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  • - Today we're talking about the moka pot.

  • This is The Ultimate Moka Pot Technique,

  • and this is going to be a little bit different

  • to my other Ultimate Technique videos,

  • because, well, there is no one moka pot.

  • They go from being great big things

  • down to being nice and little and small,

  • there's different styles,

  • but they all kind of work the same way.

  • But it's a versatile brewer, it's a tricky brewer,

  • and what I'm going to do today is give you some constants,

  • a few things that I would do for every single brew,

  • and then a few variables to tweak

  • to get the best out of each of these brews.

  • If you watch this and just do the constants,

  • I think you'll get a better brew,

  • but I would recommend taking the time to understand

  • how to get the very best you can from the moka pot.

  • Let's begin, though, with a very quick explanation

  • of how a moka pot works.

  • For this we took a moka pot like this and sliced it in half,

  • and you can see there's really three chambers

  • to pay attention to.

  • The lowest chamber is your boiler.

  • You put your water in here

  • and as you boil the whole unit, once it's sealed together,

  • the steam and expanding air

  • will press the water up the funnel

  • through into the middle section

  • which is where the coffee sits.

  • And that pressure built by the steam

  • and built by the expanding air

  • will press the very hot water

  • through the coffee into this chamber,

  • filter it out, and then push the liquid up here

  • and into our collection receptacle in the top

  • from which we can then pour and drink.

  • It's a beautifully simple brewer.

  • It's kind of fun that it kinda brews upside down;

  • instead of water on top,

  • coffee and then drink at the bottom,

  • it goes the other way.

  • The big challenge with a moka pot

  • is preventing the whole thing getting too hot

  • and having incredibly hot water from the boiler

  • pass through the coffee,

  • which tends to give a great deal of bitterness to a cup.

  • That's what we want to avoid.

  • So now I'll take a classic pot,

  • this is a six-cup aluminum Bialetti,

  • and I'll walk you through the constants first

  • and then we'll brew with it afterwards

  • to go through the variables in a bit more detail.

  • First constant is put boiling water

  • in the base of this unit.

  • Putting boiling water in the base of this thing

  • brings the temperature down to the kind of low 90s,

  • which is perfect for putting on the heat

  • and starting to brew with.

  • You can, if you want to, boil your water in the base first,

  • but do let it cool down a little bit.

  • I wouldn't recommend starting

  • with the water super close to boiling point.

  • Starting with freshly boiled water in the base

  • means you have a faster brew,

  • more suitable brew temperatures,

  • And I know that sounds surprising,

  • but trust me, it works better this way,

  • and you'll get a better extracted,

  • more delicious cup of coffee.

  • Constant number two, you want a full basket of coffee.

  • Now most of these brewers

  • work on approximately a 10 to 1 ratio.

  • If you fill the water on a boiler to just below the valve,

  • typically it will hold around 10 times more water by weight

  • than you can fit coffee in the basket.

  • Bear in mind though

  • that filling the basket is a volumetric fill

  • and a light roast will weigh more than a dark roast will.

  • So it's difficult to say you must use exactly 10 to 1,

  • but I tend to recommend that as a good starting point.

  • This holds just under 300 grams of liquid in the base,

  • but I'm still gonna aim

  • for about 30 grams of coffee into here,

  • ground freshly, right before we brew.

  • Next up is puck prep, and consider this an optional extra.

  • I think it does help make the coffee taste better,

  • but don't freak out if this isn't an option for you.

  • Firstly, once your coffee is in the basket,

  • feel free to give it a little tap to settle it down.

  • If you have a needle distribution tool for espresso,

  • this is a great time to use it.

  • It helps distribute the coffee in the basket

  • and also get rid of any potential clumps

  • that might be there.

  • Feel free to give it another little tap

  • after you've settled.

  • The other extra is one of these,

  • it's an AeroPress paper filter.

  • In a 3-cup unit and bigger,

  • you can get an AeroPress filter just here

  • underneath the top part of the section.

  • This will add another layer of filtration

  • alongside the metal piece here

  • which gives you a cleaner cup

  • and also it seems a slightly better extraction overall.

  • With the slightly larger units,

  • I'd recommend choosing a little water to wet the filter,

  • not to rinse it for paper taste,

  • but to help it stick in place

  • so it doesn't move around when you're prepping your pot.

  • And the last constant for brewing

  • is avoid the hot sputtering phase at the end of brewing.

  • When you brew, keep your lid open

  • and keep an ear and an eye out on your brew.

  • A watched pot is a good pot in this situation.

  • At the end of a brew,

  • we definitely want to avoid uncondensed steam

  • passing from the boiler right through the coffee,

  • causing an angry spurting, sputtering phase.

  • If that happens,

  • it's making your coffee taste very bitter,

  • and at that point you want to rinse the pot

  • under the cold tap to cool it down immediately

  • and to stop brewing

  • before it adds too much bitterness to the cup.

  • These constants I think will make any brew better,

  • but we can take it even further.

  • Let me walk you through a brew

  • of a particular coffee from start to finish

  • and give you the additional variables

  • that you need to worry about.

  • So of course the biggest variable you are gonna use

  • is gonna be the coffee that you choose to brew.

  • Here I'm brewing a relatively light-roasted coffee

  • that is roasted for espresso,

  • but is still on the lighter end of things.

  • That's gonna dictate a couple of key things.

  • Firstly, how fine I grind the coffee.

  • The lighter the roast,

  • the finer you'll need to grind it

  • to get a good extraction from it.

  • Lighter roasts are harder to properly extract

  • than darker roasts.

  • Here I'll be finer than filter coffee,

  • but certainly not close to espresso.

  • Good bit coarser than espresso,

  • but finer than you might want to brew a one-cup V60.

  • If you brewing a pretty fine AeroPress,

  • you're kind of getting in the ballpark

  • for a brew of this size.

  • Secondly, it's gonna determine how full my boiler is.

  • Now in some situations

  • I want to fill the boiler a little bit less.

  • A less-filled boiler will brew a little earlier

  • and will have a lower overall brew temperature.

  • So if I was brewing a darker roast,

  • I might only fill this boiler

  • two thirds to three quarters of the way full.

  • But with a lighter roast,

  • I need all the water I can get

  • to properly extract the flavors

  • from this lighter-roasted coffee.

  • Therefore, I'm gonna fill this

  • right up until the base of the safety valve.

  • This technique is aiming to get

  • as much water as possible through the coffee

  • before it starts to sputter and get angry.

  • If you do that well,

  • you can really beautifully extract

  • pretty light-roasted coffees and have a very tasty cup.

  • With a darker roast it can be advantageous

  • to have less water in the boiler below,

  • not just from a brew temperature perspective,