Post By Al
Post By blend52
Post By TampIt
Interesting instructional article about using a Moka pot
I've been using a Moka pot for a while yet I found some interesting opinions and advice in this article:
The Moka Pot – The ultimate purist guide, with a ‘third wave’ eye. | La Bottega Milanese
By the way, what's the deal with the Brikka? Is this a serious product or just a gimmick?
Interesting, ice bath is not something I've seen mentioned before but it makes sense.
I've got a Brikka somewhere, bought it in Italy but I've only used it a couple of times, might have to have a search......
I thought it odd that he did not put any relevance to the amount of heat used..other than to say "medium heat" ,..and that if there were any brew problems to adjust the grind or dose.
I have found the flame setting quite critical to getting a good result.
I gave up with my Moka pots ( several) once i had funds for a decent E61 machine, due to the high failure rate resulting from so many variables, and waste of coffee ( 40 gm dose),.. but i do have fond memories of some satisfying brews, and may have to try it again with an open mind .
I must've blind lucked it the first time I used the mokka pot because I enjoyed the cup immensely.
Never thought about brew ratios on it but it makes sense. Kinda takes away from the charm of it though.
I believe you're right about the importance of heat control. Once I learned how to control the heat correctly I have been able to produce coffee 9/10ths of the time that seriously contends with the coffee produced by most cafes using vastly more expensive machines and supposedly trained staff.
Originally Posted by blend52
Don't downplay your success, I say. I'm amazed at how some people seem to make a very big deal about how difficult it is to do something, raving on and on about loads of detailed, scientific-sounding concepts and statistics, then someone comes along using the simplest of methods to achieve a better result. I wonder how often some people are making things seem complex to either establish some notion of their "superiority" in a group, or to excuse poor performance when good results are not delivered.
Originally Posted by locosam
Originally Posted by kava
Just to throw another issue in here for those intending to buy one: there has been a lot of discussion over the years & miles as to whether an aluminium or stainless moka pot (aka "Carmencita" or "stovetop espresso maker" for most "old guard coffee fiends") is better. The article says to keep it scrupulously clean, which implies it is a good quality stainless. I have never had a decent brew out of a used aluminium moka pot*. IMO the porous aluminium ones develop their own taste (via ingrained oils & gunk) which makes the choice of beans close to irrelevant to the final flavour in the cup. Other coffee fiends insist it must be aluminium. YMMV.
Ironically, my best "stovetop espresso maker" by far is a range of top quality stainless (316+? definite faint chromium yellow tinge to the metal) Chinese knock offs** using an original design by Vev. I also have three "original Vev's" in different sizes, unfortunately two using mafiosi grade stainless. I bought the Chinese ones mid '80's and despite heavy use they all still look "showroom new", unlike most of my other ones.
Another issue with this technology is the need to keep the rubber seal in scrupulously pristine condition. Any "seal prob" and the shot is ruined. Running it too long once = new seal required + a "burnt rubber" sink shot. Wetting both sides of the seal just before screwing the parts together helps a lot!
The end result will be a fairly low extraction ratio which gets a very effective flavour boost by using more coffee & also generating more fluid. A good brew has a serious caffeine whack compared to an espresso of similar flavour intensity. Good for student assignment days (allnighters). If you are out bush (not hiking via foot) it is probably the best "remote coffee" you can easily achieve over a campfire. Beats an aeropress, syphon or standard plunger in that environment AFAIAC.
Comparing it to the other main coffee brewing methods, it is yet another different way to get to a high quality cuppa. Recommended for all CSr's who like to have a few different toys at their fingertips. Several of my friends still use good stainless ones exclusively. Unlike the article, they can get really good results with light & medium SO's as well as dark roasts.
Tip: Generally it is much easier to start with a larger one as the smaller ones are more cantankerous in terms of setting up grinding / dosing / tamping (VERY light even tamp only for most units) / cold water temp (closest to ice is the easiest for newbies) & volume.
Hope this helps those CSr's who wish to experiment a little.
*or poor quality stainless for that matter: Italy was awash with substandard steels from the '70's to the late '90's. We used to call it Mafiosi metal. My original Lavazza Carmencita is genuine 18/10 stainless and the last one I saw would have been struggling to reach the 8/8 we use in the cheapest kitchen sinks in Oz. Needless to say, the latter one was badly & permanently stained and could not make a drinkable cuppa... Ditto most Vev's I have seen. CSr's: Check the stainless out very carefully (especially secondhand) or you may be very disappointed with the end result in the cup. The infamous "stainless taste" is a sure indication that the metal is rubbish.
** Chinese copies: made just before the price of nickel soared and overnight Chinese stainless joined Italian stainless at the very bottom of the quality heap. Unless you know stainless grades by eye, the later Chinese ones are probably even worse than the very worst Italian ones I have. Choose with extreme care!