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Craig Camp

The Pleasures of Moka

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i use a 6 oz moka pot and 2TBSP coffee. next i blended the two grinds

?? 2 tblps. coffee - don't measure the coffee- you fill the filter full

I also tried making less moka than my pot called for - it doesn't work! I now own three pots - 6, 8 (?) and 12 cups. Depending on how many people are having coffee - I'm ready :biggrin:


KathyM

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Thanks Jason. That makes sense. You are right - there are a few good places to buy fresh roasted beans in Paris. My big problem is that I don't have a grinder and it is not feasible to spend the money on a decent one. I know it is an essential element in the coffee-making process, so I am starting to think I should give up on the idea of good coffee at home, until I can make the investment. Thankfully Starbucks is here now. :wacko::laugh:

Keep your eyes out, you might be able to find a second hand old-fashioned hand crank somewhere.

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So, after reading this thread, I went out and bought a Bialetti maker -- the Brikka model to be exact, which has been mentioned in this thread. I think the mechanics are somewhat different from the traditional style pot and the end result is supposed to create crema. My problem: it makes the worst coffee I've ever had! And I mean bad, undrinkable. I've made about 12 pots so far, using Lavazza Gold and have NOT washed it with soap in between uses. It continues to make a thin, bitter brew. I use the right amount of water, don't tamp down the grounds and turn off the heat as soon as the moka starts coming out of the valve. Is it me? Is it the Brikka model? I usually drink Turkish coffee made in an ibrik or French press style coffee using my home roasted beans (recently got into the home roasting thing). Am I expecting too much? I'm thinking of buying a regular Bialetti model, particularly since I'd like to try out Cuban coffee at home, but wanted to get opinions first.

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I have been using a little aluminum moka pot for years... can't remember the make, but it makes the best coffee.

As a note, if you go to a hispanic store, you will find the same ones as in gourmet/Italian stores at about half the price.

I use home ground beans in a cheapy blade grinder and it comes out better than most espresso in nasty badly calibrated espresso machiens that charge 5$ for a cup.

The key is getting it to make the coffee before it boils.

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I recently found a stainless steel moka pot at Ikea, of all places. I don't have much to compare it to (the previous coffee maker was a French press), but the coffee tastes better than I could have imagined. We use cheap local beans buzzed in a regular old blade grinder. I add it to a frothy half-cupful of milk with a spoonful of sugar -- beats Starbucks any day!

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I has always understood that the flip coffee makers were a Southern Italian thing, no?

I used to have a Bialetti Brikka which I thought was pretty good.  Some kind of special technology to get crema and a more espress-like cup of moka coffee.  I ended up giving it to a friend once I got my Rancilio machine.  When I'm in Italy, I tend to take all my coffee in bars.

The Brikka is dynamite! So temperamental, though. It's still my sole hypo at home, especially after so many machines have succumbed to impossible-to-fix maladies.


Nam Pla moogle; Please no MacDougall! Always with the frugal...

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We've enjoyed our Bialetti for a while now. We have one struggle which I haven't seen mentioned...

Does anyone have a reliable method for getting that damn rubber gasket out for a rinse?!

I have resorted to bringing home a hemostat (surgical clamp) to remove it without wrecking it.

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I'd eyeballed those things for years, wondering idly how they worked, but never actually asked anybody (in East Vancouver, they're a common decorative element).

Having read this thread, though, and armed with the knowledge contained therein, I treated myself to a battered aluminum moka at the local thrift store. For the princely sum of $2.99 (CDN) I got an ugly little lump of metal which makes absolutely gorgeous coffee. It proudly proclaims that it is "Made in Italy," but declines to furnish any other identification.

I don't care. I wanted one, I've got one, and it works. Only thing I've noticed is that the seal is a bit lacking, and if I don't screw it to the exactly correct degree of tightness it'll leak. I can see that a new seal is in my immediate future.


"The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself."

Ursula K. Le Guin

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

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For those of you who are having problems with the grind:

1) Craig is right - Lavazza espresso, illy, and Vittoria are all readily available in supermarkets and work very well;

2) If you live in close proximity to a cafe that sells beans, you can ask them to grind them for you. Each machine is calibrated a little differently, but I usually find that if you turn the dial 1 notch coarser than espresso grind, it works perfectly.

If you go for option 2, often you can have a range of roasts, and origins of beans to choose from. If you're like me, you can also buy 'fair trade' coffee, and ensure that the farmers can make a living wage, and also hopefully protect the environment!


Forget the house, forget the children. I want custody of the red and access to the port once a month.

KEVIN CHILDS.

Doesn't play well with others.

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I get mine one or two notches coarser than espresso and have great results too.

Oddly, one of the women working selling the beans at a well respected coffee shop nearby tried to talk me into getting COARSE grind when I told her I had a moka pot (I had to point one out to her from the sales area before she knew what it was!) I think she was confusing it with french press grind. Noone here seems to know what "grind for a moka pot" means so I just get mine at Whole Foods from the despense yourself bins of a fairly fresh roast and grind my own lately...

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ok, yoinking this one back up, i have a question. i recently got a new, large (like, it probably makes about 12-14 oz or so) bialetti moka pot. i've made probably 5 or 6 pots of coffee in it, and they uniformly have kinda sucked. bitter, harsh, and generally nasty.

oh wait, before i continue: since posting on this thread originally, i've been using my small (it makes like 4-5 oz, maybe) moka pot every day, and it makes great coffee--amazingly good. i know how finely to grind my coffee; i know how much to fill it; i know where to set the burner, and i can do it practically in my sleep--since that's when i'm doing it each morning.

so anyway, i'm wondering if there's something i'm missing in scaling up, not just because the coffee tastes bad, but because things happen with this pot that don't happen with my small one. take a look here:

gallery_7799_1093_6510.jpg

see the coffee kinda bubbling out from the seam, and running down the side of the pot? what is that? my little one doesn't do that. also the big one makes all kindsa noise and whatnot while it's brewing; kinda burbling and spitting and stuff. the little one doesn't do that either.

so those of you who use these things as well, is this something with the pot? just that i need to use it more to break it in? is it that, since it's bigger, i need to use a hotter flame to get the water up to temp faster? (i use britta filtered water from my fridge) and finally, any idea what's up with it not sealing right, or whatever is making it leak like in the picture?

thoughts?

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Have you checked the rubber gasket? I have a similar sized pot and the only time it bubbles out of the side is when I don't have it tightened enough.

And I've never had coffee come out of the side, just some water escaping/bubbling out.


Baker of "impaired" cakes...

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yeah, the gasket is practically new... but you have a point. i'm wondering if, since it's a bigger pot, i haven't been tightening it enough. i suspect that, combined with a higher flame, might solve the problem. more experimentation tomorrow...

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Regarding care of a Moka pot, I have a Mukka Express (don't worry, I didn't get the cheesy cow-print one), in which one must put milk in the upper part of the maker. So far, I've been washing the upper part with soap to help get rid of the milk residue. For this type of maker, would you still suggest not using soap?

I don't use soap in the water holder, or to wash the screen, or the black frother thing--those I just rinse out with water. But sometimes the milk residue is a bit tough to get out, even when I wash it right away.

I've been using pre-ground Illy espresso. The milk coffee I make has a slightly more bitter flavour that the Illy I get in my favourite Italian restaurant, but I'm guessing it's because of the nature of the Mukka. I'll try Lavazza next time.

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i don't have an answer for you on the washing question, but i'm curious how you like the mukka express? does it work as advertised?

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i don't have an answer for you on the washing question, but i'm curious how you like the mukka express?  does it work as advertised?

I love it. I should note that I've only used the "cappuccino" milk foamer once (just because I accidentally pushed the foamer down, and couldn't figure out how to get it back up), so if you're thinking of using it for that, I can't give an informed review. It did seem to foam the milk very well (not that I'm an expert on foaming), though.

The milk coffee it makes is very good milk coffee, and it's great that I don't have to worry about timing anymore (I used to microwave my milk and make single cups of coffee, so often my coffee would cool a little waiting for the milk to heat, or vice versa). It's very easy to use and makes a perfect amount of milk coffee for my 0.5L Dunoon Cat Mug. My only complaint is that sometimes I get some some very fine coffee grounds in my coffee--like the chocolate milk powder that sits in the bottom of your cup if you've ever made Nestle Quick. Much finer than undissolved chocolate milk powder, but not as pleasant. I think I just need more practice putting the coffee in the filter, or perhaps I should use a slightly coarser ground of coffee.

I would highly recommend watching the user video on the Bialetti commercial website before using it. I found the English directions in the manual to be a bit lacking. But then, I had never used a moka before, so I was a complete newbie with these types of coffee makers.

edited for spelling and additional content.


Edited by prasantrin (log)

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Can someone who has used both please compare the coffee from a Brikka with that from a Cona D? I've used the Cona D but never the Brikka? My issues with the Cona are:

1. It stalls occasionally. Maybe every 10 day or so.

2. It's kinda fragile

It makes great coffee. My wife likes her coffee pretty weak so I expect I'll need to dilute the Brikka output quite a bit.

Thanks for the input,

Ken

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ok, yoinking this one back up, i have a question.  i recently got a new, large (like, it probably makes about 12-14 oz or so) bialetti moka pot.  i've made probably 5 or 6 pots of coffee in it, and they uniformly have kinda sucked.  bitter, harsh, and generally nasty.

oh wait, before i continue: since posting on this thread originally, i've been using my small (it makes like 4-5 oz, maybe) moka pot every day, and it makes great coffee--amazingly good.  i know how finely to grind my coffee; i know how much to fill it; i know where to set the burner, and i can do it practically in my sleep--since that's when i'm doing it each morning.

so anyway, i'm wondering if there's something i'm missing in scaling up, not just because the coffee tastes bad, but because things happen with this pot that don't happen with my small one.  take a look here:

gallery_7799_1093_6510.jpg

see the coffee kinda bubbling out from the seam, and running down the side of the pot?  what is that?  my little one doesn't do that.  also the big one makes all kindsa noise and whatnot while it's brewing; kinda burbling and spitting and stuff.  the little one doesn't do that either.

so those of you who use these things as well, is this something with the pot?  just that i need to use it more to break it in?  is it that, since it's bigger, i need to use a hotter flame to get the water up to temp faster? (i use britta filtered water from my fridge)  and finally, any idea what's up with it not sealing right, or whatever is making it leak like in the picture?

thoughts?

This happens when water is put in above the steam valve . it is a little round thing inside the bottom portion of the pot.

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I am sooooooo excited!!

Chef Central sent me a 20% coupon in the mail. So off I went to buy my Mukka Cappuccino Pot... Couldn't decide whether to buy the cow print or the stainless steel, but ended up with the stainless.. Can't wait to try it!!

Even bought Lavazza, per everyone's recommendations. Thanks so much.

Any secrets on making my first batch?


Edited by Cook456 (log)

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I get mine one or two notches coarser than espresso and have great results too.

Oddly, one of the women working selling the beans at a well respected coffee shop nearby tried to talk me into getting COARSE grind when I told her I had a moka pot (I had to point one out to her from the sales area before she knew what it was!)  I think she was confusing it with french press grind.  Noone here seems to know what "grind for a moka pot" means so I just get mine at Whole Foods from the despense yourself bins of a fairly fresh roast and grind my own lately...

Is "coarse" the setting on the grinding machine at Whole Foods? I'm thinking of trying some fresh beans. Also, you use their french roast, rather than the espresso roast?

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Any secrets on making my first batch?

Are you making milk coffee or the "cappuccino"? Either way, make sure you screw the top part on tightly. Even when I thought it was on tightly, it wasn't and the water leaked out.

And if you're making cappuccino and not milk coffee, make sure you use the water amount for cappuccino. I accidentally used the milk coffee amount the first time I made it, and it spilled out over the top!

Finally, they suggest cleaning the pot asap because of the milk. I suggest running the whole pot under cool water to cool it down, then remove the black pressure thing, then screw off the bottom. The bottom does not come off easily unless the black pressure thing is off. I learned that the hard way!

I'm almost done with my pot of Illy, and am planning to try Lavazza next. Even a large-ish tin of Illy doesn't last very long with this pot. I've been using the regular roast, but I find the flavour of the coffee to be a bit weak, so I'm going to try the dark roast after the Lavazza.

Last thing, watch the video if you haven't already and if you don't have any kind of moka pot experience. I had no idea how to use the pot, and found the instruction booklet to be a little confusing, but the video was very clear.

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Any secrets on making my first batch?

Are you making milk coffee or the "cappuccino"? Either way, make sure you screw the top part on tightly. Even when I thought it was on tightly, it wasn't and the water leaked out.

And if you're making cappuccino and not milk coffee, make sure you use the water amount for cappuccino. I accidentally used the milk coffee amount the first time I made it, and it spilled out over the top!

Finally, they suggest cleaning the pot asap because of the milk. I suggest running the whole pot under cool water to cool it down, then remove the black pressure thing, then screw off the bottom. The bottom does not come off easily unless the black pressure thing is off. I learned that the hard way!

I'm almost done with my pot of Illy, and am planning to try Lavazza next. Even a large-ish tin of Illy doesn't last very long with this pot. I've been using the regular roast, but I find the flavour of the coffee to be a bit weak, so I'm going to try the dark roast after the Lavazza.

Last thing, watch the video if you haven't already and if you don't have any kind of moka pot experience. I had no idea how to use the pot, and found the instruction booklet to be a little confusing, but the video was very clear.

Thanks for the tips.

Yes, I have always used a moka pot for regular espresso, so I guess I have some basic knowledge.

My first pot turned out pretty good, although I also thought it was a touch weak. The Lavazza espresso "gold" grind is very very fine, almost powdery. I mounded it, so that when the top was screwed on, it tamped it down.

Nice froth, and I can see what everyone is saying about cleaning it immediately. Those milk solids harden fast, if left even for a short while.

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My first pot turned out pretty good, although I also thought it was a touch weak.  The Lavazza espresso "gold" grind is very very fine, almost powdery.  I mounded it, so that when the top was screwed on, it tamped it down. 

Nice froth, and I can see what everyone is saying about cleaning it immediately.  Those milk solids harden fast, if left even for a short while.

I forgot about one other thing...did you make three throw-away pots before making a drinkable pot? I can't remember if that was in the instruction manual or in the video, but they tell you to make three pots of coffee and throw them away.

Sometimes I think it tastes weak, too, but I'm not really a coffee drinker so I figured it was just me. Maybe I need to try Illy dark roast instead of Lavazza. Even though it tastes weak, it still makes my heart go all pitter patter-y and keeps me from falling asleep if I drink it after 3-ish.

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Regarding care of a Moka pot, I have a Mukka Express (don't worry, I didn't get the cheesy cow-print one), in which one must put milk in the upper part of the maker.  So far, I've been washing the upper part with soap to help get rid of the milk residue.  For this type of maker, would you still suggest not using soap? 

I don't use soap in the water holder, or to wash the screen, or the black frother thing--those I just rinse out with water.  But sometimes the milk residue is a bit tough to get out, even when I wash it right away.

I've been using pre-ground Illy espresso.  The milk coffee I make has a slightly more bitter flavour that the Illy I get in my favourite Italian restaurant, but I'm guessing it's because of the nature of the Mukka.  I'll try Lavazza next time.

After a few cleanings, I found that if I immediately filled the top with water and let it sit for a short while, it was much easier to get rid of the milk residue.

Love my Mukka Espress!

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