How to make an Italian coffee

Italy is certainly the place to enjoy a good coffee. Caffé is the Italian for coffee and comes from the name ‘Kaffa’ the place in Ethiopia where coffee first originated. Italian coffee is usually made with Arabica coffee, as this produces a smoother tasting coffee, containing half the amount of caffeine.

If you ask for a caffé, you will be served with a single shot of espresso in a small cup. A Macchiato is an espresso mixed with hot milk served in a small cup. The most popular Italian coffee of them all is cappuccino which is enjoyed the world over.

Here we explain how to make a great cup of Italian espresso coffee using a moka which is a strange looking metal coffee pot with three chambers. 1) the top chamber where you put the coffee grounds and where the brewed espresso will be, the middle filter, which stores the coffee grounds and 3) the bottom chamber where the water is poured.  


  • water
  • Fresh coarsely ground Arabica coffee
  • milk and sugar to taste


  1. Fill the bottom chamber of the Moka with water to the fill line – which is almost level with the pressure valve.
  2. Place the metal filter on top of the base and fill with freshly ground coffee – do not pack the coffee down as the resulting coffee will not be full-flavoured.
  3. Place the top chamber on top of the filter and screw it tightly closed – or it will leak everywhere.
  4. Put it on the cooker hob on a low-medium heat. It will take five minutes for the coffee to be brewed and this stage should not be hurried by turning the heat up as the coffee needs time for the flavour to be fully developed.
  5. As soon as the Moka starts to make a rumbling sound, turn off the heat. Wait a few moments before serving the coffee.
  6. The resulting coffee is a truly tasty espresso.
  7. When you wash the Moka, only use water and no washing up liquid as it affects the taste.