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How to Use a Moka Pot

Read our in-depth guide on how to use a moka pot to brew the perfect cup of coffee.

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A frothy cappuccino made from our coffee stencils and chocolate shaker.

Caffe moka is not to be confused with the chocolate-flavoured warm beverage that is a mocha coffee. Unlike a mocha coffee, there is no chocolate sauce or flavouring in sight when it comes to making caffe moka, an Italian-style coffee made with the traditional moka pot. The coffee that you brew with a moka pot is strong and about as close as you can get to espresso without owning an actual espresso machine. However, by definition, caffe moka is not true espresso.

Unlike an espresso machine, which can be quite tricky to use and master, a moka pot is easier to use. We have a handy coffee machine buying guide, depicting all the available coffee machines out there.

If you are wondering how to prepare moka coffee and how to use a moka pot, our guide is here to offer you guidance and advice.

What is a Moka Pot?

Although the name refers to the city of Mocha, Yemen (renowned for being known as the centre of coffee brilliance for many centuries), the moka pot was invented in 1930s Italy. Moka pots are a huge part of Italy???s coffee culture and can be found in many Italian households as well as cafes and restaurants.

A moka pot can also be referred to as an Italian stovetop coffee maker, and nowadays, you can also find electric moka pots. The point of the moka pot is to provide an alternative to espresso coffee and a simple brewing method, so more people can enjoy quality coffee within their homes.

Stovetop Coffee Makers

How Does a Moka Pot Work?

Every moka pot consists of the same parts, regardless of their style and design. A moka pot will include a cylinder (bottom chamber), a filter funnel, and a collector (the top chamber) with a second removeable filter that is held in place by a rubber seal.

Add water to the bottom chamber and coffee grounds into the filter. When your moka pot is placed on your stove, the water heats up and generates steam. This steam increases pressure in the bottom chamber, pushing the water up through the coffee grounds and into the top chamber.

All moka pots include a safety valve that allows steam to exit if there???s too much pressure building up inside. Make sure you keep the safety valve clean to reduce the very rare occurrence of your moka pot exploding from too much pressure build up.

Once your coffee is brewed, you can enjoy it black, add milk for a cafe au lait, or use a milk frother to created barista-style milk for a latte or cappuccino.

Why not check out our moka pots?

Featuring our Double Walled Glass Cup, ideal for keeping your coffee warmer for longer.

ProCook Stovetop Espresso Maker 3 CupTypical Price £19Only £12Shop Now
ProCook Stovetop Espresso Maker 6 CupTypical Price £22Only £14Shop Now
ProCook Stovetop Espresso Maker 6 Cup and 2 Cups and Saucers SetTypical Price £45Only £21Shop Now
ProCook Stovetop Espresso Maker 9 CupTypical Price £29Only £18Shop Now

Learning how to prepare moka coffee has never been easier. Once you have learnt the steps, simply repeat them every time you???re craving a caffe moka.

TIP: Always clean your stovetop espresso maker or moka pot before use for the best results. Leftover coffee grounds can affect the flavour of the new batch.

Type of coffee grind: Coarse.

Amount of coffee needed:
Enough coffee to fill the filter basket, which is roughly 15 to 17 grams (2.5 teaspoons) for a 4 cup moka pot.

Total time to brew: Around 5 to 10 minutes. Time varies, but make sure to take your moka pot off the stove once you hear gurgling. Avoid boiling the water as this can turn your coffee bitter.

  1. Unscrew the bottom chamber and fill with water to just below the safety valve. Leave a small gap between the valve and the water level to ensure the pressure inside the moka pot is not excessive.
  2. Fill the filter basket with your choice of coarsely ground coffee. Gently tamp the coffee to make a flat, level line.
  3. Insert the filter basket, placing it on top of the bottom chamber.
  4. Screw the two chambers together, ensuring that the moka pot is completely sealed.
  5. Place your moka pot on the stove (on a medium heat) and take it off the heat once you hear a gurgling sound. 
  6. Stir the coffee in your moka pot and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

TIP: Weigh and measure the exact amount of coffee beans needed for your moka pot. By measuring your coffee beans before grinding them, you minimise waste and keep your coffee fresher for longer. Use digital scales when measuring your coffee to improve accuracy and a kitchen timer for accurate timekeeping. 

Is a Moka Pot a Percolator?

Percolators are different from moka pots and stovetop espresso makers. While a percolator relies on gravity when brewing coffee, a moka pot uses pressure to force water upwards and through the coffee grounds, achieving a stronger coffee with a resemblance to espresso. 

You might need these:

How to Make Coffee in a Moka Pot

Kitchen ScalesKitchen TimersLatte Glasses

Why is my Moka Pot not Working?

Moka pots create a lot of pressure to generate the steam needed to push the water up through the coffee grounds sitting in the filter basket, and not cleaning it properly can cause dramatic reactions like your moka pot leaking. Here are a few reasons why your moka pot may not be working.

  • The safety valve is clogged. Coffee grounds or water with high levels of calcium and magnesium can clog up your safety valve, stopping any built up steam from escaping. Regular cleaning of the safety valve prevents too much pressure building up.
  • You???ve tamped the grounds too much. Light tamping to achieve a flat line is okay, but avoid tamping the grounds too much as this can generate excess pressure.
  • You???ve covered the safety valve with water. Overfilling your moka pot with too much water and covering the safety valve stops any built up pressure from escaping as steam.
  • There???s a layer of oxidised coffee oil inside the chamber. Cleaning this layer before using your moka pot can stop the leftover oil from impairing the flavour of your next batch of coffee.

TIP: We have a whole guide dedicated to explaining how to clean and maintain your coffee machine or maker for more in-depth guidance on how to clean your moka pot.

Cleaning Products

How to Make Latte Art

Once your milk is frothed to the perfect consistency and your coffee is poured in your mug or cup of choice, beautify your coffee with latte art. Learn latte art like a true barista with these simple tips and tricks. 

  1. Hold your filled cup of coffee in one hand and the milk jug in the other. Tilt the cup at a 45 degree angle.
  2. Hold the milk jug higher than the cup and start pouring your milk. The milk should be hitting the centre of the cup. Once the cup is nearly half full, lower the pour so the foam starts to appear. While holding the milk, shake your hand from side to side.
  3. Once the cup is almost full, stop shaking the milk from left to right and drag the milk down the centre of the visible foam to shape a heart.

TIP: If your foam becomes a little too thick, use a dash of cold milk to bring the foam back down. Remember that milk tends to double once foamed, so it may be best to fill your milk jug to a third of its capacity before you start foaming. Once foamed, you can then add latte art to your coffee.

How to Use a Milk Frother and Milk Jug

Milk frother wands are great tools that help you make frothy milk to add to your coffee. Fill your milk jug about one-third full with your choice of milk and warm it up in the microwave for 45 to 50 seconds. Once warm, hold the milk jug at a 45-degree angle, place the frother in the jug and turn it on. The milk will start to froth.

TIP: Decorate your cappuccinos or lattes by beautifully sprinkling chocolate. You can easily do this by using coffee stencils and a chocolate shaker.

You might need these:

ProCook Milk Frother 800mlTypical Price £29Only £19Shop Now
ProCook Milk Frother
Stainless Steel
Typical Price £20Only £14Shop Now

Our ProCook Stovetop Espresso Maker and 2 Cups and Saucers Set.

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