Test Drive: The Cactus Traveller Moka Pot by Cafe de Kona

Discover how this aesthetically pleasing yet functional coffee maker delivers bold flavors and captivating designs.

BY VASILEIA FANARIOTI
SENIOR ONLINE CORRESPONDENT

Cafe de Kona, founded in Shanghai in 2013, has quickly risen to prominence as a leading brand in the handmade, boutique coffee-equipment industry. Known for its commitment to high-quality materials and innovative design, the company has consistently delivered exceptional coffee utensils that blend functionality with aesthetic appeal. Today, we’re excited to share our experience with one of their latest creations, the Cactus Traveller Moka Pot!

Labeled parts of Cactus Pot: valve cover, handle, upper pot, filter mesh, seal ring, powder basket, safety valve, lower pot.
The Cactus Traveller Moka Pot combines durable aluminum alloy construction with a double-valve system for optimal safety and performance. Photo courtesy of Cafe de Kona.

Specifications and Features

The Cactus Traveller Moka Pot is made from durable aluminum alloy and comes in two sizes. The small base pot measures 145 mm x 76 mm, while the large base pot measures 125 mm x 108 mm. Both versions have a capacity of 120 ml and weigh 600 grams. The pot features a double-valve system for added safety and performance.

The unit includes several pieces: a heater unit, safety valve, funnel filter, gasket, filter plate, handle, upper part, and valve cap. There are two types of heater units available: The small version is designed for portability, making it easy to take on the go, while the large version is more convenient for use on a stove. For each version, the funnel filter has a different size to accommodate the base size, ensuring optimal performance and compatibility. The upper part of the pot is compatible with both bases, allowing for versatility in usage.

Photo says, "The controller houses a safety valve inside, as a backup to prevent loss
The Cactus Traveller Moka Pot blends striking design with practical functionality, making it a standout addition to any kitchen. Photo by Vasileia Fanarioti.

Cactus-Inspired Design

What I really liked about this coffee maker is that it’s not only a practical appliance, but also an aesthetically pleasing work of art, bringing a touch of nature’s beauty into the kitchen. The design takes inspiration from the cactus, blending the beauty of nature with functionality. Drawing from the distinctive edges and curves of cacti, the coffee pot features a striped surface and a uniquely shaped handle, making it both tactile and visually striking. 

The lidless design allows users to observe the coffee extraction process easily. By removing the lid, the manufacturers have increased the size of the valve cap, which makes it simple to monitor the outflow of liquid while preventing splattering. Additionally, the handle incorporates a hidden reserve spring and rubber plug. This thoughtful inclusion eliminates the need for users to purchase additional accessories if the original parts are lost, plus the location of the spare parts within the handle ensures they are readily available when needed.

Moka Pot in a desert scene with saguaro cactus in background.
Cafe de Kona continues its legacy of innovation and quality craftsmanship with the Cactus Traveller Moka Pot. Photo by Vasileia Fanarioti.

Testing the Cactus Traveller Moka Pot

During my test drive of both Cactus Traveller Moka Pot sizes, I found them remarkably easy to disassemble and reassemble. Both the small and large versions performed well, with the small pot being ideal for a camping stove and the large one working efficiently on my kitchen electric ring. The handle design is ergonomic, providing a comfortable grip, and the lidless feature allowed me to closely monitor the coffee extraction for better control.

One interesting observation was that the manufacturer suggests using the small base for medium- and light-roasted beans to highlight floral and fruity notes, while the large base is recommended for dark-roasted beans to provide a richer flavor. However, in my experiments with both bases and different types of beans, I didn’t notice any significant differences in the flavor profile. 

Moka pot on a trivet, brewing coffee.
The lidless design of the Cactus Traveller Moka Pot allows for easy observation of the coffee extraction process. Photo by Vasileia Fanarioti.

Throughout my tests, the coffee maker performed excellently, producing flavorful and aromatic coffee every time. Additionally, the Cactus Traveller Moka Pot is easy to clean with water and soap, and it is also dishwasher safe, adding to its convenience and appeal.

Form Meets Function

Cafe De Kona has gained a reputation for balancing aesthetics and functionality, infusing art into its designs. The Cactus Traveller Moka Pot embodies this philosophy. For those who relish the flavor profiles that Moka pots are known for, the Cactus Traveller Moka Pot delivers a satisfying brew without compromise. I myself am a fan of Moka pots when I am in the mood for a dark roast, as I am drawn to their ability to extract bold and flavorful coffee with every brew.

The bottom poy holds coffee. A Commandante blue grinder sits behind.
Maintaining medium heat during the brewing process ensures a clean and smooth cup of coffee. Photo by Vasileia Fanarioti.

Plus, its thoughtful design, inspired by the natural world, adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the coffee-making experience, making it an appealing choice for those who appreciate both form and function in their brewing equipment. Currently, this Moka pot is available from select Asian sellers, with international shipping options. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vasileia Fanarioti (she/her) is a senior online correspondent for Barista Magazine and a freelance copywriter and editor with a primary focus on the coffee niche. She has also been a volunteer copywriter for the I’M NOT A BARISTA NPO, providing content to help educate people about baristas and their work.

Cover of June + July 2024 issue of Barista Magazine featuring Mikael Jasin of Indonesia.

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