How to make coffee in a moka pot, the icon of all coffee lovers

Home-brewed coffee is still the most popular with Italians. And it costs much less than an espresso.

In large cities, coffee bars are opening in a more alternative style: with Wi-Fi connection, laptop sockets and sofas, where you can stay for hours reading or working undisturbed. Coffee is served to suit all tastes: shakerato, with skimmed milk, with soy, rice or almond milk, with ginseng, marocchino, cappuccino, with cocoa powder, decaffeinated, barley coffee, chicory coffee and Americano. We are getting used to trying it a little in every different way.

But Italians like traditional coffee.

We drink our first coffee of the day at home. And good home-brewed coffee is synonymous with the moka pot. The market shows that sales of blends for moka pots exceed sales of coffee pods and capsules by 7-3. Clearly, when we have just got out of bed, the aroma and rumbling noise of the moka pot is an extremely inviting greeting in the morning. There is nothing more familiar and reassuring.


You only need a moka pot on the hob
to fill a room.
(Erri De Luca)


The moka pot, invented in Italy in the 1930s, makes a full-bodied aromatic coffee. A moka pot is very easy to use. Let’s see how.

How to make coffee in a moka pot

You need two ingredients, water and coffee, and that’s it. Using a moka pot is a ritual comprising movements, sounds and aromas.

  1. Choose a blend of quality coffee;
  2. fill the bottom part of the moka pot with cold water up to the level of the valve;
  3. insert the filter and fill it to the brim with ground coffee, without pressing it;
  4. carefully screw the top onto the moka pot, making sure that the filter and seal are in place;
  5. put it on the hob on a medium-low heat;
  6. take the moka pot off the hob as soon as the coffee starts to rise;
  7. stir the coffee with a teaspoon before serving it in order to mix the thicker part that came out first with the lighter part that came out at the end.

Coffee in a moka pot: the secrets to a perfect brew

Here are some “tricks” so you can make a coffee that is always up to standard.

  • The blend must not be too finely ground;
  • after use, wash the moka pot with hot water without soap or detergent. Never wash it in a dishwasher. Use a solution of hot water and vinegar to remove lime scale;
  • wait until the moka pot is perfectly dry before screwing it back together;
  • change the seal and the filter as soon as they start to show signs of wear;
  • if the moka pot is new or has not been used for a long time, it should be used a couple of times without coffee but with just water or used coffee dregs – the same applies just after changing the rubber seal;
  • after opening the packet of coffee, keep it in an airtight ceramic, glass or steel jar: light, air and humidity are the worst enemies of coffee.

How to figure out if you have made a good coffee

It’s true, it will never be as thick and creamy as an espresso but a good coffee brewed in a moka pot should not even be too watery. There are 3 signs that tell us if coffee is good or not: its aroma, its colour – if it is rather clear, this means that too much water was used – and the dregs on the bottom. If there are many dregs, this means that the blend was too finely ground, that the filter was not clean or simply that it is old and it’s time to get a new one.

Is it “mocha” or “moka”?

Mocha refers to coffee, moka refers to the coffee pot.

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