Italian Cooking & Language Blog

Fare La Scarpetta means to wipe your plate clean with a piece of bread.

What else could you ask for?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Moka Express: Italian espresso coffee at home

Every morning, I prepare Italian coffee (what we can “espresso” in America and the Italians call “caffe”) in my Bialetti Moka Express. I think I’m as addicted to the ritual as I am to the coffee itself.

My mokas last a few years each. And a new one is reason for celebration! It feels good to start even fresher than usual in the morning.

There is a certain art to making coffee in this pot. Fill the basket with espresso ground coffee (coffee that is ground much thinner will clog the machine.) Do not pack coffee down in order to squeeze in more coffee (this will make it harder for the pressurized water to push through the grinds.) On the stovetop, the flame shouldn’t be larger than the base. (At least two friends I know have melted the plastic handle with a much stronger flame. That’s always disappointing. And a mess.) For more details on how to prepare the prefect tazza (cup) and other Italian stovetop coffee pots, see this Under the Tuscan Gun video

After you’ve finished your coffee, be sure to let your pot cool off before opening it. You can run cold water over the pot while holding it by the handle. After making the coffee, the earlier pressure might make it hard to open the pot. The bottom container has flat sides. In the sink, balance the machine on one side in order to open it more easily.

The moka, a simple metal construction, requires easy cleaning. That is to say, cleaning without soap. Never put your moka in the dishwasher or use dish soap on the metal. A thorough rinse with hot water will clean your moka. Be sure to let it stand open in order to fully air dry after cleaning it.

To help eliminate any buildup or polish the surface, soak your moka in baking soda and use a clean sponge to wash the pot down. To help make yours last even longer, you can also buy the necessary replacement parts.

Help support this blog and buy your moka through our Amazon store. 

What kind of Italian coffee pot do you use? Do you have a favorite coffee roaster?


JW said...

Yum! If I had time in the morning, I would make it this way. However, when I can, I use my Delonghi 15 bar press. I get my coffee from Dean's Beans in Western MA. They are a Fair Trade vendor. I have found that if I ask for the coffee to be ground on a #3 setting, that is just coarse enough to give the espresso a good crema but not so coarse as to detract from the flavor.


Chloe Yelena Miller said...

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, JW. That sounds delicious.