How to use

The bits and bobs

Diagram of a Moka pot

Diagram of a Moka pot's parts

The pot has three metal parts. The bottom part (A) is where the water boils and turns to steam. The middle part (B), the basket, is where you put the coffee. The top part (C), with the handle and lid, is where the freshly brewed coffee collects.

Instructions for first use

The last place this pot was before your hands was a factory so it needs a good clean before using. So…

Fill the bottom chamber with water up to the level of the pressure relief valve on the side. Put put some unwanted old used coffee grounds in the filter basket (or leave it empty), screw the top on, put on the gas and and allow it to brew.  The first pot of coffee you brew in this should be thrown away. The intent is just to clean the pot out before using it for the first time and to make sure the pressure relief valve is working ok. You may also want to clean it out with a soft cloth and soapy water and then repeat the process just to be sure.

Instructions for making tasty coffee
Its a bit more tricky that making Nescafe and this is part of the fun. Stick to some simple rules though and all will be well.

  1. Fill the bottom with water: fill up to the pressure release valve and not above it. And advanced tip is to use hot water as this means the whole process happens faster and the coffees flavour is not degraded by too much exposure to heat. It also helps the rubber seal last longer. Don’t burn your fingers though.
  2. Use some good coffee: Freshly ground is best. Grind quite finely. If you grind too finely, then you will see sludge in the bottom of your cup so next time grind a little bit more coarsely. If you use pre-ground coffee, always reseal the pack tightly and put in the fridge after use. There is some great Nepali coffee around – at least it tastes good if you follow these instructions.
  3. Fill the basket with coffee: spoon it in and flatten off with a knife (or finger, or handle of spoon etc etc). Don’t pack it down – when the water comes through it will expand and hamper the mixing of water and coffee. Always fill the basket – don’t do less than full as your resultant coffee won’t taste as good! Better to find someone to share the excess with.
  4. Screw the top on tightly and place on the heat: place on a medium to high flame so that the water boils quickly and the coffee is not over heated – but make sure the flame doesn’t rise up around the sides of the pot either. After a few minutes, you’ll hear a nice gurgle which means the water is just about used up in the bottom part. Give it another few seconds and remove from the heat. If you leave the pot on the heat, the coffee may start to boil and will taste awful. Overheating also can damage the rubber seal.
  5. Pour into nice pre-warmed cups: and serve. You may want to serve as espresso or whisk some hot milk in a pan to make your own capuccino. That’s up to you.
  6. Make some appreciative sounds like ‘mmmm’ and enjoy!

Always wash your coffee pot with (warm) water and a soft cloth (or just your fingers) to remove old coffee from the pot otherwise these will affect the taste of your next brew. Don’t scrub! Don’t use soap unless you have not used the pot for over a week or more! It’s good to keep the dull, oily protective layer on the inside of the pot. A shiny, shiny inside can give a metallic taste.

Download printable coffee making instructions here.

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