How to Use a Moka Pot

The time for a proper Italian cup of coffee has come! But where to start from? All you need is a Moka pot and a basic understanding of how Moka pots work. However, since Moka pots can be hard to grasp at first, we are here to help. Let’s dig in.


What Is a Moka Pot?

In the early 1900s, Alfonso Bialetti, an Italian engineer, invented the Moka pot. It was a simple coffee pot that could make coffee similar to espresso. The coffee pot consisted of three parts: the bottom chamber, the filter, and the top chamber.

So, this is how it works - the water goes into the bottom chamber and passes through the middle section, where the coffee filter goes with the grind. Subsequently, the pressure from the steam forces the coffee up through a tube and into the top chamber, where it is then ready to drink.

Moka pots are also known as stovetop coffee pots because they are made for us to heat them on the stove. The name Moka pot, though, comes from the city of Mocha, Yemen. It was known as an essential stop on the coffee trade routes and one of the places where the arabica beans were first cultivated.


How to Use a Moka Pot?

Using a Moka pot is pretty simple as there are just a few steps you need to take. A Moka pot is also straightforward to look after because it only has a few parts, and none of them are hard to take apart and clean. Additionally, just a few bits can break or wear off with time, so they're easily replaceable.

Our Favorite Moka Pot Recipe


Making coffee in a Moka pot is extremely easy. All you need is a bit of coffee, some water (preferably hot), a towel, and a heat source. Here are the steps you can follow for a fantastic cup of morning brew:

  1. First, throw a damp towel in the freezer. You'll need it later.
  2. Next, fill the bottom pot with hot water to the safety valve.
  3. Next, fill the middle pot with coffee grounds and place it on the bottom pot.
  4. Put the top on the filter and screw on the handle.
  5. Next, turn on the stove and put the Moka pot on it. Heat the water until it boils.
  6. The boiling water will force the coffee up through a tube and into the top chamber, where it will be ready to drink.

You’ll know your coffee is made by the gurgling sound the Moka pot will make. Once you hear the sound, take the Moka pot away from the stove and cover it with the towel from the freezer, so the extraction process stops. Do this, so you don’t end up with burnt coffee.


What Is the Best Coffee for a Moka Pot?

The coffee you use in your Moka pot is crucial as it will affect the taste of your drink. You want to use a medium or dark roast coffee to have a strong flavor. Moreover, you don't want to use a coffee that is too fine as it can clog the filter in the Moka pot or simply give you a bland taste. Our favorite coffee to use in a Moka pot is Illy coffee, a medium roast coffee perfect for making espresso.

Another excellent choice for a Moka pot is an arabica coffee grind. Arabica coffee beans are among the highest quality coffee beans, and they are the beans used to make espresso. Also, they have a smooth flavor and a pleasant aroma.


How Do You Clean a Moka Pot?

Cleaning an aluminum Moka pot is very simple - all you need to do is use water. Aluminum is a soft metal, so it's easy to clean. Just make sure you don't use any soap or other cleaning products as they can damage the finish on the pot.

Start by taking the pot apart and placing all parts in a water bowl. Let the parts soak for a few minutes, and then use a brush to scrub them clean. You can also use a toothbrush to get into all the nooks and crannies. Ensure you rinse the parts thoroughly with water before putting them back together.

It’s important to mention that you will want to season a brand new aluminum Moka pot. The reason for that is that aluminum affects the taste of your drink, so that's why you need a thin layer of coffee on the surface. You do that by making a few rounds (that you throw away) before making your actual coffee. However, you should only do that at first use. 

If you are looking for something easier to clean than an aluminum Moka pot, the stainless steel Moka pot is what you need! Since stainless steel is a more durable metal, it's harder to ruin. Therefore, if you use soap or another cleaning product on stainless steel, you won't have to worry about washing off the pot's seasoning. You can even put some high-quality Moka pots in the dishwasher.

A simple way to clean your stainless steel Moka pot is to use a cleaning product specifically designed for coffee pots. These products are great because they are non-abrasive and will clean the pot without leaving any residue. Another option is vinegar and water or baking soda and water mixture. You should rinse the pot thoroughly with water after using these cleaning products, though. 

Here is the whole process step by step:

  1. Fill the bottom pot with hot water and add a bit of soap.
  2. Put the middle pot in the bottom pot and brush it with soapy water.
  3. Rinse the middle pot with hot water and dry it off.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the top pot.
  5. Once all the parts are clean, put them back together, and you're ready to make coffee again.

What Is Moka Pot Coffee Like?

Moka pot coffee is a coffee you make using a Moka pot and has a really strong flavor. Some people would say it tastes like espresso, while others think it's more similar to French press coffee.

Using other methods, the coffee you get from a Moka pot is more concentrated than coffee brewed. As a result, you can get the same amount of caffeine in a smaller cup with the same amount of coffee grounds. Also, you’re getting more caffeine per shot than other brewing methods.

Moka pot coffee, however, is more bitter than other types of coffee. The reason is that the coffee grounds are in contact with the water for a longer time. So, if you want to reduce the bitterness of your coffee, you can try shortening the brewing time by taking the pot away from the stove earlier. You can also try using coffee beans that have been roasted for less time.


How Strong Is the Coffee from a Moka Pot?

Moka pot coffee is known for being strong. It's often compared to espresso in terms of strength. Some coffee drinkers, though, feel that it doesn't compare to the real thing. Nonetheless, Moka pot coffee is a great way to get your caffeine fix in the morning.


Is It Real Espresso, Though?

People often debate whether or not Moka pot coffee is authentic espresso. The truth is that there is no definitive answer. What we do know is that the coffee from a Moka pot is more concentrated than drip coffee. And it goes somewhere between that and espresso, which means it has a similar flavor but isn’t quite as strong.

But espresso doesn't simply mean strong coffee. Its name comes from the Italian word for pressed out, which describes the brewing method. Both espresso machines and Moka pots use pressurized water to brew your coffee. However, the pressure in the espresso maker is much higher, which explains the stronger coffee and the crema. Nevertheless, if you go by that definition, Moka is also considered espresso.

One of the main reasons people choose Moka pot coffee is that it's easier to make. Even if you're a coffee novice, you'll be able to make a great cup with just a little bit of practice. You need a Moka pot, coffee grounds, hot water, and a mug.

So, is it real espresso? That's up to you to decide. But, Moka pot coffee is still a great way to get you going in the morning regardless of what you choose.


Is a Stainless Steel Moka Pot Better than an Aluminum?

There are two main types of Moka pots: stainless steel and aluminum. Both have pros and cons, so it comes down to personal preference.

A stainless steel Moka pot is more durable than aluminum models. It's also easier to clean, as you can simply put it in the dishwasher. In addition, a stainless steel Moka pot is also going to work on an induction stove without an adapter, which is not valid for an aluminum one. However, it can also be more expensive than an aluminum Moka pot.

Aluminum Moka pots are usually cheaper than stainless steel models and heat up slightly faster. But they're not as durable as a stainless steel pot and not as easy to clean. Coupled with that, they can sometimes leave a metallic taste in your coffee.

So, which is better? Again, it depends on your needs and preferences. If you're looking for a durable Moka pot that's easy to clean, go with a stainless steel model. If you're looking for a cheaper option that heats up faster, go with an aluminum Moka pot.


And, if you're looking for more information to make up your mind, head over to our post, where we compare the two types of Moka pot.


Frequently Asked Questions

How to Know if You're Using Your Pot Correctly?

Making coffee in a Moka pot is easy, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind to make the perfect cup. Here are a few tips for using your Moka pot correctly:

- Make sure your pot is clean and dry before you start brewing

- Add coffee grounds to the bottom of the filter

- Add hot water to the bottom chamber but not above the safety valve

- Place the pot on the stove and turn it up to medium heat

- When the coffee starts bubbling, remove it from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes before pouring it into a mug

If you follow these tips, you'll be able to make a delicious cup of coffee with your Moka pot every time.


Can You Have Crema on Moka Coffee?

Moka coffee doesn't usually have crema, but it's possible to get a small amount of foam on top if you use coffee beans that have been roasted for a longer time. If you want to increase your chances of getting crema, try using a finer grind size. Additionally, don't overfill the pot, preventing the coffee from reaching its full potential.


Can You Use Milk in a Moka Pot?

You can use milk in a Moka pot. You can even make a latte, but it's vital to froth it before adding it to the coffee. If you don't have a frothing wand, you can simply heat the milk on the stove and whisk it until it's hot and foamy. Once it's ready, add it to your coffee and enjoy.


Final Thoughts

A Moka pot is a great way to make coffee if you're looking for something more concentrated than most coffee brewing methods. Of course, it doesn't produce as much crema as espresso, but it’s significantly cheaper than an espresso machine, and the coffee is delicious!

Also, there are two main types of Moka pots and which kind of Moka pot you should buy is only up to you. Go with an aluminum model if you're looking for a durable pot that heats up quickly, or go with a stainless steel pot if you're looking for a fancier option that's easier to handle. And don’t forget to check out the high-quality stainless steel Moka pot in our store.