17 February 2007
Moka or caffe
When Italians make caffe' at home they commonly make moka. This is coffee that is made on the stove top using a moka pot, which now comes in a varying array of styles and colors as well as electric models.
These are rather simple contraptions with a base for the water, a filter cup to put the ground coffee in and a screw on top where the caffe' percolates into. You can control the strength of the caffe' by how much coffee you put into the filter. These are generally always metal, perhaps with a ceramic top. The beauty of the moka is that they last almost forever as there are no moving or electrical parts and there is a wide range of replacement parts (gaskets or handles) available at many stores.
We have a selection in our apartment as there is one size for having company, one for our day to day use and one if we just want one cup. I also bought one that has the spouts that was advertised as making ‘real espresso’ with the crema but as with much advertising it was a bust.
One important point about a moka pot is that many Italians will cringe at having their pot washed, rinse it out yes, but as with a good seasoned skillet you don’t want your moka to be sparkling clean.
Being the caffe snob that I am moka still does not replace the real thing that I can get down at one of my favorite bars.