How to Make the Best Moka Pot Coffee

Table of Contents

A picture of pouring coffee out of a moka pot, on Bean Merchant's how to make the best moka pot coffee page.

The Moka Pot is a stovetop coffee maker used to make espresso-like coffee. It makes use of boiling water to pressure water through the coffee grounds, so the coffee bubbles up into the pot through the Moka pot filter as opposed to percolating down like in brewed coffee.

Moka pots are a way of brewing coffee that is especially popular in Italy. The Moka acts like an espresso machine, producing pressure that forces the water through the coffee. It cannot be called true espresso though, as the pressure is nowhere near that of an espresso machine.

Moka coffee isn’t as strong as espresso, however, it brings more concentration than normal drip coffee. The Moka pot produces a totally wealthy and complex flavoured cup of espresso that falls at the back of a normal coffee and cold brew, however, nonetheless beats the coffee press and pour over caffeine.

What kind of coffee do you use in a Moka pot?

The best ground coffee for Moka pot coffee is medium to medium-fine, coarser than you’d use for an espresso machine, but finer than for a drip coffee maker. To obtain this, we advise buying coffee beans that are made for espresso and grinding it yourself to obtain good coffee for the Moka pot.

Fresh Beans for your Moka Pot

Before we get started, the most important thing you can do to up your moka pot game is to buy fresh beans.

Coffee degrades over time, and at the two week mark has lost nearly all the flavours that make it unique. If you’re buying your coffee from the supermarket, you’ll find that most coffee has been “getting to the shelf” for around 3 months. Some of the bags will have sat around for up to two years before eventually being either sold or discarded.

Start off the right way, with fresh, whole bean coffee direct from the roaster. If you use Bean Merchant’s quiz, we’ll even match your flavour profile with beans from different altitudes, processing methods, regions, and roast profiles that will suit your tastes, and deliver straight from the roaster to your door.

The Moka Pot Recipe

If you can, always measure your coffee. Some of the main reasons people complain about different tastes in their moka pot is because they are under or over dosing the basket. If you put too much coffee in, your coffee will taste salty and bland because not enough of the oils will be extracted from all the grinds. If it is bitter, it means you haven’t put enough coffee in, and the grinds are overextracted. 

People are in general agreement that a ratio of between 1:13 and 1:18 is good practice for a Moka Pot. Have a try of different ratios and see which one you like. 

A 1:18 ratio means 1 part coffee to 18 parts coffee. So in a 3 cup Moka Pot (approximately 200ml of water) you would use 11g of coffee.

How to Make the Best Moka Pot Coffee

Step 1

Boil your kettle and pour your desired amount of water into the bottom chamber of the Moka Pot. Do not fill above the valve – this is for releasing pressure.

Step 2

Insert the basket into the bottom chamber, and fill it up with your measured amount of coffee. Do not compress the coffee. Give it a gentle tap or shake if it is not even and level.

Step 3

Make sure the rubber ring is clean and clear of grinds, and attach the top chamber to the Moka Pot.

Step 4

Put the Moka Pot onto the stove on a low heat. As the water in the chamber boils and steams, pressure will build up and push the liquid through your ground coffee.

Step 5

When you hear a gurgling sound coming from your Moka Pot the extraction is complete. 

Step 6

To stop the brew and reduce the bitterness, run the base of your Moka Pot under cold water.

Step 7

Pour into the desired number of cups. Remember, like espresso this is a concentrate so usually people add some water and/or milk to their Moka Pot coffee to dilute it down a little.



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