Step 5 – Moka pot descaling
Due to the usage of the very hard water, you may need to descale your coffee maker from time to time. You do not need to do it very often but still make sure to perform this procedure regularly in order to avoid filter obstruction.
Steam-generated pressure is an important part of the process of brewing coffee with a Moka pot. Because of the dirty filter, the pressure in the bottom chamber can increase drastically.
The level of pressure is controlled by the safety valve, but if it is clogged because of the hard water, it may lead to numerous problems. For example, the steam will not be released properly and the pressure will be really high. It is one other reason you should descale your Moka pot from time to time.
The best way to descale your device is to use white vinegar. It is a great option for cleaning, disinfection, removing odors while not damaging a Moka pot. Moreover, white vinegar can easily deal with mineral deposits, destroying them completely.
To clean the outside, use a soft cloth or a sponge that is soaked with some vinegar. It will make your Moka pot shine as if it is just out of a store. Don’t forget to wash and rinse the pot after cleaning it with vinegar and let it dry completely.
If you need to clean it from the inside, make a mixture of water and vinegar. Add 1 part of vinegar to 2 parts of water. Pour the mixture into the bottom chamber and assemble all the pieces of your Moka pot. Switch on your stove, set a low heat and put on the pot.
Wait until the mixture starts boiling and move into the top chamber of the pot. As soon as the process is completed, switch off the stove and let the pot cool down completely. As soon as it is cold, it is time to repeat all steps once again, using only water without vinegar. As all steps are completed, you need to rinse every piece of your pot properly.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
Speaking of prices, they are not very high; however, there can be some exceptions. The price usually depends on the capacity of a pot and material used for its production.
Also, the more expensive pots are those that can be used with induction stoves or washed in a dishwasher. Electrical Moka pots are also more expensive. As you can see, it is mainly related to some extra features than quality issues.
The only exception is the materials used for pots’ production. Moka pots made of stainless steel tend to be more expensive than those made of aluminum. The reason is that stainless steel is more durable with excellent rust resistance.
Do’s and Don’ts With a Stovetop Espresso Maker
While being a simple device for brewing coffee, stovetop espresso makers have their own specifics. If you want to make sure your Moka pot will serve for many years, you need to follow some essential rules.
- Clean your unit after each use
- Keep it dry
- Use coarse grind when brewing coffee in a Moka pot
- Use soap with no fragrance to wash your espresso maker
- Use only the required amount of coffee and water to make your coffee
- Avoid strong cleansers when washing your Moka pot
- Do not wash your device in a dishwasher
- Never left it unwashed
Quick Tips for Making Coffee in a Stovetop Espresso Maker
You do not need any extra skills when it comes to brewing coffee in a Moka pot. However, it does not mean you cannot make even a better cup of coffee. For example, cold brew coffee has a full coffee taste and does not require specific skills, and Moka pot brew is the same. Just use our tips and you’ll be able to brew an absolutely incredible cup of coffee.
Use Coarse Grounds
Give preference to pretty coarse grind as fine grounds may result in a bitter and rather plain taste. Experts claim that grounds that are not so coarse as those for drip but still not so fine as those required for espresso. Of course, it also depends on your taste and preferences, so just look for the option you like most of all. Nevertheless, try not to forget the rule that the coarser grounds are much better for brewing coffee in a Moka pot.
Control Heat Level
As soon as the water starts boiling, make sure to reduce the heat. It will let you brew coffee with a more authentic and rather gentle flavor.
Make Test Rounds
After buying a new product, you need to make several test rounds. The reason is that right out of the box, rubber parts of your Moka pot may have an impact on the taste of your coffee. After making several test rounds, you will be able to get rid of unpleasant rubber smell.
Follow Cleaning Tips
It is important to know cleaning tips if you want to make sure that your espresso maker will last for many years. First of all, remember that it cannot be cleaned in a dishwasher. Never use hard and abrasive sponges. Make sure to be gentle when cleaning each part and use soft soap.
Some experts even claim that it is better to use no cleaners when washing a Moka pot. The reason is that it may leave a soapy taste that will spoil your coffee. If you are worried about it and want to avoid the problem, just rinse each piece after each use.
Keep It Dry
Never store a wet Moka pot. Make sure it is absolutely clean and completely dry. If you leave it wet, grey blotting may appear all over the pot.
Check Availability of Replacement Parts
When choosing a stovetop espresso maker, make sure that it will be easy to find and get various replacement parts for it. Also, keep in mind that it may be hard to get replacement parts for Italian pots. There is a possibility that they are only sold in Italy.
Use Your Favorite Coffee
It is hard to brew a perfect coffee if you use coffee beans you do not like. Just follow your preferences as opinions on the issue vary significantly. It can be a good idea to try some beans originated from South America. The reason is that a stovetop espresso maker is the most popular brewing method in the region.
It means that local coffee may be grown and roasted in a way to make it suit the brewing method. For getting stronger brew, give preference to full-bodied roast. Finally, coffee lovers assure that freshly grounded coffee is the best for this type of brew.
FAQ About Stovetop Espresso Makers
Are Bialetti coffee makers good?
When it comes to Moka pots, the ones produced by the Bialetti are, for sure, the most popular and well-known. However, all espresso makers of this manufacturer are made of aluminum. Lots of people claim that it is unsafe because of the boiling water and coffee acids mix with this type of metal; it may get ingested.
How long do you percolate coffee on the stovetop?
Usually, you need about 5 minutes to brew your coffee. In fact, when there is a hissing, bubbling sound, it means that your coffee is ready. At the same time, if you see that the water explodes upward, you need to reduce the heat immediately as the water is too hot. Lethargic burbling indicates that the temperature is low and you need to turn up the heat.
What kind of coffee do you use in a stovetop espresso maker?
If you want to get a fresh taste, give preference to whole beans. Speaking of the best grind, opt for something between espresso grind and drip-pot grind. When it comes to roast, this type of brewing is perfect for any roast. Nevertheless, most experts claim that the best option for stovetop maker brew is a dark roast coffee.
Is stovetop espresso any good?
In comparison to regular drip coffee, coffee brewed in a Moka pot is 2 or even 3 times more concentrated. At the same same time, an espresso shot is usually from 5 to 8 times more concentrated than drip coffee. As a result, espresso shots tend to have a very deep, intense flavor while the coffee brewed in a stovetop maker is lighter and more delicate.
A stovetop espresso maker is a great option for anyone who prefers classic, traditional ways of brewing coffee. Moreover, it is a perfect way to get yourself an excellent cup of coffee with intense aroma and flavor.
You only need to find your perfect Moka pot and enjoy tasty coffee almost anywhere. If you are a real coffee lover, you for sure should consider giving it a try. If you want to learn about other ways to brew a cup of coffee, you can look through Keurig k475 vs k575 review.
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