Good Coffee at Home - Stove Top Brewing

You will probably recognise the singular art deco design of a traditional Bialetti stove top coffee maker, with its striking octagonal shape and modern use of angular aluminium and black bakerlite handles.

It’s a classic piece of coffee equipment designed in northern Italy in 1933 that has gone on to sell 300 million brewers worldwide, including into most homes in Australia. Also known as a cafetière, macchinetta or a moka pot, it comes in numerous shapes and sizes, our favourite being the voluptuous, smoothly rounded Venus design.

Bialetti Stovetop

A stove top has three major sections: a lower chamber, a metal filter, and an upper collection chamber. The lower chamber is filled with water and the metal filter is set onto the lower chamber and filled with coffee grounds. The upper chamber is screwed on and the whole pot is placed on the stove. When the water boils, the steam increases the pressure in the lower chamber and forces the water through the coffee grounds in the filter. The coffee then condenses and collects in the upper chamber.

The coffee produced is intensely flavoured and, if the coffee is fresh, can produce a rich golden crema similar to modern espresso. There is a similar brew ratio of coffee to water at work here too, but stove top coffee is not the same as espresso.

Where the stove top produces pressure at 1.5 bars and brews at temperatures of 98-100 degrees celcius, modern espresso machines create around 9 bars of pressure and brews at much lower temperatures, around 92-94 degrees. Modern espresso has a body and textural richness that is very different to stove top coffee. But for a traditional Italian style kick in the cup, high intensity coffee, a stove top cost is a tiny fraction of the price of an espresso machine. It’s an affordable, tasty way to start your day.

Bialetti Stovetop
Our recommended coffee to go in your stove top is the organic Moon Runner Blend. Roasted for espresso machines, Moon Runner works perfectly in a stove top to produce a chocolatey, full-bodied brew. If you have the Moonshine crew grind the coffee for you (either online or in store) let them know you are brewing in a stove top, and they will grind the beans for you to perfection. If you are grinding at home, the best grind size is just slightly coarser than an espresso grind, so that it looks and feels like fine sea salt.

So how best to brew a fantastic stove top at home? Here’s our step-by-step guide to making a great stove top coffee at home.

What you’ll need
Venus Moka Pot

60g coffee (roasted & finely ground for Stove Top)
300ml of water
Step by Step Brew Mantra

  1. Add 300ml of water to the bottom chamber up to the release level
  2. Insert the stainless steel filter and fill with 60g of coffee. Do not tamp the coffee as water must easily flow through.
  3. Place the top compartment onto the base and place the Venus on a stove top.
  4. Once the water boils the pressure will force the water through the coffee grounds into the top chamber.
  5. Once you hear a gurgling sound remove the brewer from the stove.
  6. Swirl the coffee in the brewer and its ready to go!

A bonus Moonshine tip when brewing a stove top is to try putting hot water into the bottom chamber (step 1) to speed up the brew time and for a sweeter brew. The Venus can be used on any burner or induction top, but if you are using a flame on the stove top, please ensure it is not larger than the base of the moka pot.

Bialetti Stovetop

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