We all know and love the traditional stovetop coffee maker by Bialetti. It's aluminium body, octagonal design and luxurious feel makes it one of the best rated coffee makers available to buy. It’s the ideal coffee brewer to make good, strong coffee, that’s convenient, and more forgiving than espresso brewing.
They’re compatible with gas and electric stovetops and work well with camp style cookers too. Unfortunately, the Bialetti Moka Express cannot be used on induction hobs without an adapted plate.
They come in various sizes, from 1 cup all the way up to 18 cups. The most common is the 6-cup model. Don't forget, Bialetti cup sizes are based on the old Italian cup measurement which is around 60ml. To make a full mug of strong, Italian-style coffee you'll be looking at around 250ml so we'd recommend a 4 cup Moka Express.
Making coffee in a stovetop espresso maker like a Moka Express is easy once you get the hang of it. In this guide, you'll learn exactly how to brew perfect Italian-style espresso at home in around 5 minutes.
How to Make Coffee with a Moka Express
There are 3 steps to brewing with this stovetop coffee maker. Don't worry - you'll get the hang of it in no time!
Step 1. Weighing and Grinding Your Coffee Beans
To start, weigh out and grind your coffee beans. Traditionally, Italian-style coffee uses dark roast coffee to get a more intense flavour. Today however, specialty coffee roasters are experimenting with lighter roast profiles to showcase more of the true tasting notes of each bean.
Bialetti have a wide range of coffee, both whole bean coffee and preground ready for your Moka pot. Ask your local roaster what they'd recommend for use with a stovetop espresso maker.
When it comes to weighing your beans, we recommend around 17g of coffee to a 4-cup Moka pot. Insider tip: You can use the filter basket in your stovetop coffee maker to weigh the beans, the basket hold about 40g so aim to half fill it.
Grind the coffee to a fine grind, nothing to coarse but not as fine as espresso either. You're aiming for a consistency similar to table salt. You can buy Moka ground coffee from Bialetti but grinding fresh at home is always going to give you a better end result.
Step 2: Setting up Your Moka Pot
Place the grounds in the basket. Do not tamp or flatten down your coffee grounds in the filter, you want to leave a mound to help steam extract the full flavour from all of the beans.
Next, fill up the heating vessel with water to just below the little pressure valve inside, which is 300ml of water. There are differing opinions about whether to use cold, warm or hot water for this step. As the official UK partners of Bialetti, we suggest using room temperature filtered water to prolong the life of your Moka Express and get a smooth, intense coffee.
Place the filter basket on top, ensuring that the surface around the rim is free of any grinds. Make sure there is a nice seal when screwing on the coffee collector on top of the heating vessel.
Step 3: Making Your Coffee on the Stovetop
Place the Bialetti on a stove on a medium heat and aim for a heat that lets the pressure gradually rise and let the water slowly percolate up through the bed of coffee, otherwise it will provide a bitter coffee. It will start slow and then speed up at the end - you’ll see the water is done when the water does begin spurting out of the top.
It should take a total of 5 minutes of so to complete a full brew.
You don’t want to leave it there on the stove until there is some steam. As soon as coffee starts bubbling through the filter and into the pot, turn off the heat and wait. As soon as it's finished bubbling through, your coffee is ready to pour.
Either drink black or it will be the perfect strength to add milk to for a perfect flat white, latte or cappuccino.
Cleaning and Preparing for the Next Brew
In cleaning the unit, you want to make sure it’s all cooled down. You can speed this process up by rinsing it under hot water.
Once its cool, unscrew the top and tap out the grinds. So long as everything is cold, you can blow on the end of the funnel to get the grinds out really easily.
Rinse everything under water.
Make sure everything is thoroughly dry if you want to avoid any oxidisation of the aluminium and clean out the burnt coffee.
Also storing the top and bottom apart, prolongs the life of the steel.
And that’s the Bialetti Moka Express for you!
It’s a really durable coffee maker that makes a strong coffee you can enjoy on your own, but always better with a friend!