Life with a moka pot

The first time I saw a real moka pot (a metal equipment to make espresso) was when I visited South Italy several years ago for the first time. At the time, I got the chance to hang out with some Italian friends, and what I saw in every occasion was the presence of a moka pot. Just like a tea pot in Japan, every kitchen came with a moka pot.

At that time, I didn’t get around to buy one for myself, but ever since then, it was my dream to have a moka pot in my daily life.

Two years ago, I got the second chance to visit Italy, this time to the city of Rome. The day I knew of my trip, the first thing on my shopping list was a moka pot.

During my three-month stay in Rome, I kept looking for a place to purchase a moka pot. There was one shop dedicated to Bialetti (a major moka pot company), but this brand was a little bit too costly for me. I looked for other options.

One day, I was walking toward the River Tiber, and happened to pass by Campo de’ Fiori (an open market for food, produce and other items). The square was filled with stalls and bustling with local people and tourists. As I walked between the crowds of people, one stall jumped out to my eyes – it was a stall dedicated to moka pots! Two young men were working behind tables full of colourful moka pots.

I was immediately drawn to the stall, and had a close look at each item on the table. There were many Bialetti pots, but there were also less well-known brands. As I examined each moka pot, I finally stumbled upon one that perfectly suited my needs. A good quality moka pot for one person at 10 euros! I felt my heart beat fast.

That day, I didn’t buy it though. For such an important purchase, I wanted to give myself time to test how I really felt about that moka pot before actually buying it. After getting back home, my mind hadn’t changed. My heart was as excited as it was at the market. I decided to go back there and buy that moka pot.

It was on the last weekend of my stay in Rome that I finally went back to Campo de’ Fiori. I walked straight to the stall of moka pots, and took the tiny moka pot in my hands. It felt so good to have it in my hands. I called one of the young men behind the tables and told him that I wanted to buy that moka pot. He wrapped it in a box for me, and after paying the 10 euros, I happily came back home with my own moka pot.

Today, there is a moka pot in my kitchen, and whenever I use this pot to make a cappuccino for myself, I remember the bustling crowd of people in Campo de’ Fiori and the excitement I felt upon spotting it in the stall of moka pots.

Stall of moka pots at Campo de’ Fiori, Rome