Stovetop Espresso (Moka)

Making great coffee at home is easier than you think. With a few (cheap) pieces of equipment and a little patience you too can be drinking coffeehouse quality drinks at home! This instructable will cover how to make stovetop "espresso," also known as Moka or Moka Pot coffee.

Step 1: Assemble the Equipment

The first thing you need to make moka coffee is a moka pot. These can be found online, or sometimes in stores. If you're going to be the only person drinking the coffee, I would suggest getting the 2-3 cup size. If serving more than one person, the 6 cup model works great.

The second thing you need to make moka coffee is a coffee grinder. If you're looking for a great, cheap grinder, I would suggest the Hario Slim. Around USD $25 it produces even grounds for a fraction the cost of a great electric model. Plus, you can bring it wherever you go (camping, the office, traveling, etc.) and not lose the ability to make great coffee

Lastly you'll need coffee beans to make moka coffee. I would suggest a darker roast whole bean coffee. I usually use Costco Costa Rica beans, and the results are good.

Step 2: Fill the Reservoir

Fill the bottom of the moka pot up to the safety valve with water. Use whatever water you normally drink (i.e. If you use a Britta use that water)

Step 3: Fill the Filter

Fill the cone filter with ground coffee. Make sure it is uniformly filled and about level with the top of the cone. Use the side of a spoon to help fill the filter and to gently pack it down. DO NOT pack the grounds like an espresso shot.

Step 4: Check Your Gasket

Most problems with a moka pot arise when the gasket area is not clean. If it's not clean the heated coffee will seep out around the screw and will result in bitter coffee and a giant mess.

Use a dish brush to clean around the edges of the gasket to remove any old coffee grounds. Then take your finger and wipe the rim of the cone filter. Screw the top of the moka pot onto the base until secure.

Step 5: Heat It Up

Place your moka pot on Medium Low heat. Open the top lid and wait.

The brewing process should take 5-10 minutes

Step 6: When to Stop

After a few minutes on the stove, dark coffee should start rolling down the central spout. When the upper reservoir is about 3/4 full, the new coffee coming out of the spout will turn more white and bubbly. There may also be a gurgling sound. This is when you turn off the heat and take the pot off the burner. You should also close the lid so you don't burn yourself from the splashing coffee.

Step 7: Enjoy the Results

Pour your coffee into a cup of your choice and enjoy!



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    5 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I have just bought a Moka. I filled with water and ground coffee, put on stove and waited! A smell of burnt coffee came from the kitchen. No water/coffee in the top at all. Water in the bottom coffee coloured. What am I doing wrong? It has been rinsed and the pieces are fine, no clogging anywhere. Please help.

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hi JanT29,

    It sounds like you don't have a proper seal between the two chambers. Double check that your seal is intact and clean. Then try adding a little less coffee grounds and screwing the compartments together about as tight as a soda bottle when you buy it from the store. Again, making sure that the seal is clear of any coffee grounds.

    Hope this helps you


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks Distanceruner027.
    I'll try your suggestion and see what happens. The seal is quite thin and I have a spare, so will try one and then two!
    Bless you thanks!


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Hello Andy,

    I'd have to disagree with you on step 4. To clean the dirty gasket you have to take it out. Clean everything up real good and put it back together. Keep it clean each time after use and you shouldn't have this issue.

    I've been using this system for years. It's not my main method of caffeine delivery, but one that is special. For an extra treat, I like to put a little splash of grappa with my espresso. ;-)

    Last time I went traveling Europe I had a little tiny, 120cm one that I used with my backpacking stove. That was well worth carrying. I'd also like to add that this is always worth going the extra effort and getting these Italian made pots. Makes that cup java even better!