How to Use A Moka Pot: Illustrated Guide


Are you looking for the best way to use a Moka Pot? If so, you’ve come to the right place! This guide will provide you with all of the information to get you started on stovetop espresso coffee with your Moka Pot. 

With this guide, you’ll learn how to prepare your Moka Pot for use and how to make sure that your coffee comes out tasting just right.

If you’re looking for a Moka pot, you can find the one that I use and recommend here.

What’s a Moka Pot?

Moka pot with cup

A Moka Pot is a stove-top espresso maker that has become increasingly popular among coffee lovers around the world. It’s an easy and affordable way to make delicious espresso in the comfort of your own home.

The Moka Pot is composed of three main components:

  • The Base – Holds water.
  • The funnel – Holds ground coffee.
  • The Upper chamber – Collects the brewed coffee.

With just a few simple steps and some practice, you can learn how to use this incredible kitchen tool to make some truly mouth-watering espresso shots!

There are a few different kinds. Stainless steel, aluminum, electric, and stove-top espresso makers. Most people use the aluminum one, as do I. They warm up quicker than stainless steel, and the taste is the same. The hardware inside is also the same, it’s just the outside shell that is different.

Electric ones, like you, can find here, are perfect if you don’t have a gas stove or you’re keeping it in an RV. I have this one too, and it works the same, but it’s heated by the included electric burner. The last thing, make sure to buy the larger size, as cups are not the same as you’re thinking.

You can find more information on why cups are not the same when it comes to coffee in our article, Why Is a Cup of Coffee Only 6 Ounces Instead of 8?

Why is a cup of coffee only 6 ounces instead of 8

What Grind Do I need for a Moka Pot

Moka pot with grounds
Use a Knife to Level Off the Coffee Grounds.

A quick word about the grind size you should use. This is an important step, so make sure not to skip it.

The type of grind used with a Moka pot should be slightly coarser than what you would usually use in an espresso machine. For best results, look for a “Moka” or “café style” grind on your bag of beans. This will ensure that all the flavors are extracted from the beans and won’t get blocked by too fine particles in the filter basket.

With that said, I have used “espresso grounds” I purchased for an espresso machine but ended up using them in my Moka Pot. If that’s all you have, you’ll be fine.

How to Use a Moka Pot

How to make coffee with a moka pot

Ok, now to the good part!

  • First, fill the bottom chamber of the Moka pot with hot water up to the safety valve. For best results, use filtered or spring water, as they will produce a cleaner-tasting cup. Use hot water. If you use cold water, you can burn the grounds while it’s warming up, producing an off-taste. 
  • Then insert the filter basket into the lower chamber and fill it with freshly ground fine-coarse coffee. Make sure not to press down too hard on the grounds, as this can prevent optimal extraction. This is called “tamping,” and you shouldn’t do it for a Moka pot. 
  • Place your Moka pot onto your stovetop at medium heat and allow it to fully brew before turning off the heat. From flame to finish, my Moka pot takes 7 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when you hear it bubbling. 

This isn’t necessary, but a helpful tip. Make sure to drink it immediately (within an hour or two). I drank espresso from my Moka pot hours later, and there was something different about the taste I didn’t get from other coffee-making methods. 

Also, I’ve seen a lot of talk about using a tamp with a Moka pot. The pressure from a Moka pot is nowhere near the same as a pump or even a non-pump espresso machine, where tamping the grounds is necessary for a good espresso pull or espresso shot.  

So, avoid using a tamp on a Moka pot.

Does the Moka Pot Make Espresso or Coffee

Moka pot making espresso

It’s close, but it’s not espresso. 

Moka pots brew coffee under pressure, only 1-2 bars (14 to 28 psi). This is not even close to what an espresso machine can produce. A pump-style espresso machine brews espresso with 8 to 10 bars (116 to 145 psi) of pressure. 

That’s 5 to 10 times the pressure of a Moka pot, depending on the model.

Knowing that a Moka pot is not espresso, it has the qualities of espresso. I still love the coffee I make with my Moka pot. Even with having a high-quality espresso machine, I still use my Moka pot quite often. 

What can I say? I like the taste!

Moka Pot Grind Size

fine grind vs coarse grind coffee
Fine Grind Vs. Coarse Grind Coffee

Grind size is one of the most important aspects of making a great cup of coffee. The grind size will determine the taste, texture, and aroma of your coffee. This goes for all brewing methods, not just Moka pots.

The ideal grind should be fine yet not as fine as espresso grounds; think somewhere between sea salt and table salt in texture. 

If you use pre-ground beans, be sure to purchase beans labeled for Moka pots rather than espresso, so you get a coarser grind suitable for this type of brewing method. 

If all you have is espresso grounds, that will work, but it’s not ideal. You’ll still love the taste of your Moka pot. 

Effects of Incorrect Grinds

The perfect Moka pot grind size is essential for the optimal flavor and aroma of a great cup of coffee. Incorrect grinds can cause various issues, ranging from weak flavor to overly bitter or acidic taste.

There are several possible consequences of having an incorrect grind size when using a Moka pot.

When the grind is too fine, it can lead to a bitter and overpowering cup with unpleasant aftertastes. The fine particles will be over-extracted and may leave sediment in the bottom of the cup. 

On the other hand, if the grind is too coarse, water will pass through it quickly, resulting in an under-extracted brew with weak flavors and acidity. Moreover, larger particles make it difficult to pressurize correctly as they often clog up filters or restrict water flow, resulting in poor pressure buildup for espresso extraction.

What kind of drinks can you make with your Italian stovetop espresso? Check out our list of the base drinks you should try in our article, What Types of Coffee Drinks Are There: 15 new drinks to try!

What Types of Coffee Drinks Are There

How To Use a Moka Pot on a Glass-Top Stove

Moka Pot on a Glass-Top Stove

It’s important to choose the right size burner for your Moka pot to ensure that it cooks adequately and doesn’t burn or overheat. 

To begin, make sure that you have all of your materials ready – including the Moka pot, grounds, water, and stovetop. 

Place your Moka pot on a burner that is slightly smaller than its base; this will help evenly distribute heat while preventing burning. Turn on the burner to medium-high heat (you should be able to hear it bubbling), and wait until you start seeing steam coming out from where the handle meets the lid before turning off the heat. 

How To Use Moka Pot on Gas Stove

boiling moka pot

The type of stove makes a difference when it comes to using your Moka pot. Don’t tell the electric stove people, but gas stoves are usually recommended as they allow you to control heat levels and adjust temperatures for optimal brewing.

The biggest issue you’ll run into is your Moka pot is too small to fit your gas stove. I know this is how mine looks as well. Do your best to line it up correctly. I keep the pot on one side of the flame, and it takes about 7 minutes from start to finish. 

Moka pot Brewing Ratio

The brewing Ratio (water/grounds) is essential when it comes to making a great cup of coffee. Whether you are using a Moka pot, French press, or pour-over method, the right brewing ratio can make all the difference in flavor. Ensuring that your coffee is not too strong or too weak and that it has just the right amount of complexity and body.

The key ingredient here is finding a balance between how much water to how much ground coffee.

 The rule of thumb when using a Moka pot is to create coffee that has a 1:12 ratio of water to coffee. This sort of brew will yield a strong concentrate with around 6.5 ounces’ worth of coffee. A good starting place is with 13 grams of coffee and 170 grams of water.

Wapping Up on How To Use a Moka Pot

Moka Pot is an excellent way to make a delicious espresso-like drink. It is easy to use, affordable and requires a common grind size that’s easy to find or grind from whole beans.

Moreover, it produces a signature Italian coffee that is sure to please any coffee lover. With its rich flavor and intense body, the Moka Pot allows you to enjoy a unique and flavorful espresso experience in the comfort of your own home.

Now that you have the Moka pot down, what coffee beans are you going to use? Check out our comparison, Espresso Beans Vs. Coffee Beans: A Complete Comparison!

Espresso beans vs coffee beans

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