Monday, June 14, 2010

Moka Pot w/ Archer Farms Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

Today, I made some "espresso" via the moka pot using Archer Farms Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, which can be bought at pretty much any Target. I have seen them at all the Targets in the DC area. They roughly retail for about 7 dollars well below the 10 dollar premium price for the normal bag you would buy at your local supermarket, which makes it a great buy and a step forward in getting quality coffee outside of Starbucks brand. The bag states that it has "intense flavor, floral and berry-like overtones," and is on the milder side rather than a dark, oily roast.

Earlier, I made some espresso with it and it tasted a bit bitter, so I was hoping that that moka pot method would make a more pleasanter beverage to drink. I ground my coffee at a medium grind as to not clog the pot, poured in some purified water (Have to have quality water!), rounded off the coffee on the basket and put it on the stove.

Though as one might be able to see the coffee grind wasn't perfectly rounded off, nor a smooth flat surface. Notice the indentations, that comes from an imperfect hand, namely mine :-).

While waiting for the coffee to come out of the spout on the top chamber, I wonder whether I have finished all my chores for the day. Often times, I haven't but the coffee's aroma reassures me that the chores are secondary to brewing coffee (at least until my girlfriend reminds me to take out the trash).

After a few minutes, the coffee or espresso oozes out. Though its really neither as the moka pot cannot equal the pressure of a real espresso machine yet exerts more pressure than a normal drip coffee machine like a Mr. Coffee, you can google this if you are curious and want to know more.

Once it finally starts coming out, the process takes about 20 or so seconds to finish, and take it off the gas burner. At Metro Espresso we use gas, electric stoves need not apply. I pour it in a cup, although not an espresso cup as I like to drink all of it as it doesn't have the same caffeine content as an espresso from a large machine one would get a coffee bar.

I let it cool for a few seconds knowing that if I let my eagerness get in the way my tongue will be burned for my impatience. After cooling, I tentatively sip, then take a sizable swig letting the coffee wash over my taste buds.

At first, the berry taste comes to the front, but unfortunately soon wiped away by a bitter taste. Sipped it again. Berry flavors, albeit not strong, and soon replaced by bitterness. This doesn't impede my enjoyment and doesn't have the burnt taste of Starbucks, but the bitterness is unmistakably there. Perhaps, in part this taste could be derived from a dirty moka pot, but I do wash it out every time. Perhaps next time I will use the French press.

Overall impressions, it delivers fleeting berry flavors, but a bitterness remained in my mouth for a period of time. Although Coffee Review says the AF Ethiopian received an 89/100, which I'm assuming is pretty good. (Bottom of first paragraph) For the price, one could do worse. I have tried the Costa Rican coffee AF sells, and enjoyed it thoroughly so who knows? I'll give the Ethiopian another try stay tuned.

Has anyone else tried an Ethiopian coffee, be sure to comment below. Also, follow me at twitter under MetroEspresso. The link is on the right side of the page.


  1. Good idea to use purified water! I don't do that at home, but I could see it really improving the taste. Moka pots are the best way to get sort-of-espresso at home!

  2. I agree. The moka pots are nice compromises on getting an espresso-like taste. I've always used some kind of purified water, so now I can't remember what it's like without it.