The Moka Pot, also known as a macchinetta (literally "small machine"), is a stove-top or electric coffee maker that produces coffee by passing boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee.
It was patented for the first time in Italy by the inventor Luigi De Ponti for Alfonso Bialetti in 1933.
Bialetti Industrie continues to produce the same model under the name "Moka Express".
The moka pot is most commonly used in Europe (especially Italy and Spain) and in Latin America.
It has become an iconic design, displayed in modern industrial art and design museums such as the Wolfsonian-FIU, Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper–Hewitt, National Design Museum, the Design Museum, and the London Science Museum.
They come in different sizes, from one to eighteen 50 ml (2 imp fl oz; 2 US fl oz) servings.
The original design and many current models are made from aluminium with Bakelite handles.
Variations and brands
Moka pots are used over a flame or electric range and are traditionally made of aluminium, though they are sometimes made out of stainless steel or other alloys.
"Brikka" is a modified moka pot manufactured by Bialetti.
It incorporates a weighted valve as a pressure regulator on top of the nozzle that allows pressure to build up inside the water tank in a manner similar to a pressure cooker.
As pressure builds up more quickly in this method (since there is much less leakage of vapour) compared to the standard moka pot, it reaches the level required for water to rise through the ground coffee in a shorter time.
However, the weighted valve allows pressure to accumulate and temperature to rise somewhat further before the liquid bursts through the nozzle.
The result is coffee brewed at a higher pressure and temperature than the standard pot, making it more similar to espresso and therefore with more visible crema.
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