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illy coffee preparation - Moka

Moka

In Italy, ordering a Caffe Moka is quite different from, say, calling for a Mocha coffee in America.  To sound alike is not to taste alike, coffee-style. For making moka, the chocolate syrup is nowhere in sight.

Small, two-chambered moka pots sit on many Italian stovetops, easy to use and producing a full-bodied coffee, rich in aroma. Many have an hourglass shape, but you can find moka pots in a variety of styles, all based on the same operating principle.  Water is heated in a lower chamber. Vapor pressure approaching two atmospheres pushes the water up through ground coffee in a filter, which collects in the upper chamber as liquid coffee.  

It’s really that simple, but it does take some practice, a careful eye and the right grind, never too fine. Use a low flame, and be sure not to overheat to coffee.

Making a moka coffee:

  • Fill the base chamber with cold water up to the level of the valve. Insert the filter.
  • Completely fill the filter with ground coffee, but don’t pack it down.
  • Make sure the filter and rubber gasket are in place. Screw the two chambers tightly together.
  • Place the moka pot on the stove. Warning: keep the heat low.
  • Remove pot from heat just when coffee starts to gurgle, before it starts to rise and bubble. You’ll be sure to extract only the best parts of the coffee.
  • Mix the coffee with a spoon before pouring into cups.
  • Rinse the coffee maker with hot water and let dry thoroughly before screwing chambers back together.
  • Naples has a long and rich coffee tradition all its own, steeped in a 17th-century innovation called the cuccumella.  Also known as the Neapolitan coffee maker, it remains the city’s signature preparation method; a slow, delightful ritual, celebrated daily. 

 
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