I begged my darlin to buy me a moka pot for Christmas a couple of years back. What do you know, she did!
While I am more likely to use a french press, the bialetti moka pot makes this absurdly strong brew that is close to espresso and is a very sturdily-built product.
The one thing that I don't like about it is that you have to fill it all the way with grounds - there's not a way to make a smaller quantity. It makes about a mug full of super-strong coffee, so you either like to be wired or you'll only want to drink half of it at a time.
I put mine on the stove top at medium or medium/high setting and it gets rolling in about 5 minutes. If it takes too long, just crank up the heat.
Let us know how you like it!
For anyone who is OK with a used product, you can spot them in thrift stores often enough if you troll around. I think people get them for gifts and are then wondering what the heck it is, and why their Folgers doesn't taste good in it.
And after a handful of brews, I've decided to take it back.
It just isn't the brew method for me. It's as much of a pain to clean as a siphon brewer. Calculating brew ratio is too complicated. There's coffee water left in the bottom when the brewing is complete (because the water at the end has too much air in it and can carry some of the grounds back down into the brewing water). If you don't use a paper filter, fines can make their way into the final brew. It's difficult to be consistent and for me is really imprecise.
Waiting at the end is a decent coffee if you stumble on the right setup, otherwise it's overextraction city. Espresso - it sho' ain't. I don't prefer coffee at high strength (and part of the reason I'm just not into espresso), so I end up diluting to normal strength.
Putting a paper disc filter at the bottom and the top helps - it prevents some of the back draw of grounds down into the lower chamber, and prevents a lot of the fines from getting up into the produced coffee, but it isn't completely clear.
It is quaint, and has a certain allure, and when you get the brew right, it's as good as a high brew ratio press pot. But just "as good as". My wife didn't like any of the produced coffee, but I got a couple of brews that worked.
It's like finally getting a Fiat 124 Spyder running well - at the end you've got a well-running... Fiat 124 Spyder.
Maybe one day, when I'm bored and have nothing else to investigate, I'll return to the Moka pot, but for now I'll run my other brew methods to ground and fully understand them. I don't think the next revolutionary brew method will be based on the Moka pot - but my short time with the little device was fun anyways.
Wow, I am in a state of shock over these comments. First of all, with practice that trusty ol' moka pot can give you the brew of your life. It just takes experience. For example an americano made with it is spectacular, as well as using it for an espresso substitute. It is an awesome brew method used by millions in Europe as well as here in the US. Much different than a pourover brew. Keep at it and you may become an addict like me. Also, the occasional cuban coffee requires it.
I'm disappointed to read this. I was looking forward with anticipation to your usual exhaustive exploration of a brew method. But instead of "sea trials" you gave up after only a handful of brews? It seems out of character somehow.
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