The 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