Jul 29, 2012

How to make coffee with a Napoletana pot

Sure, the piping hot demitasse you get at any cafe in Italy is unbeatable, with its trademark froth and energetic kick. But as far as homemade coffee, the Napoletana stovetop espresso pot historically delivers the best. The flavor of the caffè is "round," longer and more complex than regular coffee made with a Moka.
Naples is a city often associated with pizza and spaghetti. But if you've ever tasted coffee in Naples, you'll agree it's probably the best you've ever had. Scholars hold the water responsible, others say it's the technique, some say it's magic. The Napoletana was invented in 1819, and is used less and less on a regular basis in Italian households. And that's because using a Napoletana is not easy: bizarre mechanics, empirical measurements and lots of patience are involved.  Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to brew a little bliss with a Napoletana, a ritual more than a method.


––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


Tip: Use only the best finely ground coffee. Coffee powder is best kept in an air-tight glass or glazed earthenware container, not plastic. And stored in a cupboard, not the refrigerator.



Tip: Don't skimp on the coffee powder. Compact it with the back of a spoon and then make 3 little holes in the surface with a toothpick.







Tip: Overturn the Napoletana in one quick, single move, holding it by both handles. During this movement water will spout from the escape hole, this is totally normal.


Tip: While you wait for the water to drip down through the filter, make a little paper cone "coppetiello," and place it on the spout. This will keep the aroma form escaping the pot :)
Waiting times vary according to pot. Mine takes 15 minutes, some are quicker. You'll have to figure that part out on your own.




Can't find a Napoletana (also called "maghenetta" in dialect) where you live? 
Buy one on my Amazon store and have it delivered to your doorstep!

21 comments:

  1. Ah, I remember the napoletana from my childhood. It's what my grandmother used to make coffee, and you're so right, the taste was wonderful. But, to be honest, I never did learn how to use the thing--but now the mystery has been solved!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great! I hope you'll make it now, and taste the flavor of your childhood again :)

      Delete
  2. Hi, my absolute fav Italian/USA champion of all Italian Cuisine. Great to visit again and hope you are very well. It would be wonderful to see you at Clouds and Silvery Linings but regrettably my coffee is way, way inferior to your's BUT I will guarantee I can make you laugh! LOL

    Take care ~ hugs ~ Eddie

    PS I am doing my very best to persuade the Blogger Computer that I am not a robot - the word verification has been rejected twice and I have insisted I am not an android. Fingers vrossed for third time lucky LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so ashamed for not visiting Clouds and Silvery Linings! It's been such a crazy busy time, I've hardly had time to blog myself. I promise to come visit and bring some good coffee with me for us to sip while we catch up. How are you enjoying the Olympics?

      Delete
  3. Howcum you didn't call it a Magenetta? I've only ever heard it called that.

    xoR

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's called that only in Neapolitan dialect! Thanks for reminding me, so I added that it's called that way at the bottom of the post :)

      Delete
    2. Darling, no need to be ashamed but I miss yer babe and would just love to catch up over a coffee. Thank God you are bringing some decent stuff ROFL. Hope your and little E (probably not so little now) are OK.
      I quite understand you are a busy gal - but I wish you so well and hope you are a happy and rich gal as well.
      Bye for now.

      Delete
  4. lovely!!! i always remember the great piece by eduardo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A classic! Thanks for visiting :)

      Delete
  5. it reminds my childhood, my grand mother used to make coffee and i didn`t try yet, hope i will buy soon and enjoy old tradition taste of coffee:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think I'll bin my Nespreso machine and go for this cute little pot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, that's the spirit!! Old school rules

      Delete
  7. I grew up with this Magenetta...you're inspiring me to look in the cupboard and dig out the one my mother gave me long ago. For some reason I switched to a MOKA--time to switch back, I'm thinking. Grazie for the great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely time to switch back to tradition and family heirlooms :) I hope you find it and enjoy many many cups of happiness with your mamma's pot

      Delete
  8. Only you can make extra work seem so worth it. I do love my coffee strong and black. I think I should get one.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great post! I love Italian coffee and I've always wondered about
    these machines.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The machine looks a bit complicated...but can do anything to get a hot cup os home made expresso coffee. Will get this machine soon!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love the post and I love the pics! I can almost smell the distinctive flavor of the coffee right now. And I think the older the pot, the better flavor the coffee. I don't know what it is, it brings out the flavors more.

    ReplyDelete
  12. So glad you posted this! I just inherited one of these from my nonni and we've still be trying to figure out how to use it properly. Thank you so much

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've used one of these for many years and have just posted my latest memoir on my blog The Good the Bad and the Italian. Your instructions were so good that I've put a link at the bottom of my story. Hope that's OK? http://ambradambra.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/lurking-in-the-cupboard-5-napoletana-coffee-pot/

    ReplyDelete

Grazie for visiting and taking the time to comment!

Please do not include URLs in your comment as they will get lost in the anti-spam queue, which I do not check for valid comments.

If your comment never appears, kindly send me a message on my Contact page, thanks!

Ciao
Eleonora

Share!