Why this is the greatest coffee maker on Earth
If you happen to hail from a family with Italian underpinnings, leaving the house for the first time often compels even the most distant relatives to offer best wishes — and grim forebodings.
There's celebration: He's finally vacating the couch!
And there's hand-wringing: Can he actually survive out there?
There's plenty of advice too: Stay sharp. Keep your eyes open. Don't sleep all day!
Your Italian aunt may take it a step farther and seek assurances that your eyes are physically pried open through the miracle that is caffeine. She will probably give you a moka pot.
Even if you don't happen to have Italian family, odds are you've come across — and maybe even enjoyed — this ingeniously simple device.
But in case you're still wallowing in a flimsy French press, here's how the moka pot, which is essentially a stove-top espresso maker, works:
There are three hollow levels. Fill the bottom one with water. Fill the second with ground coffee. Apply heat. Reap the rewards on the top floor.
Seriously, that's it.
(Yet somehow, there are still Keurigs in the world — because some people need it boiled down to just the press of a button.)
The history of the moka pot
That's good news, not only for coffee lovers, but also for the environment, on which disposable cups and quick-brew coffee-makers have taken an increasingly heavy toll.
And it's good news, of course, for Italian aunts the world over. There's no greater peace of mind than giving your nephew or niece a moka.
It makes the perfect gift. For one thing, because it's invisible. Seriously, it's ironclad, armored from nose to toes. There's only that bit of hardened plastic on the handle to prevent you from getting the ultimate morning wake-up — a seared palm.