Moka Pot help - Page 3

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
User avatar
[creative nickname]

Postby [creative nickname] » Apr 15, 2019, 12:32 pm

drgary wrote:Two tune-ups will make it better. Notice where the fill line is when it starts to bubble out of the spout. Next time, remove the moka pot from the hit just before that and dip the bottom in cold water to instantly stop brewing. You'll avoid burning the coffee.

I am using a stainless moka pot on an induction range. I used to do that extra stuff when using gas heat, as it tends to overheat more, but with induction I can just turn off the heat once it starts bubbling and the coffee stops flowing almost instantly, with no overextraxtion detectable in the cup.
LMWDP #435
★ Helpful


Postby Javier » Apr 15, 2019, 12:47 pm

jpender wrote:I used to routinely fill the water above the safety valve, even though that runs counter to what most people will say you need to do. It worked for me. As near as I can tell there isn't one right way to brew with a moka pot.

When it comes to Moka pots, the things I have done consistently for the last ~ 40 years are: (1) filling with filtered water up to bottom edge of that valve (you want water that is clean and has great taste); (2) not attempting to tamp the top surface of coffee puck (but will gently tap the cylindrical tube under filter basket to gently settle coffee); (3) brew at medium (or "medium-high") heat; and (4) make sure to properly clean bottom of top chamber, filter basket, and bottom chamber after each use.

During the last few years, I have been using Bonavita electric kettle to pre-heat the right/proper amount of water that goes into bottom chamber of our Moka pot. Why? Only because our kitchen stove is electric, and very slooow. Pre-heating water using Bonavita is very, very quick and energy efficient.

If you notice that at a particular grind setting you get a "too strong brew", then next time keep that same grind setting....., but this time add a measured amount of water inside top chamber of your Moka pot. See how you like that. Your taste buds are you best "pals" when it comes to taste.
LMWDP #115

User avatar
Moka 1 Cup

Postby Moka 1 Cup » Apr 15, 2019, 1:03 pm

I don't follow the recommendations, I put more coffee and I make a dome, not too pronounced, and I let the top part pressing it when I reassemble. Very low power on the electric stove, patience and stopping the flow at about two thirds. Moka single cup, the best ristretto.
Illy Doark Roast beans, of course.
four minutes to make an espresso? really?


Postby jpender » replying to Moka 1 Cup » Apr 15, 2019, 6:32 pm

I also do the dome thing, except that I press it in with my fingers. It's funny, someone mentioned no tamping but they tap the grounds to settle. You can approximate a tamp if you tap the funnel enough. I actually tap as I'm adding coffee, to make it easier to fit more in. Then I press down on the "dome". I get in an extra couple of grams that way. It works fine for me.

I like moka, but "the best ristretto"? It isn't even close to that. The strength of a standard moka brew is around 2%, not even in the range of a lungo. And moka doesn't have the emulsification that gives espresso that mouthfeel. It's just not comparable. It's its own beast.

User avatar
Moka 1 Cup

Postby Moka 1 Cup » Apr 15, 2019, 9:44 pm

I agree. I meant to say the best way to make a ristretto with the Moka.
four minutes to make an espresso? really?


Postby Javier » Apr 15, 2019, 10:23 pm

jpender wrote: It's funny, someone mentioned no tamping but they tap the grounds to settle. You can approximate a tamp if you tap the funnel enough.

Yeah, to gently settle the coffee grounds. Way different than tamping.

And rather than doing that gentle tap downward, I sometimes gently tap the sides of the filter basket for the same effect (to settle the coffee).
LMWDP #115


Postby jpender » replying to Javier » Apr 16, 2019, 10:54 am

I'm just saying that it's a matter of degree. Both tapping and tamping achieve the same end. That is, if you gently tap or gently tamp you increase the packing density of the coffee grounds to some extent. There is a practical limit and it can be reached by either method. If I tap vigorously the grounds "settle" to such an extent that I can't tamp hard enough (with my fingers) to compress the grounds volume any further. So in that sense I disagree with you that tapping and tamping are "way different".

I use both methods. I tap as I pour the grounds into the funnel. Then after mounding the coffee grounds I press (tamp) them in. I don't achieve a maximum compression as I find that tends to choke a moka pot. But I go beyond the usual "just spoon the coffee in and level it" rule. It sounds like you also don't follow that rule. I probably fit in a bit more coffee than you, but how much? It's hard to say.


Postby jgood » Apr 17, 2019, 10:07 am

jpender wrote: I used to routinely fill the water above the safety valve, even though that runs counter to what most people will say you need to do. It worked for me.

I believe this is potentially dangerous -- the purpose of the safety valve is so that if the puck were extraordinarily dense or something were jamming the tube that leads to the puck, and pressure were to build up, the safety valve would release it, rather that having the pot rupture. My understanding is that the safety valve is designed to work in air and release steam, not under water. Any engineers out there ? If so please weigh in. Although we all have our Moka Pot recipes there are certain safety precautions at are important to follow.


Postby jpender » Apr 17, 2019, 10:40 am

jgood wrote:Any engineers out there ?

I'm an engineer. :-)

The safety valve is a very simple spring loaded device. It will release hot water as readily as vapor. This is not simply theory. I tested it on my moka pot, intentionally overheating it with the water level above the valve. The added danger is primarily that the released liquid is more likely to inflict injury than steam, although steam can also burn you.

The number of times I've choked my moka pot enough to cause the valve to release is pretty limited. This occasionally happens with my Bialetti Brikka when I push the limits on grind fineness and tamping. It's safety valve lets go at 3 bar gauge. On my oldest moka pot the safety valve spring had worn out so that it no longer stayed closed. I replaced it with a plug and kept on brewing, with some caution. I'm not worried.

The real issue with using more water is that it results in a hotter brew temperature profile. Nowadays I think it makes more sense to use less water than recommended, well below the safety valve. But I was quite happy with my coffee back when I overfilled the reservoir.


Postby jgood » Apr 17, 2019, 3:04 pm

Good to know. I am a bit careful with steam pressure now as I had an "interesting" experience with a Bellman milk steamer once. The manual says clearly to be sure and tighten the top knob fully -- one day I didn't and left it a bit loose. The result was impressive. After the machine had developed a good amount of pressure the gasket let loose and the Bellman took off, jet propelled, across the room. Nothing damaged, no one hurt, but pretty impressive and scary none the less! Since then I try to read and follow the directions.