Person testing ViCAFE coffee at home

Livia is brewing coffee on her Bialetti

Livia, shop manager at ViCAFE, has taken on the challenge of producing the best possible coffee using her Bialetti (moka pot). Here, you can follow her story and find some useful tips and tricks for this old Italian brewing method.

Livia is brewing coffee on her Bialetti

Livia, shop manager at ViCAFE, has taken on the challenge of producing the best possible coffee using her Bialetti (moka pot). Here, you can follow her story and find some useful tips and tricks for this old Italian brewing method.
hand measuring coffee on scale

You’ll usually find Livia managing the ViCAFE Espresso Bar in Zurich Münsterhof. There, she stands behind a 3 Group La Marzocco GB5 and together with her team brews espresso for people on the way to work or for tourists who desperately need a coffee break after a lecture on the Chagall window in Zurich’s Fraumünster. Now, however, Livia has another challenge: She wants to make the perfect cup of coffee using a in the Bialetti (moka pot) . She was kind enough to share her notes with us. Here, she describes the journey from the coffee bean to coffee bliss.

She has selected the ViCAFE Hausmischung and our latest coffee, the Hacienda Santa Rosa Buenos Aires from Guatemala for her quest. In addition to her moka pot and the required tea maker, Livia works with the Wilfa Svart coffee grinder , which is easy to use and versatile. Let’s go!

barista taking notes to brew the best coffee

I decided to keep the water temperature at 90 degrees on the kettle. In order to keep the time on the hob as short as possible, I make sure that the plate is already hot. But I’m not yet sure about the coffee grinder’s setting: The desired degree of grinding is certainly coarser than what we need for our espresso on the piston machine. And yet it is finer than for a filter coffee, e.g. the V60. I’ll slowly work my way towards getting the grind just right – It’s a process that has me moving one grinding step forward and then half a step back.

With about 23 grams of coffee grounds, the filter on my moka pot is full without having to press the coffee down. Attempts with fewer grounds failed miserably. First, I try a coarse grind, which I normally use for a French Press </ b> . The extraction time is definitely too short. The brewing process is complete after only 37 seconds. Contrary to expectations, the result is not dominantly sour. But there is definitely a lack of intensity. The coffee is surprisingly fresh after a night in the fridge (a kind of replacement for cold filter coffee).

hand pouring coffee from bialetti can to cup

My next try takes place on spring-like sunshine day: I am now noticeably reducing the degree of grinding, which increases the extraction time and the contact time between the hot water and the coffee powder. Although the coffee is now much more intense, it is too bitter for my taste. I must shorten the extraction time. Instead of grinding the coffee coarser, I decide to set the preheated hotplate a little hotter to complete the process with a little more energy before the cold water bath. It works! Suddenly the coffee is sweet, tastes of chocolate and has a complexity that I would not have expected. The unpleasant bitter notes have disappeared. But I have not yet reached my goal: The coffee should be “perfect”! I go for a slightly coarser grind. The sweetness and density disappear noticeably, but fruity notes come to the fore. It’s amazing how these small changes change the character of the coffee in the cup.

Bialetti sceptics ardently claim that the moka pot can only extract different nuances of bitterness. The opposite is on the wooden table in front of me. With persistence and following a few simple guidelines, the Bialetti can consistently brew good coffee. With a little time and knowledge of coffee, you can also highlight different flavours of coffee, in this case, the sweetness and fruit. Even critics must admit: Few types of coffee can entice the senses more. The aroma in my apartment is fantastic!

Would you like a coffee from the Bialetti? In our Brewing Guide you will learn (almost) everything about this simple and very satisfactory coffee preparation method.