As the saying goes: There’s more than one way to skin a cat. Well, it’s exactly the same for coffee. There is more than one way to create a beautiful cup of fresh coffee. In this article, we are going to cover one of the most traditional ways to prepare it: The Moka Pot.
History of Moka Pot
The Moka Pot or the Stovetop Espresso, as some people would call it, dates all the way back to its creation in the 1930's. It was associated with the changes that were brought about by fascism in Italy. It went on to be known as the Italian way of making coffee.
It was Alfonso Bialetti who claimed to have crafted this coffee maker that became popular in Italy. Virtually almost every household had it. Although people moved on and used more advanced coffee-making machines, this unique brewer still retains its charm to this day.
Some people still prefer the good old Moka Pot over its more advanced cousins, such as the electric espresso machine as well as other electric-powered coffee makers.
What Exactly Is a Moka Pot?
Before we give you a list of the best Moka Pots in the market today, let’s first take care of the fundamentals. This way, you can better understand why the Moka Pots listed at the bottom of this post are the best of their kind.
A Moka pot is a simple device that brews coffee by causing water that is pressurized by steam to rise up, allowing the water to join the ground coffee beans and extract its flavors. As the water continues to rise, it then pours out a rich, strong coffee.
It has three main components:
- 1Bottom Chamber - This is where you will be storing the water to be used for brewing.
- 2Middle Chamber - This is where you will place the coffee grinds.
- 3Top Chamber - The section that collects your freshly brewed coffee.
It is an accepted fact that the Moka Pot is essentially an old-fashioned espresso maker. Others, however, say that it cannot be considered as an espresso. This is due to the varying pressures being used. The amount pressure used to create coffee from a Moka Pot is 1-2 bars. In order to extract espresso, though, it needs to be at 8-10 bars. That’s about 4-5 times the pressure of a Moka Pot. Nonetheless, the resulting coffee is more concentrated and thicker than the regular one made from a drip-type coffee maker.
Why Should You Get a Moka Pot?
With so many different ways to prepare coffee these days, the best Moka Pots have somehow retained their spot as the primary coffee-making machine of choice for some coffee aficionados with a discriminating taste.
So, why do some people prefer it over other coffee brewers? Here are some of the reasons:
It Makes Rich, Flavorful and Thick Coffee
Far from the common drip coffee, the Moka Pot gives you a fuller-bodied, richer and much thicker coffee. It is not as strong as an espresso and not as mild as a regular drip, so it is perfect for those who prefer their coffee right in between. Unlike a regular cup of drip coffee, you can also achieve a bit of the sweet crema effect with a Moka Pot.
Designed to Retain Heat
The traditional Moka Pot is made with an aluminum body. It was purposely designed to retain heat for longer periods of time. Although newer models are made with stainless steel, they have the same heat-preserving capabilities you won’t find in other coffee-making devices like the French Press.
Simplicity and Consistency in Every Brew
Moka pots come with a simple and classic design - you use the same amount of water and the same amount of coffee grounds every single time. Consequently, you’ll get the same kind of brew each and every time. Of course, that is if you are using it properly.
Easy to Clean
Once you are done brewing with your Moka Pot. You can easily clean it out by simply opening it up, taking out the middle chamber, cleaning off the used coffee grounds, lightly washing the bottom chamber and the small mesh on the top chamber (this is often overlooked), and finally letting it dry. Viola! It is ready for the next round.
Watch this video on how to clean and care for your Moka Pot:
How Do You Use a Moka Pot?
How you use your Moka Pot can mean the difference between a glorious cup of coffee and a horrible kitchen disaster. Although it has a simple design, there are things that you need to remember each step of the way. Here are the steps you should take so you can be on your way to enjoying the best Moka Pot coffee:
1. Preheat the water to be used on your brew. Bring the water to a boil, and then remove from heat. You can then pour the hot water into the bottom chamber.
2. Prepare your ground coffee. As usual, recommend newly ground beans are recommended for best results. However, you can use pre-ground beans as long as they are a fine grind size.
3. Place the fine ground beans in the middle chamber.
4. Now that you have your water in the bottom chamber, gently place back the middle chamber where your coffee grounds are. Then gently put the top chamber back. Make sure to secure the top chamber in place, but do not over-tighten.
5. You are ready to heat it up. Place the brewer on top of a stove and use low to moderate heat. Ensure that the handle is away from the heat as it can melt (most traditional Moka Pots are made with a plastic handle).
6. Wait and see. The coffee should begin to come out in a few minutes. When it does, make sure that the coffee comes out smoothly. If it comes out abruptly, that means that the temperature is too high.
7. After removing it gently away from the heat source, wrap the bottom of the pot with a chilled bar towel. The goal is to stop the heat and prevent your coffee from having a metallic taste.
8. Now pour the contents from the top chamber of the Moka Pot into your cup and enjoy!
The Best Moka Pots - Top 3
Now that we’ve covered all the essentials for you to create the best Moka Pot brew, it’s time to check out the finest brewers on the market today. Although this so-called stovetop espresso brewer is a classic, not all of them are built the same.
We’ve done the rigorous task of sorting out and testing various Moka Pots to see which ones are worthy to be on the list. These are the best Moka Pots that have stood the test of time and have proven to be consistent:
GROSCHE Milano Moka 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker
Don’t be deceived by its stylish look. This Moka Pot can certainly do some heavy lifting. It has a nice black exterior that will conceal the often-inevitable staining that will occur on the portion that is in contact with heat.
With its low price point, you are better off getting the 6-cup or 9-cup variant so that more people can enjoy.
Lastly, the handle on this coffee maker does not melt away easily because of the way it is designed. It has a one-year warranty too.
Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker
How can we forget a classic brand? The Bialetti not only makes this list because it is a reputable manufacturer, but also because of the experience that you get if you own one.
With its aluminum body, original octagon shape and patented safety value, you can never go wrong with this espresso maker. This is going to be an excellent choice, especially uf you are after the authenticity of the original Italian version of the Moka Pot.
It is also easy to disassemble and clean. If there's an issue with any of the parts, you can easily purchase the them separately. No need to buy a new brewer. Whatever the case, the Bialetti has a 2-year warranty.
Cuisinox Roma 4-cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Moka Espresso Maker
When looking for the best Moka Pot, consider its durability. That's exactly what the Cuisinox Roma has to offer. The pot has no noticeable flaws after many uses. It still looks as good as new. Surprisingly, the seal didn't suffer any damage and still hasn't leaked at all. You can really notice the craftsmanship as soon as you hold one.
This brewer is made of stainless steel (unlike the Bialetti, which is made of Aluminum). You do not have to worry about your coffee getting that metallic taste, nor do you have to worry about the handle melting. It is actually dishwasher safe too, making maintenance much easier.
The only downside about this particular Moka Pot is quickly conducts heat. Use a towel when you pick up your fresh brew to avoid injury.
Although this one has a steeper price point, it will be worth it in the end.