Making coffee on the stove: What is a Moka and how to use it Moka is the traditional stove-top coffee maker used for home-made coffee in many Italian families. Despite the growing market for coffee pods and capsules, many nostalgic, routine-bound coffee lovers still cling to the old-fashioned pot and its irreplaceable charm made of aromes, flavors and memories. Let’s see what you know and don’t know about Moka.

Who invented the Moka pot? The Moka pot was invented in 1933 by Bolognese inventor Alfonso Bialetti for the Omegna company. Bialetti’s metal, octagonal based pot with its bachelite handle soon became one of the most distinctive icons of Italian design in the world. It has even been exhibited at the MOMA in New York.

Why is it called Moka? The name derives from Mokha, a town in Yemen. It was one of the first regions to farm and produce Arabica coffee.

How do I use a Moka pot? Making coffee with a Moka pot is a familiar ritual made of simple gestures. Fill the bottom part of the pot with water to the small metal valve. Put your coffee grounds into the funnel-shaped filter and place it on the bottom chamber. Screw the top chamber tightly and put the Moka pot on the stove. Now you just have to wait until all the coffee comes out, filling your kitchen with its charming fragrance.

Moka or espresso machine: Which one is better? It’s hard to say, if not impossible. They are two different, almost opposite ways of experiencing coffee. Espresso is bound to the Italian tradition of coffee break at a café with friends and workmates. Moka evokes the idea of home-made coffee, consumed with the family at breakfast or after lunch.

Whether you choose the vintage taste of the stove-top coffee maker or the modern taste of the newest espresso machines, we can be sure about one thing: What really counts is the quality of the coffee you use.

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