Moka pots were invented in 1930s Italy. The name Moka refers to the port city of Mocha, Yemen which historically has been synonymous with being the center for coffee excellence.

The Moka pot is also known as the ‘stove top espresso maker’ and are commonly made of either aluminum or stainless steel.  Every pot consists of a cylindrical bottom chamber, a filter funnel, and a top collector chamber with a second removable filter, held in place by a rubber gasket.

The popular Moka pot is easy to use and produces a full-bodied aromatic coffee. There are Moka pots in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes, but they are all based on the same operating principles.  Water is heated in the lower chamber. When the vapor pressure approaches two atmospheres it is forced up through a bed of finely packed ground coffee within the filter and then through a narrow stem, and collects in the upper chamber as brewed coffee.  You know the coffee is ready when liquid ceases to spurt through the stem.

It’s really that simple, but it does take practice, a watchful eye and just the right grind which should never be too fine.
Aluminum Moka pots conduct heat more quickly than stainless steel and are prone to burn the coffee faster, so always use a low flame, and be sure not to overheat the coffee.

Making an accomplished Moka coffee:

  • Fill the base chamber with cold water up to the level of the valve about 100-150 ml (about 3.3-5 oz.).
  • Completely fill the filter with 6-8 grams of finely ground coffee, but don’t pack it down.
  • The amount of coffee or water can be adjusted to your individual taste or the size of your Moka pot.
  • Insert the filter and make sure the filter and rubber gasket are in place.
  • Screw the two chambers tightly together.
  • Place the Moka pot on the stove and keep the heat low.
  • Remove the Moka pot from heat just when coffee starts to gurgle, before it rises and bubble.
  • Mix the coffee with a spoon before pouring into the desired cup.
  • The resulting brew should be textured and extra bold.
  • Rinse the coffee maker with hot water and let dry thoroughly before screwing chambers back together.
  • The seal and removable filter should be changed periodically.