No, my friend, your beloved moka does not make espresso. What it makes is something akin to a coffee shot, but with more fuss (that, I’ll admit, I sometimes enjoy). Although I’ve been a fan of brewing coffee on a moka in the past — so much so that I bought the commemorative moka alpina while in Italy — I’ve found a new love: the aeropress.
The aeropress is a funny looking contraption that looks and sounds more impressive than it is. It’s a three piece plastic brewing device that can be used in a variety of ways. There’s a brewing chamber, where you dump your coffee; a plastic tube that you use to push the coffee down; and a filter basket that attaches to the bottom of the brewing chamber. Your aeropress also comes with a paddle for stirring, a coffee scoop and a set of paper filters.
An aeropress isn’t the exclusive way to make a coffee shot and can make more than just a coffee shot. For us brewing at home, it’s the most convenient, cheapest and hassle-free method. What is a coffee shot and why would you want it? A coffee shot is a short amount of coffee that’s been extracted with pressure, like espresso. It has a denser texture and a more potent flavor than you would from a pour over. Yet, it is distinctly more like brewed coffee than a normal shot. In the definitive guide from Mahlkönig, it means a coffee that has been extracted for a super long time on an espresso machine (in which case it would be classified as a type of espresso, like a caffè lungo).
For those who happily alternate between filter and espresso brewed coffee, this may be a strange idea. After all, the coffee shot doesn’t appear to fit a distinct market niche — unless that niche is coffee nerds. Once you taste the version brewed on aeropress, I have a feeling you’ll understand its appeal.
The best aeropress method for this style of coffee is from The Coffee Collective in Copenhagen, you can find a pictorial guide from Stumptown. While turning the brewing chamber upside down may seem dicey, you get the hang of it after one or two tries. The resulting coffee is full-flavored and bold, depending on the beans you used. If you want, you can add more water or a bit more milk. My favorite way to drink coffee brewed in this way is to put it in a demitasse and top it off with a little milk. It ends up tasting like a homemade noisette.
Coffee is moving fast guys! There are new brewing methods constantly in development — check out this crazy coffee machine — that produce deliciously diverse drinks. While I’ll always have a spot in my heart for a classic pour-over or fiddly moka, I’m smitten with the new brewing experience the aeropress offers. I have a feeling you will be too!
Have you tried aeropress? Would you?