How To Make Stovetop Espresso with a Moka Pot

Homemade espresso being poured from an Italian moka pot into a ceramic mug by Casey Wojtalewicz, co-founder of Canyon Coffee, in a bright natural lit white kitchen.

Make Delicious Coffee, the Old School Way

The moka pot (also known as a Bialetti, after the Italian who invented them) is a classic way to make coffee. When we talk about moka pots, most peoples' response is "Oh yeah, my grandma had one of those!"

Well, Grandma was onto something. The moka pot doesn't enable all the finesse and attention to detail that pour overs do, but that's not to say you can't make great coffee with them. 

Our approach is to take advantage of the thought put into the design. Here's the step-by-step:

    1. Make sure your moka pot is CLEAN and the basket for your coffee is DRY. If you're dusting off an old one, clean it and then run a cycle of water through it just to make sure the inside is all clear!
    2. Start heating up some water or milk that you can add to your espresso for an americano or latte
    3. Pour filtered water into the base of the moka pot, up to the little gasket inside. Using roughly the same amount of water each time will help narrow the variables you adjust to establish a consistently good cup of coffee!
    4. Fill the espresso basket of the moka pot with your coffee beans to JUST below the rim. If you fill up to the top, your grounds probably won't all fit!
    5. Grind your beans fine, like espresso. The finer you grind, the stronger your cup will be. If you want a lighter cup with less "oomph" in the body, grind coarser.
    6. Put the grinds in the basket, put the basket in the base of the moka pot, screw on the top, and set on the stovetop. Turn on the heat!
    7. Once the water gets hot enough, it's going to start shooting up through the percolator through the coffee. When this starts, the coffee will come out of the "coffee chimney" at the top and you can open the lid and watch. Later on, it will start to sputter.
    8. As soon as we see the coffee starting to come out the top, we usually lower the heat. If you hear the coffee sputtering, you for sure want to turn off the heat and remove the moka pot from the flame. Leave it on too long, and you'll boil your coffee!
    9. Pour your espresso into a cup and enjoy! Too strong? Add hot water to taste for your perfect home americano, or steamed milk for a latte or cappuccino.

Let us know how you like it!

Video by Don Arangio.