The moka pot (official name: Moka Express, but also called espresso pot or called 'Italian coffee pot') can be found in almost every household in Italy. If you rent an apartment or other type of accommodation such as an agriturismo somewhere, it is almost certain that a moka pot is part of the inventory.

With the Italian coffee pot you can make a good espresso

Nevertheless, it is always useful to take an espresso pot with you on holiday. For example, if you go camping at a campsite, it is much easier there than, for example, a thermos with a filter holder and coffee filters. But such a small espresso maker also comes in handy just for at home. And it tastes even better, especially if you use real Italian coffee in your mocha pot!

mocha-espresso pot

The Italian coffee pot is also quite well known in the Netherlands. The 'real' jars bear the name Moka Express from the company Bialetti. Alfonso Bialetti was the inventor of the mocha jar. These octagonal pots are available in different sizes: from 1-cup size to pots for 18 cups.

How do you make Italian coffee? With a mocha pot!

Making coffee with an espresso pot is quite simple. First you fill the lower part with water, just up to the pressure valve. Then place the funnel-shaped filter basket and fill it with very finely ground coffee. Do not press the coffee, but make sure that it is well distributed. Now screw the top part firmly onto the bottom part. Make sure you keep the whole thing upright.

Real Italian coffee for your mocha pot

mocha pot - espresso pot

For the best results with your espresso pot, you should of course use real Italian coffee. Ordinary Dutch filter grinds can give the coffee a too bitter taste, because it is intended for long contact with the water (via the traditional filter).

So check the packaging to see if you have a real espresso grind. The Italian coffee always is. And luckily you can buy these at the supermarket in various brands.

The taste of coffee is very personal, so you just have to give it a try. I always have those black eyes from Lavazza, which you can simply buy at Albert Heijn. Other truly Italian coffee brands for your espresso pot are Segafredo, Kimbo en Illy.

Now place the jar on a low to medium heat. When the water starts to boil, it will rise through the filter with coffee to the top part, where it will be collected. As soon as the water – audibly – begins to bubble, remove the espresso pot from the heat immediately. Your cup of Italian coffee is very hot, bitter (but not too) and fresh. As it should.

Do you want to store coffee?

It all comes down to taste with Italian coffee. It is therefore best not to keep too large a stock. This way you ensure that your coffee is fresh. Coffee beans with a valve in the package last the longest. It is therefore best to store coffee beans in a cool, dark place in the original packaging.

But what if you've opened a bag of coffee beans once? I keep my coffee beans in coffee cans with a plastic lid in the fridge. I know the coffee purists don't all agree with this. This is because coffee easily absorbs odors from other products. Storing coffee next to cheese is therefore usually not a good idea.

However, I usually keep my coffee in a special refrigerator in which only sealed and odorless products (bottles of lemonade and cans of beer) are placed. My experience is that the coffee beans remain tasty for so long. But once packages of coffee have been opened, you should never keep them for weeks.

coffee can fridge
I store coffee in a sealed, non-transparent tin in the fridge

Making coffee with a cafetiere

Another type of device that you encounter in Italy (but also here in the low countries) is the cafetière. Making coffee with a cafetière is even easier than with a moka pot. In this video I show you how that works:

A percolator?

An espresso pot or moka pot is also sometimes called a percolator, but in fact this is not the right name for the Moka Express from Bialetti.

The working principle of the percolator is roughly the same: here too the coffee is passed through a tube and a filter system with boiling water. At the percolator, however, the coffee flows back to the water reservoir, after which the process repeats.

With the Moka Express, once the water has passed through the filter, the coffee remains at the top of the system. The big advantage is that the coffee is ready faster and the water only goes through the system once. This preserves taste and aroma.

Espresso pot

An espresso pot made of stainless steel

The standard mocha pots have the disadvantage that they are made of aluminum and can therefore react with the coffee acids, which of course does not benefit the taste.

If you want to spend a little more money, buy a more expensive stainless steel model. Never place your espresso pot in the dishwasher, it is also better to wash the stainless steel pot by hand. Also, do not wash it with detergent, but simply rinse it with water after use and let it dry.

The moka pot was also recently discussed in RTL Koffietijd. The barista gave a tip: from now on make your cappuccino using the mocha pot. It just makes it a bit more spicy. Making cappuccino from filter coffee or Senseo coffee is simply not the case.

Where can I buy such a moka pot?

In Italy, espresso pots are available at every supermarket. It may take a little more searching here, but at specialized coffee shops they certainly have it. You don't even have to leave the house for it, because offers a good assortment on its website (even though they are referred to as 'percolator', they are referring to the original Bialetti mocha jars!).

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