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Delve into Neapolitan coffee pot, a signature brewing method in Naples

Neapolitan coffee pot, also known as cuccuma or cuccumella, has become a cult in Italia, especially in Central and South of the country. This metal two-floor tool basically is a drip brew coffee maker using the gravity to steam water through coffee, resulting in rather transparent coffee with more pleasant flavor compared to Espresso and Mocha.

Where did Neapolitan coffee pot come from?

Let’s take a step back in time to 1819, when the pot was officially invented in France, as a convenient gadget to prepare coffee at home. At this time, the pot was commonly known to be made of copper, which made its cost quite high. It was not until 1886, people changed the material to aluminum. Still, it failed to catch on in its original country until arriving in Naples, where people were truly crazy about it, and even made their own version, namely the Neapotlitan coffee pot.

The pot includes 5 parts: three tanks; one for coffee ground, the others with handles and a spout for water and resulting coffee; a filter; and a lid. Nowadays, the tool is still favored over modern brewing methods thanks to quite excellent coffee taste as well as quick-to-use feature. There’s also a piece that helps Neapolitan coffee retain its flavor and aroma longer, called cuppetiello – which is, simply enough, a small paper cone used to cover the spout while it is being brewed. You can completely change the time to use cuppetiello depending on the amount of ground coffee you use.

How Neapolitan coffee pot actually works

This pot works in a way that the coffee is soaked in cold water and boiled, then hot water flows through the coffee and filters into the container below. Using Neapolitan is also quite simple; you will put coffee ground and water in a pot, then assemble it all and bring to a boil on the stove. When the flask reaches a certain boiling point, as indicated by a puff of smoke or a drop of steam coming out of the spout, quickly remove it, wait for a few seconds, and stir well.

To have a proper cup of Neapolitan, baristas need to pay attention to how well the coffee is roasted, most ideally dark roast, the amount of water, and how long it takes to boil the coffee. When the pot is lifted from the stove, it will take some time for the water to filter through the coffee, at which point you can enjoy that period doing other things.

Detailed instructions: 

  • Step 1: Pour cold water into a tank without the spout, about 3/4 of its capacity.
  • Step 2: Put the coffee in the filter, and then put the filter in the water jug.
  • Step 3: Close the screw cap and attach the remaining flask to the spout, making sure the spout is facing down.
  • Step 4: Place the tool on the stove over medium low heat.
  • Step 5: When steam or smoke starts to appear, turn off the stove.
  • Step 6: Turn the pot upside down to let the water seep through the filter. At the same time, use cuppetiello to cover the spout for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Step 7: Serve the coffee.

How does Neapolitan taste?

The steaming and filtering process results in a thick, almost espresso-like coffee, yet the body is more transparent than espresso, which means Neapolitan flavor will be less intense, giving a clean, refreshing palate.

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