Brewing italian coffee with a moka pot

“Il Caffè” - The Secrets of its Preparation with the Moka Pot

moka pot

the water container

the top piece of the pot: collecting chamber for coffee

the filter:  basket containing the coffee ground

the water container

the top piece of the pot: collecting chamber for coffee

the filter:
basket containing
the coffee ground

The moka pot consists of three parts: the water container, the filter and the top piece of the pot. Heating produces steam and, by using pressure, the water is being pressed through the filter into the top piece of the pot.


The preparation of a “perfect” caffè is easy if you pay attention to the following rules:

  1. Choose a high-quality brand you like and keep the coffee ground in a sealable glass- or ceramic container. The coffee ground should be kept in a hermetically sealed container and away from food emitting strong odors (teas, cheeses ,...) because the coffee has the property of absorbing odors, which would alter the aroma.
  2. Use fresh water with a low lime content, which has to be cold. Don’t cut the preparation time by using water that has already been heated!
  3. Fill the water container completely with water. Attention: The water level should never be higher than the valve of the water container, or you get a tasteless “diluted caffè” (long coffee as Italian say).
  4. Fill the filter with an ample amount of coffee and don’t press the coffee ground (some Italians put three holes in the coffee ground in order to enhance the taste: this should facilitate the ascent of the water). The amount of the coffee ground is already determined by the capacity of the filter. Always prepare the maximum amount of coffee as indicated on the moka pot. Even when you need less, the water container and the filter always have to be completely full, otherwise you will get a long coffee, while Italian like strong coffee.
  5. Put the moka pot on the burner (electric kitchen stove: approx. level 2). The burner mustn’t be too hot because the water has to rise slowly. The moka pot has to stay on the burner until the coffee rises through the filter into the top piece of the pot. When it does, it makes a bubbling sound that you can hear.
  6. Open the lid of the machine as soon as the coffee starts rising. That way the condensation water doesn’t get into the coffee (otherwise that might dilute the coffee).
  7. Take the moka pot off the burner several seconds before all the water has completely risen (it doesn’t matter if some of the water is left in the water container). Attention: The coffee must not start boiling!
  8. Drink the caffè hot and add sugar to your taste.
  9. Clean the machine well with hot or boiling water, but don’t use dishwashing liquid and never wash the pot in the dishwasher.

Finally some more maintenance tipps.
During use on the interior walls of the water container, filter and upper chamber is deposited a thin layer of greasy residue of coffee. This coating protects the coffee from the contact with the aluminum walls, which might otherwise give a metallic taste to the coffee. For this reason you should not use the dishwasher or soap to wash the moka pot, otherwise you could remove that layer of greasy residue.
If you get a new moka pot or you replace the rubber seal, the coffee could get a bad taste caused by new rubber or uncoated aluminum walls. In this case use the moka pot two/three times with water only or with used coffee ground. And if you do not use your pot for a long time, would be better to waste the first coffee (maybe you could use used coffee ground again) or clean the pot with an hot solution of water and vinegar (after you have first removed the rubber seal).

The water level should never be higher than the valve of the water container
(3)

Fill the filter with an ample amount of coffee
(4)

Put three holes in the coffee ground
(4)

Open the lid of the machine as soon as the coffee starts rising.
(6)

Open the lid of the machine as soon as the coffee starts rising
(7)

Drink the caffè hot and add sugar to your taste
(8)

More about italian coffee:
» The Neapolitan Coffee (O’ caffè)

You are here: Home > Neapolitan cuisine > Brewing italian coffee with a moka pot