In today's edition of the Home Coffee Series, we take a look at The Cafetera, also known as the 'moka pot'.
The Cafetera was invented in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti in Italy, and quickly became a part of Italian culture. In post-WW1 Italy, many impoverished Italians who could no longer afford to get their daily espresso coffee fixed found The Cafetera to be a solution for espresso. It remained popular and it is now estimated that 9 in 10 Italians have a Cafetera in their households.
It has been featured in several industrial and design museums, including the Museum of Modern art and the London Science Museum, largely due to the ingenious way it passes pressurised steam through ground coffee (more on that below).
At present, The Cafetera is mostly used in Europe and Latin America, with the low cost and the popularity of espresso in these countries attributable to the demand.
Why use a Cafetera at home?
Similarly to the French Press, Cafetera's are extremely easy to use. You only need ground beans (easily obtained from a supermarket or cafe if you don't have a grinder), a stovetop (gas, electric or ceramic) and some water.
Cafeteras are very compact, and can be easily stored away when you're not using. They don't require any maintenance apart from a clean after every use, use no disposable parts and will last years and years!
A key advantage The Cafetera has over a French Press is the ability to pressurise your coffee beans, which enable a more espresso-like outcome and some crema (the reddish-brown froth on top of a shot of espresso).
Steps to use a Cafetera
1) Unscrew the Cafetera and fill with water (pre-warmed ideally), up until the safety valve. On our Cafetera's these are a gold screw.
2) Fill the coffee basket up to the brim and level off to the brim, place this basket on top of the filled water
3) screw on the top and place over the fire onto a medium heat
4) wait 3-4 mins until all the coffee has been extracted into to the top section of the Cafetera
5) pour out an espresso and enjoy! You can then choose to add some milk (perhaps even by using an inexpensive milk frother) and have a home made latte!
Note: some guides will recommend you use warm water for the initial fill and others will say cold tap water is fine. Whilst both provide a similar result, you'll likely find slightly less bitterness and saves time brewing.
We've included an instructional video below for your reference too.
Inspired? You can buy our matte black Cafetera with gold detailing at the following link