Posts Tagged ‘care for your moka pot’

The 5Ms of coffee

Posted in How to make good coffee on February 28th, 2010 by admin – 20 Comments

Somebody once told me about the 5Ms of coffee preparation. I could never remember what they were exactly as each and every M was an Italian one. So today I looked it up and I will tattoo it on to my forearm lest I ever forget.

1. LA MISCELA – The blend

This is a little bit obvious. If the coffee you have is not good, there is no way you’ll get a nice cup of coffee out of it. So get some advice from somebody who knows about coffee, or at least buy a reputable brand. As a maker of coffee at home,  make sure the coffee you use is fresh and tightly close the packet after use and put it in the fridge or freezer if you have. use it within a couple of weeks. Best to buy fresh from ground beans in small quantities and use within a week or two.

If you are in a café, check they are grinding the beans freshly for you. Somewhere near Thapathali there is a young guy an a coffee shop grinding beans to put in a plastic box to be stored on a sunny windowsill. You can always ask them where they get their coffee from and how fresh it is.


Not much you can do about this without equipment. However, espresso grind and filter grind are not the same. Try to get the right one for your needs.

3. LA MACHINA – The machine

Given a good blend, ground properly to the right fineness, the machine is the next factor. The temperature and pressure of the water passing through the coffee directly affect the flavour. With your espresso pot, just try to put hot water on the bottom chamber to shorten the heating time and take off of the gas when the bubbling noise has started.

4. LA MANO DELL’OPERATORE – The human touch (of the operator)

If you are in a café, it never harms to ask the person making your drink which their favorite cup of coffee is. “No sir/ma’am, I don’t like coffee!” This is not a good sign. Leave.

You may also want to take ‘La Mano dell’operatore’ (the hand of the operator) literally for a minute and and read this. Worth thinking about.

Anyway, much of the flavour of your drink is in the hands of the operator. Let’s hope they know what they are doing.

5. MANUTENZIONE (maintenance)

If the coffee machine is not maintained properly its performance is going to decrease. That’s life. While you can’t jump over the counter and check out the big espresso machine, you can check the toilets, the cloth used to clean the tables or the size of the dirty-finger ring around the light switches and deduce how well maintained the machine is.

With your own coffee pot, rinse with water after every use and use your fingers only to remove old coffee and excess oils. Dry with a soft cloth and store in separate pieces.

So if your coffee tastes no good, it’s going to be down to one of the reasons above. Have a go at working it out!

Caring for your coffee pot so that it loves you back

Posted in How to make good coffee on February 18th, 2010 by admin – 6 Comments
  • When you buy a new Moka pot you should throw the first two or three batches of coffee away. To season the new pot well it’s best if you leave the brewed coffee in it for one whole day before you discard it.
  • Wash the Moka pot by hand with plain water. Do not use any detergents or sopas and do not scrub it. Just use a soft cloth, sponge or your fingers. The oils from the coffee coat the insides and give a better flavour apparently.
  • Dry the parts with soft cloth before storing and do not store the Moka pot assembled.
  • When you leave your Moka pot unused for a long time, the oily layer may become yukky. If that happens just put in water with a bit of detergent and boil it on the stove top for a while. Then wash it thoroughly. This should remove the rancid oils.
  • Don’t ever overheat the pot (by forgetting about it on the stove) because you might damage the rubber seal inside and then you’re in trouble.
  • When emptying used coffee from the basket, don’t knock the basket on a hard surface as it may damage its shape – then it may not seal properly and the pot could stop working.

So many instructions! But all simple really. Be nice to the pot, be nice to your coffee and they will be nice to you.