Tom here, from Blue Penguin Coffee again with a question for all of you today. Did you know you can make a wonderful, silky smooth, full flavor cappuccino with a moka pot; also known as a moka pot cappuccino?
Or wait, maybe you still don’t know what a moka pot is and this is the first time you’ve heard of it.
Regardless, you’re in the right place!
Today, I’m going to tell you all about the moka pot and will also give you a step by step on how to make the best moka pot cappuccino ever!
As you might notice, we take this brewing thing very serious here and for awhile we didn’t think it was possible to brew anything with the moka pot.
Not to mention to make a nice cappuccino with it.
The relationship was a real love, hate, to say the least.
Let me tell you a quick story of how this all went down!
Why I almost threw away my moka pot.
About a month ago I was doing some winter cleaning (yes, winter cleaning in MN) and had put my moka pot in the throwaway pile.
You know why?
Because every time I made coffee with my moka pot, it tasted horrible.
So horrible I did not even try to create a moka pot cappuccino with it.
No matter what I did, the end result was a dark, bitter and harsh cup.
Luckily, our creative director convinced me to give my pot one more chance on the day that I was going to throw it away.
And wow, was I glad I listened to her.
After only a bit of research, I stumbled upon how to actually brew coffee the right way with a Moka Pot.
Surprisingly, or I guess not surprisingly, I was doing everything wrong.
The grind size I was using was too fine, I didn’t use pre-heated water, I left the moka pot on the heat too long, the list goes on and on.
After following the below steps, though, the result was a pleasant mix between an espresso, pour over and French Press.
The final brew wasn’t as strong as an espresso so you could sip on it, yet wasn’t as delicate as a pour over so you could make a nice cappuccino with it.
Needless to say, it was the first time I was really able to make a good moka pot cappuccino.
Yeah, take that Starbucks!
Ok, just kidding their cappuccinos still win, but it was a nice change up from the typical pour over I usually drink.
Joking aside, if I’ve gotten your attention now, you probably want to know what the steps are to make your own legit tasting moka pot cappuccino.
Before we get into that, though, I think this is the perfect time for a little history lesson.
What is the moka pot and where did it come from?
So where did this nifty little gadget come from?
Well luckily for you, I think it’s good practice to know about the history of an item before using it.
It’s not only good for your curiosity, which I’ve realized is a learned skill after reading Brian Grazer’s book “Curiosity“.
But it’s also good to know for your own coffee knowledge.
Here’s a quick summary. And if you don’t care for this short history lesson, then feel free to skip directly to our step by step recipe for the Blue Penguin Sweet Honey Moka Pot Cappuccino.
Short History of the Moka Pot
The moka pot was invented by Luigi di Ponti in 1933, and just as quickly a machinist by the name of Alfonso Bialetti began production on it. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Bialetti is literally the most well know brand of moka pots. It’s like band aid or Kleenex. Instead of using the actual name of the product, the brand name is used. Let’s go back to that time period and why this invention was so significant. It was 1930’s Italy and the country was under fascist rule. Italians were trying to innovate fast, especially with Aluminum, the national metal at that time.
Espresso and coffee in general was generally consumed only in public and people didn’t brew coffee at home, like we do today. As the legend goes, Bialetti was inspired by early clothes-washing machines which boiled soapy water, forcing it to rise through a tube and onto dirty clothes. The invention occurred at the same time as Italy’s economic downtown which further added to the allure of owning one. You could argue this was one of the greatest coffee inventions of all time and on the same level as pre-packaged coffee. Currently, it is said that over 90% of Italian households own a moka pot. Crazy!
The Blue Penguin recipe takes inspiration from this Chef Steps video where I finally learned how to make a moka pot cappuccino correctly.
If you have never heard of Chef Steps before, they’re awesome!
They take complicated recipes and boil it down to an easy to digest 2 to 3-minute video explaining all that you need to know.
Enough chatting, here’s the recipe.
If you ask me the, the best thing about this recipe is that you can make right at home without a milk frother.
Blue Penguin’s Sweet Honey Moka Pot Cappucino!
1.) Preheat the water by boiling a kettle full of water. If you use cold water your coffee will overcook from the time spent on the stove.
2.) Measure out about 23 grams of coffee. I’m drinking an El Salvador coffee right now. 23 grams is roughly equal the amount it takes to fill up the filter with fine-ground coffee. Remember, the gram amount you’ll need will vary by the density of the bean, so take the time to figure out what works best for you
3.) Grind your coffee – a little coarser than espresso grind (consistency of salt). For reference, we use setting #4 on our Baratza Encore grinder
4.) Add heated water to the bottom half of the moka pot. Fill to up to about where the safety valve line is
5.) Fill the filter basket with your ground coffee and put it into the bottom half of the moka pot. Do not tamp the ground coffe down at all. I repeat, do not tamp at all. If you do, you will likely get a bitter brew because of the long exposure time of the beans to the water
6.) Screw the top and bottom half of the Moka Pot together
7.) Put the moka pot on the stove. Use moderate heat and keep the top lid open
8.) While the moka pot is brewing, warm up 1 cup of milk or soy milk or whatever creamer you like to use in a small saucepan
9.) After the milk is warm, pour the milk into a french press and pump about 20 times or until it froths. If you don’t have a french press, you can also shake the milk up in a jar.
10.) Measure out 1 tablespoon of honey and 1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup
11.) The secret step! Once you hear the coffee gurgling to the top, quickly take it off the stove, close the lid, and run the bottom half of the Moka Pot under cold water. This will stop the cooking process
12.) Pour the moka from the pot into a cup, followed by the frothed milk on top
13.) Drizzle with honey and maple syrup and yum!
That’s it, folks! Our simple recipe to a delicious morning, afternoon or late night coffee drink.
Thanks for sticking with me. Not only did I get to tell you a little bit about my relationship with my dear old moka pot, but I also got to share one of my favorite recipes with you.
If you’re still looking for a Moka pot be sure to check out our favorites in 2017.
And if you enjoyed this recipe, be sure to also check out our world famous Blue Penguin Coffee Shrub Spritzer recipe. It’s definitely a tasty treat on a hot summers day or whenever actually.
In the end, it really goes to show that sometimes, if you’re stuck in a rut, you just need to look at it from another perspective.
I mean for me, if I never gave the moka pot another chance, I would have always thought of it as the most inefficient way to make coffee.
Now, however, I have to say, it is one of my favorite ways to make coffee.
Pour over is still #1 in my heart but the moka pot is a great way to make espresso based drinks at home.
Especially if you don’t have an espresso machine.
What’s your experience with the moka pot?