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Stove top coffee makers.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:37 pm
by Richard
I can't believe i'm having to ask what seems such a stupid question particularly as i've been a coffee 'nerd' for quite a few years.

I just bought Bialetti 2 cup stove top coffee maker, the resulting coffee was good but only enough to part fill a tiny coffee cup. Or what I would call a proper coffee cup.

My 2 cup press pot would produce twice as much coffee also the Aeropress would so they are 4 cup if I used the same terms.

Is there an accepted standard for what constitutes a cup of coffee.

The coffee basket in the stove top take just over 1 scoop for 100ml of water, my daily coffee fix of two cups in the morning uses two scoops for 200 ml of water in either the press pot or the Aeropress. In fact if we have coffee drinking guests and use a large press pot i'll use 2 scoops per person for.

On the basis of my press pot and the Aeropress the Bialetti stove top is a 1 cup.

Is it me ?

RE: Stove top coffee makers.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:18 pm
by bruceb
There are numerous "standards" for what constitutes a cup of coffee. Every country has its standard, whereby Italy is the exception. A standard cup in Italy might be a 1 oz espresso cup. It might be a 2 or 3 oz cappuccino cup. Bialetti pots are considered to be mocha pots. A mocha cup is considered to be between 2 and 2.5 oz or 60 - 90 ml.

As to the amount of coffee to use: The basket should be loosely filled to the top with ground coffee (grind between espresso and filter) and NOT tamped. The grounds swell in the basket.

BTW, it takes some effort to make a proper cup with a mocha pot. There are thousands of opinions on the best way, but I think it is a matter of personal taste. Good luck. Beauty comes in small packages.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:19 pm
by Richard
I've had this moka pot for a week now, used it every day and spent some time reading the Amazon reviews and other reviews.

Clearly some people are stupid, complaints are mostly as a result of not reading the brief instructions, and how much instruction do you need. Couple of people broke the handle off and a couple of users just didn't get the idea that you can put to much coffee in the basket and overheat the plastic handle.

It's a stove-top devise for goodness sake.

I haven't yet mess around with grind settings, so far the Bialetti Venus has produced about the same as my press pot but like an espresso machine it uses a little less coffee.

What you get for £20 is a lovely looking gadget that makes nice coffee if we can put perfection to one side, I didn't expect crema because I rarely achieved it with my Silvia.

I bought another, the 6 cup version. :D

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:51 pm
by Richard
Well, Bruce.

I'm thinking about your comment that you'd never had a decent cup of coffee from a stove-top or Mocha or Moka or whatever this Bialetti thing is called. If thats the case I would love to taste your coffee and out out of respect it suggests I still have some way to go.

For me, this Bialetti stove top has moved the bar upwards, best description I can give is that it's a halfway place between espresso and press-pot. The extraction is greater with the stove-top but not quite that intensity I had from the espresso machine that I didn't appreciate.

I'm on a roll now, some time ago I got into coffee doldrums. Everything tasted ordinary at best, not very nice at worst and I never did isolate the problem other than I had got lazy with the roasting and hadn't moved forward with other things.

It's all Mocha pot now.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:50 pm
by bruceb
What can I say? Congratulations! That's the great thing about coffee, it's very individual. I drank mocha pot coffee for years before learning how to make espresso properly. Admittedly, I did not know how to use the mocha pot correctly back then, but I have done a lot of experimenting, reading and discussing with others and still have not had a convincing cup from the mocha pot. BTW, I have about 3 dozen mocha pots, some of which are very decorative.
Enjoy your coffee! Image

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:36 am
by Richard
Thank-you Bruce, you're very kind and i'm very happy.

Where to next ? Some Jailbreak for Christmas. :D

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:39 pm
by technojock
I've been spending some time recently trying to get a decent cup out of my Bialetti, I've been using this as a reference: ... pmoka-pot/

The trick is getting the moka-pot to brew without spluttering. When I manage it I get a strong brew which brings out flavours of the coffee that I don't get using the FP or AP (I don't own an espresso machine).

I've found a few variables to play with. Starting at a set time, I boil a set amount of water & turn on the ring (electric, so takes time to heat up). Then weight & grind the beans. Then weigh the ground coffee as it goes into the basket -- this is how I found that some ground coffee can get caught in the grinder (less in the basket than expected) and come out next time (more in the basket than expected). So I weigh the beans approximately, and the ground coffee in the basket carefully.

But I'm coming to the conclusion that it's quite easy to get within the range of acceptable temp for the ring & the water, and to get the right amount of coffee. The interesting bit is getting the ground coffee "packed" correctly. If the grounds haven't settled at all - bad. If they've settled too much - bad. The video shows the coffee in the basket is level, but I've been more successful when it's slightly concave (so it gets wet, expands and reaches the filter above).

I'd had a couple of good results recently, so I decided to put some of James Gourmet Coffee's Winter Hoard through - huge disappointment when I messed up the moka-pot and it spluttered more than it has for weeks.

Winter Hoard in the AP threw out some good cups recently though, I enjoyed one cup with a real dark chocolate mouthfeel recently, and this morning some real sweetness in the cup. Lovely. Meanwhile, the moka-pot sits on the shelf, daring me to try again...

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:56 pm
by Richard
Thanks for sharing your experience and a few tips that i'll try, I had thought about the splutter being an indication of over-heating but there are so-so-many variables that can change the taste of coffee.

My most recent example is the bean that I just roasted and illustrated, it was far to bitter brewed in the Mocha pot but perfect using a press-pot even though the press-pot used twice as much grounds. I did run it well into second crack though.

The grinder i'm using now doesn't hold any grounds but it's a high price to pay. What I used to do was rather than rely on a timed grind where I may, or may-not get extra from the last grind I used to grind small quantities into a container then measure but of-course I was missing out on perfectly fresh grounds.

If you're a coffee geek you have to aspire to certain basic rules, for me that didn't include an espresso machine but it may do for other geeks.

Most, if not all my coffee drinking visitors think i'm an absolute anorak. You weight your coffee ? :D I'm in good company.