The Moka Pot

Ohhhhh you guys. Oh man. I’ve got a long and sordid tale to tell you. It starts, as all good tales do, with coffee, and ends with a wondrous little invention called the moka pot.

I’ve been periodically documenting my decline into a raving coffee addict, and I believe I’ve just entered a new and exciting phase. Although I dearly love espresso, I have been perfectly happy with my regular old 4-cup, standard (drip) coffee pot (unless I can convince my sister-in-law to lug her espresso maker to our house whenever she visits). Sara, however, not so much. The thought of hot water traveling through all that BPA-laden plastic sends shivers down her spine. She has mostly tried to stick her her cold-brewed coffee, but making it is a hassle in the extreme, and often not really worth it. So occasionally she had to resort to regular drip coffee, BPA and all.

It occurred to me that there were many different ways to make coffee, each with their own pros and cons, but surely there had to be a method out there that didn’t have any plastic parts. After some research (yes, I will research anything, even coffee making) we finally settled on a French press. Simple, straight-forward, time honored, and very similar to making cold brewed coffee. Several members of my family are already French press converts.

Finally, one day at Target and we decided enough was enough, and it was time to bite the bullet. We took a look at their fine array of French presses, and there was not a single one that didn’t have plastic. Frustrated, we decided we would look online when we got home. However, down at the end of the row, was a little Bialetti moka pot, with the coffee part made entirely of aluminum.

I had come across the moka pot in my research, but seeing it there in the flesh at Target somehow piqued my interest. However, we didn’t buy it then and there (did I mention I’m a researcher?). Strangely enough, just a few days later Sara had an amazing cup of coffee at a friend’s house, who happened to own a moka pot. The rest, as they say, is history.

This thing is awesome. It’s an espresso maker, but without all the crazy parts or fancy techniques. It’s kind of like one of the old percolator pots, though the brewing mechanism is entirely different. You just put in the water, espresso, and set it on the stove. That’s it. Ours makes enough for Sara and I in just under 7 minutes.

The Internet tells me that it’s not *exactly* espresso. The mechanism is the same, but it produces coffee at a mere 1 bar of pressure, rather than the required 9 bar. I don’t doubt that someone can make better espresso, but for a simple, low-cost, hunk of aluminum, my mouth can’t taste the difference. This thing makes *amazing* coffee.

One hard thing to get used to with drinking espresso is that you’re drinking a lot smaller volume. Think quality, not quantity. It turns out that a lot of my coffee drinking was more just to have something to do. You must not drink the same volume of espresso as I used to drink of coffee (or else there will be a *lot* more blog posts around here!).

So, moka pot. Highly recommended. It will change your life.

Things That Annoy Me

  1. “Due to unusually high call volumes, we are unable to answer your call…” ALWAYS. I think someone in the automated phone message industry needs to look up the definition for the word “unusual”. If you have the same amount of call traffic every single day, day in and day out, then it is not, by definition, unusual. It is quite definitely usual.
  2. We had a rare trip to the Olive Garden, and the take home package for our leftovers said, “Microwave and Dishwasher safe”. Okay, microwave I can understand, because somebody (who hates their body and loves the taste of BPA) is probably going to try to warm up their leftovers in that container. But dishwasher safe? Are there any godforsaken souls on this planet who are rich enough to go to Olive Garden, but poor enough to need to keep the little plastic to-go container as their permanent dishes?
  3. When you’re going on a trip and everybody says, “Oh, do you want to borrow my dvd player for in the car?” My friends, lest we forget, we didn’t have DVD players in our cars when we were kids and we somehow survived! It is physically possible to go without tv for five minutes, and it is physically possible for your kids to entertain themselves. Or not. If it comes down to it, they can be bored out of their skull just like I had to be when I was a kid riding in the car. My kids don’t watch tv at home where it actually makes sense to do so, they’re definitely not watching it in the car!
  4. Procrastinators. When you put things off to the last minute, then you *have* to do them then, under a lot of stress. If you do them sooner, you can schedule them better (i.e. when it’s not the worst possible time) and be much less stressed. And then you don’t have to worry about something unexpected cropping up (and it always crops up). It’s not even a question of laziness, because even a lazy person knows it is easier to do things at 2 p.m. on a lazy Sunday than at 2 a.m. when you’re under the gun. After the 50 millionth time this happens, how does one not learn their lesson? I learned this when I was like 8. “But I work better under a deadline,” they say. “I need that stress to get things done!” Phooey. Stop spending so much time rationalizing your bad habits and get your stuff done.
  5. Antibiotic tissues. For what? (Other than the obvious: to create drug-resistant super bacteria.) Seriously, doesn’t everybody know by now that we’re creating super bacteria with this constant onslaught of anti-bacterial stuff? And in this case, for what? To protect people who are rifling through my dirty tissues in the trash? Yuck. Those people deserve to get sick.