The Moka Pot

Home Coffee Makers…the Moka Pot

From Italy…the Moka Pot brings you great almost-espresso coffee for the home con amore

From America’s Test Kitchen

I first used a moka pot almost 20 years ago, and have found no other relatively inexpensive home coffee makers that delivered as strong and as good a cup of coffee if you like your daily java to be espresso-like in strength.
Certain things to keep in mind when using this coffee maker are the ground that you’re using and the amount of brewing time you allow.
You’ll want to use an espresso grind. A coarser grind will not allow for the right steam-coffee mixture to effectively permeate the coffee and those extra-fine, middle-eastern-type grounds will also be ineffective.

ALSO this pot is not “burner-independent” as are the famous French Press and Swiss Gold filter cup.It only takes a few minutes for the smaller sizes of moka pot to brew so don’t leave your stove burner unattended or you will end up with a badly scorched coffee maker and a burner that is encrusted with metal from the bottom of the coffee pot. I have lost two moka pots this way.

Overview:

Often referred to as poor-man’s espresso machines, Italian moka pots are small, inexpensive (under $100) coffee makers that use steam pressure to force hot water from a bottom chamber up through coffee grounds. That pressure isn’t high enough for true espresso extraction, but the coffee they make is stronger and more complex than anything brewed in a drip machine.

Of the eight pots we tested—three traditional 3-cup stovetop designs and five electric models with capacities twice as large—the electric mokas were universally disappointing, as they failed to deliver enough power and produced flat, characterless coffee. Conversely, two out of three of the stovetop devices, including our favorite, brewed rich, full-bodied coffee—once we mastered subtle techniques like gently tamping the grinds and immediately removing the pot from the heat.

 

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A few facts about coffee

Here are a few facts about coffee…

Orginally it was eaten by African tribes.
They mixed the coffee berries with fat to make energy balls.

 

All coffee grows in the Bean Belt. The Bean Belt is located between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, basically around the equator line.

King Charles II ofEngland banned coffee shops in 1675.
He was paranoid that people met there to conspire against him.

A man named George Washington invented instant coffee.
Not the president. It was a Guatemalan man in 1906.

Coffee grows on trees.

Coffee trees naturally grow to 30+ feet tall! Farmers keep them around 10ft for easy cultivation.

From www.lannacoffee.org, the  nonprofit coffee roasting company  website that offers  coffee delivered to your home every month to club members.

 

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Best Coffee Roasters in America?

  • …the following is a list of those considered to be the best coffee roasters in America by a panel of professionals:

    By Dan Gentile at Thrillist

    The history of American coffee’s broken down into three distinct waves: Folgers in your cup, Starbucks on your block (whose caffeine content is graphed here), and a new crop of artisan roasters building brands based on sustainability, quality, and really, really cute packaging.

Read on for a coffee industry jury’s list of the best coffee roasters in America…?

“So to pick the crema (coffee term, not a typo) of the crop, we pulled together a cast of the nation’s most notable coffee writers and shop owners to pick their 11 favorite roasters and tell us why they’re so buzzed about them. The illustrious cast includes Bill Walsh (Pure Coffee Blog), Jordan Michelman (Sprudge.com), Brian Jones (Dear Coffee I Love You), Kelly Stewart (Roast Magazine), Chris Cusack (Down House), Sean Henry (Houndstooth), Sarah Allen (Barista Magazine), Joshua McNeilly (Black Black Coffee), and Greg Martin (Urban Bean).

Once the ballots had been cast, we tallied the votes (10 points for #1, 9 for #2…) and ranked the roasters to decide once and for all which brand is The Best Part Of Wakin’ Up.

To see the results go to http://www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/best-coffee-roasters-in-america?utm_content=feature&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Thrillist%20Weekender&utm_campaign=10.27.13%20WKNDR:%20The%20top%2011%20coffee%20roasters%20in%20the%20nation,%20as%20voted%20by%20coffee%20nerds

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A few facts and statistics about coffee

“With the coming of coffee to Venice in 1615, the local clergy condemned it. The controversy was so great that Pope Clement VIII was asked to intervene. Before making a decision however, he decided to taste the beverage for himself. He found the drink so satisfying that he gave it Papal approval.”
– From the history of coffee article on the National Coffee Association’s website.
– Today, 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee on a daily basis
– Statistic Brain / statisticbrain.com

According to legend, coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian goatherd who noticed that his goats were extra-energetic after eating berries from a certain highland bush. He took these wonderful fruit to a local abbot, who after brewing the beverage noticed that it allowed him to stay through the long period of evening prayer.
Word quickly spread across Ethiopia and over the Horn of Africa into the Arabian Peninsula.
Coffee soon became the beverage of choice all over the ear- and Middle East, since the majority-Muslim population was forbidden to drink alcohol. Coffee houses sprouted like mushrooms after a spring rain, and became important social and entertainment centers as well as dispensaries of coffee and tea. With the age of European wanderlust and the speedy acceleration of trade with the East, coffee houses became a commonplace in 17th century Europe.

Here are some statistics:
America:
$4 billion is spent importing coffee to U.S. each year, and $164.71 is spent on drinking coffee by the average American coffee consumer. Almost a quarter of same drinks more than 13 cups of coffee per week. In addition, 30 million of the total 100 million U.S. coffee drinkers drink specialty coffee – lattes, mochas, espressos, etc. – and spend an average of $2.45 on each espresso-based drink.
Re coffee production the hands-down winner as far as sheer quantity goes is Brazil, which is responsible for 30% of the world coffee output.

World:
According to http://www.ico.org, 119, 664, 910 bags of coffee (60 kilos) were exported by coffee producing countries between February of 2012 and January 2013. Each bag yields approximately 87 5.3 oz cups of regular or “house” coffee after attrition due to the roasting of the beans.

RE countries/regions, Northern Europeans are the world’s biggest coffee hounds. Switzerland, Scandinavia, Holland, Finland and Iceland lead the rest of the world in coffee consumption by leaps and bounds with an average consumption of between 6.8 and 12 cups per day per capita.

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A Few Notes About Coffee

A few Notes about Coffee…

Can you imagine a world without coffee?

Almost like taking a drink of water!
2.25 billion cups consumed each day worldwide.

This drug is strictly legal!
According to legend, the beverage was made possible by a
fortuitous discovery made by a Somalian goatherd.
He noticed one of his goats getting buzzed on something
and discovered that that the critter had been nibbling on berries
from a nearby coffee bush. This is said to have taken place
a little more than a thousand years ago.

Beware: coffee is highly subversive
Both the American Revolution and the infamous French Revolution were born in coffee houses.
The American Revolution grew from roots planted by patriots in the Green Dragon (some say it
was the Green Lion) Public House in the Lloyd’s District of London. The infamous French Revo-
lution happened in 1789 when the Parisians, spurred on by Camille Desmoulins’s verbal campaign,
took to the streets and two days later the Bastille fell, marking the overthrow of the French Govern-
ment and changing France forever.

This is one Delicate (coffee) Bean!
When the beans reach the temperature of 400F during the roasting process, the beans “crack.”
The bean develop oils in a process called pyolysis. The outer part of the beans darkens.
When the beans “crack” a second time, the hot beans are then dumped from the roaster and
cooled immediately, usually with cold air. During the process of roasting coffee beans, coffee
oil gathers in pockets throughout the bean. This substance is forced out to the surface of the
beans of darker roasts, as moisture is lost. Hence the bean has this oily appearance.

After four cups just say no…if you don’t your body will!
Special studies conducted about the human body revealed it will usually absorb up to about
300 milligrams of caffeine at a given time…about four normal-size cups. Additional amounts are just
metabolically ignored, providing no further stimulation 20% of the caffeine in the system each hour
is dissipated by our bodies.

Coffee School…Pass, Good Job, go to the head of the Class
Coffee beans are graded in various ways. Example: Kenya coffees are graded as A, B and C.
AA is the best coffee. In Costa Rica, coffees are graded as Strictly Hard Bean, Good Hard Bean,
Hard Bean, Medium Hard Bean, High Grown Atlantic, Medium Grown Atlantic, and Low Grown Atlantic.
Those coffee beans from Colombia are labeled as “Supremo” “Excelso”, “Extra” and the lowest grade,
“Pasilla”.

Un Espress, s’il vous plait!
Cafe Procope was the first true Paris coffeehouse. It was opened in 1689 by a former lemonade vendor, Francois Procope. The cafe faces the Theatre Francais, where it drew the artists and actors of the day.

 

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The French Press Method for Brewing Coffee

The French Press method is highly recommended for anyone who wants a quick and delicious cup of home-brewed coffee. The brainchild of designer Attilio Calimani, it debuted in 1929 and was at one time manufactured in a factory that made musical instruments. Today it comes in a wide variety of sizes and styles, with prices ranging from about $20 to $350.00.Its brewing method is brilliantly simple: just mix coffee grounds and hot water inside the glass or plastic cylinder and press down on the plunger metal or plastic. The mesh-filter in the cylinder separates the spent coffee grounds from the brew after the brew period – which takes only a few minutes – has ended. Since the holes in the mesh are too large for the finer ground used in the drip method to brew properly, a coarser grind is needed for the French Press method.

There are several reasons why this way of brewing coffee is superior to the more popular filter method. With the French Press, essential oils and flavor are neither lost nor trapped in a paper filter. Unlike the dip brewing method, which offers no control over the drip rate – and therefore no control over the strength of the brew – the French Press method allows you to control the strength of the brew by letting you decide how long the coffee-water mixture will stand before you press down on the plunger.

There are several extremely practical modifications of the French Press. Are you a morning commuter? There is a sturdy plastic travel mug version for those who want their morning coffee “to go.” Just place it in your car’s cup holder, and when the brewing process is done, make your confrontation with morning commuter traffic that much less exasperating with a fresh cup of quality coffee. Are you a hiker?
There’s an special, insulated, stainless steel thermos-style version made just for you. What’s more, tea lovers have not been left out of the picture.Did you know that you can substitute this device for a tea infuser? Just put tea leaves instead of coffee grounds in your French Press! On a cautionary note, be sure to get the brew out of the press and into a warmed-up tea pot in a timely manner. That way bitterness will not set in.

 

 

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