Preheat the Water
You’ll want to bring water to a boil and then either stop it or remove it from the heat. It is incredibly important to pre-heat the water. If you don’t do this, the entire moka pot will get very hot and two bad things will happen. First — you will cook the coffee, which results in a bitter and thin brew. Second — your coffee will develop a harsh and noticeable metallic note. If you’re going to be using an electric stove or hotplate for the moka pot, you should start it at this time to allow it to get to temperature in time.
Grind the Coffee
You should grind coarser than you would for espresso — about what you would for drip coffee in fact. Over time you can experiment and find the ideal grind for your tastes. You’ll need enough coffee to fill the filter basket.
Add Heated Water
Fill to the indicator line inside the brewer bottom.
Insert the filter basket into the brewer bottom.
You should fill the basket, slightly mounded, and then level the surface off using your finger. Apply downwards pressure with your finger while doing this. Some people like to tap the filter basket down a few times to settle the grounds – this is optional. Make sure you brush away any loose grounds on the top edge of the filter basket.
Screw the Top onto Brewer
Be careful to keep the brewer totally upright while doing this, and don’t shake it about. You’ll want to use hot pads to avoid getting burned if the hot water has heated the bottom of the brewer. Don’t over-tighten.
Put Brewer on Heat
You should use moderate heat, and make sure that (if you’re using a gas stove) the handle is not being subjected to heat or it will be damaged. Leave the top lid open for now.
Watch for Signs of Coffee
You should see some coffee begin to emerge and then suddenly should see a cough (or perhaps sneeze) of coffee with a puffing sound that goes along with it. Soon after this, coffee will begin to come out in a stream. The stream should begin as a rich red-brown and progressively get lighter in color. Once the stream has become the color of yellow honey the brewer should be removed from the heat source and the lid closed. Use hot pads to avoid getting burned!
Wrap the Bottom of Pot
Wrap the bottom of the pot in a chilled bar towel or run it under cold tap water. This will stop extraction, resulting in coffee that is sweeter and more full bodied. It will also decrease the odds of the coffee developing a metallic taste. The idea is to get a relatively small amount of coffee which has very concentrated and rich flavors.
Wait for Coffee to Finish
Wait until there is no more coffee coming out, then pour into cups. If you have more than you are going to drink at once, pour the excess into a thermal carafe as leaving it in the brewer will result in bitter and harsh tasting coffee.