The search for the perfect coffee continues. And when in Rome, do as the Romans do (I’m actually in Bologna but close enough). Italians usually make coffee at home with a Moka device (pictured below). Today I will show you how to do it.
Step 1. Get some ground coffee
Purists would grind coffee themselves, but I am choosing to do use pre-ground coffee as I don’t have a grinder to hand.
Different regions of Italy have different blends. I am drinking ‘aroma di Napoli’ which is specific to the Naples region. A bit stronger than the blends you get elsewhere, just the way I like it.
Step 2. Open the Moka and fill the base with water to the level of the valve
Water is contained in the base of the mocha which when heated rises through the ground coffee (contained inside the coffee cup) into the top section of Moka which holds the end product: freshly brewed coffee.
Unscrew the base of the mocha, remove the cup that holds the ground coffee, then fill the base with water to the level of the valve as per the picture.
Step 3. Place the coffee cup into the base
The coffee cup should slot nicely into the the top of the Moka base, above the water.
Step 4. Fill the coffee cup with ground coffee
Using a spoon, create a ‘mount Vesuvius’ of coffee inside the cup. Run your finger around the thread (at the top of the mocha base) to remove any stray coffee grains.
Step 5. Screw on the top of the Moka, hard
This is an important step, because if you screw it up (geddit) you will end up with boiling water spraying everywhere. You don’t want your kitchen to end up like Pompeii.
Look at the underside of the top bit of the Moka…make sure there is a rubber seal and that it is clean (if not, clean it).
Then, screw the top section onto the bottom section, turning the top to the right to tighten and holding the base firm. It my right hand wasn’t holding the camera, it would be holding the base of the Moka and tightening with the left.
Make sure you tighten this as hard as you possibly can.
Step 6. Put the Moka on the stove until coffee fills the top section
Put the Moka on the stove. Set the heat to medium/high.
I was told by the captain of a boat that after you see the first wisp of steam from the top of the Moka you should take the it off the stove and tighten it again, using a towel so as to not burn your hands – don’t try that one at home kids! Most of the time I skip the tightening as it is not necessary when the rubber seal and screw thread is in good condition.
Wait until you hear that delicious gurgling noise, which means that the top of the Moka is filling with sweet, sweet coffee.
Remove from the stove when the rate of coffee percolation slows and starts to sputter.
Step 7. Pour into a cup and drink
Most Italians drink their coffee ‘espresso style’, that is in a short glass with no milk. If you want it Americano add some boiling water. Or French style (cafe au lait) add some warm milk. Buon Appetito.