jackbishop Senior Member Joined: 28 Nov 2012 Posts: 1 Location: Louisville, KY Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Wed Nov 28, 2012, 9:50am Subject: Trying to get a Mukka Express to work as a basic moka pot...
Longtime drive-by reader, first-time poster here! I'm an enthusiast for a variety of coffee-making methods -- my enthusiasm perhaps outpaces my skill, but, hey, it's fun. A couple weeks ago I stumbled into a $5 Mukka Express Vetro at a yard sale. It seems to be in good shape, and I like moka pots, so I figured this silly gimmicky moka was worth my time. It also seems smaller than my other pots (my standby morning pot is a 4-cup Bialetti Musa), so in the interest of tapering off a little and using less coffee, I thought it might serve to make moka without the milk-aerating bit (also, without the distraction of milk, it's easier to gauge whether it's making a satisfactory cup).
The next few weeks are tales of frustration, mostly involving pale, lukewarm coffee which is coming out of the pot too early on most heat settings. This morning I finally started recording exactly what I was doing. I added the gauge cup full of water (I have an electric range, so I use the electric fill line), and 16g of ground coffee (which seemed to fill the funnel satisfactorily), tapping the pot frequently on the counter to settle the grounds in the funnel. My grinder is a Hario Skerton, and I used about the same grind that's worked satisfactorily for moka before (apropos: is there a good way to record and reuse a grind adjustment on a Hario Skerton?). I left the aerator on and kept the cappuccino button up, and set the heat to a little less than medium (which of course varies by stove manufacturer) -- I made it less than usual because I feared that localized heat might be forcing colder water up through the grounds too fast. It took about 8 minutes, which is longer than my previous experiments, and was a little warmer but still unacceptably cool and weak. The puck was also slumped and watery after brewing, although the former isn't necessarily a problem: I've had good cups of moka with collapsed pucks before.
Am I doing something stupidly wrong, or is my Mukka Express just a dud? One thing I notice is that it has a significantly different design on the funnel than appears in a lot of pictures. Almost all the online images I see are of a (presumably spring-loaded) funnel of very similar design to the non-springy version I have in my other moka pots, but the funnel on my Vetro has three upswept prongs, which presumably serve to force the funnel down on its spring when it's actually screwed in. The only online image I've seen which looks like mine is this one: Click Here (www.mukkaexpress.it) . I'm not sure whether this would be relevant and/or problematic.
Many thanks in advance, and I hope I've given enough information that what's going wrong here is obvious to those who know more of such things than me!
A matematikus olyan gép, amely kávéból tételeket készít. -Rényi Alfréd
jpender Senior Member Joined: 11 Jul 2011 Posts: 401 Location: California Expertise: I like coffee
Grinder: Kyocera CM-50 Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot Drip: Aeropress
Posted Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:01am Subject: Re: Trying to get a Mukka Express to work as a basic moka pot...
I've never used a Mukka Express but looking at the manual online it appears to me that you are underfilling it with water. When using it in latte mode (button up) the instructions say to fill it to the valve. It isn't that surprising that the pressure/temperature is wrong the way you're trying to use it.
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