The Moka pot has been evolving for a while and now there is a model for everyone’s preferences. There are three main options when buying a Moka pot: aluminum, stainless steel or electric. They all have their good and bad sides so you should consider your lifestyle and your needs before you make a purchase. Keep reading to find out what each one’s advantages and disadvantages are.
What Is a Moka Pot?
The Moka pot has been around since the 1930s.It was created by the Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti and was made of aluminum. Even though it's named after the Yemeni city of Mocha, the Moka pot was actually created in Italy and spread around the country very fast. The ease of use and the fact that you can prepare a cup of strong coffee in 5 minutes were a part of the reason why. As a matter of fact, the Moka pot was initially called the Moka express for that reason.
The Moka pot wasn’t named after just any Middle Eastern city. Mocha was a significant port city in the 16th and 17th centuries on the coffee trade routes and Yemen was always an important country for coffee as Arabica coffee was first cultivated there.
A Moka pot works in a very simple way. You need to pour some water in the boiler and some coffee in the coffee filter to make coffee in a Moka pot. Then, the water is heated up in the bottom chamber. After that, when there is enough steam, it pushes its way up, which is when the brewing happens. It goes up through a little tower and into the top chamber in the last stage. This is pretty much it. As a result of that process, you're left with a delicious strong cup of coffee.
What Metals Are Best for Moka Pots?
A Moka pot can either be electric or manual and the manual models can be made of either aluminum or stainless steel. A manual Moka pot has no electronic or moving elements so the only difference is in the stovetop espresso maker's material and design.
Aluminum Moka Pot
The original Bialetti Moka pot was made of aluminum and is still one of the most widely used metals. There are a few good reasons for that.
- Aluminum Is Very Light. Aluminum is one of the lightest widely used metals out there hence, it is perfect for a Moka pot as this way it becomes even more portable, and you can take it anywhere you go, without having to worry about the weight.
- Aluminum Is a Great Heat Conductor. Heat conduction is essential for kitchen appliances. If your Moka pot is a good heat conductor, you are more likely to end up with good coffee and as a result of the excellent heat conduction, your coffee is going to brew evenly, and this makes it easier to end up with a great cup of Joe.
- Aluminum Is Cheap. This is one of the reasons why Bialetti used aluminum for its Moka pot, after all. Aluminum is still significantly cheaper nowadays, so you can expect to find considerably cheaper aluminum Moka pots than stainless steel ones.
- Aluminum Moka pots are not very durable. While aluminum Moka pots are cheaper than the stainless steel models, they are significantly less durable and won't last you nearly as long. The main issue here is that aluminum may oxidize with prolonged usage. If this happens, your Moka pot will turn black, and your coffee will taste bad. For the same reason you shouldn’t wash your aluminum Moka pot in the dishwasher.
- An aluminum Moka pot needs to be seasoned. If you have an aluminum Moka pot, one thing you must do is season it. This is done because aluminum affects your coffee’s taste. By seasoning your Moka pot, you will build a thin layer of coffee on the aluminum which gives your brew a better taste. In general, seasoning your Moka pot only takes a few brews that you should throw out. Once this is done you’re good to go.
- You can't use an aluminum Moka pot on an induction stove. Induction stoves work by using electrical induction instead of using thermal induction as regular burnes do. This means that aluminum Moka pots cannot be used on an one as aluminum is not a magnetic metal.
Steel Moka Pot
The stainless steel Moka pot is a more recent invention that came around much later than the aluminum models. This Moka pot is perfect for people looking for durability and longevity as this Moka pot is made of stainless steel, making it way more durable than aluminum Moka pots.
- Stainless Steel Is Non-Toxic. One of the most important features of this Moka pot is that it's made out of stainless steel, which renders it non-toxic to the environment, unlike aluminum Moka pots which can be toxic to the environment.
- Stainless Steel Lasts Longer Than Aluminum Moka Pots. The lifespan of stainless steel Moka pots is way longer than aluminum Moka pots. Stainless steel Moka pots usually last around ten years, while aluminum Moka pots tend to only last about five years.
- Stainless Steel Is a Worse Heat Conductor Than Aluminum. As we've already mentioned, heat conduction is vital for coffee making. Stainless steel is not as good a heat conductor as aluminum, meaning your coffee is more likely to brew unevenly. Nevertheless, you wouldn’t have to worry about that if you buy a high-quality Moka pot.
- Stainless Steel Moka Pots Are More Expensive Than Aluminum Ones. Unfortunately, stainless steel Moka pots are more expensive than aluminum ones, but the extra cost is worth the benefits that come with it. By buying a stainless steel Moka pot, you make a better future investment, as it will last you significantly longer.
Electric Stovetop Espresso Makers
Electric Moka pots are a more recent invention as they were only introduced in the 1990s. However, they are a great alternative to stovetop Moka pots, since they don't require a burner. Moreover, they are an excellent choice if you want to make a stovetop espresso but don’t have the time to learn how to do it.
- Electric Moka Pots Are Easier to Use. You don't need to do a lot if you own an electric Moka pot. You simply pour in some water, throw in a bit of coffee and wait for a few minutes. As simple as that.
- Electric Moka Pots Are More Convenient Than Manual Ones. Electric Moka pots don't require a burner, so they are more convenient than stovetop Moka pots. You can use an electric Moka pot anywhere you go that has electricity. This can be an office, a dorm room, or even an RV.
- Electric Moka Pots Are Faster Than Manual Ones. Тhey use an electric heating element instead of the stovetop. This way you won’t have to wait for the hotplate to get hot and that makes the whole process shorter which is great if you’re usually in a hurry in the mornings.
- Electric Moka Pots Are More Consistent Than Manual Ones. As the whole process of making coffee in an electric Moka pot is entirely automated, you can always get the same results.
- Electric Moka pots are more expensive than manual ones. However, this extra cost can be worth it, as electric Moka pots can save you a lot of time and energy that you would otherwise have to spend learning how to make a good brew in a manual Moka pot.
- Electric Moka pots are entirely automated. While this can be an advantage for some, it means that your Moka pot will lose a big part of its charm as you won't be the artist of your cup of coffee.
- Electric Moka pots are not as durable as manual Moka pots. Electric Moka pots are a lot more complicated than the manual models. They have a lot of electronics which means there are more parts that can break.
Aluminum Moka Pots vs. Stainless Steel Moka Pots
When it comes to Moka pots, they can either be made of aluminum or stainless steel. Aluminum Moka pots are the more popular option but stainless steel Moka pots have many advantages and the reason for the bigger popularity of aluminum Moka pots is that they have been around for longer.
Are Aluminum Moka Pots Safe?
Aluminum can be a toxic metal if it gets into your body. Aluminum pots are known to release particles into your coffee. While this can be potentially harmful to you with prolonged use, there's a simple solution. First, the way to know that your aluminum coffee maker is affecting your coffee is a metallic taste in your coffee brew. If you can feel it, you'll have to season you Moka pot.
Seasoning a Moka pot is done very easily by simply brewing 1-2 rounds of coffee. You'll have to go through the regular brewing process but throw the coffee out instead of drinking it.
There's one more potentially dangerous thing that can happen to your Moka pot. If you scratch it or use strong detergents (like the ones in the dishwasher). If you notice the surface of your aluminum coffee maker turning black you'll have to replace it with a new one. The strong detergents will most likely going to ruin the surface of your aluminum stovetop coffee maker and will lead to corrosion. There are some health concerns over making coffee in an oxidized Moka pot.
Which Lasts Longer?
Aluminum Moka pots are known to be less durable than stainless steel Moka pots. This is because they are more prone to scratches and dents and in addition to that aluminum Moka pots tend to corrode over time. In contrast, stainless steel Moka pots are much more durable and do not corrode. An average aluminum Moka pot might last for around five years before it needs replacing, while a stainless steel Moka pot could last 10 years or even more.
Is Aluminum Cheaper?
One of the reasons why aluminum Moka pots are more popular is that they are cheaper than stainless steel Moka pots. However, this is not always the case, as if you want to buy a high-quality aluminum Moka pot you will have to pay around the same as you would for a stainless steel one..
Which One Is a Better Heat Conductor?
When it comes to heat conduction, aluminum Moka pots are the better option. This means that your coffee will start brewing faster in an aluminum Moka pot than in a stainless steel one.
Additionally, because of the better heat conduction of aluminum, your coffee is less likely to brew unevenly. If you're using a cheap stainless steel Moka pot, it might burn on one side, and be under-brewed on the other, which would make the whole amount undrinkable.
There are a few things that you can do to ensure that your coffee comes out great in your aluminum Moka pot:
- Make sure that your Moka pot is clean and free of any residue before you start brewing coffee.
- Use fresh, good-quality coffee beans.
- Grind your coffee beans to the correct size. Coarse ground coffee beans are best for Moka pots.
- Brew your coffee at the correct temperature. The ideal brewing temperature for moka pots is 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit.
Which Is More Convenient?
Both the aluminum and the stainless steel Moka pots have their advantages, as you've seen. Furthermore, they're both very convenient when making your coffee at home or on the go.
However, stainless steel Moka pots have a huge advantage. They are more durable, do not corrode, and lose heat slower. This means that if you're making more than one round of coffee, you will need less time. Additionally, if you have a high-quality stainless steel Moka pot, you won’t have to worry about your coffee brewing unevenly.
On the other hand, aluminum Moka pots are lighter than stainless steel Moka pots. This means that you could carry around a Moka pot made of aluminum without worrying about the weight, which is very useful if you like traveling or going camping. Moreover, aluminum Moka pots might also cost less to ship.
Additionally, a stainless steel Moka pot is a great option if you want to make your coffee on an electric stove. Check out what are the best Moka pots for electric stoves now.
Is Moka Coffee the Same as Espresso?
No, Moka coffee is not the same as espresso. Espresso is made with finely ground coffee beans packed tightly and water forcing its way through. Even though Moka coffee is also made with water forced through coffee, it is at a lower pressure and the grind is not as fine.
The Moka pot is also known as stovetop espresso maker for the fact that it uses the same method as the regular espresso maker. The word espresso is Italian for "pressed out", which is basically how the coffee is made in both cases.
Moka coffee, however, is made from more coarsely ground coffee beans that are not packed as tightly as they would be if you were making espresso. The Moka coffee is weaker due to the lower pressure and smaller amount of coffee, put in the filter.
How Strong Is Moka Pot Coffee?
The coffee brewed in a Moka pot is not as strong as the coffee from an espresso machine. This is because Moka pots use more water and less pressure than espresso machines. Moka pots produce a coffee that is about 2/3 the strength of espresso. However, if you use a high-quality Moka pot, and if you grind your coffee beans correctly, you can produce a cup of Moka coffee that is almost as strong as espresso.
Top 3 Moka Pots in 2022
Best Overall Moka Pot - LuxHaus
The LuxHaus Moka pot is a high-quality pot with a beautiful design and fits perfectly in any kitchen. It's made out of the highest quality stainless steel and works equally well on gas or electric burners. The best part is that there is going to be no more uneven heat distribution when making your coffee, thanks to the high-quality stainless steel that we use.
The LuxHaus Moka pots are not just a great way to make Moka coffee at home but also come with many advantages.
- First off is the quality guarantee, which means if you aren't fully satisfied with your purchase, returns will be accepted and fully refunded!
- You can also find it with two different capacities: for three and six cups
- Finally, the price point makes them affordable enough so even if you’re on a budget you won't have trouble purchasing these top-quality kitchen appliances.
Last but not least, the LuxHaus Moka pot will work on any stove, be it electric, gas, or even induction!
Best High-Capacity Moka Pot - Godmorn 15 oz
Made of food-grade stainless steel, the Godman Moka pot is rust-resistant and easy to clean. It can make up to nine cups at a time! This means that you will have enough brew for almost an entire football team which makes this stovetop espresso maker perfect if your kitchen has more than one regular coffee drinker.
The best way to enjoy coffee using this pot is on an electric stove. If you use gas, the bottom might turn black, but that won't affect the drink's taste at all. The main complaint about these pots is that it can be hard to remove the filter, which could lead some people to think there was something wrong with their pot when they just needed a little more practice.
Best Electric Moka Pot - De'Longhi Alicia EMK6
Moka pots have been making great coffee for ages. The De'Longhi Alicia EMK6 is one of the most sophisticated models so far as the whole coffee brewing process is fully automated.
The Moka pot features stainless steel construction with plastic accents - perfect comfort while waiting patiently (or impatiently) until there's enough hot liquid at last. Even better? This Moka Pot has an indicator light AND automatic shutoff feature, which lets you go on with your morning routine until your coffee is finished.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Aluminum Moka Pots Good?
Aluminum Moka pots are not as good as stainless steel Moka pots. Stainless steel Moka pots last longer and are more durable than aluminum Moka pots. However, aluminum Moka pots are also cheaper than stainless steel Moka pots.
Nevertheless, an aluminum Moka pot will still make you good coffee if you decide to invest in a high-quality model.
What Is the Best Grind for Moka?
A medium-fine to coarse grind is the perfect option for a Moka pot. It shouldn't, in any case, be as fine as the one you'd use for espresso. This might get your Moka pot to leak or give you a bland cup of coffee.
Can You Get Crema with a Moka coffee?
A Moka pot barely produces any crema. There are a few tricks you can try to make your coffee with crema, but it will never be as much as the one from an espresso machine.
So, what's the verdict?
If you're looking for a Moka pot that is cheaper, makes high-quality coffee, then aluminum is the way to go. However, if you're looking for a Moka pot that is more durable and will last longer, stainless steel is the better option. Whichever Moka pot you choose, make sure to use fresh, good-quality coffee beans and grind them correctly.
If you've decided that a stainless steel Moka pot would be best for you, check out our catalog of high-quality stainless steel Moka pots and get yours now!