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I'm new to brewing coffee. All I'm after is a single espresso in the morning. Sometimes latte.

I've recently got myself a 6 cup moka pot - the smallest one we had in a local store. Doing it by instruction gets me a full pot of something in the middle between filter coffee and machine espresso. A bit watery to my taste. I like it stronger. So I use hot water and cut the extraction short - as soon as it starts bubbling - pot gets cooled. Like that I end up with about 1.5-2 cups of espresso with a stronger taste just a tiny bit bitter, just the way I like it. A bit wasteful though.

Then I bought a 1 cup pot, which is much smaller. The extraction process runs smoothly and ends up quicker. The bubbling phase is very short and happens at the very end. It doesn't dilute the result much. I get exactly 1 cup. The taste is just a bit weaker than what I get from the 6 cup one.

This is strange, the volume is 6 times less, but the end result is only half smaller. I'm looking for a happy medium, probably should go for a 3-4 cup or 2? What would you suggest to pick for a single espresso?

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    Would you like to know how to make your moka stronger? Then, add more coffee and tamp a bit more. Or, do you want to have the exact amount of coffee for your cup? Fill that much water and try to find the optimal amount of grounds (and tamping) for this. – MTSan Oct 7 '17 at 23:27
  • Thanks mate, will try. I'm a newbie, just want to know what others do. – Pasho Oct 8 '17 at 18:32
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I figured it out. I bought a 2 cup Bialetti Brikka. It's a moka pot with a special valve. The main purpose of the valve is crema formation. It's also a bit easier to use than a regular moka pot:

  • It is designed to start with cold water. Just use the exact amount (there is a measure) not more, not less.
  • It streams coffee for only few seconds and you don't have to play with the heat intensity while brewing.
  • The brewing occurs at higher pressure and temperature - thus stronger coffee.
  • And yes, decent crema!

I get exactly one full espresso cup of strong and nice tasting coffee.

  • Just a reminder, you end up with a cup of "moka express" or simply "moka" with a moka pot. But not espresso. A bit more information can be found on Wikipedia. – MTSan Oct 17 '17 at 10:52
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In general, you need to use a moka pot similar in size to the amount of coffee you will brew each day. Moka pots of different sizes are available, but each one is designed to brew a certain quantity of coffee: that is, they should always be filled with the same amount of grounds and water when beginning the brew and will produce the same amount of brewed coffee at the end. Otherwise you will be forced to make compromises, such as using too little water or changing the brewing duration (which will result in extraction problems), or using too-much or too-little coffee (which won't allow proper water flow through the grounds brewing). Ultimately, any changes from nominal use will result in poorer outcomes. There are some examples of sizes and brewing techniques at the Wikipedia article on moka pot.

I personally own a 4-cup Moka pot and find it a good compromise between brewing too much and brewing too little.

  • I took the liberty of revamping and elaborating on your answer (which contained good points) as an example of what I would consider to be a good, thorough answer to the question that contained different content from the other answer. I hope this helps; please see more at How to Answer. – hoc_age Jan 2 '18 at 2:53

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