The Mighty Moka

Tuesday, 27 May, 2014
I think it is safe to say that the first trial of the Manual Brewer's Cup was a success. We had to start late because the main attraction Barista Championship ran a bit over time, but those who could stick around stayed and had some fun. The biggest surprise of the entire thing was that Stephen Tredrea, using his trusty, beat up  Moka Pot took home the gold! He arrived on stage with his gas stove and triumphed over a siphon, AeroPress and pour over!

All credit must go to Mike Mac Donald and Bilbo Steyn of Origin Coffee Roasting and Rob Cowles of Rosetta Roastery for providing the amazing coffees we used and for giving up their time to be our panel of esteemed judges. They've got some of the best tastebuds in the business, they know what they're talking about, we were very grateful to have them on board and hopefully the event will grow in the future!

Check out the rules we followed here.

We asked the winner, Mr Stephen Tredrea of More Coffee to tell us his tips and tricks to perfecting the moka.

As much as variables that determine great coffee can be pinned down, brewing remains an art. To master an art it is necessary to experiment, get a feeling for what works and maybe challenge a few conventions. Here are a few ideas to tweak your Moka experience:

  • Use freshly boiled water, rather than cold. It's simply faster, so you are left with a good feeling using your Moka Pot and can appreciate the next point...
  • Use a low heat. This slows down the flow of water through your ground coffee to get a maximum extraction of flavours.
  • Use a fine grind (preferably freshly ground coffee). Don't pack it in tightly and leave some room for it to expand with the water.
  • Leave the lid open so you can watch the coffee flow out, keeping a bowl of cold water close by. Once the liquid becomes pale, plunge the base of your Moka Pot into the cold water to stop it flowing out.
  • Definitely experiment - the exact point at which to stop the brewing process is different for each coffee and according to your taste preferences. Allow yourself a few tries with each new bag of roasted beans to get a feeling for what works best for that particular coffee. Using these ideas you won't get the same quantity of coffee but the quality of the concentrated espresso is certainly worthwhile. Savour it, and have fun!

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!