Stove top

French Press, Vac Pot, Drip or any other - air your views and results

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Stove top

Postby BillyT » Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:33 pm

Would it be possible to replicate the pressure profile and temprature profile of a Stove top using a Hydra, or similar pimped machine?

If so, it might allow for quicker experiments to see what coffee variants might result in getting a better cup...?
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RE: Stove top

Postby Bombcup » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:32 pm

Interesting idea. I don't know much about the capabilities of a Hydra; I guess you would be able to extract at 1 bar but I think there would be other considerations.

I would guess that the build up of pressure and temperature over the course of a few minutes probably has some bearing on the cup. A moka is going from tap or kettle temp and atmospheric pressure to 90+ deg and about a bar or so above atmos pressure in an analogue fashion over as long as 3 or 4 minutes, not to mention using a very differently shaped basket. I reckon these factors would be more of a problem to replicate.

Are you aiming to advise your customers on the ultimate moka method?
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Postby BillyT » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:37 pm

I was making a pot of french press, thinking, surely there is a way to make moka much, MUCH better. There are some guides going around, including the one posted by James H, but it's still not a great cup. Using pre-boiled water and working fast, I can get a small moka going in well under a minute, the taste is significantly better, but still has a long way to go.

I also wonder if coating everything in teflon might help.

If there is a method that is much much better, lets spread the love.. At the moment, I advise my customers away from a moka. I feel it doesn't convey or do justice to the love gone into producing and roasting the coffee we sell, it's more a romance associated with traditionalism that fuels their use?
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Postby bruceb » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:22 pm

BillyT wrote:If there is a method that is much much better, lets spread the love.. At the moment, I advise my customers away from a moka. I feel it doesn't convey or do justice to the love gone into producing and roasting the coffee we sell, it's more a romance associated with traditionalism that fuels their use?


I believe them are fightin' words around these parts, pardner. :shock: :lol:
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Postby Bombcup » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:23 pm

I think in much of mainland europe particularly Italy, Spain and Portugal from my own experience, coffee comes out of a moka pot in the same way that for 90% of Britons coffee is what comes out of a jar of granules.

In Britain no middle class kitchen would be seen without a moka pot, or a range of moka pots carefully displayed in front of the Farrow & Ball paint in ascending size order for the 3 times a year they dig the bag of Lavazza out of the back of the cupboard. The rest of the year it fits the cosmopolitan style aspiration perfectly.

Naturally when an interest in posh coffee comes along the moka pot is the tool of choice, but as you say gently guiding them to other methods is the best course of action.

I know there are people here who are very keen on moka pot coffee, and more power to their collective elbow. It can be great if done with care, but it's bottom of my list. I would love it if you could find a way to make the moka pot excellent.
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Postby bruceb » Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:51 am

Bombcup wrote:I know there are people here who are very keen on moka pot coffee, and more power to their collective elbow. It can be great if done with care, but it's bottom of my list. I would love it if you could find a way to make the moka pot excellent.


Lots of sugar and hot milk? :roll:
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Postby Gouezeri » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:06 am

Bottom of my list too, largely because I find it is so temperature sensitive.

As BC says, I think there is an aesthetic thing going on here, where a Moka exudes a sense of authenticity, which doesn't really make it into the cup. A FP would definitely be my recommendation of choice, simply because lots of people already have one. I think the mud turns them off though, and lots of people don't let it steep long enough.

If somebody is really showing an interest, then I will always try to push them towards an Aeropress. Its only downsides are quantity restraints and, to an extent, increased cost. I'd love for them to make a bigger version.

If there is anybody here that really is keen on moka pots, and has jewels to share, then please do, as I bet the vast majority of us here have mokas gathering dust!
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Postby bruceb » Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:58 pm

There have been quite a few threads about this on TMC. If I can find the time and the inclination I may try to summarize some of the suggestions that have been made, ranging from aluminium vs. stainless, heating the water before filling the moka pot and fineness of grind.
The thing about moka pots is that they are so collectable. Boot sales, ebay, naive friends, etc. are all such a rich source of the things, and they come in such a variety of shapes and sizes. Still, it is very difficult to make a good cup of coffee with any one of them. I believe James H. has had considerable success with them, but he seems to have success at almost anything he puts his mind to.
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I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
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Postby GeorgeW » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:45 am

I confess to having used a Moka for around forty years and have yet to find a better route to that large, strong morning cup. I would agree that it fails to reflect the subtleties found in some types of coffee but that is not a priority for me at breakfast time. I find that it works best with strong, robust flavours e.g. OBJ, Braz. Daterra or MM perhaps, but not so well with anything acidic.

Certainly, the method of using will affect the results and I tend to use pre-heated water with a low heat and am happy with the results. Call me coarse or having unrefined tastes or even "middle-class" but I like it. That said, habitual instant drinkers do find the brew too strong for their taste.

Feel free to disagree with the above but be aware that I will immediately characterise such dissenters as "Big Jessies" or for effete southerners, "Big Girls' blouses".
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Postby GreenBean » Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:49 pm

GeorgeW wrote:Call me coarse or having unrefined tastes or even "middle-class" but I like it. That said, habitual instant drinkers do find the brew too strong for their taste.

Feel free to disagree with the above but be aware that I will immediately characterise such dissenters as "Big Jessies" or for effete southerners, "Big Girls' blouses".


I would not dare disagree. :? Perhaps we could just say that some habitual OBJ drinkers do like it. :wink: :wink:
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Postby triptogenetica » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:13 pm

it doesn't convey or do justice to the love gone into producing and roasting the coffee we sell, it's more a romance associated with traditionalism that fuels their use?

Exactly - on the rare occasion i use one, it's for exactly this reason. I've never had a cup as good as i can prepare with a french press - but there is something romantic about the gurgling/hissing little pot of strong coffee.

Now that GeorgeW mentions it, it probably would suit an OBJ or the like. Hadn't thought of trying that. Will do so this weekend, quite possibly. (There's some "green" - yellow - OBJ i could roast tomorrow, with some of that love Billy mentioned).
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Postby CakeBoy » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:52 pm

I've never had a Moka pot coffee as far as I can remember, though from the sound of it the 'Big girl's Blouse' monika would fit if the aforementioned contained anything like OBJ!
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