A Moka Pot is a coffee brewing mechanism that uses pressure to create some of the strongest coffee possible. While it is not quite as strong as espresso, it is the closest you can get without a pressurized machine. Many use coffee from a Moka pot to replace espresso in the home. Others dilute the finished product with hot water. I prefer it straight out of the brewer, or over ice.
In Eight Easy Steps
1. Fill with room temperature water
You may also fill with water that has already been heated (205 F), but I have found that the best extraction comes from the Moka Pot creating it's own pressure while on the stove top. This particular pot does not have a fill line, so I went about 5/6th of the way to the top.
2. Add the basket
Some baskets screw on, this particular one just sat in the bottom barrel. Being air-tight (other than the holes) is important because pressure plays such an important role in getting good coffee out of the pot.
3. Add ground coffee
Ideally, the coffee should be ground only a few minutes before brewing. The Moka Pot requires a fine ground (somewhere in between espresso and drip). Fill the basket and level it off with your finger or a ruler. Do not press, or "tamp" the coffee into the basket.
4. Assemble the Moka Pot
Again, be sure that the pot is screwed together tight enough to avoid escaping pressure. Keep the lid OPEN during the entire process on your stove top.
5. Turn the stove on Medium Heat
Gas or electric is fine, but be sure to keep the handle as far as possible from the heat source.
6. After ten minutes...
This particular Moka Pot took ten minutes for the first but of coffee to emerge from the percolator. Every pot varies.
Sometimes, the Moka Pot will become slightly too pressurized and spur coffee out of its percolator. Prevent this by keeping the heat on MEDIUM, and placing a spoon as shown.
7.After thirteen minutes...
As shown in the picture, the stream turns a golden, honey-like color when it is ready to be removed from the heat source.
8. Remove from heat
When removing from heat, you want to be sure that your coffee doesn't over-extract. Prevent this by either running the bottom of the pot under cold water, or placing the pot on a chilled bar towel.