Moka Pot - a tradition of Italian coffee making

  BY Anastasia Ostapenko   14 June 2016

Imagine waking up in the morning and sleepily stumbling into the kitchen to make your favorite morning drink - coffee. A smell of Italian coffee fills all little corners of your apartment, leaving nobody careless. It awakes your senses while you are waiting for your favorite drink to fill the Moka Pot with endless sensations and energize you for the whole day. The time has come and you pour richly boiled coffee in a finger-sized cup. So, what is the secret of Italian coffee making tradition that goes back to the 18th century.

Initially, agricultural tradition of growing coffee beans was found in Ethiopia. Later, Arabs saw a potential of coffee beans to be mass-cultivated for trade. For the first time, coffee was introduced to Italy from Egypt though the Italian city of Venice. It was perceived as a deadly substance because of the Islamic threat to Christianity. However, people could not reject this drink for its magic taste and aroma. Original coffee brewing techniques made coffee very strong, similar to espresso. That's why Italians developed a tradition of milk-based coffee making such as cappuccino and latte. 

The Italians accepted a tradition of coffee making as their own and added much to the development of high quality espresso worldwide. As you walk through stone-laid Italian streets or visit an Italian metropolis, you can find stylish and relaxing cafes where you can walk in for a short coffee break and order your favorite morning drink from the bar to refill your energy and enjoy the aroma of nearly brewed coffee beans. 

The first Moka Pot was designed by Luigi di Ponti. In 1933 the well-known Moka design was completed and put into production by an Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti. The original Bialetti coffee pot has become a style icon in every Italian household since 1950's. While many variations to the original design were developed such as Mukka Express (made for cappuccino). The Bialetti Moka Express is a timeless classic known throughout the world. A stove-top coffee maker became a quality standard of traditional Italian homemade coffee. Also, high-quality moka pots of Italian design can be found in Alessi store in Milan on Via Alessandro Manzoni, 14.

So, what is the right way to prepare your coffee in a traditional Moka Pot? It's super easy. 

1. Grind 20 grams of coffee or use already prepared powdered coffee for moka pots. 

2. Fill in the bottom half of your moka with boiled water (sometimes, I just fill it with a regular bottled water to save time). 

3. Fill the pot's filter bucket with coffee and press it with a back of a spoon to evenly spread it along the surface. Don't forget to make a few holes with a toothbrush for coffee to flow more freely. 

4. Screw on the top part of moka pot. 

5. Place it on a stove on a low heat. 

6. When the water boils, a pressure will push a stream of coffee to the top. You know it's done when you hear a bubbling sound. When you have just enough coffee in a pot, turn off the heat and open the lid for coffee to release its aromas. 

Tip: If your coffee explodes upwards then your water is too hot. You should decrease a heat because a coffee might come out burned. 

Your coffee is ready. Enjoy its taste and a magic aroma!


translated by Anastasia Ostapenko