SCG’s Great Stovetop Experiments

There is nothing quite like taking a random suggestion and putting it to the test! During our original stovetop prep video, Rade mentioned using sparkling water to achieve some form of crema from the espresso and we also received a viewer suggestion that using preheated water produced a better cup.

We asked him to put these two ideas to the test to determine if either results in a noticeably improved cup. Hilarity ensued.

4 comments for “SCG’s Great Stovetop Experiments

  1. Laissez Fare
    December 2, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I’ve found that pre-boiling the water works much better. Not the only one – see these vids:
    - http://stumptowncoffee.com/guide/moka-pot/
    - http://www.jimseven.com/2009/01/21/videocast-4-stovetopmoka-pot/
    You should take the stovetop/moka off of the heat before it starts to spit…in fact, you don’t even need to keep it on the heat source once coffee starts coming out of the spout.

    • Kat
      December 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm

      Cool! We did not notice any practical flavor difference and have been stovetop brewing for nearly a decade, so think we’ll stick with the traditional method :)

      - Kat

  2. Tom McLean
    November 21, 2014 at 9:45 am

    How does one “dial in” a stove-top moka coffee maker? That is, how do you determine an optimum grind and the a starting heat level. How long should a good extraction take with a moka coffee maker? 30 sec. seems impossibly fast. I have a small unit and it takes about 90 sec.

    • November 28, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      Well, unfortunately there is no right answer to that. Experimentation is key, as every blend may provide or need different grind setting to provide the flavor you’d like. Stove top cannot be dialed in as precisely as an espresso machine can be, and it will always take longer to brew. I’m not sure what kind of timing you should be expecting, but you’ll want to try different grind consistencies to see how the flavor changes for better or worse. This will help you find the grind that you like best. Since these are stovetops, they don’t have a pump that’s pushing the water through, so it will certainly take longer than 30 seconds to brew. The size of the stove top will also affect how fast it brews.

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