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Old 10-15-2008, 01:59 PM   #1
Mister Moo
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Default Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

Yes. The way to go for outrageously good coffee out of a failsafe $20 brewer



Bialetti Express - sure
Bialetti Brikka - I guess so
Bialetti Mukka - why not
Other brands that do the same thing - OK, I guess

1. Object:
the practically worlds best coffee, strong and sweet (NEVER bitter) in minutes; makes just about the best cafe-au-lait, cafe Cubano, Americano and faux-cappuccino.

2. Requirements:
a mokapot - smaller ones (1-3 cup) are the way to go. The big ones seem like a good idea but they are not. A one-cupper is very cool; two-cupper most useful; three-cupper for one hophead ex-crack addict or, perhaps, a normal married couple couple.



freshly roasted coffee (preground is fine but it's alwys better to have your own grinder. For this kind of coffee it has to be a burr grinder, not a whirley-blade chopper type. Grinder are discussed in another thread, maybe, if someone brings it up.)



fresh, clean water.

(please - you know what it looks like)

heat source - gas is good; electric range is fine.



a cool cup.

(cool is in the eye of the beholder)

maybe some sugar and milk.

a cigar or pipe (optional)

3. Methodology:
Sweat these details with a conventional mokapot. (Piss-all if you got a Brikka - you won't need to know a thing.)

Having filled the lower pot with water to just-below the safety valve and wiped water from the threads, etc., pack coffee gently and evenly into the filter and place it into the lower pot. I advise forming a mild dome when filling, such that, when the upper pot is screwed down snugly, you can ( right then - not after brewing!) open it back up and see a clear imprint* of the upper pots filter. No solid imprint means not enough coffee; inability to screw the upper portion ALL the way down means too much coffee.

*

Screw the upper pot on tight - I mean tight-tight, put the thing on medium heat and wait a few minute for the goo to start oozing out the post. Don't keep the pot hot enough for the coffee to squirt. It should ooze - about 45-seconds worth to brew a pot - to insure the coffee doesn't taste burnt. You may reduce heat or remove the pot from the heat source to control the brewing rate. Too much heat is a bad thing.



Fresh coffee, good pack, tight screw-down and slow brewing may reward you with caramel brown (false) crema as the brewing occurs. If you have a stainless steel pot, don't expect to see much of the crema, though.



This is a stellar drink straight or sweet or 50/50 with hot milk and a bit of sugar. There are few places on earth where we keep such high expectations for our moka as right here. This is THE place to learn the tricks and get the tips from moka-monsters. There are so-called world-class lifetime coffee demons who haven't even DREAMED of making moka like we do, right here in the Asylum. While the gurus are talking about "moka", we're right here getting 100% of the glory out of the beans. Amen. Your questions are welcomed.

Rock on. Party down. Excellent.
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Last edited by pnoon; 10-15-2008 at 08:40 PM. Reason: removed double IMG tags
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

Great post. As for the grind for moka - my burr grinder has 18 different settings. Where along those 18 would you expect moka grind to be? I suppose I just need a place to start, then try finer and coarser from there till I get a better feel for it.
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyj23 View Post
Great post. As for the grind for moka - my burr grinder has 18 different settings. Where along those 18 would you expect moka grind to be? I suppose I just need a place to start, then try finer and coarser from there till I get a better feel for it.
If you already make espresso, the scope is broader and the grind can be somewhat more coarse to give best results (heaps of crema is my idea of best results). Your test for best grind goes like this:

- pack the filter snug & domed and screw the top on so tight that it doesn't leak anything - not even a hint of vapor. If:

a) water comes whipping through the post, the grind is too coarse; or
b) if the safety valves blows and spews a mess all over the kitchen, the grind is too coarse

Me? I like living on the edge. I always go right to the exploding mokapot setting then reset the grinder one notch more coarse and try again. After a few tries of getting it right you have a feel for the grind. Fine, but not too fine.

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Old 10-15-2008, 06:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

I know I avoided the coffee forum like the plague before...but now's a good a time as any to try new things, right?

So I guess my query is: Why Bialetti?
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

Great post. One thing about mokas that should be mentioned is the more you use it the better your coffee will taste.

also, never put it in the dishwasher.
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

I keep trying mine, but it tastes burnt. I think I am running to hot?
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zipper View Post
I know I avoided the coffee forum like the plague before...but now's a good a time as any to try new things, right?

So I guess my query is: Why Bialetti?
Fun thing, getting good results from a mokapot.

Why Bialetti? I guess they make the most of them and have 'em right. I've tried off-brands from ebay, the specialty stores, etc. and they don't always execute so well. Pots come in aluminum (don't clean them with soap), stainless steel (good, durable brewers but they don't seem to produce crema) and ceramic (never had one but they're pretty).

Exception: a little red-topped Guzzini, if you can find one. Heavy, well made good design. Hard to find.

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Old 10-15-2008, 07:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Moo View Post
Why Bialetti?

I agree. I sell a couple different brands at my shop. But I always recommend the Bialetti to my customers. Yeah, they are twice as much price wise, but if you take care of them and change the gaskets they will last you forever.

Im my opinion the stainless steel look beautiful (my mom has them for when company is over) but they make a lousy cup of coffee.
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRicker View Post
I keep trying mine, but it tastes burnt. I think I am running to hot?
Well... cut that out.

Slow brewing under pressure is the key. And you can't get that good, slow gooey brew if the grind isn't fine enough and the filter isn't filled FULLY and EVENLY.

Here's the deal. When water hits the ground coffee in the filterbasket it expands. The expanding coffee, soon to be a rock hard puck, creates resistance to the flow of water. The resistance creates a lot of pressure inside the lower pot, capice? It's the water, moving slowly thru the puck, that drags all the good stuff out of the grind. To get the pressure and the good stuff from the ground beans and to NOT get a burnt or bitter taste... the water needs to move thru all the coffee in the puck.
  • If there isn't enough coffee in the basket it won't be able to swell up (enough) and create real pressure; and/or
  • If the coffee isn't packed in the basket uniformly, water will cut a channel thru the path of least resistance and bypass a lot of the grind.

So you need to use a burr grinder (or buy professionally ground coffee) to get uniform grounds that won't encourage water channeling. Also, you have to fill the basket fully and uniformly to avoid channeling, insure even wetting of the grounds and to create the pressure that really gets the oils emulsified, out of the grind and into your cup.

Short version - grind evenly and pack the filterbasket full and uniformly. Brew slowly.

I hope this helps.
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Last edited by Mister Moo; 10-15-2008 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Moo View Post

So you need to use a burr grinder (or buy professionally ground coffee) to get uniform grounds that won't encourage water channeling. .
Quote:
Originally Posted by TRicker View Post
I keep trying mine, but it tastes burnt. I think I am running to hot?

Tim, if you need some coffee, ill set you up on Friday.
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:50 PM   #11
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by md4958 View Post
...Im my opinion the stainless steel look beautiful (my mom has them for when company is over) but they make a lousy cup of coffee.
I agree they look good but I'm not so certain about the quality of the cup.

In my experience stainless is tricky to heat slowly and lame in the crema department - but I can't tell a difference in the taste between brew from stainless and aluminum. This conclusion comes after weeks of using both, side by side. I know it's easy to overheat coffee in a steel pot during brewing and that, for sure, can lead to less-than-ideal brew. Steel is bit finicky but not (exactly) a bad thing. I think steel just demands more practice to get it right. In my opinion.
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:57 PM   #12
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Moo View Post
I agree they look good but I'm not so certain about the quality of the cup.

In my experience stainless is tricky to heat slowly and lame in the crema department - but I can't tell a difference in the taste between brew from stainless and aluminum. This conclusion comes after weeks of using both, side by side. I know it's easy to overheat coffee in a steel pot during brewing and that, for sure, can lead to less-than-ideal brew. Steel is bit finicky but not (exactly) a bad thing. I think steel just more practice to get it right. In my opinion.
I think your opinion is justified. Its the same as in anyother cookware. Stainless looks great and is easy to clean etc, but aluminium transfers heat more efficiently.

I had a customer come in and ask about stainless mokas while my cousin from italy was here. The woman insisted that one should only use a stainless pot because of the health risks associated with aluminium.
My cousin responeded in italian "yeah, but they make shitty coffee, and life is too short to drink shitty coffee"... she bought the aluminum bialetti.
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:06 PM   #13
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

Great post! I just picked up a Bialetti and there are some great tips in here to help me improve. Thanks.
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:23 PM   #14
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Moo View Post
Well... cut that out.

Slow brewing under pressure is the key. And you can't get that good, slow gooey brew if the grind isn't fine enough and the filter isn't filled FULLY and EVENLY.

Here's the deal. When water hits the ground coffee in the filterbasket it expands. The expanding coffee, soon to be a rock hard puck, creates resistance to the flow of water. The resistance creates a lot of pressure inside the lower pot, capice? It's the water, moving slowly thru the puck, that drags all the good stuff out of the grind. To get the pressure and the good stuff from the ground beans and to NOT get a burnt or bitter taste... the water needs to move thru all the coffee in the puck.
  • If there isn't enough coffee in the basket it won't be able to swell up (enough) and create real pressure; and/or
  • If the coffee isn't packed in the basket uniformly, water will cut a channel thru the path of least resistance and bypass a lot of the grind.

So you need to use a burr grinder (or buy professionally ground coffee) to get uniform grounds that won't encourage water channeling. Also, you have to fill the basket fully and uniformly to avoid channeling, insure even wetting of the grounds and to create the pressure that really gets the oils emulsified, out of the grind and into your cup.

Short version - grind evenly and pack the filterbasket full and uniformly. Brew slowly.

I hope this helps.
Thanks for the tip, I got a burr grinder,so I think I'm ok there, Pretty sure I just need to slow down the actual procees.
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:24 PM   #15
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by md4958 View Post
Tim, if you need some coffee, ill set you up on Friday.
Thanks for the offer but I'm good for now. Just got a couple a pounds of killer beans coffee I'm playing with.
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:36 PM   #16
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

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Thanks for the offer but I'm good for now. Just got a couple a pounds of killer beans coffee I'm playing with.
If the roast and blend arent right youll never make good italian coffee... what kinda coffee are you using
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:42 PM   #17
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

David! Tricker! Good deal.

Please keep us posted on your results.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:31 PM   #18
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

I know this may be sacrilegious,but the Dr. says no caffeine. Can you recommend a decaf blend for this type of brewing? My moka pot has been on the shelf since the Dr.s recommendation.

Great thread BTW.
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:34 PM   #19
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

md4958 gifted this to me and now my wife and I are enjoying wonderful "coffee"

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Old 10-16-2008, 12:06 AM   #20
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Default Re: Mokapots, Moka, or Stovetop Espresso, Period.

thanks for the insight, now i have to go try this
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