I’ve been drinking coffee for 15 years, and I’ve tried many of the ways to brew, steep, grind, drip, press, and slurp the beans that make every day of my life worth living. (But not all of them—sup, AeroPress?) Call me Cheugina, but I won’t shut up about how coffee gets me motivated to slither out of bed in the morning in anticipation of its reliable thrill. Life is Good, but it’s so much… gooder with caffeine trickling through my veins like the molten gold in the intro of The Crown.
I’ll usually refresh my Dinotopia mug with a sploosh of coffee for a morale boost every hour, which equates to around three cups of coffee a day, give or take. I don’t know if that’s healthy, but who cares? We’re not here to be the caffeine police, or talk about coffee alternatives—though some of them do, in fact, slap. No, I’m here to tell your that after years of alternating brewing methods, I think I’ve finally found the perfect percolator that makes my heart go pitter-patter the most: this 10-cup Bialetti Venus moka pot:
At a glance, it looked like any other moka pot. There’s a kind of preciousness to brewing moka pot coffee that I love. It’s more ritualistic than flipping a switch and having your beans prepared in an electric Keurig (no shade; ILY too), and the concentrated flavor is perfect for people who love the smell of espresso, but always find it a little too intense in their bellies. The moka pot brewing method, which was invented and perfected by signore Alfonso Bialetti nearly 100 years ago, creates a flavor profile somewhere in-between the drinkability of drip coffee, and the more assertive aromatic notes of espresso.
But unlike the smaller (but… somehow just as expensive?) four-cup moka pots I’ve owned in the past, this baby promised to deliver a whopping 10 cups of juice so that my roommate and I can enjoy the bold, concentrated flavor of moka pot coffee all day long. It also has a 4.6-star average rating from over 9,800 reviews on Amazon, so I smashed that order button and decided to see if it would really deliver.
What was rad
This is one sexy-ass item to have silhouetted on your stove. The Venus is made out of stainless steel and aluminum, and unsheathing it from its packaging made me feel like a dragon who had just found its next piece of treasure to hoard. I’ve had a few smaller moka pots over the years, but this was the first time I held such a graceful giantess in my hands, and I was surprised it wasn’t heavier.
I’ve been making moka pot coffee for years, but I wanted to brush up on the practice. I read a few tips from Amazon reviewers, watched this three-minute video, and started out by seasoning/christening the pot by making a batch with cheap, pre-ground coffee, which some people say is a brewing myth but I consider a cute baptismal ceremony. I’ve heard a lot of folks say they’re intimidated by moka pots, but trust me, you can do it. After all, you learned how to tie your shoes, uncork wine, and maybe even pay taxes!
This moka pot has three parts: the chamber, the funnel, and the pot. First, unscrew the bottom chamber and fill it up with hot water (as a general rule, you fill it up until the water line is just below the safety valve); then you’re going to place the filter on top, add your ground beans into it—aim for a bit more coarse than table salt—and don’t tamp or pack it tight, since you want the air to flow easily through the coffee.
Finally, you’re going to put your Venus on the stove. (If you have an induction stovetop, a heat diffuser can help you with better heat distribution.) At medium heat, wait until you hear your fresh coffee gurgling out of its top like a Candy Land waterfall, before turning off the burner and pouring yourself a cup. It’s a beautiful, sing-songy gargle, and one of my favorite things to impersonate at a party—if you don’t mind spittle.
As a longtime moka pot lover, I anticipated being smitten with the Bailetti Venus. I have measured out my life with coffee spoons, but it’s been over a year of also measuring it out with the silky, generous brew of my Venus, and enjoying it as a wannabe espresso substitute in Americano-esque drinks, as a cup of bold black coffee, and in DIY cappuccinos.
What was tricky
I’m ashamed to say that one morning, I was so spaced out that I forgot to put water in my Venus before cranking the flames. This will burn the fragile aluminum of your moka pot, and means you need to buy a new one (I did) and treat it better (I do).
I used to alternate between using a French press and an average-sized moka pot, and would use the former on days when I needed several cups of coffee, and the latter for (RARE) days when I needed just one. But this slick 10-cupper has blessed me with the gift of brewing a pot that flows all day, without ever compromising its trademark espresso-y flavor. Plus, it’s easy to clean (just unscrew and rinse), and more planet- and wallet-friendly because it doesn’t require paper filters.
Maybe one day I’ll switch up my brewing methods, but I legit can’t imagine a more perfect way to brew such tasty, generous quantities of coffee in a more ~aesthetic~ way. The Bialetti Venus isn’t just another kitchen gadget—it’s my forever valentine.
You can purchase the Bialetti Venus 10-Cup Moka Pot Amazon.
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