How to Make Espresso at Home With a Moka Pot?

You've tried brewing a cup of Moka coffee but you just can't get it right? We've prepared detailed instructions for the best Moka pot espresso. Let's get on with it.

What Do You Need Before You Start the Brewing Process?

Making a cup of coffee in a Moka pot is very simple and requires little to know preparation before you start. All you need are some coffee grounds, some hot water, the Moka pot itself and a heat source. To make sure your Moka pot works on your stove well, make sure it's made of high quality stainless steel. Buy yours today.

Actually you can start with cold water but this way you're risking burning your ground coffee. The problem here is that when you put the pot on the heat source (usually a stove), the entire Moka pot will get hot and not only the water chamber. This could potentially burn the coffee in the filter basket, giving you a bad cup of Moka pot coffee. What's going to happen is you're going to roast your coffee grounds. Unfortunately this won't simply give you a dark roast coffee but a burnt one as it's not going to roast evenly.

How to Make Espresso in a Stovetop Coffee Maker? Step by Step Instructions

As we previously mentioned the Moka pot is one of the simplest coffee brewers that you can find. There's a little trick that you can use to make sure your shot of espresso comes out just right. Let's get brewin'.

  1. Throw a damp towel in the freezer. This is essential to stop the brewing process when your coffee is done brewing.
  2. Heat some water. Using warm water from the tap won't work as you need it to be boiling to decrease the chances of your coffee burning in the filter basket.
  3. Pour the water into the bottom chamber of your coffee pot. Make sure it only gets to the bottom edge of the safety valve. If you cover it, there will be no way out for the steam and this may get dangerous.
  4. Add the coffee in the filter basket. The perfect amount of coffee depends on the basket size  but you should make sure it's full and that you DON'T tamp it.
  5. Put the Moka pot on the stove. You can use a stainless steel Moka pot on any burner you can find, including an induction and a gas stove. Aluminum pots, unfortunately, are not as versatile. They won't work at all at an induction stove as those only work with magnetic metals. Additionally the open gas flame may ruin the surface of the metal more easily.
  6. Wait for the gurgling sound. This will mean that your stovetop espresso is done brewing. When you hear it, take the pot away from the heat.
  7. Cover with the cold wet towel. This will immediately stop the coffee extraction making sure you're not going to get a cup of over extracted stovetop espresso.
  8. Enjoy!

How Do Stovetop Espresso Makers Work?

Stovetop espresso makers use steam pressure to brew coffee. The process begins by heating up water in the bottom chamber. Once it reaches its boiling point, the steam finds its way up through the coffee in the filter basket. If there's too much steam, what's in excess is released through the steam release valve.

Once the coffee gets to the coffee in the filter basket, if you're using the right grind size and haven't tamped your coffee it'll evenly flow through it. As the pot generates around 2 bars of pressure this will happen rather quickly and your coffee will continue going up to the tower and end up in the upper chamber.

The brew time for this type of coffee should be around 5 minutes. This depends on a few factors among which are the water temperature when you start brewing, the size of the Moka pot and the grind size of your coffee.

How Much Caffeine Is There in a Cup of Stovetop Espresso?

The amount of caffeine determines how strong your coffee is going to be and how much of a "kick" you'll get out of it. It is arguably also what makes the difference between a meh cup of coffee and a fantastic one.

When it comes to caffeine true espresso is one of the hot brews that has the highest amount of it at around 63 mg per fluid ounce. This is because the pressure generated by espresso machines can extract a lot of flavor and caffeine out of the grinds when brewing. 

The Moka coffee comes second with around 50 mg per fluid ounce. This makes for around 100 mg per cup which is enough to wake most people up.

The normal drip coffee that most Americans drink has a significantly lower caffeine level at around 8-10 mf per fluid ounce. This is why a regular cup of drip coffee is much larger at around 8 oz.

Because of this drastic difference in caffeine levels it's best to adapt the amount of coffee you're going to drink. This is why a cup of drip coffee is so much larger than a cup of espresso or Moka coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Moka Pots Actually Make Espresso?

Yes and no. If you go by the actual definition of espresso or coffee that was "pressed out" with water, then yes, the Moka coffee is actually espresso.

In coffee culture, though, by espresso what is understood is espresso from an espresso machine. This is why if you go by this definition Moka pot coffee isn't actually espresso.

What Are the Best Beans for a Moka Pot Coffee?

This depends on your taste. If you want a fruity flavor with slightly more caffeine, go for a light roast. If you want a more burnt taste with a tad less caffeine, dark roast is the way to go.

What Is the Perfect Grind Size for a Moka Coffee?

To get the best flavor out of your Moka pot coffee you'll want to use a fine to medium grind. This is slightly coarser than what you'd use for espresso. This is because the pressure a Moka pot can generate is lower than what an espresso machine does.

Final Thoughts

Making a cup of Moka pot coffee can be a breeze if you're following the instructions we gave you in this article. Nevertheless, to make sure you'll actually get the best Moka pot flavor you could make sure you get a high-quality pot like the ones you can find in our store. Get yours now.