Perfect Coffee from an 80-Year-Old Design

by Giovanni Marra

I love coffee… the flavor, the buzz, the warmth of holding a hot cup. I prefer dark, robust blends and have several cups a day.  If I have the time, I’ll use an espresso machine or a French press. If I don’t, I’ll use one of the new Keurigs and Nespressos machines that pour out a cup of coffee in minutes. These new machines are extremely convenient, but the coffee always seems to be missing something.

Recently, I went back to an older model that I hadn’t used in many years.

Bialetti produces a stovetop “espresso” maker called the Moka Express. This simple design consists of an aluminum pot with an octagon shape. Italians have been using this pot to make their caffé since the early 1930’s. I was recently in Italy and I saw my aunt still using one that was over 25 years old. The handle had long since fallen off and the finish had aged, but it made a delicious cup of coffee. Rich and dark, the caffé poured out of it like syrup. She had newer pots, but swore by this old one.

When I got home, I bought my new Moka Express for $29 at a Chef Central. You could probably pick one up on Amazon for less. Beautiful and elegant, this little pot makes a wonderful cup of coffee in about 6-7 minutes.  It has quickly become my favorite way to enjoy coffee.