Stainless Steel Moka Pot – Get Yours While You Still Can

stainless steel moka potThe Bialetti Classic Stainless Steel Moka Pot coffee maker – this iconic espresso maker is known to be in every house in Italy. But the news is out now that the Italian company, Bialetti, is facing possible bankruptcy. Our days to get an original Italian Bialetti moka espresso pot may be numbered.

Moka Espresso Pot

I originally bought one of these little beauties to take with me camping. You use it right on the stove or campfire, it’s small and sturdy, and makes a delicious espresso coffee.

Bialetti started making these in 1933, when the economy was struggling and people couldn’t afford to drink their espressos out as often. This easy little espresso maker is affordable and makes a delicious espresso right at home. It has become the mainstay of Italian homes – it is claimed that every home in Italy has one of these. When I heard that, I bought mine and have loved and used it ever since.

Now, with Starbucks and coffee shops opening in Italy, with automatic one-cup coffee and home espresso makers, like Nespresso and Keurig, Bialetti is losing sales and struggling. Let’s hope and pray they do not go bankrupt! Here is the news story where you can find more information.

Moka Pot vs French Press

I use both my Bialetti moka pot as well as my French Press, and my Mr. Coffee Cafe Cappuccino Maker. When I compare the moka pot vs French Press, overall the strength and taste of the coffee is similar. With the moka pot, you get a generally higher and stronger, more espresso coffee. French Press makes a delicious regular coffee. But with each of them, how strong the coffee is depends on how many tablespoons of grinds you put in, how strong is the coffee bean you’re using, which type of bean (espresso roast or regular roast), etc. The moka pot obviously works better for camping than the French Press, since it is a stainless steel moka pot instead of a glass container.

I like that with the moka pot it brews and then you immediately pour and drink, nice and hot. With the French Press, the coffee sits in the grind for at least three minutes, sometimes up to five depending on your preference, so you have to find a way to keep it hot. I usually pour my French Press coffee into a pre-warmed coffee thermos – I can then pour and drink at my leisure, and it remains pretty hot, but not as steaming as pouring it directly the brew from the moka pot.

The other main difference is that the moka pot only makes a small amount of espresso, depending on which moka pot size you have, whereas the French Press makes several American mugs of coffee each time. French Presses also come in several sizes, but most people use the standard size.

There is also the difference in how the coffee is made. The moka pot percolates your coffee, infusing the grind with moving, boiling water – which I think makes a more delicious and smooth cup of coffee. The French Press has the boiling water poured over where it then sits with the grinds in a more static infusion.

As far as timing for your coffee, the moka pot is slightly quicker. My moka pot takes about three-five minutes, depending on how hot the heat source is, before the water percolates up into the upper chamber. The French Press takes a while for you to get water boiling, depending on how hot your heat source is, then it sits for 3-5 minutes, so it takes a little longer.

The Moka Pot is easier to clean, too. None of it goes in the dishwasher. The three components come apart easily and you simply rinse under hot water – it is a stainless steel moka pot, so very simple. With the French Press, I usually rinse it out, too, but the glass doesn’t clean as easily as stainless steel. Occasionally I remove the glass part and run that and the filter lid through the dishwasher.

Moka Pot Sizes

Like most Europeans, the Italians drink tiny cups of strong espresso. So you’ll find the 1-cup Moka espresso pot, making 2 oz of espresso to fit a tiny espresso cup. Then there’s the 3-cup size stainless steel moka pot, which makes 4.4 oz of espresso – enough for 2 espresso cups, or one small American cup of coffee.

For myself, I chose the 6-cup moka pot, as it makes about two cups of American-size coffee, just enough for me, and is a comfortable size to take camping at 4″x4″x 9″ tall. It produces 9.2 oz of coffee. Keep in mind, when I say it makes me two cups of American size, I tend to drink from a slightly smaller coffee cup than most Americans. If you’re using the large coffee mug popular in the US, this 6-cup moka pot will probably fill one of those with a little left over to top it off.

From there you can choose the 14.2 oz moka pot for espresso, it fills two large American coffee mugs. Lastly Bialetti offers the 12-cup moka pot, making 22.7 oz of espresso – just under three full American mugs. This one is for gatherings and is 11″ tall.

Moka Pot Instructions

Using the moka pot for espresso is very easy. First you unscrew the top chamber from the bottom chamber. Remove the filter piece. Pour water into the bottom chamber up to the fill line. Nestle the filter piece in, and put as many tablespoons of coffee grinds as you like – I usually use 1 Tablespoon per cup of coffee – so about 2 Tablespoons in my 6-cup Bialetti Moka Espresso Pot. I recommend a medium grind, same as for the French Press.

If you like to add a sprinkling of cinnamon or other spice, as I often do, put it on your grinds. Next just screw on the upper chamber.

Place the moka pot on your stove or campfire, whatever you’re using for your heat source. I put my stove at about the 6:00 position – medium heat. Then you wait. After about five minutes or so, you’ll hear it percolating into the upper chamber. I lift the lid to check when the upper chamber is full, then I know it’s done. Remove it from heat, pour and enjoy.

Grind Coffee Moka Pot

Various coffee makers work best at different grinds of coffee. For the moka pot I recommend a medium grind of coffee beans, like you would use in any espresso maker.

Do you use a Bialetti or other moka pot coffee maker? Please comment below how you like it, how you think it compares to French Press coffee, and any other thoughts below.

Where to Buy a Moka Pot Coffee Maker

I bought my stainless steel moka pot coffee maker at Amazon.com

You can also get it directly from the manufacturer at www.Bialetti.com

 

 

Kona Purple Mountain Coffee

I ran into someone who said the best tasting coffee they’ve ever had is Kona Purple Mountain Coffee. I was excited to try it, so I ordered it off of Amazon. It took over a week to get to me from Hawaii. Kona Purple Mountain Coffee is organic and naturally made and roasted on the mountains of Hawaii, so already I was impressed.

Note, there is a separate company called Kona Mountain Coffee with shops in Hawaii, but I’m reviewing here Kona Purple Mountain Coffee, a brand of coffee bean made in Hawaii.

Kona Purple Mountain Coffee

Upon opening the bag I delighted in the lovely fresh coffee aroma coming from the beans. I ground some and made coffee, trying it in my Bialetti Moka Pot as well as a French Press, and later I used it in my Mr. Coffee Cafe Cappuccino Maker.

This company, Kona Purple Mountain, started in 1976 and is a family-owned coffee estate. They grow 100% pure organic beans in the high altitude of Honaunau Mountain at 2,000 feet. The farm is located on the western slope of Mauna Loa, on the kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii. They have an optimal prime location for growing excellent beans. They do all the processing themselves using traditional methods, from harvesting to shipping. The beans are sun-dried on “hoshidana,” a wooden platform deck with an obviously Japanese name. The hoshidana is covered with a thick plastic greenhouse tarp to protect the beans from the afternoon rains. They add no chemicals or pesticides of any kind. The coffee is roasted fresh right at their farm.

On their website you will find lots of photos of the steps they do to make this delicious coffee.

They are certified organic, which means no blends, flavors, pods or decaf. The beans are 100% sun dried and hand-picked and they offer green or roasted coffee beans.

Their motto is “With passion and respect for the aina (land), we practice sustainable organic farming and are “Certified Organic.” Their philosophy alone is worth giving this company our coffee-loving support.

What is Kona Coffee, exactly?

Kona coffee refers to coffee specifically cultivated on the mountain slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa. These are found in the North and South Kona Districts of the Big Island. Kona Coffee is one of the most expensive coffees to buy in the world today. Only coffee grown in the kona districts are allowed to use the prestigious name. The ideal conditions for growing coffee stem from the sunny mornings, the rainy afternoons, mild wind and nights, and the volcanic soil rich in minerals. There is nowhere else just like this for growing the unique coffee.

Because of the price of pure kona coffee, some merchants sell “kona-blends.” Be aware that these are kona coffee blended with less expensive coffee, like Colombian, Brazilian or other coffees from around the world.

The word kona is the name of a southwesterly winter wind in Hawaii. This kona wind is usually strong and it brings rain.

Another company, voted by Forbes as having the best kona coffee in the world, is Koa Coffee – be sure to check them out. I’ve read that each kona farm produces their own distinct arabica coffee bean, the micro climate of each farm plays a part. So trying out the various kona coffee company’s beans would be a fun and interesting challenge.

Save on Kona Coffee when you buy a Triple-pack!

Unusual Taste

Before this I’d been drinking dark Turkish coffee and some Lavazza, my favorite. I also enjoy Bustelo Cuban Coffee and Starbucks, all of which sport a smoky coffee flavor. Starbucks’ coffee beans have a dark, slightly burnt taste.

With Kona Purple Mountain Coffee (I got medium roast), I noticed right away it has a completely different flavor profile. At first I didn’t like it at all, but I’m getting used to it and starting to enjoy it now. It has a kind of brassy, coppery tone to it, almost like caramel. At first it reminded me of cheap coffee I’ve had at places like Village Inn, or like Maxwell House. But this coffee is expensive to buy. I wonder if this flavor profile comes from it drying in the Hawaiian sun, and from the volcanic soil? Or maybe because this is a medium roast?

It is still a strong coffee, like the others I’m used to. Now that I’m adjusting to the different taste, I’m starting to quite enjoy it. It is kind of caramelly, a flavor I often prefer in my coffees.

I’ve read warnings that many companies will try to trick you by using the word “kona.” Be sure to double-check if the beans you are ordering are actually grown in the kona districts of Hawaii.

Have You Tried It?

Let me know, in the comments below, if you have tried Kona Purple Mountain Coffee (or any kona coffee brand) and if you understand what I mean by the different taste profile.

It took me a few cups to come around, but I am starting to enjoy this unusual taste. I like to add some kind of creamer, either coconut creamer from the store, or my homemade cashew milk creamer, along with some caramel-flavored liquid stevia. The caramel stevia enhances the slightly caramel taste of the coffee and they go very well together.

If you have tried other kona coffee brands, please leave your impressions in the comments below. Do they all have the same, basic taste profile? It would be fun to compare.

Monthly Coffee Club

This family-owned business offers a monthly Coffee Club. It’s a standing monthly order that gets charged to your card and shipped out the 1st of every month. Your regular order is sent out, but you can contact them anytime to add to or change your order, if you wish. With this club you will get a discounted price on the coffee.

Where to Buy Kona Purple Mountain Coffee.

Other Trustworthy Kona Coffee Brands Recommended to Try.

  • Koa Coffee
  • The Hawaiian Coffee by Keala
  • Volcanica Coffee
  • The Hawaii Coffee Company
  • The Koa Coffee (Peaberry Kona)

 

 

 

 

Compostable Keurig pods – Yummy Southern Pecan

  At last! Coffee makers are coming out with compostable Keurig pods / K cups. Waste was one of my biggest factors against owning a Keurig. But I love using one, they are so convenient and awesome.

I recently got to try Cameron’s Southern Toasted Pecan, in compostable K cups coffee pods. (Yes, it’s technically a pod, but people are used to calling all things Keurig as “K cups.”) I found mine in Safeway, but Amazon.com carries it, too.

Toasted Southern Pecansouthern-toasted-pecans

I love flavored coffee. I don’t buy my dad’s maxim that “People who want flavors in their coffee, don’t like coffee.” Truth is, I love coffee, just the regular flavor of delicious coffee. But I’m also a culinary adventurer, and I love nothing more than to try new flavors in all of my foods and drinks, especially coffee (well, duh, hence this site).

Keurig Compostable Cups for Coffee

We now have more and more choices for compostable Keurig pods and compostable K cups for our Keurig coffee. I discovered Cameron’s Southern Toasted Pecan, it was on sale, so I decided to give it a try. (I was staying at my friend’s house and enjoying her Keurig.)

No After-taste

One of the problems I have with the various Starbucks K Cups flavors, is that many of them have a nasty after-taste. It’s similar to the after-taste you get when you add too much Stevia. This is found only in some of their flavors. Others of their flavors taste better without any cream or milk, by the way. You will have to experiment to see which you like best.

Cameron’s Toasted Southern Pecan has no after-taste. It is pure deliciousness with the nutty sweet flavor of pecans, like what you get in homemade Pecan Pie (one of my favorites). The aroma alone will delight your senses as it is brewing into your cup.

Compostable Keurig Pods

This is the best part – the coffee pod is compostable. Note the fine print, however, to double-check with your own composting rules in your community, some places are equipped and some may not be, just yet. Also, it is not suitable for backyard home composting. But in the town where I was staying, they compost everything, even meat and bones, so I knew they could handle a compostable coffee K cup.

More to Come in Compostable Coffee K Cups

With more companies offering compostable K cups for coffee, our caffeine habits are getting greener every day. This is great news.

Have you tried some Keurig compostable cups or pods? Tell us in the Comments what you think and which are your favorite.