MOLD IS THE BIGGEST ENEMY: Just about a month ago I was at a friend’s house discussing coffee pots. She had an espresso, an American, a Russian and a Bialetti. She was complaining about the Bialetti: the coffee tasted too bad. I knew immediately what was the problem, having encountered it many times before that. I opened the coffee pot and immediately noticed several white fluffy spots, some of them even looking like soft cotton. It was mold, the most common issue with this machine. It does not happen in Italy, first because we use the machine every day, second because everybody knows that you need to have the machine completely dry before closing it, if the machine is still wet and you seal it, mold grows inside. The remedy is pretty simple: just wash it then put water and boil it like you were making coffee and then throw away the water. Also, if you haven’t used the machine for a long time it is always better to make a coffee or two to throw away first. After that the machine is ready to brew again like new.
So remember: make sure the coffee machine is dry before you close it !!
Normally you should just rinse the machine with water and your hands, no soap and no sponge (much less an abrasive one) should be used for everyday cleaning.
So, these are our suggestions…
1- When the pot is new make one or two coffee with cheap throw away coffee to season the machine
2- Always make sure the coffee pot is dry before closing it to store it, to prevent mold
3- If mold is present clean and make coffee to throw away
4- Do not press too much the ground coffee and cook over slow heat
5- Make a throw away coffee (or tow) if you haven’t used the machine for a long time
6- Turn off the heat just before the coffee fills up (do not let it boil, it will burn the coffee)
7- Use the best espresso coffee (like Lavazza, Illi, Segafredo)
8- Stir the coffee before serving it, since the coffee on top would end up being very strong and that on the bottom much weaker if you don’t do it.
9- The coffeemaker is one of the few things that doesn’t require too much cleaning: the blacker the jug is, the better the coffee!
10- If you want to make a nice cream, take out a bit of coffee when it starts to come out from the hole in the jug part of the coffeemaker. Put it in a cup with about 2 teaspoons of sugar for every cup of coffee. Stir swiftly for about a minute. Then share the cream into the different cups and add the rest of the coffee.
In 1969, Bialetti, the producer of the authentic moka, released an ad in which they advised how to get the best out of your moka. Here is the translation of the 4 rules:
1. Use it every day: the more you use it, the better the coffee.
2. Grind properly a great quality coffee and leave it soft in the basket
3. Refill of water the heating vessell only up to the sign; let it boil in low heat, with the cover up (the condensation of the vapor can ruin the taste of the coffee)
4. Don’t let it “come up” completely: take the moka off the heat when it’s 3/4 full. Let it refill with no heat and serve it: this is how you’ll get the best coffee!
“Perché il caffè è un piacere. Se non è buono, che piacere è?”
“‘Because coffee is a pleasure. If it’s not good, how can it be?” (from the advertisement of Lavazza Coffee).
Now, enjoy your coffee!!
Paolo Nascimbeni & Katty Piazza