Alfonso Bialetti, who worked in France in the early 1900s in a foundry, learning many important techniques, opened in 1919 an industry in his native Piedmont region. In this industry he produced objects in iron and alluminium. In 1933 he had the idea that revolutioned his life and the whole community of coffee lovers: creating coffee in every home through the steam of boling water. The name he choose, "moka", was inspired by the Mokha, in Yemen, in the area where the coffee has been cultivated for centuries. This lead to a revolution in drinking coffee: it became a drink very easy to obtain everywhere, and this pleasure was no longer confined to the higher classes in the cafes. It "democratized" the black hot drink. In Italy and in many other countries like Spain coffee in a moka pot is somewhat a ritual involving families and friends eating together.
The espresso machine, invented in 1901 by Luigi Bezzera, now to be found in every coffee worldwide, of which we will talk in another occasion, is just so different in concept and in taste. There are two main way of thinking in the big big world of coffee lovers: those who thinks that the true "caffè" is the one made with Moka (let's say them the Bialettians) and those who thinks that true coffee is only the one made with espresso machine (the Bezzerians). Choose your side, or, as we do, enjoy both!
Many thinkers, like frenchmen Honoré de Balzac, links the invention of agitated the crowd. It surely is no good exaggerating in caffeine, but a small ritual, twice a day, is really pleasing. The very first home coffee pot was actually not the Moka, anyway. The caffettiera napoletana (we'll talk about it, do not worry!) was created in 1819 in Naples, but in this way, even if the coffee is really delicious, the process is considerably longer.
caffeine, isolated in 1820, with the new, energetic, speedful society of the XIX and the XX century. It somewhat
|The Bialetti Moka and our Bowl get along very well!|
And now some suggestion about how to obtain a good cafè with your moka!
-First of all, pour the water in the buttom chamber of the moka pot. Do not let the water pass the valve: if the water is too high and touch the coffee basket, it would create a sort of cap that would not let the steam circulate freely.
-Put the coffee powder in the middle basket and press it a little bit, but it has not to be too pressed, otherwise the steam of the boiling water will not flow. This is a main difference between the moka and the espresso machine, that has a higher pressure and needs the coffee powder to be very dense.
-Put the coffee on low-middle heat. Do not put the coffee pot on high heat, the coffee it is obtained with a process known as percolation, and if the steam is too strong because of high heat, the coffee you'll obtain with get only partially the complete flavours that the coffee powder has.
-After some minutes, you'll hear your moka bubble. There you have it! Your coffee is ready! Pour it into a small cup and get back to the table with your friends!
-If you see that the coffee you obtained is not enough according to the water you put inside the bottom chamber, you might either have wet your coffee ground in the basket or it might be just time to substitute your filter. You can put a little bit of cold water in a pot beside the Moka and put for some seconds the bottom of Moka pot in the water to cool it down a little bit before putting the moka back on fire. It will help extracting all the stream.
Buon caffè to all!