Despite the advent of capsules and pods has revolutionized the way of making coffee at home, the traditional moka remains present in every Italian kitchen. In fact the mixtures for this small "Appliance" are still the most sold in Italy and the aluminum coffee maker remains a totem of Italian design: the Moka Express was invented by Alfonso Bialetti in Omegna in the 1933 and started in production by his son Renato in 1946. But how many know how to get the best? Let's find out together
The first imperative is to buy a mixture dedicated to mocha, that is with the granulometry right for the coffee maker. It's not a trifle: if you used a mixture too much end (like the one called "per espresso"), the taste of the coffee would be too much bitter and burned, because the microgranules hinder the passage of water and the moka has a lower pressure than a machine for expressed. On the contrary, grinding too much gross (like that of American coffee) would let the water pass too quickly, giving the drink a watery taste, a faded color and little body. This is because the water would not be able to extract all the substances and the scents of coffee. Another argument is the choice of the type of coffee that instead follows personal taste. There are two varieties grown for marketing:Arabica (Coffea arabica), native to Ethiopia, with a sweet and aromatic taste with a slightly acidic note, and the Robust (Coffea canephora) native to West Africa, with a higher caffeine content and a more bitter and firm taste. In any case, for a artist's coffee, one cannot do without a good quality and fresh coffee; the top would buy coffee beans to be ground at the moment. Keep an eye on coffee conservation: better keep it in fridge, in a container hermetic. It is good to avoid that the coffee jar remains open to the air for a long time or that it is close to sources of heat or light, factors that compromise the goodness and fragrance of even the mixtures top quality.
How important is water
As for pizza or bread, even the factor to get a good coffee water is critical. Those know it well Neapolitan who argue that coffee outside Naples is "not a thing". Manuel Terzi, of the CoffeLab of Bologna, recommends using only light natural mineral water (ie low fixed residue). How much? The ideal is that you arrive just below the safety valve, neither at the level nor below.
How to use the moka
Fill the moka pot with water, then switch to coffee. How much? The ideal is that it slightly exceeds the board of the filter without creating a mound; in this case it can be leveled with the blade of a knife. The mixture should be poured into the filter with a spoon, without pressing it (otherwise the ascent of the water would slow down too much).
Watch the fire!
Coffee is the son of fire. In fact, so black and hot, it was considered a drink devilishly exciting. Mythology aside, heat is indeed essential for a good cup. When the moka is ready, place it on one low flame (be careful that it does not touch the sides of the boiler but remains below) so that the water comes to a boil slowly and have the time to to collect all the aromas and i scents some coffee. On the contrary, with a too sudden boiling you risk burning the coffee aromas, making it bitter and undrinkable. An effective trick: always keep the cover of the coffee maker open. Thus the coffee does not overheat. A few moments after having warned the first ones gurgles coming from the mocha (the so-called "volcanic phase") the fire must be extinguished. And the coffee is ready to be poured into cups. If the mocha is gurgled too long the coffee takes on a burnt aroma. Before to pour coffee in the cups is better mix because in this way a homoogy temperature is obtained between the first coffee that comes out, which is at about 70 ° C of temperature and is more acid and aromatic, and the following ones, which are gradually more hot and bitter. In other words, if you don't mix the coffee in the moka pot, the first cup you pour is the one with the most flavor sweet is less boiling.
The art of machine maintenance
Use after use, inevitably the moka accuses i signs of age. For an effective lifting, you have to resist the temptation to wash it with detergents fragrant and strongly aromatic (even worse put it in the dishwasher). For the cleaning daily just rinse the parts of the coffee maker with lukewarm running water of the tap. To avoid formation of mold is unpleasant odors the coffee maker should be reassembled only when the pieces are all perfectly dry. From time to time a thorough cleaning can be carried out by putting some water is bicarbonate sodium in the tank and placing the machine on the stove fire until the liquid solution comes out in the part higher. The operation must be repeated a few times only with water to rinse off any residues: this method will suffice for degrease cleanse e deodorize the coffee maker.
And the espresso?
Meanwhile, the real traditional Italian espresso coffee is a candidate for UNESCO's intangible heritage. To promote the process is the Traditional Italian Espresso Coffee Consortium (CTCEIT), which in this way wants to contribute to protecting and protecting the culture and tradition of Italy, the third country in the world (after Germany and Belgium) for coffee export volumes. In support of the candidacy the CTCEIT has provided a tour in the historical premises of the main Italian cities, to teach how to prepare real Italian espresso coffee, transform every bartender into a taste ambassador, encourage dialogue with stakeholders on cultural value and social coffee: tradition, gestures, memory and sharing.
The 5 rules of true espresso
The Consortium, together with the Italian Coffee Committee and INEI has developed the First Disciplinary of Traditional Italian Espresso Coffee, to establish good rules for getting real Italian espresso in bars or cafeterias. The variations on the theme can be multiple: long, short, stained, foamed, walnut, etc., but the basic rules on which there are five transits.
– Coffee beans freshly ground: after 15 minutes of grinding, coffee loses 65% of its aromas. Only the coffee beans should be used, which should be ground to a weight that can vary between 7 and 9 grams, taking care to keep it in the dispenser as little time as possible.
– Beverage extraction: the contact time between water and coffee is what influences the extraction of the aromatic components present inside the bean. The ideal dispensing time is between 20 and 27 seconds.
– The aroma: if we feel the need to add a lot of sugar means that the coffee was not prepared properly or that some cleaning steps were neglected, or that a quality product was not used.
– How it should be served: iThe cup content should be between 13 and 26 g. at a temperature between 90 ° C and 96 ° C (but for this we must rely on our trusted bartender). The coffee should preferably be served in porcelain cups.
– The cream: to be considered such, the Traditional Italian Espresso Coffee must be presented with a uniform and persistent cream for at least 120 seconds from the end of the unmixed beverage delivery.
A bit of data
In Italy, in the Coffee Sector (Source, Italian Coffee Committee), more than 800 coffee roasters operate, with about 7,000 employees, 150,000 public businesses that supply traditional Italian espresso coffee.
The annual per capita consumption of coffee in 2018 is 5.9 kg, up (5.3%) compared to 2017. 95% drink it habitually, to be enjoyed mainly in the home (92%) or at the bar ( 72%). 58% say they drink it to find the charge necessary to face the day and 77% of those who drink coffee do it every day as soon as they wake up. But coffee is also a moment of relaxation (53%) and at the same time a pleasure (47%) and a ritual (37%) to be consumed together with others. (Source: Coffee Monitor 2018, Nomisma).
updated from Mariacristina Coppeto