Contrary to popular belief, brewing exceptional coffee with a moka pot doesn’t have to be difficult. Nor does opting for this all-time classic brewing method mean relinquishing control over the quality of the final result.
Instead, it’s simply a case of getting to grips with the basics and understanding how the whole thing works. Not to mention, acknowledging where you might be going wrong if the coffee you’re brewing isn’t up to scratch.
Let’s take a look have some of the most common questions and issues coffee-lovers encounter when brewing moka coffee:
There are a few reasons why your moka pot coffee keeps coming out bitter. The first of which being the quality and freshness of the beans you use, as stale and over-roasted beans almost always produce bitter coffee.
If you’re confident in the quality of your coffee beans or grounds, you’re most likely brewing for too long and/or at an excessively high temperature. Try turning down the heat and turning off the stove a little earlier, which could make a real difference.
There are some who will tell you that it is absolutely essential to cool your moka pot after brewing with a cold and wet towel. Their reasoning being that in doing so, you quickly stop the brewing process to avoid over-extraction. In addition, the liquid coffee is protected against scalding, which could also result in bitterness.
While we can’t necessarily vouch for the accuracy of these claims, there’s no harm in trying it out for yourself.
This simple yet ingenious gadget may be commonly referred to as a “stovetop espresso maker”, but in reality is actually a thing of the sort. In order to produce a genuine espresso of quality, your water needs to be forced through extra-fine grounds at a pressure rating of 8 to 10 bars. Inside a moka pot, pressure tops out at 1 to 2 bars.
You can try, but it is generally advisable not to do so. The size of every moka pot is considered fixed, as you should always fill both the coffee and the water chambers to the designated level, irrespective of how much coffee you intend to brew.
This means that if you have a six-cup moka pot, you’ll have little luck brewing just 1 cup of coffee by reducing the quantities accordingly. It also means it’s a good idea to think carefully about the size of the pot you buy, in accordance with how many cups you will be brewing at any one time.
Last but not least, it is essential to avoid the temptation to tamp the coffee grounds into the chamber under any circumstances. Brewing a good cup of moka coffee is 100% dependent on loosely-packed grounds of just the right coarseness.
Though it’s rare, it’s technically possible for a moka pot packed too tightly with dense grounds to explode. Hence, it’s a mistake to be avoided at all costs.
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