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Thread: Moka/ Stovetop coffee maker

  1. #1
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    Moka/ Stovetop coffee maker

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    Hi Guys,

    Created this account just to ask this question.

    I have a 3 cup and 6 cup moka pot at home. Whenever I used the 6 cup one, I have to close the lid or else the coffee will burp/ spit every where and I will need to wipe it off the kitchen counter (No matter how small the flame is). The 3 cup one however comes out smoothly and nicely. I can a constant stream coming out and know when to switch off the fire.

    Do you guys think there is a fault on the 6 cup version? I took it apart and can't seem to conclude anything. (They are both the cheap aluminium avanti ones. Cost like 10 bucks each)

  2. #2
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    It's probably more related to the amount of heat you using with the bigger pot.

    I found the best result was to heat the water in a kettle and then transfer to the moka pot. That way you can use a very low heat under the moka pot as the water has already been preheated. The coffee should then very gently trickle out rather than spluttering everywhere. One additional benefit of preheating water is you've also got less chance of burning your coffee grounds as you are only using gentle heat.

  3. #3
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    That's actually what I was doing all the time!!!!!
    Just hated to stand in front of the stove for so long so I always boiled the water before hand, and left the water container for the moka pot on flames while I fill the coffee grounds, then I switch the flames out and tighten them with gloves on.

    No matter how I do it the 6 cups one just spits coffee out.

  4. #4
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    When you use the 6 cup one, do you fill it up to the base of the filter?

  5. #5
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    yep
    For both of them I fill just below the pressure valve.

    I think I figured out why.
    The funnel thing that holds the coffee in the 6 cup has a dent so that its not a perfect circle. (I thought it was meant to be like that before I had the 3 cup version to compare. -thought its for sticking your nail in to lift it up- the dent looked pretty legit)
    I undented it just then. Will test it out when I get back from uni in the evening.

  6. #6
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vcb003104 View Post
    yep
    For both of them I fill just below the pressure valve.

    I think I figured out why.
    The funnel thing that holds the coffee in the 6 cup has a dent so that its not a perfect circle. (I thought it was meant to be like that before I had the 3 cup version to compare. -thought its for sticking your nail in to lift it up- the dent looked pretty legit)
    I undented it just then. Will test it out when I get back from uni in the evening.
    Hmmm. It could be the problem, but having experienced similar problems I think the most like cause is that it's an Avanti. I've found that the cheap moka pots mostly work fine when they're smaller, but the bigger ones just don't work well. So if you really want a 6 cup that works you might want to look at a name brand - Bialetti, Pezetti, Vev Vigano etc. I realize they're comparatively expensive, but 2nd hand ones come up regularly so keep your eyes open. They definitely make better coffee too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vcb003104 View Post
    yep
    For both of them I fill just below the pressure valve.

    I think I figured out why.
    The funnel thing that holds the coffee in the 6 cup has a dent so that its not a perfect circle. (I thought it was meant to be like that before I had the 3 cup version to compare. -thought its for sticking your nail in to lift it up- the dent looked pretty legit)
    I undented it just then. Will test it out when I get back from uni in the evening.
    G'day vcb003104

    Those makers were my first home ones (original Lavazza Carmencitas) in the '70's: Since then I have obtained a number of them in all the different sizes and shapes. If you like a good coffee flavour out of them they should not be overfilled, overtamped or overdosed. They are also quite sensitive to variations in grinding texture (supermarket grind is way too coarse, it is for plungers & dripolaters). They are actually designed to run on cold water, however the "hot water cheat" you do does not affect the flavour too much. Oh, and if they are on a gas stove, too many flames around the edge is a no-no (burns the grounds and/or the seal). Further, the aluminium ones absorb the coffee oils and develop their own flavour over time which makes different coffee beans less relevant. The stainless ones vary from poor stainless* to high end stuff. The poor stainless ones (think cheap) do not work properly either - possibly because their basket is rubbish, however there are a number of other possibilities (I admit to not caring enough to investigate it - life is too short). After all that, when you finally get to use them you have to watch them like a hawk because if you run them too long, have too little heat (your hot water cheats helps here!) or do anything else "out of line" the coffee may as well be sewerage. One bad oops and the seal will probably be charred ("I love the taste of burnt rubber in the morning") or damaged & leak (exit the flavour - blow-by, whether internal or external - kills it).

    If you get the impression they are cantankerous SOBs***, yep, they are. That is why a lot of people reckon they are useless, whilst a lot of people (me included) think they do a great job when the stars align but they are too much trouble first thing in the morning after a heavy night (whether caused via work or play). Mind you, mine got me through uni by peeling the eyelids back for hours courtesy of the extra caffeine wallop.

    Assuming all that is "in the zone" and it is a decent stainless steel maker they run at a fairly high pressure** and also produce a fairly good facsimile of a true espresso - right down to a persistent crema. Also, when you get the mix correct the lid is there for a very good reason! Several of mine flutter loudly during the process as high pressure coffee hits them.

    Hope this clarified rather than confused.


    TampIt

    * Poor stainless: I come from a family of engineers, one side from BHP. I can tell the common grades at a glance and feeling the heft. Any encounters with the poor stainless is via friend dragging one in and asking for help. Mostly, the "240 litre solution" and buying a proper maker is the answer.
    **I remember reading many years ago they can run at up to 4 bar, however I also recall that it was not a scientific test. Even 4 bar is twice the pressure in your car tyres. Espresso makers run around 8 to 10 bar.
    *** Personally, only using my Ibrik (traditional Turkish coffee) is trickier to learn. If you really want the high caffeine hit of Moka Pot technology without the grief, (at least) one company called Rommelsbacher makes an electric "top grade stainless" version (2/4 cup or 3/6 cup) that takes 99% of the pain out of the process. A friend brought me two of them from Germany - fill the 2 or 4 cup basket with coffee (no tamping), add cold water to the 2/4 cup mark, fit the two halves together until the marks align, place on its heating pad (think electric kettle style) and "hit the switch". If your grind is correct, in 35 to 45 seconds after the first signs of coffee entering the top section it turns off and you pour the coffee out: sheer magic. Just like my manual ones, about four to six times the caffeine of my espresso maker, half the crema and merely a slightly worse flavour. Impressive, but at 65 to 100 euros it ain't cheap.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Hmmm. It could be the problem, but having experienced similar problems I think the most like cause is that it's an Avanti. I've found that the cheap moka pots mostly work fine when they're smaller, but the bigger ones just don't work well. So if you really want a 6 cup that works you might want to look at a name brand - Bialetti, Pezetti, Vev Vigano etc. I realize they're comparatively expensive, but 2nd hand ones come up regularly so keep your eyes open. They definitely make better coffee too.
    Mostly I agree, although usually Avanti only make fairly high quality stainless and glass, not aluminium. Their 300ml is easily my best small milk jug, and my borosilicate Avanti glasses are my benchmark - way better than my borosilicate Bodums and glass Maxwells which they replaced. I also have a few of their 80's and 90's plungers - at least a high 2xx steel from memory.

    Although I have around 20 Italian Carmencitas et. al., my best ones are actually mid 80's Chinese ones just before the price of nickel soared and their quality plummeted. They are actually made of 316 steel, the Italians use 2xx or even 1xx grades. Just like my Rommelbachers, a quick rinse (not even a wipedown) and the Chinese ones are good to go and they still look new. My Carmencitas have many "interesting" hues, as do my Vevs.

    As for the later Chinese ones (shudder, I even saw one using 10-8 "domestic sink stainless"), yep go Italian.

    TampIt

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Mostly I agree, although usually Avanti only make fairly high quality stainless and glass, not aluminium. Their 300ml is easily my best small milk jug, and my borosilicate Avanti glasses are my benchmark - way better than my borosilicate Bodums and glass Maxwells which they replaced. I also have a few of their 80's and 90's plungers - at least a high 2xx steel from memory.

    Although I have around 20 Italian Carmencitas et. al., my best ones are actually mid 80's Chinese ones just before the price of nickel soared and their quality plummeted. They are actually made of 316 steel, the Italians use 2xx or even 1xx grades. Just like my Rommelbachers, a quick rinse (not even a wipedown) and the Chinese ones are good to go and they still look new. My Carmencitas have many "interesting" hues, as do my Vevs.

    As for the later Chinese ones (shudder, I even saw one using 10-8 "domestic sink stainless"), yep go Italian.

    TampIt
    Probably a bit of a generalization on my part. TampIt explains it better. Disclaimer - I've never used a late model Avanti aluminium moka pot, but they don't look great.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Disclaimer - I've never used a late model Avanti aluminium moka pot, but they don't look great.
    G'day Leroy

    I didn't even know Avanti made one until I saw this post. I would not use any aluminium anything for cooking at all - too porous and it absorbs and stales whatever it is you cook. Cut any used aluminium cooking utensil in half and apart from improving the planet's cuisine you can see the non-living remnants of whatever it encountered. Yuk!

    Enjoy your cuppa


    TampIt

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Mostly I agree, although usually Avanti only make fairly high quality stainless and glass, not aluminium. Their 300ml is easily my best small milk jug, and my borosilicate Avanti glasses are my benchmark - way better than my borosilicate Bodums and glass Maxwells which they replaced. I also have a few of their 80's and 90's plungers - at least a high 2xx steel from memory.

    Although I have around 20 Italian Carmencitas et. al., my best ones are actually mid 80's Chinese ones just before the price of nickel soared and their quality plummeted. They are actually made of 316 steel, the Italians use 2xx or even 1xx grades. Just like my Rommelbachers, a quick rinse (not even a wipedown) and the Chinese ones are good to go and they still look new. My Carmencitas have many "interesting" hues, as do my Vevs.

    As for the later Chinese ones (shudder, I even saw one using 10-8 "domestic sink stainless"), yep go Italian.

    TampIt
    Yep agree, keep clear of the non Italian ones in my. Opinion.

    Having a thrifty Italian father, I was shocked when he got me an avanti, which was rubbish (over 10 years ago). The handle fell off and it just felt thin. So I went down to my local roaster and got a bialetti 6 cup in stainless and it felt solid and I still have it to this day. I also got a Stella 10 cup for my 30th and it makes the bialetti look a bit inadequate moral of the rant finding a good caffettiera and paying a bit extra is completely worth it as they last for ever. I've had one for 12 years and the other for 5 and they still look new even though they get used daily and on a gas stovetop...
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