stovetop espresso maker

Let’s get something straight– stovetop espresso makers do not produce true espresso. The typical stovetop espresso maker, or moka pot, brews at a higher temperature at a much lower pressure than a full-fledged espresso machine. But it still makes great coffee, has an extraction ratio similar to espresso and garners a very loyal following. Learn how to use a stovetop espresso maker the right way and get the most out of your moka pot.

1. Remove the top half of the Moka pot and take out the filter. Pour cold filtered water into the bottom chamber. Fill up to the steam valve near the top of the chamber. You must make a full pot of coffee with this device, but models as small as 3 cups are available.

2. Place the filter back on top the water chamber and fill it gently with coffee grounds. Use a fine espresso grind.

3. Screw the top half of the espresso maker back on. Make sure it is on tight, otherwise the stovetop espresso maker won’t be able to reach a high enough pressure.

4. Slap ‘er down and fire ‘er up. Set the moka pot on a burner and turn it up to low or low-medium heat. Note that this type of espresso maker does not work on induction stovetops. Turning the heat too high could burn the coffee.

5. The espresso will take 5-10 minutes to brew, depending on the size of your Moka pot. You should hear the espresso gurgle and groan as it is forced to the top chamber. Your coffee is ready when the sounds have stopped and the brew chamber is full. Don’t open the lid during brewing, but you can remove the moka pot from the burner before it is done brewing to prevent overheating. Never let the coffee boil.

You can use the final product to brew any number of espresso drinks.  Now that you know how to use a stovetop espresso maker, learn how to clean it. Wash all parts of the moka pot thoroughly with warm water and dry completely. Do not use soap.

Main Photo: Kung Fu Bonanza