Moka pots are compact, inexpensive coffee makers that are great for people who appreciate strong coffee but don’t want to splash out on an espresso maker. At first glance, all moka pots look similar, but there are differences between them, so it’s essential to choose a suitable model.
Below is all the information needed to select the perfect moka pot, plus a handful of recommendations. The bonVIVO Intenca Stovetop Espresso Maker is our favorite model, thanks to its sleek, stylish design.
What to consider about a moka pot
A moka pot’s capacity is listed in cups, but because moka coffee is close in strength to espresso, these cup measurements are in 2-ounce demitasse cups rather than standard 8-ounce cups. Therefore, a 6-cup moka pot produces roughly 12 ounces of coffee. Most people choose to either drink small espresso cups of moka coffee or dilute it with hot water, so a relatively small amount of moka coffee will go further than expected.
Moka pots come in either aluminum or stainless steel. Classic moka pots tend to be made from aluminum because it heats quickly and evenly. However, it is relatively porous, so it can take on the taste of old coffee or dish soap if not washed and rinsed carefully. Stainless steel is non-porous and non-reactive, so it won’t absorb flavors or affect the taste of the coffee. The trouble with stainless steel is it doesn’t heat as evenly or quickly as aluminum.
Stovetop versus electric
The vast majority of moka pots are stovetop models. Simply fill them with coffee, put water in the base and heat them on the stovetop until the coffee has brewed. However, there are also electric moka pots that sit on a heating element, a bit like an electric kettle, so it is possible to make coffee without using the stove. In our opinion, it isn’t worth spending extra on an electric model unless the user lives in a dorm room or anywhere else without access to a stove.
What to look for in a quality moka pot
Traditional moka pots are octagonal. It might seem like an aesthetic feature, but this eight-sided shape encourages more even heat distribution for a quicker brew time than modern moka pots with round bases. Although the octagonal shape speeds things up a little, it’s not enough to make a huge difference, so don’t discount moka pots that aren’t octagonal.
The handle of a moka pot will get hot if made from conventional metal. That’s why plastic handles or cool-touch metal handles are desirable to prevent users from burning their hands from picking up the moka pot. If the chosen moka-pot doesn’t have a cool-touch handle, remember to use potholders or a dry dishcloth to pick up and pour.
Moka pots are available in a range of colors, from the simple silver of raw aluminum or stainless steel to bright red or classic black. This is great if customers like to match their kitchenware or add a few pops of color to an otherwise neutral color scheme. If looking for a colored moka pot, make sure the finish is durable, as some colored finished can flake or wear over time.
Cost of a moka pot
Basic moka pots can be purchased for around $10-$20, while the most stylish high-end options can cost more than $50.
Moka pot FAQ
Is moka coffee as strong as espresso?
A. No, moka coffee isn’t as strong or full-bodied as espresso, but it comes close, which isn’t bad considering the cost of a moka pot compared to the price of a quality espresso machine. Moka coffee is still more concentrated than drip coffee, so users can add water for an americano or steamed milk for lattes or cappuccinos.
What coffee do you use in a moka pot?
A. Fine to medium-fine ground coffee should be used in a moka pot, but not super fine espresso grind coffee. Users can either utilize packaged ground coffee or grind the beans themselves.
The best moka pot to buy
Top moka pot
What you need to know: It’s an attractive moka pot for those who like their kitchenware stylish.
What you’ll love: There is a choice of three colors and two sizes. It’s made from durable and non-reactive stainless steel and is dishwasher safe.
What you should consider: Some buyers have found the colored finishes wear over time, so you may be better off with the plain chrome option.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top moka pot for the money
What you need to know: It’s an affordable classic moka pot for buyers who don’t need anything fancy.
What you’ll love: It comes in a range of color and size options between 3-12 demitasse cups. The octagonal aluminum body makes for fast, even heating.
What you should consider: The paint can flake off color-coated models with regular use.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: It’s the original moka pot found in almost every Italian home that is perfect for those willing to spend a little extra for quality.
What you’ll love: It comes in sizes from 1-12 demitasse cups. Includes a cool-touch handle and heats up quickly and evenly.
What you should consider: The Italian-made unit is not dishwasher safe.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.