Moka, espresso, filtered...what's your coffee like?


As an Italian, I must have my moka coffee as a first thing in the morning. Although I have a thing for espresso, I found irresistible the fragrance of coffee gurgling in the moka machine, which merrily spread in the kitchen.

Anyway, in the last few years as a globetrotter, I found myself face to face with other types of coffees: the classic filtered, the Turkish, the americano and that prepared by extraction with the French press. And right now, although I am still in love with my moka Bialetti, I don’t disdain a long filtered coffee during the North American road trips.

When I lived in Italy, selecting a coffee from the troverò shelf was an easy task. Most of the coffee powder found in Italy are meant for the moka or the espresso machine. But here, in North America, there is a wider choice of coffee, with different grinding size, depending on the type of coffe you need to prepare.

So I asked myself:

Which grinding is the one?

Grinding is the process where the toasted coffee beans are transformed into a fine powder. How fine? Well, it depends which type of coffee we need to prepare.


It’s the type of coffe obtained with the machine invented by Angelo Moriondo at the end of 1800.

The coffee is prepared by percolation, meaning that hot water (at about 88 C) is left to flow under pressure through the coffee powder. This preparation requires a fine grinding that allows a high surface of contact between water and coffee.


The most beloved among Italians! :) Who doesn’t have a timeless moka Bialetti? I loved this coffee: all the ritual, the fragrance that develops, the classic noise of the coffee gurgling. The preparation of a moka coffee requires a powder with a slightly less fine grinding than the one employed for espresso. A very fine grinding would, indeed, slow the passage of water (yes, because the room between grains is reduced) and can bring to the extraction of undesirable compounds. I have to admit I have used the espresso grinding to prepare moka coffee, but I didn’t notice any difference.

French press

Basically, a manual press. The coffee powder is added in a container, then the press, provided with a fine sieving, is inserted. Una pressa manuale, in pratica. Then, some hot water is added and the press is pushed downwards a few times. This type of preparation requires a coarse, but even grinding. The coffee prepared with this technique is definitely lighter than the now prepared with moka and even of the filtered coffee.

Filtered coffee

You can find it a bit everywhere outside Italy, but it is in North America that this coffee finds the greatest appreciation. This preparation requires a medium grinding. It is less strong in taste than the moka or espresso coffee, but would apparently have a higher content of caffein per serving. This is due to the extraction process: the water by passing multiple times in the coffee powder can extract higher amount of caffein.

Turkish coffee

Prepared in Turkey and some other place in the Balcani, this coffee requires an extremely fine grinding. Turkish coffe is prepared in a small pot of copper, by adding coffee to some boiling water. During the extraction, the foam that develops must be removed. The coffee is finally served in small glass cups and the powder is let sediment. From here the need of a very fine powder: the coffee should be more sandy, but the powder shouldn’t be too invasive.

What’s your favorite coffee like? :)


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