Stephen Tredrea Teaches Us How To Make Moka Gold
The recent 2014 SCASA Western Cape Regional Barista Competitions included the rather unique Manual Brewer's Competition among the otherwise espresso-focused events. This competition is different to the others in that, rather than being given a standard set of tools, competitors are encouraged to bring any piece of hand-brewing equipment they like and submit the coffee they produce to a blind taste test by a panel of experienced judges.
The 2014 competition featured pour-overs, Aeropresses & even a siphon but ultimately it was Stephen Tredrea who took the victory convincingly using a classic piece of equipment. We were so impressed, that we asked him to write a post for us about his tool of choice. Here are his thoughts...
Having become an enamoured devotee to an awesome cup of coffee, I developed a slight obsession to perfecting my home brew. My equipment of choice, standard appliance in any European home: the Moka Pot. While it may not be to everybody's taste, don't be too quick to mock the Moka. This legendary, inexpensive and durable creation is what helped me win the 2014 SCASA Manual Brewers Competition in the Western Cape.
The Moka Pot appeals because it delivers an impressive espresso on very basic equipment and, with the help of a simple camping stove, can do so almost anywhere. So what does it take to deliver coffee bliss while watching the sun rise in a desert?
Buy good quality, recently roasted coffee - preferably beans as a fresh grind is far superior and the heavenly aroma will build your excitement while the coffee brews. I use a Gater Ceramic Burr Manual Grinder set as fine as it will possibly go. Make sure to leave some space at the top of the filter basket as the ground beans need room to expand.
Use a low heat so the coffee comes out slowly, allowing a good amount of time for the water to extract all the delicious flavours from the roast. Leave the lid open and carefully watch it flow. If it begins with a foamy cascade of tiny golden bubbles followed by an almost syrupy-thick, dark liquid you've hit Moka paydirt! As a rule-of-thumb, once the colour of the liquid flowing out becomes pale, remove the pot from the stove and plunge it into cool water to stop the flow, achieving a harmonious balance of flavours to delight your palate.
Now, top up with hot water for a filter-style coffee, if espresso is not your thing, or put your French Press to good use by frothing up some heated milk for a delicious cappuccino. Sit back and savour!