Caffe' Nostro Beans out of stock! Website will be updated once back in stock, Sorry for the inconvenience!

Your Cart is Empty

How to Make the Perfect Italian Coffee Using a Moka Pot

by Luciano Iarusso January 02, 2018

How to Make the Perfect Italian Coffee Using a Moka Pot

There's nothing better than freshly made coffee -- but what about freshly made Italian coffee?   Italian coffee  is truly luxurious and there is a whole language and culture that surrounds this daily ritual in Italy. But you probably have no idea how to make Italian coffee which is commonly known as espresso. Fortunately, it's not as hard as it sounds. The important thing is getting started.  Coffee is an important staple in Italy. While the average person only enjoys coffee in the morning or as an energy boost, Italians enjoy coffee throughout the day.

Italians make time for coffee after breakfast, in the afternoon, and even right before bed. Offering coffee to guests is also a sign of great hospitality.

So how do you make the best Italian coffee? You don't need expensive machines or accessories to start making espresso at home. A small investment of a MOKA and some coffee beans along with a strong desire to make your first cup is all that is required . Find out howhere!  

To Make the Best Italian Coffee, Get a Moka Pot

No, you can't make the best Italian coffee with a Keurig. You need a special  Moka pot  to achieve flavorful Italian coffee.

So, what's the Moka pot? The Moka pot was made by Alfonso Bialetti in 1933. There are three main components: the bottom chamber (also called the broiler), the funnel cup, and the top chamber.

Here's a breakdown of each:

  • The bottom chamber -- the component that's filled with water.
  • The funnel cup  -- holds the coffee grounds.
  • The top chamber  -- where coffee is drawn once it's finished.

The Moka pot can make espresso in a variety of sizes: between 1 and 12 cups, keep in mind these are espresso cups, not traditional measuring cups.

Fill the Bottom Chamber with Water

Start by filling the bottom chamber with water. Using bottled or filtered water if your tap water has an adverse taste. Water that  has a residual taste to begin with will have an impact on the final taste of your coffee.  Remember with espresso you are dealing with 2 - 3 oz of liquid.  In most cases, tap water is fine. Some even say using hot water is best, while others say water temperature doesn't matter.

The best thing to remember is to not fill the whole bottom chamber with water. Too much water will result in watery espresso. There should be a valve on your bottom chamber. Don't let the water surpass the valve.

Use the Right Coffee

Since you're making coffee with a stovetop percolator, you have to use specific coffee blends. The important part is ensuring the beans are ground at the right setting for the MOKA pot. 

Medium grounded coffee is the best. Coffee that is ground too fine will move through the filter.  In this case, you may find residual coffee in the pot. But coarse coffee will produce a coffee that is too watery.

If you're grinding the coffee yourself, make sure you put the grinder at a medium level. If you're purchasing pre-grounded coffee, make sure the packaging says medium grind and suitable for stovetop percolators.

Which coffee blend is best for Italian coffee? For espresso, make sure it's a medium to medium / dark roast. If you purchase a really dark roast, the coffee may taste burnt.

Don't be fooled by blends with 'Italian roast.' While Italian roast is usually a form of a dark roast, not all companies make legitimate dark roast espresso for Italian coffee.

Now it's time to make the coffee. Pour the coffee into the funnel cup with a spoon.

There are a few different techniques you can use when pouring the coffee.

You can style the coffee in a mound. You can poke three holes with a toothpick. But some say just level coffee is fine. But never press the coffee down or try and even it out.

After the coffee is poured in, make sure the lid is screwed tightly.

Heating the Coffee

Now it's time to heat the coffee. Set the Moka pot on the burner and turn it on to low heat.

If you can, use a small burner. This will guarantee your coffee won't burn and the handle won't melt. Roasting the coffee on a small burner helps water draw through the coffee slower, resulting in flavorful coffee.

How do you know the coffee is done? When you hear the coffee gurgling. This means the coffee is coming up to the top chamber.

Before turning off the stove, check and see if the coffee has risen.

Make sure you stir the coffee. When you make the best Italian coffee in a Moka pot, the coffee is often separated. So the espresso is uniform, stir the coffee before pouring.

Use the Right Cups

You can't just pour the best Italian coffee into any old mug and call it a day. Italian espresso needs a proper vessel. Remember -- you don't need a lot of espresso;  use a small cup. It's a very strong beverage, so less is more.

Find espresso cups in these materials: glass, ceramic, or porcelain. Each is great, but porcelain is recommended because it maintains even temperature.

For optimum taste and quality, heat the cups before serving. Heat the water and pour into the cups while you're waiting for your coffee to heat up. Just make sure you dry the cups before serving.

Now that the coffee is done and the cups are warmed, is there anything else you need to do? Offer some classic Italian hospitality. Bring the coffee pot with some raw sugar. Provide treats and pastries.

Other Italian Coffee Variations

If classic Italian espresso is too bitter for you, try some of these other Italian coffee variations. And yes, all of them can be made with your Moka.

  • Cappuccino  -- the best Italian coffee made a little creamier. If you want something stronger, shake the espresso with ice. This makes the espresso frothy and creamy without milk.
  • After-Dinner Coffee  -- is there a better ingredient to add to coffee than alcohol? While alcoholic espresso may not be good for the day, it's perfect for the evening. Splash some grappa, brandy, sambuca, or rum.
  • Decadent Italian Coffee  -- if you enjoy the sweeter things in life, put a dollop of whipped cream on top of your coffee. You can also pour Italian espresso on vanilla ice cream for a classic Italian dessert called Fire and Ice or Affogato.

Time to Make Italian Espresso

If you want the most luxurious coffee experience, try Italian coffee. Even though it's not instant coffee, using a Moka isn't difficult or time-consuming. You just need to be sure you have the correct roast and grind for your coffee.

When you sip your homemade Italian espresso, you'll never go to another coffee shop again.

Spend more time on our website for the   best Moka machines  and beans.

Luciano Iarusso
Luciano Iarusso

1 Response


May 22, 2019

This is a really good article. It helps me a lot on how to make a good italian coffee. Can I use one of this best coffee for sensitive stomach in making italian coffee. -please give me your idea on which of this coffees.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Espresso Machine How To Guides

How to use Pre-ground option in Philips EP 2200 and 3200 series
How to use Pre-ground option in Philips EP 2200 and 3200 series

by Wael Faraj June 20, 2021

Read More
Cleaning and Lubricating the Saeco Brew Unit
Cleaning and Lubricating the Saeco Brew Unit

by Wael Faraj March 13, 2020

Read More
How to Clean a Super Automatic Espresso Machine
How to Clean a Super Automatic Espresso Machine

by Luciano Iarusso September 21, 2018 1 Comment

Want to know the steps you need to keep your superautomatic espresso machine running smoothly. Read this blog.
Read More