Neither the passage of time nor new technologies have been able to with the traditional Italian or mocha coffee maker as one of the simplest systems for preparing coffee. However, we can also easily ruin it without realizing it. An expert tip or tip that professional baristas always point out is to leave the lid openwhich will help us obtain a tastier drink without a bitter aftertaste.
Although this technique has some detractors, who believe that part of the aroma is lost when brewing with the lid open, coffee experts argue that the benefits are much greater. In addition, it has not been proven that such a significant loss of volatile compounds actually occurs. You just have to prepare the drink well.
The key to any method of preparing coffee is in the extraction control, which can depend on many different factors. With the Italian coffee maker, the room for maneuver is less, but we can also play with different parameters.
First, we have to be clear about the basics: use fresh, freshly ground natural roast coffee with a medium grind, freshly heated mineral water and do not compact the coffee in the tank, filled to just below the valve. Added to all this, leave the lid open offers us maximum control of the extraction during the critical phase of the process.
As Sébastien Racineux indicates in the art of coffee (Lunwerg Editores), due to the high temperatures that the Italian coffee maker reaches, it has a tendency to extract bitter components. To avoid it, we will put it to low heat with the lid openwatching over her at all times.
As soon as the coffee starts to come out, it is advisable to lower the temperature of the heat or the plate even more, always preventing it from splashingand it is that it should never gush out. It should take about a minute to finish brewing (earlier the grind could be too coarse), longer it could be too fine.
Without waiting for all the water to come out, at the moment when the boiling gurgle begins to sound, or start splashing, you have to lower the lid and remove it from the heat. We can cool the base under the tap to stop the extraction more quickly, as recommended in Animal Coffee. It is convenient to stir the coffee a little, to homogenize its components, but do not wait for it to cool down or mix it with burned milk, or all the effort will have been for nothing.
Racineux advises using 15 g of ground coffee per cup for this coffee maker, and about 150 ml of water heated to 80ºC. Although the experts of Animal Coffee suggest that coffee can come out just as tasty or tastier using cold water, heating the water beforehand saves some time and helps us prevent it from burning or over-extraction, even if we get confused by leaving the coffee pot on the fire.
Cover photo | Herbert Goetsch (Unsplash)