Italians still prefer to make their coffee with a mocha, which continues to be the most consumed version of coffee made at home. According to data of the Coffee Monitor Nomisma 2018, in fact 53% of Italians prefer using ground coffee. The sales of capsules (and pods), however are on the increase also in Italy, – with growth of +20% in sales volumes according to Iri statistics 2017) – also responsible is the drop in the cost of home espresso machines, available in every format, compact and multi-functional.
Even if the mocha is losing some ground, as would appear to be the case from the recent news of the crisis experienced by the historical brand Bialetti, this cult object continues to be the first choice for many people, for that daily ritual repeated morning after morning and at the end of family lunches. Is it a style choice? Not only. Let’s take a look at its characteristics and how to make the perfect coffee using the mocha.
Mocha: the most famous of all coffee machines
The mocha coffee maker owes its name to the city of the same name in Yemen, famous for its excellent quality coffee. Usually it is made in aluminum, has a shape reminiscent of an hour-glass and is made up of three parts: a lower chamber or boiler, in which you put the water, a funnel-shaped filter, and an upper chamber. As The Telegraph reminded us in a recent article, its invention goes back to 1933, when Alfonso Bialetti patented his coffee maker with the octagonal-shaped boiler which we all know and identify with the name of “mocha”. From that distant day, over 105 million of these have been produced, gradually improving the quality of the machine and working on the design; it is certainly no coincidence if at the London Museum of Science and at the MOMA in New York the mocha is among the objects considered symbols of the Made in Italy brand.
The perfect grinding fineness for the mocha
The coffee for the mocha should be less finely ground than that used for the espresso machine, also so that it doesn’t pass through the holes in the filter of the coffee maker, and it should never be never be pressed down. If in the bottom of your coffee cup you find many dregs, this means that the coffee powder is too fine or the filter has not been cleaned carefully. Remember also that it is fundamental to store your coffee in the right way, to preserve its flavor.
How to make coffee with the mocha
- First of all, fill the base with warm (or room temperature) water, up to the level of the vent valve. If possible, it is better to use softer water with a low lime-scale content.
- Insert the filter.
- Fill the filter with coffee, without pressing down the powder.
- Screw together the two parts of the mocha tightly.
- Put the mocha on the gas on a low heat and remove it once the coffee has come up, to avoid burning it and ruining the coffee maker.
- Stir the coffee with a spoon before pouring it into the cups.
- How can you recognize an excellent quality coffee made with a mocha? From a few basic characteristics: first of all, its pleasing aroma literally fills the room; second, it must not be too watery; third, it should have a light froth, of varying color according to the variety of coffee used.
How to clean the mocha
To keep your mocha in “good health”, it is important to check the state of the rubber seal and the filter which can be found in the lower part of the upper chamber, plus cleaning the coffee maker in the correct way.
The rubber seal should be quite elastic: when it becomes hard, it should be replaced other wise it can no longer guarantee good closure. Also the extractible filter should be changed regularly.
The mocha should only be washed with hot water, you must never use any kind of detergent on it or put it in the dishwasher. Before screwing it back together, you should wait for it to dry completely.
The mocha and induction hobs
The traditional mocha, the one we all have at home, is not suitable for use on induction hobs, which are more and more common in Italian kitchens. The coffee maker, is made of aluminum, a material which on this kind of surface does reach a sufficiently high temperature to make the water boil in the boiler. In this case you have to buy a mocha in steel (there are models made especially for use on induction hobs), or you can use an “adaptor”, a metal disc to place on the hob on which you can put your coffee maker while using it.
You’re now dying for a cup of coffee, right? Now there’s nothing left to do except prepare the mocha and turn on the cooker!