Here's my verdaccio rendering of it:

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It makes pretty good pseudo-espresso. The ground coffee goes into the container between the two cones. The steam rising from the boiling water in the bottom cone passes through the container, and in about 3 minutes you get two espresso-size cups' worth of coffee. The difference between this and a true espresso machine is that proper espresso is made at 88 degrees Celsius, while steam is 100 degrees and up, which results in no foam. Apart from that, it tastes very good. It was invented in Italy (I think). I must reiterate that it actually makes something almost like real espresso (i.e. it's not a percolator, dripper, or any of those glass-and-plastic monstrosities that produce the icky brown stuff that some people pour into mugs and guzzle all day, imagining it's coffee.

What's it called?

  • 3
    If you're a coffee aficionado, you may be interested in Coffee. While it's not off-topic here, this sort of question is definitely on-topic there.
    – Andrew Leach
    Nov 25, 2015 at 8:44
  • Why 88 C? The sources I've just checked vary in their opinion, but all are in the low 90s. 91-93; 92-96; 94. Oops, I've just realised how wildly off-topic this is, but as it's a comment... Nov 25, 2015 at 9:24
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    The best Moka pots, take it from me, are the smaller sized ones. The ones that serve three cups of coffee. Never waste your money on buying the jumbo-sized one, i.e. the twelve cups, the taste is horrendous. If you have several guests, do as I do, put two small mokas on the cooker at the same time. I don't have a coffee machine, but as Josh said, they are taking over the Bialetti iconic coffee maker. :(
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 25, 2015 at 12:04
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    @AndrewLeach The coffee site even has a tag for questions about these Nov 25, 2015 at 12:06
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    In Italy we call it Caffettiera (although technically it's just one type of caffettiera, namely moka, but moka is not common in North Italy,and Italian doesn't even have the letter K) and I can hardly imagine one single household in Italy that doesn't have one. To add to the coffee tips, if you visit Italy the home town of coffee (caffé) is Naples, same as pizza, and both taste significantly better than in the rest of Italy (on average and not accounting for personal tastes of course). Nov 25, 2015 at 13:51

3 Answers 3


Consider, moka pot

The moka pot is a stove-top or electric coffee maker that produces coffee by passing boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee. It was patented for the first time in Italy by the inventor Luigi De Ponti for Alfonso Bialetti, in 1933. Bialetti Industrie continues to produce the same model under the name "Moka Express".

The moka pot is most commonly used in Europe and in Latin America. It has become an iconic design, displayed in modern industrial art and design museums such as the Wolfsonian-FIU, Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper–Hewitt, National Design Museum, the Design Museum,and the London Science Museum. Moka pots come in different sizes, from one to eighteen 50 ml servings. The original design and many current models are made from aluminium with Bakelite handles. Wikipedia

  • I was wondering if in the rest of the world, it's called Moka too?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 25, 2015 at 12:30
  • @Mari-LouA fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moka_(cafetière)#/languages
    – Elian
    Nov 25, 2015 at 12:52
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    Wow. TIL that what I've been calling a percolator all this time is actually a moka pot and a percolator is something different. I think I need a moment to process this. Nov 25, 2015 at 13:45
  • @Mari-LouA I don't care what everyone else calls it, I'm still calling it an espresso maker. Nov 25, 2015 at 14:35
  • @Josh61 what does it make? Cause I've been using one for twenty years and the packaging usually says "espresso maker" on it. Nov 25, 2015 at 16:06

This is a Moka Pot.

One thing I'd like to clear up - the moka pot doesn't brew by passing through steam through the grounds. Steam is created in the boiler section, and as the pressure increases, it forces the remaining water up through the grounds. The temperature of the water is actually very similar to that used in an espresso machine.

The reason why you don't get a crema is that the pressure is much lower.


I call it an espresso pot. And all the different ones have always included crema at the top. (I don't have enough points to make comments yet, or I'd make this a comment, not an answer.)

  • Preferably, don't. It has nothing to do with espresso whatsoever.
    – Gábor
    Nov 25, 2015 at 20:17

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