The Moka Pot is a very simple but impressive little device. They're ubiquitous in Italy, Portugal, Spain and Latin America, and gaining increasing popularity in the USA. The Moka Pot was a big part of our gateway to drinking better coffee. Now we use our Pot at home on occasion and frequently when camping.
This device works similar to the percolator. Water is heated in the lower chamber creating steam. The built up pressure increases until there's enough force to push the water up the spout and through the coffee bed. Wikipedia has a great animation of the process on their site.
The Moka Pot requires no paper filter but the rubber gasket and metal basket should be replaced every-so-often. When christening a new Moka Pot or after replacing the gasket, be sure to brew a couple batches with old coffee or simply discard the first few brews. The "dry runs" will keep you from experiencing the unpleasant taste of the new rubber.
Step 1. Separate the three pieces of the device.
Step 2. Boil some filtered water in a tea pot or goose-neck kettle. Fill the lower reservoir (boiler) with near boiling water. Fill to just below the safety valve or to the line etched in the side wall. Not all devices have a line, though.
Step 3. Place the coffee basket in the boiler so that it nests flat. Fill the basket with freshly ground coffee. The coffee grinds should be fine, about the consistency of table salt, too fine though and your brew will be very bitter.
Step 4. Be careful when dealing with the hot Moka Pot during these next steps. Flatten out the coffee bed and screw the top reservoir on to the base. Make this connection snug, but not tight.
Step 5. Activate your heat source again and place the device above it. Brew time is rather quick since your water should already be hot. Once the top reservoir has filled with coffee and it begins sputtering you're all done. Keep a watchful eye while brewing as you don't want' to leave the brewer on the heat any longer than you have to.
Step 6. Remove the Pot from the heat and transfer into your favorite glass. The Moka Pot makes a very concentrated cup of coffee. You're welcome to dilute with some hot filtered water, or you can enjoy it traditionally. We prefer ours with cream and sugar.
Step 7. Wait until you've enjoyed your coffee before attempting to separate the device for cleaning, or until it's cool enough to handle. Never leave coffee grinds or water in the device. You'll find very quickly just how fast mold will grow.