Moka Pot

Bialetti

The moka pot, also known as a stove top espresso machine, is a coffee maker which produces coffee by passing hot water pressurized by steam through ground coffee. It was first patented by inventor Luigi De Ponti for Alfonso Bialetti in 1933. Bialetti Industrie continues to produce the same model under the name ‘Moka Express.’

The moka pot is most commonly used in Europe and in Latin America. It has become an iconic design, displayed in modern industrial art and design museums.

Traditionally, moka pots are made of aluminium and are used over a flame or electric range. The aluminium moka pots cannot be used on induction stoves. There are, however, also many stainless steel models available. Electric self-heating moka pots are also available. More recently induction specific moka pots are now available and are made an titanium-alloy base.

Brikka is a modified moka pot manufactured by Bialetti. It incorporates a weighted valve as a pressure regulator on top of the nozzle that allows pressure to build up inside the water tank in a manner similar to a pressure cooker. This increases the extraction temperature beyond the boiling point of water at atmospheric pressure. Mukka Express is a modified moka pot also manufactured by Bialetti that allows milk to be frothed and mixed with the coffee during brewing. The name is a pun on the Italian for cow, ‘mucca.’

After use, a thin coat of oily coffee residue is left lining the interior of the stems, filters and upper chamber. It is said to be desirable to retain this residue, as it subsequently prevents coffee from acquiring an unpleasant metallic taste through contact with the aluminum wall. The flavor of Moka pot coffee depends greatly on bean variety, roast level, fineness of grind, and the level of heat used. Due to the higher than atmospheric pressure involved, the mixture of water and steam reaches temperatures well above 100 °C, causing a more efficient extraction of caffeine and flavors from the grounds, and resulting in a stronger brew than that obtained by drip brewing.

Moka pots are sometimes referred to as stove-top espresso makers and produce coffee with an extraction ratio similar to that of a conventional espresso machine. Depending on bean variety and grind selection, Moka pots can create a foam emulsion, known as crema. However, the maximum pressure for coffee extraction which can be achieved with a Moka pot is 1.5 bar. According to the Italian Espresso National Institute and the Specialty Coffee Association of America, an espresso must be made using a precise extraction pressure of 9 bar.

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