How to make the best Moka Pot coffee!

+ 5 Best Moka Pots

If already know your stuff and are only here for some recommendations, feel free to skip to the best Moka Pots below!

What is a Moka Pot?

A Moka Pot is a metal stove top pot used to make coffee. Another common name for the Moka Pot is the Stovetop Espresso Maker. What’s that? Espresso you say?

While Moka Pot coffee does not taste exactly like espresso, it definitely shares some characteristics! Most people would consider Moka Pot coffee to be somewhere in between drip coffee and espresso.

Like espresso machines, the Moka Pot brews coffee using pressure. Far less pressure than an espresso machine, but pressure nonetheless. The result is quite a bit stronger than regular coffee.

The Moka Pot Brewing Process

Moka Pots function via a pretty interesting mechanism. The Moka pot is separated into three distinct chambers. From the bottom to the top, the chambers are arranged like so;

Bottom Chamber:

The bottom chamber contains the water to be boiled, which is achieved by placing the Moka Pot upon the stove.

Middle Chamber:

The middle chamber is where you put your ground up coffee. When water is boiled from below, the steam causes a pressure build up that pushes water up through the coffee, extracting solids along the way!

Top Chamber:

As the water with extracted solids in it (otherwise know as… coffee) rises up, it pools in the top chamber. You can access the coffee from this chamber when the brewing process is complete.

You can see the distinct chambers pretty easily in this Moka Pot. The thinner middle chamber separates the bottom and top chamber!

Moka Pot Coffee

It all seems pretty straight forward right? There aren’t too many moving parts. That being said, it’s worth learning some technique in order to avoid an overly bitter or burnt final product!

You'll find an explanation for how to use a Moka Pot right after we chat quickly about taste!


Moka Pot Coffee Taste

So what does Moka Pot coffee taste like anyway? How is it different than any other type of brew?

Moka Pot coffee is rich, full-bodied and strong. Notes of chocolate and caramel are often brought to the surface with this brewing method. As is the case with espresso, there is an element of bitterness as well. 

Bitterness often gets a bad wrap, many people associate a negative connotation with something being bitter. Moka Pot coffee produces pleasant bitterness when done right. Whether you realize it or not, if you’re a coffee fan, you probably enjoy some bitterness!

In order to get the best taste using your Moka Pot, you’ll want to follow these guidelines!

How to use a Moka Pot

1. Clean the Moka Pot.

You may not want to hear this, but it is essential that you give your Moka Pot a good clean. Better yet, keep it clean so that it’s always ready to go!

2. Grind up some coffee beans.

Grind up your coffee beans of choice. This step is actually very important. You want your grind to be more fine than you would go for regular drip coffee, and a little bit more coarse than for espresso.

We highly recommend using a Burr Grinder to get a consistent grind size.

Not sure about this? Don’t worry, you’ll master this with a little bit of practice. A good starting point would be to turn your grinder to an espresso setting, and then bring it back a little.

To fine tune your grinding process, keep in mind that; 

If your grinds are too coarse, your coffee will be weak and watery due to under-extraction.

If your grinds are too fine, your coffee will be too bitter due to over-extraction.

Best Coffee for Moka Pot?

You can use any beans for Moka Pot coffee, it's up to you to find your preference! We tend to go for a medium-dark or dark roast, but that's just us!

You can browse our coffee profiles by roast if you like!

3. Add ground coffee to the middle chamber.

Fill the middle chamber with ground coffee. We’re stressing the world fill for a reason. You just want to loosely fill the chamber with grinds, DO NOT pack it tightly. Grinds are packed tightly for espresso because a lot more pressure is applied in that method. The pressure produced by a Moka Pot is insufficient to push water through a tightly packed puck of coffee. You also want to ensure that you don’t overfill the chamber, too much coffee will cause a similar issue.

Optional Paper Filter:

Some people opt to place a paper filter on top of the coffee grinds. This stops many of the dissolved solids from ending up in the final product. You may choose to do this if your preferences tend toward a cleaner cup. You can get these in bulk for next to nothing!

Moka Pot Coffee Paper Filter

4. Turn on the stove.

Switch your stove on to a medium heat. It’s worth mentioning that it will be easier to control the temperature of a gas stove, but an induction stove will work fine as well. If you’re using an induction stove, keep a very close eye on the brewing process, your Moka Pot may overheat without much warning!

5. Add water to the bottom chamber.

Fill the bottom chamber of your Moka Pot with hot water up to the safety valve, or a little bit below. Do NOT fill it up beyond the bottom of the valve. You want to use hot water, (ideally heated in a kettle) so that it is ready to boil when placed on the stove.

Too much water will lead to excessive pressure, and the water will not be properly pushed up to the coffee grinds.

Too little water will lead to the water moving too quickly, leading to an under-extracted final product!

6. Heat the Moka Pot on the stove.

Your Moka Pot may be quite hot now, be careful! Use an oven mitt or a cloth to move your Moka Pot to the stove. If you used hot water, it shouldn’t take long for you to see the brewing process in action! Your coffee will be ready in about 5-10 minutes!

7. Wait for the gurgle.

Pay close attention to your Moka Pot, and as soon as you hear it start to make a gurgling sound, remove it from the stove and cool it. Many people choose to cool the Moka Pot with a damp cloth. You can also simply run the outside of the Moka Pot under cold water for a few seconds.

That’s it! 

Pour yourself a cup and enjoy it while it’s hot! 

How is it?

Don’t be discouraged if it isn’t everything you dreamed. It will take a little bit of practice to hone your skills. Keep at it though, it’s very much worth it!

Here's a nice little visual aid for the Moka Pot brewing process!

Moka Pot Vs. Other Brewing Methods

Moka Pot brewing is frequently compared to other brewing methods, some more often than others. In this section, we’re going to look at some of the most common comparisons and outline the differences between each method and the resulting coffee.


Moka Pot Vs. Espresso

The most common comparison that Moka Pot brewing draws is to the espresso technique. We’ve already discussed some of the Moka Pot Vs. Espresso differences, but let’s take a closer look.

Espresso Coffee

Moka Pot

Espresso

Taste

Strong, chocolate & caramel notes, pleasant bitterness.

Stronger, sharp, pleasant bitterness, crema.

Prep Time

About 10 minutes.

About 30 seconds, (+ a couple minutes warm up!)

Grind Size

Fine, but not as fine as espresso. Dial it back a little from an espresso setting!

Very fine, most grinders have a specified espresso setting.

How does it work?

Pressurized coffee brewing, less pressure than espresso, but pressure nonetheless!

Pressurized coffee brewing, lots of pressure!

Expect To Pay

$20 - 50

A lot... $300 +

The Bottom Line:

Moka Pots offer a comparable final product for a fraction of the cost! 


Moka Pot Vs. AeroPress

The Moka Pot Vs. AeroPress comparison is a logical one, in that both methods use pressure to brew coffee! Let’s take a look at some of the other variables.

AeroPress Coffee

Moka Pot

AeroPress

Taste

Stronger, rich, less clean (in a good way).

Rich, clean, smooth.

Prep Time

About 10 minutes.

A couple of minutes

Grind Size

Fine, but not as fine as espresso!

Whatever you feel like, (the final taste will vary, but any size grind will work).

How does it work?

Pressurized coffee brewing.

Also pressurized brewing.

Extra

Optional paper filter.

Requires paper filter.

Expect To Pay

$20 - 50

About $30

The Bottom Line:

With similar costs, the Moka Pot Vs. AeroPress debates comes down solely to personal taste preference. If you want a smooth, clean coffee, go for Aeropress. If you prefer something a bit more akin to espresso, go for the Moka Pot!


Moka Pot Vs. French Press

Despite many differences, the Moka Pot Vs. French Press comparison is often made. Let's take a look at the details!

French Press

Moka Pot

French Press

Taste

Stronger, taste is less dependent on beans.

Rich & aromatic, maintains flavors of the bean's origin, not very clean.

Prep Time

About 10 minutes.

About 10 minutes.

Grind Size

Fine, but not as fine as espresso… have we drilled this into your head yet?

Coarse, (most coffee grinders will have a specific French Press setting).

How does it work?

Pressurized coffee brewing.

Immersion coffee brewing, (steeping if you will).

Extra

Optional paper filter.

You may want a ground coffee sifter or extra filter to remove small grinds so that they don’t end up in your cup.

Expect To Pay

$20 - 50

$15 - 80

The Bottom Line:

Besides the similar cost and preparation time, these two methods are really not that similar. We’d suggest giving both a try to find your preference! As far as we’re concerned, the more coffee brewing methods in you repertoire the better!

The Best Moka Pots

So you want to delve into the world of Moka Pot brewing, how exciting!

There are plenty of Moka Pot options out there to choose from, and the majority are available at very reasonable costs.

The best Moka Pot for you depends on a couple of factors. Do you intend to use it a lot? Go for something durable. Plan to make coffee for all of your friends? Get a 9 or 12 cup size.

Check out our picks for the 5 best Moka Pots, there’s bound to be something that suits your needs! All of these options will give you the opportunity to make the best Moka Pot coffee, you just need to hone your skills! 

1. Farberware Stainless Steel Yosemite Percolator

Our top value pick for best Moka Pot is the stainless steel Yosemite Percolator!

  • The cheapest high quality stainless steel Moka Pot on the market!
  • Has a built in filter - you'll never need filter papers!
  • Great for travel & camping.
  • Available in 8 cup & 12 cup sizes
Moka Pot Coffee

2. Original Bialetti Moka Express

If you’ve heard of any specific Moka Pot, it’s probably this one. Bialetti is an Italian company that has been at the top of the Stovetop Espresso game for a long time.

  • Trusty as can be, comes with a 2 year warranty. You can’t go wrong with Bialetti!
  • Durable, high end aluminum, made in Italy.
  • Available in 1, 3, 6, 9 & 12 cup sizes.
Moka Pot Coffee Bialetti

3. Grosche Milano Moka Stovetop Espresso Maker

The Milano Moka Stovetop Espresso Maker wins the award for best aesthetics in our books. Although looks don’t really matter, you have to admit, the Milano Moka Pot is pretty slick.

  • Purchasing this product provides 5 days of safe drinking water for someone in need via the Grosche Safe Water Project.
  • Comes with a one-year warranty (3 & 4 year options are also available).
  • Available in 3, 6 & 9 cup sizes.
Moka Pot Coffee

4. Cusionox Roma Stainless Steel Moka Pot 

There’s no denying, this one is on the pricier side, but if you’re willing to splurge, this is a wonderful option.

  • Very heavy-duty and durable, will probably be the only Moka Pot you ever need to purchase.
  • If you intend to use your Moka Pot a lot, it's worth investing in a high end product like this.
  • Comes with an extra gasket & reducer.
  • Available in 4, 6 & 10 cup sizes. 
Moka Pot Coffee

5. Coletti Bozeman Percolator Coffee Pot

The Bozeman includes no aluminum or plastic pieces, is durable as can be, and also is great for travel. The glass cover knob are a nice touch, providing a pleasant aesthetic and practical handle that doesn’t get too hot.

  • Nice and durable, with an optional 3 or 4 year warranty.
  • Markings for 5, 7 & 9 cups for easy measurement.
  • Includes some paper filters!
Moka Pot Coffee

Our Favorite?

Original Bialetti Moka Express!
Moka Pot Coffee Bialetti

All of these Moka Pots are great, but if we HAD to pick just one...

It's gotta be the Bialetti Moka Express! There's just something comforting about knowing that this Moka Pot has been reliably used for so long. There's a reason Bialetti is so well known!


And that's that. How do you feel about Moka Pot coffee? Are you a pro? Have any tips for us? We're always looking to improve our brewing game. Let us know!

Have a coffee question? We may have the answer. Ask away!

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