What is a moka pot and how to use one

When you think of coffee, where in the world do you imagine? Italy, of course! This is where the humble moka pot comes from and while it might not be as fancy or high-powered as an espresso machine, it certainly has a rustic charm that more and more people are falling in love with.

As you know, we are passionate about coffee and finding different ways to make it certainly appeals to us. In this guide, we wanted to take you on a journey of discovery and introduce you to this great way of making your morning brew.

What is a moka pot?

You may sometimes hear people calling the moka pot a percolator or a stovetop espresso maker, but in any case, they’re all one and the same. One of the great things about these appliances is that they have the potential to make an incredibly rich coffee, but they do take some learning to get your skills spot on.

A moka pot is made up of three chambers. One of these is for the coffee grounds, one for the water and the other one is where the brewed coffee is delivered. These pots are usually made from durable metal materials like aluminium or steel. This is because they must make direct contact with your gas stove. It is not recommended to use this type of coffee maker on an electric or induction hob.

Water is added into the chamber, and this begins to boil. As steam builds within the chamber, the water is forced up to the chamber that contains the coffee grounds. From here, there is a spout which is used to extract the coffee from the second chamber, spraying it into the top of the moka pot.

What is moka pot coffee like?

The moka coffee pot is a great way to get one of the most delicious cups of coffee you will ever drink, if you get it right. It’s taste and strength is somewhere between espresso and drip coffee. As we mentioned earlier, making coffee in a moka pot can take some getting used to so the first few tries may not yield excellent results.

moka pot and beans

However, once you’ve got the hang of it, moka coffee is a tasty and intense drink. Of course, the overall flavour will depend on the beans you have used and how they have been roasted. It is also worth noting that the level of heat will influence the taste. By trying different varieties, you will be able to determine your personal preference.

How to use a moka pot

Getting to grips with your moka pot doesn’t need to be challenging. Look at our step-by-step guide to ensure excellent results from the first try.

  1. You can purchase ready-ground coffee, but if you prefer to do it yourself then grind around 20g. You’ll need to do it finer than you would for a pour over but not quite as fine as if you were using your espresso machine.
  2. Next, take the bottom chamber of the moka pot and fill this with water. The water should be just below the valve. Use hot water from the kettle. If you use cold the coffee will heat while the water heats up making it bitter.
  3. You will now add your coffee grounds into the receptacle, without tamping and place it on top of the water compartment.
  4. Next screw on the top of the pot. You’re now ready to brew your coffee.
  5. You should have your stove set to a medium heat, when it is warm enough, pop the moka pot on.
  6. The moka pot will make a hissing sound when it is done. Now you can take it off the heat, pour cold water over the bottom of the pot to kill the steam, pour your coffee and add some warm frothy milk to make an authentic cappuccino or latte.

You can see the whole process beautifully demonstrated in this video and for some insider tips on making great moka coffee read this article:

Why would I use a moka pot?

According to a lot of coffee fans, using a moka pot gives a traditional European experience like no other. If you love coffee and want to experience it in every way possible, then you simply must try a moka pot.

What’s more, this is a viable way of producing a totally unique type of coffee that you cannot achieve in any other way. Let’s face it, we all get bored of having the same thing over and over.

Pros and cons of a moka pot

There are a lot of great reasons to use a moka pot but one of the biggest pros is that these are incredibly affordable appliances, especially when compared to other ways of making coffee in a barista machine for example or even in an AeroPress.

We compare the two in our article: AeroPress vs Moka Pot.

They give you the opportunity to make a drink that is as close to authentic espresso as you are going to get without using an espresso machine and the coffee is smooth and rich. That said, one of the downsides is that sometimes the coffee is a little over-extracted resulting in a bitter taste.

pouring coffee from a moka pot

However, there is the issue of safety to consider. Since moka pots are used on the stove they are considerably more dangerous than other appliances. So, do take extra care when brewing coffee in your moka pot. And never ever leave the pot unattended on the hob.

Is a moka pot better than an electric coffee maker?

Many people believe that a moka pot makes a true espresso, but this is not the case. While you might refer to moka coffee as espresso, the pressure used to make it is nowhere near that of an electric espresso machine.

These machines typically use around 15 bar pressure whereas a moka pot uses only 1-2 bar pressure. To make true espresso, you must use high pressure. That said, it does give you an entirely different experience, so it is important to separate these coffee making methods as two different things. You wouldn’t compare making a hamburger to making pizza, would you?

Must read article: Espresso maker vs drip coffee machine

To compare, a moka pot makes coffee that is around 2-3 times stronger than filter coffee. On the other hand, an espresso machine produces coffee that is around 5-8 times stronger than filter coffee, so you’re getting two entirely different drinks.

Which moka pot should I buy?

In the world of coffee, there are so many ways to enjoy a cup of your favourite beverage. Whether you use a pod machine, an espresso maker, or a French press, you’ll always get a different experience. One of the most unique methods of making coffee is the moka pot which is an Italian-invented appliance designed to brew coffee on the stove.

The moka pot produces a rich and creamy drink that is very similar, although not quite the same, as espresso. They are affordable and don’t require a huge amount of user input making them relatively convenient as well.

If you’ve never used one before you really should give it a go. Moka pots are very affordable, available in different sizes and are fun to use. Personally, I use my small moka pot at least once a week – usually when I fancy something just a little bit different.

But as to which moka pot you should buy there are all pretty much of a muchness though Italian firm Bialetti are probably the most famous moka pot maker.

If we’ve successfully whetted your appetite, here are the most popular pots on sale at Amazon.

This week’s best-selling moka pots

SaleBestseller No. 1
Bialetti Moka Express Caffettiera in Alluminio, 6 Cups, Acciaio Inossidabile, Argento
  • Invented by Alfonso Bialetti in 1933, a symbol of Made in Italy all over the world
  • The only one with 8 faces, with the unmistakable little man with a mustache
  • High quality: made of aluminum, with ergonomic handle
Bestseller No. 2
Vinekraft Espresso Maker Moka Pot Stove Top Coffee Pot 6 cups/300ml -Grey
  • Classic Italian espresso Moka style, spend your time with a cup of good coffee
  • Quality life with a simple and safe operation, each family should have one
  • Coffee maker with durable and high-quality aluminum structure, good to the last drop. DO NOT...
Bestseller No. 3
Zulay Kitchen Classic Stovetop Espresso Maker for Great Flavored Strong Espresso, Classic Italian Style 8 Espresso Cup Moka Pot, Makes Delicious Coffee, Easy to Operate & Quick Cleanup Pot
  • Makes Great Tasting Coffee: Classic Italian moka pot notorious for making the best traditional...
  • Easy & Dependable: Can be used on gas or ceramic stove tops, allows you to create and enjoy the...
  • Easy To Clean: Simply rinse with clean water and let all the components air-dry in upright...
SaleBestseller No. 4
RAINBEAN Espresso Maker, Italian Stove Top Coffee Maker Moka Pot 3 Cup, Cafetiera Percolator For Coffee Latte Mocha Cappuccino Macchiato Cuban Cafe Makers, Black
  • ☕️ 【MAKES GREAT DRINKING EXPERIENCE】:RAINBEAN Espresso Maker stands out from...
  • 💯【GREAT VALUE & EASY TO CARRY】: 180ml/3 Cup (Espresso Cup=50ml), 3 Cups moka pot with a...
  • ✅【SIMPLE TO USE】:The delicate Stove Top Coffee Maker could be heated on Gas Stove,...
Bestseller No. 5
Heemburg Moka Pot Aluminum Stovetop Espresso Maker Percolator Italian Coffee Machine Mocha For 4-6Cups 300ml
  • MAKES GREAT TAKING COFFEE - Classic Italian mocha pot known for making the best traditional...
  • SIMPLE AND RELIABLE - Create and enjoy the best coffee with ease. The classic Italian style...
  • EASY TO CLEAN - Simply rinse with clean, warm water and air dry all components in an upright...

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