I Got A New Moka Express Pot

Enquiring minds who are unfamiliar with what a “moka express” pot is have an opportunity to deduce its function.  Add a vowel to “express” and you will have the beverage for which the pot is designed.

That’s right! A moka express is for making “expresso” at home. This simple appliance was invented in Italy in 1933 and Signore Bialetti’s company is still making them. Their basic six cup model is about $25.

One of my earliest posts was about brewing coffee.  The short version is that I have four different types of coffee brewers.  My favorite is the moka express pot because (a) it is so simple and (b) you can’t beat its value for the strength of coffee it delivers.

Most coffee makers simply combine water and coffee by some method.  Caffeine extraction is minimal.

What gives espresso its strength is that the caffeine is extracted under pressure. This pressure is measured in “BARs.”  Expresso requires a machine which can achieve at least nine bars of pressure.  That is 130 pounds of pressure per square inch.  But commercial espresso is made with machines capable of 30 BARs and up.

Now a moka express pot cannot deliver anywhere near that much pressure. Maybe 1.5 BARs, so the coffee it produces technically is not espresso.

But I abide by this expression: in the land of the blind, the one-eyed myopic with severe astigmatism is King.  Even with only 1.5 BARs of pressure, you will easily be able to identify a cup of coffee brewed with a Moka pot from coffee brewed from a “drip” machine.  (Note:  I use either $6 a pound coffee or at least an “espresso” grind such as Cafe Bustelo, which is in grocery stores.)

I don’t recall how old my previous Moka pot was.  I’m thinking six years because I first noticed it during a trip to Spain.  Other than the seal going bad, there’s not much to go wrong.

In my case, the seal was good but the bottom began developing some sort of white crude that I became tired of scraping off.  (I wasn’t washing the pot shortly after use and sometimes not for a week.)  So now I have a “replacement” top , interior, and seal if my new pot  develops problems with any of those.

The good news is that you don’t have to pay even $30 for a Moka pot if you buy a “generic” model.  I bought my new one at the grocery store for less than $15.

So if you want to upgrade your  coffee flavor, get a Moka pot.  You’ll be glad you did!

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3 responses to “I Got A New Moka Express Pot

  1. I’ve got one also and I love it. Use Cafe Bustelo which I buy in Target.

    The white crude is most likely mineral deposits from your water that accrue over time.

    I make cafe con leche after boiling up the milk in the microwave, perhaps one day I will get a frother for effect but it tastes just fine as it is.

    • Well, if we both like Cafe Bustelo it must be good!

      Now that’s you’ve alerted me about the mineral deposit issue,. I’ll try to wash out the pot soon after using it.

      I don’t even bother to boil up the milk; I just use it cold. But, I usually like to use sweetened condensed milk and putting that in something before the coffee gets messy. I guess I could reheat the coffee in the microwave after adding the milk.

      And, I’m getting a new microwave too. The one we got as a wedding gift in 1995 is showing it’s age. Best Buy had a GE on sale that I had been looking at for a few weeks.

  2. And I thought the Keurig was the greatest thing since sliced bread!

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