Last Updated on 19/10/2023 by Miki
What is a Moka Pot: You may have seen these little stovetop espresso makers popping up all over your Instagram feed lately. I know you’ve been wondering how they differ from the average stovetop coffee pot and why they are all the rage. Well, in a nutshell, these pots use pressure and water to make direct coffee. The pressure forces the coffee through the coffee grounds and puts a tube into the pot. A good Moka pot will extract the maximum amount of flavour from your coffee beans. They are best suited for those who want an espresso-like strength coffee that’s not quite as strong as what comes out of a traditional French press. The Moka pot originated in Italy and it’s one of the staples for Italians. It’s now popular worldwide. The name Moka derives from the city Mocha in Yemen. It’s a unique coffee maker and you may want to give this a try if you are looking for a small, yet effective coffee maker. It can make a strong cup of coffee when brewed properly. You will learn a bit more about this amazing coffee maker and tips to choose the best one for you in this article.
How Does A Moka Pot Work?
The way a Moka pot works is simple and clever. It has three chambers: the bottom one for water, the middle one for ground coffee, and the top one for brewed coffee. When you place the pot on the stove, the heated water produces steam and this causes pressure to increase inside the bottom chamber. The pressure pushes the water up to the middle chamber and the water makes ground coffee expand slowly. The pressure is further built up inside the middle chamber and the coffee saturation continues. Once the saturation has been completed, the water boils up to the top chamber and if you hear the hissing sound, it is ready! I am going to give you a step-by-step guide to how to use a Moka pot in this article, so keep reading 🙂
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5 Best Moka Pots | Stovetop Espresso Makers
Most Moka pots have size variations and the best size for 1 person would be a 1-2 cup pot. Keep in mind that 1 cup for this pot is traditionally an Italian measurement and it means 1 espresso cup (approximately 2oz/60ml).
Bialetti has been making Moka pots since 1933 and their coffee makers are still popular among coffee lovers. This coffee maker comes with your choice of colour and size. It includes a patented safety valve and an ergonomic handle for your comfort. It’s made of aluminium and it conducts heat well. The drawback is this Bialetti pot can be more expensive due to its brand name. You will also need to consider your stovetop type since the aluminium coffee maker is not suitable for induction.
Grosche is an ethically conscious Italian company and the Groshche Milano is the top seller for stovetop espresso makers on Amazon. You will have a bit less choice of colour and size compared to Bialetti, but it has the same great features as Bialetti. It also includes a premium silicone gasket. The drawback is the quality issue and you may find it cheaply made.
If you are in search of a stainless steel Moka pot, the Grosche Milano will be the one for you. The reason why I recommend Grosche is a high-quality product at an affordable price. In general, the stainless steel pot has less choice in colour and size, but it is necessary for an induction stovetop. There is a downside to this pot as well though. It might not be a good value for money as there could be quality issues such as rust.
This Rae Dunn electric Moka pot is convenient if you don’t want to use your stovetop. You can set the Moka pot on and leave it till it’s ready. The features include boil-dry protection and a keep-warm function. The drawback would be the coffee could taste a little burnt due to the fast water heating and it might not be the easiest one to clean. With that said, it’d be a lovely addition to your kitchen considering the simple yet attractive design which Rae Dunn offers.
Primula stovetop espresso maker is another great choice for a simple, yet effective coffee maker. The spout is designed for non-drip and the silicone gasket is durable and odour-resistant. Although this pot has only 2 colours of your choice, you can still choose from 5 different sizes. It’s also perfect for a budget-friendly option with good quality. The drawback is it may not produce the amount of coffee it’s supposed to, so I recommend that you choose a larger size than you think you need.
How To Use A Moka Pot
While it’s true that there are many methods to make coffee, one of the most popular methods is using a Moka pot. This method has been used for years, is very efficient, and produces coffee that tastes good. Furthermore, it’s fairly inexpensive and easy to use. The Moka pot can generally be used to make one to three shots of espresso at a time. Here is a step-by-step guide to using a Moka pot:
- Boil filtered water in a kettle so that you can avoid over-extraction which causes bitterness.
- Grind coffee beans to the coarseness of the grind that is a bit coarser than the one for an espresso machine but finer than for a drip coffee maker.
- Fill the basket with freshly ground coffee and make it flat on top with your finger. Do not tamp the grounds down since this may cause an over-extraction and bitterness in your coffee.
- Fill the bottom chamber with hot water up to the indicator line.
- Place the basket on the top of the bottom chamber carefully by using a towel to hold the hot bottom so that you won’t burn your hand.
- Heat the pot by placing it on medium-low heat. You will want to keep the lid open and watch if the coffee is extracting properly. You need low and slow brewing.
- When the top chamber becomes full, remove it from the heat and close the lid. Put a cool towel around the bottom of the pot to stop over-extraction.
- Pour into espresso cups and enjoy!
How To Clean A Moka Pot
Cleaning a Moka pot is extremely easy and it can be a good reason why it is popular.
Basically, you just need to disassemble the pot, discard the ground coffee inside the basket, then rinse each part and dry them all completely. You don’t want to wash it with a dishwasher machine or scrab hard and damage the coating on aluminium pots.
A Moka pot is no exception that requires deep cleaning once in a while.
- Fill the bottom chamber with water till it reaches the basket.
- Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for at least 2 hours (up to 4 hours) to break down all the build-up of coffee oils and minerals.
- Pour some water out to adjust the amount to run a brew cycle.
- Warm the pot and continue the normal brewing process with acidic water.
- Once you see the water inside the top chamber and the process has been completed, remove the pot from the heat.
- Rinse all the parts thoroughly and dry them with a clean towel. Make sure everything is completely dry, then reassemble.
Moka Pots FAQ
What are Moka pots made from?
Moka pots are made to make great coffee. These pots are made from aluminium with a copper/brass lining which creates the perfect level of heat within the pot or stainless steel. Moka pots are perfect for people who want to save money because they are inexpensive and also for people who have a minimalistic style and want an easy way to get their coffee brewing.
Why Is My Moka Pot Sputtering?
Typically, the brewing method for Moka pots is low and slow. If your pot is sputtering, it’s likely that the pressure is increased too quickly. You may want to control the heat. Another thing to consider is to check if the sealing surfaces are free of excess ground coffee. It should be all sealed properly. It’s also worth keeping in mind that you shouldn’t overfill your pot with water and ground coffee to avoid sputtering.
Which Is Better French Press Or Moka Pot?
This cannot be simply answered since every single coffee lover has a different taste. However, here is my overview to decide which one is better for you:
A Moka pot can require more time to get used to and achieve your ideal coffee. If you would like to have an experiment, then a Moka pot will be a better fit for you as you can be in full control over the coffee’s strength. On the other hand, a French press can produce more flavour-focused coffee with its heavy and rich mouthfeel. If you want a consistent flavour in your coffee, a French press will be your choice.
Is Moka Pot Coffee As Strong As Espresso?
It’s true that Moka pot coffee is strong. However, it’s not the same as espresso. Although both Moka pots and espresso machines use pressure to brew coffee, a stovetop coffee maker uses only 1-2 bars of pressure. In comparison, a standard espresso machine uses 8-10 bars. An interesting fact is that Moka pot coffee can contain a bit more caffeine than espresso due to the tendency of over-extraction.
The Pros And Cons Of Moka Pots
The pros of Moka pots are that it’s simple and fast to brew, easy to clean, budget-friendly, and there is no waste since you don’t need any paper filters or coffee pods. Moreover, even if you lose electricity, you can make your Moka pot coffee wherever a gas stove is available. Great for camping! On the contrary, the cons are that you need some skills or practice, and the capacity is generally small. However, the brewed coffee is strong enough to dilute with hot water to increase the coffee volume.
A Moka pot is an amazing coffee maker that uses a clever brewing process and delivers rich and strong coffee. You don’t necessarily have to own a complicated espresso machine to enjoy delicious cups of coffee at home. You will gain good skills over time after your daily practice and experimentation. It may sound like too much work when you think about using a coffee pod machine. However, there are much more benefits of using Moka pots both economically and environmentally in the long run. Remember to use good quality coffee beans and freshly grind them just before brewing. I know I have mentioned this over and over in other articles, but I cannot stress it enough! This simple step will make a big difference in the aroma and flavour of your coffee, so it’s definitely worth doing. You are good to go 🙂