Are you new to coffee brewing and wondering which is the best method for you? Do you like a strong, rich cup of coffee, or are you looking for something a bit more subtle? This post will compare two of the most popular home coffee brewing methods: the Moka pot and the AeroPress. We'll look at how they work, their pros and cons, and help you decide which one is right for you. So, let's get started.
What Is a Moka Pot
A Moka pot is a coffee brewing device invented in Italy in the 1930s that uses steam pressure to brew coffee. It consists of three parts - bottom chamber, filter, and top chamber. You place the coffee grounds in the filter, and pour hot water into the bottom chamber. When the water reaches boiling point, it creates steam which forces its way up through the coffee grounds and into the top chamber. This is where through a small pipe called the tower the coffee finishes brewing.
Moka pots come in various sizes, but they usually have a capacity of between three and six cups. They are also quite portable and durable, making them a popular choice for coffee lovers who are always on the go. A Moka pot is also perfect for camping as what most campers need is a fast way to get a delicious cup of coffee in a coffee maker that's small and easy to clean.
How Did the Moka Pot Get Its Name?
Even though the Moka pot comes from Italy, its name comes from Yemen and the city of Mocha in particular. The harbor city on the Red sea was how Somali traders imported coffee into Asia from Africa. Not long after the trade started, coffee exploded and spread everywhere around the Arabian peninsula. People were going nuts about it and calling it the “Arabian coffee”. While coffee was initially only imported to Yemen, the locals eventually started cultivating the Arabica coffee beans there, which, as you know, gives arguably the best brew out there.
The Moka pot's name is a tribute to the city of Mocha’s historic importance for coffee, but the coffee maker is often also called a stovetop espresso maker. The name comes from the fact that it uses steam pressure to "press-out" your coffee which is what espresso means in Italian. So, if you go by that definition, Moka, pot coffee can also be considered espresso.
What Is an AeroPress?
The AeroPress is a coffee brewing device invented in 2005 by Alan Adler. It uses a plunger to force hot water through coffee grounds, and a filter, resulting in a cup of coffee with less acidity and bitterness than coffee brewed using some other methods. The AeroPress comes in one size, but it is very portable and easy to use. It’s also quite affordable, costing just under $40, making it a great option for coffee lovers on a budget.
How Does an AeroPress Brew Coffee?
The AeroPress is made up of only three parts: plunger, filter, and body. Coffee grounds are placed in the filter, and hot water is added. The plunger is then used to push the water through the coffee grounds and into the filter. After that, it’s poured out and in the end you're left with a cup of delicious, manually brewed coffee.
How Much Coffee with a Single Brewing?
The amount of brew depends on you. If you want to make a larger cup of coffee in your AeroPress that's not necessarily as strong, you will need to use more water and less coffee. In case you're looking to make a strong, nearly Moka-like coffee, you need to put significantly more coffee and less water. You can also adapt your brew and share it between two cups, but you should expect less brew and a more bland taste.
How Does Coffee Taste?
There are two ways to make coffee in an AeroPress. One of them is by using a metal filter and the other one by using a paper one. The metal filter is the one that most people use. However, it doesn't filter out that much of the oils, making your coffee slightly less bitter and sharper. On the other hand, the paper filters trap these coffee oils inside, making your brew slightly more bitter.
Moka Pot vs AeroPress. What Is the Best Coffee Maker?
The brewing time for both methods is relatively short. A Moka pot brew usually takes around 5 minutes, depending on a few factors. These are how hot the water is when you start, what grind you're using, and how much coffee you're making.
A round of AeroPress coffee usually takes around the same time. As it doesn't heat the water itself, you need to do that before starting. When you already have hot water, it should take 2-3 more minutes to be left with a fresh cup of Joe.
Both Moka pot and AeroPress are pretty cheap and won't set you back more than $50. While you can get a good Moka pot for less than $30, AeroPress costs around $40, which is not a lot, but if you're on a budget or are planning to use it as a backup coffee maker, it might make a difference.
There's a slight difference between the coffee grind you'd want to use for an AeroPress and a Moka pot. A Moka pot gives the best brew if the coffee you're using is fine to medium ground, but an AeroPress works best with a coarse to medium grind. While both can also make a cup of coffee with a grind different from the perfect one, it won't taste as good.
If you're a coffee enthusiast, you know that flavor is everything. Even though good flavor is different for everyone, for most people, the taste of their coffee is the main reason to drink it. The catch is that not everyone has the same understanding of good flavor.
A stovetop espresso maker will arguably give you one of the best-tasting coffees. Nowadays, Moka pots are a preferred method of brewing for many that like a dark and rich taste with great texture but don't want to go for an espresso.
On the other hand, the AeroPress produces a cleaner and brighter flavor. As we already found out, this can be affected by the filter you're using. In general, this brewer gives you the freedom to experiment with much more than your grinder settings. So you can give yourself a different-tasting coffee every day of the week.
One of the major differences between these two coffee brewing methods is capacity. A Moka pot can give you up to 12 cups of coffee with a single brew, and they're all going to have that rich, nearly as strong as espresso coffee taste. On the contrary, an AeroPress can only make one cup of coffee at a time. Nevertheless, if you have enough hot water, you can quickly make a second and even a third one, and the brewing time won't be that much longer.
Both the Moka pot and the AeroPress are straightforward to clean. They only have a handful of parts, so taking them apart is a simple process. For the AeroPress, you only need to take the plunger and the filter out of the press to give them a quick rinse. If you're using a paper filter, you will need to get a new one which makes everything even easier.
Your Moka pot can be an aluminum or a stainless steel model. If you're using an aluminum Moka pot like the Bialetti Moka Express, you shouldn't use any strong detergents as they will ruin the metal. For the same reason, you shouldn't, under any circumstances, wash it in the dishwasher.
Stainless steel Moka pots, at the same time, require much less. You can basically do anything with them, as well as throw them in the dishwasher. A quick rinse will suffice for your everyday cleaning, no matter which model you own.
The Moka pot and the AeroPress are preferred choices for anyone who likes to make their own coffee anywhere they go. If you see yourself in that, you should know that the Moka pot is slightly chunkier and heavier even though both are very compact. Nevertheless, you won't need any additional equipment but a heat source, which is not the case with AeroPress. You will also have to find somewhere to heat your water for a brew.
A Moka pot is going to last you significantly longer than an AeroPress. This is because it's made out of metal, and no matter if it's stainless steel or aluminum, it will last you at least a few years. The AeroPress is made out of plastic, and even though it's the high-quality kind, it's still not as resistant to wear and tear as metal.
Ease of Use
Here again, the differences are relatively subtle. What makes the AeroPress a little harder to use is that you need to heat the water yourself and then manually squeeze out your coffee, timing how much each step takes. In contrast, you only need to preheat the water and put some coffee in the filter when using a Moka pot. Of course, once you put it on the stove, it's a waiting game. Keep reading to find our favorite recipes for both.
Our Favorite Moka Pot and AeroPress Recipes
Here's our favorite Moka pot recipe. First, you should know that this is the recipe for a three-cup Moka pot, as this is the most common model. If yours is bigger or smaller, you should adapt the quantities.
What you'll need:
- 2 tablespoons medium-fine coffee grounds
- 6 ounces of hot water
- A damp cold towel
Some additional ingredients if you want to make it less intense:
- 2 ounces milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Throw the wet towel in the freezer. You'll need it later.
- Add coffee grounds to the filter of the Moka pot.
- Add hot water and put it on a hot stove.
- Wait until you hear a gurgling sound come out of the pot.
- When you hear it, take the pot away from the stove and cover it with the freezer towel to stop the extraction process.
- Pour the coffee from a Moka pot into a coffee cup, and feel free to add milk and sugar.
What you'll need:
- 1 AeroPress coffee maker
- 1/2 ounce of medium-coarse coffee.
- 7 ounces of hot water
- Add the coffee to the AeroPress filter.
- Start a stopwatch or just start timing.
- Add the 7 ounces of water, filling the AeroPress about halfway. Stir the mix a few times to saturate all grounds and ensure an even brewing.
- At 1:45, stir a little more and secure the filter and the cap.
- At 2 minutes, hold the AeroPress over a cup and start pressing down slowly for around 30 seconds.
- Stop pressing down when you hear a hissing sound come out of the AeroPress.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Make Espresso in a Stovetop Espresso Maker?
The coffee you make in a Moka pot is similar to espresso, but it's not as strong. The extraction method is the same as espresso, but the Moka coffee has no crema, so it's not precisely espresso.
Is Moka Pot Faster than AeroPress?
That depends on how much coffee you're making. If you're making just one cup, both methods take around the same time. If you're making a few cups, then the Moka pot will usually be faster.