What do you need to make a stovetop brew?
Stovetop coffee is a great alternative to ordering out or an expensive coffee machine and the quality is equally as delicious. To make a stovetop brew you need four things…
+ First you need a stovetop coffee maker, most commonly known as a Moka Pot. This consists of three parts (the base, the filter funnel, and the top).
+ Secondly you need good quality coffee beans. This step is crucial as coffee beans of poorer quality will not provide the desired result (and we all want to make great coffee).
+ Thirdly, a coffee grinder. Grind the coffee beans coarsely for optimal results, (slightly larger than raw sugar grains). This enhances your coffee flavour by preventing the coffee from burning and prevents leakage. Smooth out the coffee grinds but don’t press them down as the steam needs to be able to pass through them.
+ And finally, choose the heat of your water. Filtered water that is cool is best for the best for the strongest tasting results though many aren’t looking for a super bitter taste. You can add hot water for faster results. This preheating step is important because it decreases the time that the coffee grounds are in contact with the hot water. This helps to prevent any “burnt” flavor and makes for a better cup of coffee for those that don’t like the added depth of flavour.
What is a Moka pot?
The Moka pot is a three-chambered pot that uses pressure generated by steam on a stovetop or flame to push water up through coffee grounds. The water then mixes with the coffee grounds in the bottom chamber.
The steam pressure forces the water up through a tube into the middle chamber that is sitting on a pot of water. The water then is pushed through the tube and into the top chamber with the coffee grounds.
It then filters down into the bottom chamber and the process is repeated, resulting in a cup of coffee. This is traditionally a small aluminium pot that you can use to make coffee. It is highly portable and environmentally friendly because it doesn’t require electricity. It is a simple and elegant design that has been used since its invention in Italy in 1933.
How to use a Moka pot to make a coffee
Making a pot of coffee with your moka pot is easy, efficient and produces quality coffee!
The first step: is to unscrew the rubber seal and separate the parts, including the filter basket. Preheat water in a kettle to prevent burning the coffee (or if you like a hint of burnt coffee then experiment with cooler temperatures).
Second: is to fill the bottom chamber with boiling water until it reaches the indicator line or just below the steam nozzle. Be careful when handling the moka pot as the bottom chamber will be very hot (use a tea towel to prevent burns). Place the filter basket upper chamber on top of the bottom chamber and grip it with the towel.
Third: you need to fill the filter basket with your ground coffee. The grind settings are important for a perfect moka pot coffee, the beans need to be ground coarsely around the size of raw sugar granules.
Tip: don’t overfill with coffee. This makes it too strong. So half-filling it is fine.
Fourth: Screw it all back together. Nice and tight, otherwise coffee might spill out the sides of where the screw points are.
The stove: Now place the moka pot on a low-moderate heat (this can be on an electric or gas stovetop), leaving the lid open. You want to see water moving slowly into the upper chamber with the filter basket, as is forced up through the ground coffee. When the water in the bottom chamber reaches a low boil, the pressure will push a stream of coffee steadily up into the upper chamber. Make sure the water doesn’t get too hot, but just enough to force up through the coffee. If it passes through too fast into the filter basket, then the stove temperature is up to high. This process should take about five minutes.
When is it ready? You’ll know it’s done when you hear a hissing, gurgling sound. Immediately remove the moka pot from the heat. It will keep coming when you take it off the heat. You don’t want to burn it, so that’s why it’s important to take off the heat as soon as you hear it brewing over the top.
The coffee is ready to be served when it reaches the bottom of the spout, or when no more coffee is being released from the filter basket. Let the coffee finish flowing into the upper chamber, and then use caution to pour your coffee. Immediately after brewing, wrapping the bottom of the moka pot in a cold towel will help to stop the extraction process from continuing and result in a sweeter, more delicious coffee. To pour the coffee, simply remove the pot from the heat and enjoy.
It’s also recommended that you avoid leaving any leftover coffee in the moka pot, as it can become extremely bitter if left for too long. To clean your moka pot for its next use, once the pot is cool enough to handle, unscrew the spouted top and remove the rubber gasket and filter plate that sit above the funnel. Clean all of the parts thoroughly with warm water and no soap. If you can’t remove any leftover coffee oils, use a coffee-specific cleaner like Cafiza, which will remove residue without leaving a soapy taste that will ruin your coffee.
What are the Benefits of a stovetop brew?
Moka pots have a variety of benefits which explains why they have been a popular method of coffee brewing. Making coffee this way produces a rich and complex flavour profile that is unlike any other and therefore cannot be replicated.
A stovetop brew is a great option for coffee lovers who want to have more control over the brewing process and make a perfect cup of coffee every time. With a little understanding of how the machine works, you can experiment with different techniques to find the brew that’s right for you. If you enjoy the process of brewing, the stovetop moka pot can be a great, hands-on and creative method.
Another benefit is that it is portable. This means that you can take in holidays, to friends houses and the Moka pot can even be taken camping as all it needs is a stovetop or flame. You can make it for others and ensure that you get your favourite, quality coffee wherever you go.
A coffee machine is expensive and takes up a lot of space on your kitchen counter, however a moka pot is small and can be packed away easily to create space. Great for people with a small kitchen, limited counter space or those that don’t like appliances displayed.
Being affordable and portable, stovetop brewing also helps you save money. There is a very minimal upfront cost and brewing at home with a Moka pot means you aren’t spending money out buying your daily coffee. Perfect for those that need quality coffee in the morning but are trying to save.
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