The Moka Pot is a coffee contraption that’s been around since the 1930s. A stovetop pot requiring no electricity and just a little bit of finesse, this is an affordable alternative to expensive home espresso machines. While true espresso devotees will note the lack of an espresso crema on the cups that the Moka Pot produces, most coffee drinkers will be delighted by the strong brew of the mighty Moka Pot. Follow our Stringbean Step-by-Step guide to brew up a perfect pot.

Step One: Clean Parts

A Moka Pot consists of three parts: the bottom chamber, the funnel shaped filter, and the upper chamber. Be sure to hand wash these parts after each use with hot water only; the chemicals in dish soap can degrade or alter the taste of your coffee.  Carefully rinse all parts free of any stray coffee grinds, and double check the filter basket for trapped water to prevent mold or stale odors.

Step Two: Grind Your Beans

We recommend grinding your beans fresh with every pot you brew. This will ensure the freshest possible flavor. For brewing with the Moka Pot, grind your beans to a fine, espresso consistency, similar to table salt. You’ll want to grind enough to fully fill the filter basket, which varies in size depending on your model. For a 4 cup pot, typically 15 to 20 grams of coffee will suffice.

Step Three: Fill and Assemble

mokaFill the bottom chamber with water. You may use cool tap water, but for a faster, tastier brew, we recommend heating the water first to a near boil. This speeds the brewing process and can prevent accidentally cooking the coffee and imparting a metallic taste. Be careful when handling the bottom chamber as it will be hot to the touch. After filling the chamber with water, place the filter basket on top. Fill the filter carefully with grounds, and pat down lightly with your fingers, Wipe away any stray grounds, then screw on the top chamber. Be sure that the Moka Pot is sealed tightly to prevent any leakage.

Step Four: The Brew

Place the filled Moka Pot over medium heat. Leave the lid on the top chamber open. The upper chamber will begin to slowly fill with coffee after just a few minutes. Avoid cooking the coffee once it’s brewed by turning off the heat as soon as you hear it begin to gurgle. Carefully remove the pot from the burner and pour into warm cups, diluting with hot water or milk, if you prefer.