You’ve suddenly realised that you’ve run out of powdered coffee for the moka pot or perhaps your home coffee machine for espresso is not working at the moment. Whatever the reason, we can all find ourselves asking the same question sooner or later: can ground coffee for espresso be used in the moka?
It might seem like a silly question but, in fact, it’s anything but: as we’ll see, choosing the right blend is essential for savouring a tasty cup of coffee, whether it’s made with a moka pot, an automatic coffee machine or a portafilter.
Can I use ground coffee for espresso in the moka?
It’s better not to. We recommend that you don’t for a very simple reason: if you use ground coffee for espresso such as the Super Blend in the moka pot, you’ll almost certainly find yourself sipping an espresso with an excessively bitter and slightly burnt taste, turning the pleasure of your daily cup of coffee into a rather unpleasant experience.
Why does this happen? The main reason is related to the coffee grind: let’s look more closely at what this is and which kind is the most suitable based on how the coffee is prepared, so that you can always be sure to savour an amazing espresso.
What is coffee grind? Grinding is the method by which the roasted beans are crushed into powder form, an essential process in defining the organoleptic characteristics of the blend.
Grinding can produce coffee of three different textures, or grinds: fine, medium or coarse. Each type determines the speed at which the coffee is extracted, combined with the level of resistance that the coffee presents when the water passes through it.
Coffee grind for espresso machines
In home coffee machines used to make espresso coffee, the extraction process is powered by an electric motor that creates a high pressure, usually somewhere between 7.5 and 9 atmospheres, if not higher.
A pressure of this type needs to encounter a compact surface of coffee with higher resistance: this is why the blends ground especially for espresso machines have a finer grind.
Coffee grind for moka
On the other hand, the classic Italian coffee pot works with a light pressure generated by the water vapour and by the expansion of the air in the lower part of the pot.
This is why ground coffee for espresso cannot be used in the moka: for the moka pot, a coarser grind of blend is required. A blend that is too fine will mean that the water passes through it more slowly and with difficulty and it will leave some dregs at the bottom of the cup.
On the other hand, a blend with too coarse a grind would let the water pass through too quickly, leading to a coffee that is too watery, due to the fact that it is unable to retain all the substances. To taste a good coffee, discover the blends for moka, ground to perfection by Caffè Aiello: delicious coffee that deserves its reputation as the real Italian espresso.