Using a Moka Express

Here is a quick guide as how you can make a great cup of coffee with an Italian Moka. Originally these wonders were first made in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti, under the name “Moka Express“. Our one below isn’t from the famous manufacturer, but the design is similar. Sometimes Moka’s are incorrectly spelt as Mocha, but that more refers to a mixture of coffee with chocolate.  Here is our Moka Express.
For good coffee, you need good beans. We are using Lavazza beans, namely their espresso blend. This is a mixture of 30% of Robusta beans and 70% Arabica beans. Lavazza is apparently Italy’s favourite coffee blend.
The best grinders are canonical grinders, as they don’t heat up the ground coffee unnecessarily. Sadly our grinder isn’t, but it gets the job done.
The Moka Express has 3 parts, consisting of a boiler, which is a holder for the water, a metal filter for holding the ground coffee and an upper part used for holding the coffee once it is brewed.
When you are grinding your beans, make sure it is almost ground to a powdery consistency. This will allow you to pack more coffee into the metal filter. This coffee below needs to be more finely ground.

Coffee that is ready for the Moka.
Here is the metal filter filled up with coffee. It is important to fill it up to the top, and to also compress the coffee down. Compressing the coffee into the filter will ensure that the steam from the boiler will pass through the coffee at a high pressure.

Place your Moka on the stove on a full heat. This will cause the water in your boiler to boil as quick as possible.

IMG_9101Generally you should keep the lid down to avoid the coffee flying into your face and boiling you. But here is what it looks like.

IMG_9101The coffee will continue to bubble up and fill the upper part.


And all that is left to do is to enjoy your espresso, or add a bit of water for a weaker, but still tasty cup of coffee.

Alternatives to a Moka Express

And for those of you who are too lazy to use a Moka, and want to use something a little easier to use, but still want a good cup of coffee, I would suggest a nespresso machine. Nespresso coffee comes in little small pods (see below) which contain ground coffee sealed for freshness. Pop these little capsules in the machine, and out comes a rather nice, aromatic coffee.
The variety of blends also you to give your guests a nice cup of coffee depending on their tastes and preferences. Nespresso also offer decaffeinated capsules, these are the red ones normally. Nespresso rates their capsules on a scale from 1-10 for strength, these are listed on the side of the boxes, with 10 being the strongest.

So what’s your favourite way of making coffee ?

6 thoughts on “Using a Moka Express

  1. I’ve had it with the “modern” coffee makers. Had a Jura fully automatic coffee machine for a while, really didn’t like the coffee. Then a Nespresso machine. Ok for Espresso but the price of the capsules is just ridicolous and then there’s the garbage issue…
    Now I’m back using a frenchpress pot for regular coffee and an Italian Espresso machine from Isomac for… well… Espresso of course 🙂

    1. Servus Haentz,
      I am quite happy with my automatic DeLonghi Magnifica but sometimes I like to take my time and make some extra strong coffee. I have tried Jura machines in the stores, but I always found them overpriced for what you got. The DeLonghi one goes for around €450 in some stores in Munich, and the last one I had lasted 4.5 years before it hit the bucket. I think the Nespresso coffee works out at 35 – 40 cents per cup, which isn’t that bad, unless you drink 20 of them a day ! 1 coffee from Starbucks would knock you back €3.50 or so. I’m not too sure as to the running costs for my automatic machine, but I guess it’s less than 30 cents per cup.

      Thanks for your comment !


  2. Hm yeah, My calculation was somewhat off… 250g of Illy grounded coffee costs 800 Euro-Cent. So it’s like 22-25 Cents per cup (roughly 7-8g coffee per cup). So actually 30 Cents for the Nespresso capsules doessn’t look so bad. I think the special season blends where like 39 Cent or so…

  3. I personally do not think that looking about the prices is what is important, what is cheep and does last for a long time is what we love to hear about.And bialetti is all about that so you will be alone if you do not take it as part of your house hold appliances.Bialetti-moka can be express using one sentence “it is awesome”

  4. Thanks for your comment Austria surfer, sorry I have to change your name as I doubt your parents named you “bialetti moka”. And the link to your squidoo page has also been removed as I didn’t think it was that good of a source.

  5. Hi, quite a good post about the simple way creating a very nice cup of coffee. I bought a hexagon magic pot this week in addition to our coffee machine, because it is perfect to create a cup of coffee (or moka) after lunch. I think you could get better coffee from a coffee house only if you get hold of a talented barista behind the bar as well.

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