Make Espresso in a Moka Pot 

 May 2, 2019

By  Enda McLarnon

Thanks for taking the time to read our article on how to make a great espresso coffee using a Moka pot. If you have never used one of these unusually shaped pots before, then we think you are in for a treat.

The Moka pot is one of those pots that you set on top of a stove or cooker, and then listen out for that wonderful gurgling sound of brewing coffee. These Moka pots come in a range of different sizes, but they all do the same job.

That job is to brew a really deep and pretty intense espresso, and we have always found that great fun to use, and at the end of the process you do have great coffee. The Moka pot is also considered to be an old fashioned method of making coffee, though it does go through periods of revival.

Speaking from a personal experience I have 4 of these in my own home. They are different sizes and also made by different brands. I just use the different ones for different numbers of people as and when the time is right.

Step by Step Method for Making Espresso in a Moka Pot

Just below we have set out a step by step method for making espresso.

Step 1 - Grind Your Coffee

As you know the secret to any good espresso is the type of coffee beans that you use, and then how you grind them. For a single shot of espresso you need to use between 20-22 grams of coffee. You then grind that to the same fineness as you would for an espresso.

That is of course a very fine grind and that should be done with a burr grinder for the best results. If the grind is not fine enough you will get very weak coffee.

This is the only part of the brewing process that you need to get absolutely right. It may take a little bit of experimenting to find your perfect grind. It is worth the effort to get this right.

You do of course need to try out a few different types of beans to get the right flavour as well. There are hundreds of different types of coffee beans and we would always recommend trying out some different types.

Step 2 - Fill the Moka Pot with Water

Unscrew the top from the bottom of the Moka pot from the bottom and then fill the pot with water. You have two choices at this point.

  1. You can boil the water first and add it to the bottom chamber
  2. Or, you can fill it with cold water and boil that on your stove

We would recommend using boiling water as it speeds the process up, and it is also easier to screw the top of the Moka pot back on at this stage.

One good piece of advice is to filter your water. The cleaner your water is the better. If you can get rid of the minerals in your tap water, then your coffee will taste a great deal better.

Step 3 - Boil the Water

If you have boiled the water in a kettle then as described above add that to your Moka pot. If you decide to boil the bottom chamber then allow the water to boil fully.

The idea is to have the water boiling in the bottom chamber. When you screw on the lid you will be putting this chamber back on a medium heat. That said the water must be boiled first.

Step 4 - Put the Coffee in the Moka Pot

Add the coffee grains to the filter basket and give it a gentle shake to settle the grounds evenly. Now place the top of the pot into the bottom compartment, and screw it on tightly.

Some users of Moka pots may also gently tap the coffee grains down just as you would tamp an espresso in your machine.

Step 5 - Put the Moka Pot on the Stove

Once the pot is secure then it is time to put it back on the stove. You want to have your stove or cooker ring on a medium heat.

Don't have it on a high heat as that will over boil the coffee, and may cause a small explosion in the pot. That can get messy.

A medium heat will be enough to get the brewing process started.

Step 6 - Brew and Pour from the Moka Pot

When the water in the bottom chamber approaches boiling point, pressure will push a stream of coffee slowly through the upper chamber.

Ideally you want to hear a nice steady gurgling sound. If the gurgling sound is too slow then increase the heat slightly.

Your coffee is ready as soon as you hear a hissing, gurgling sound. At this stage take it off the heat and allow it to sit for about a minute. It is then good to pour.

Video On Making Espresso Using a Moka Pot

We have included a video below on how to make an espresso with one of these Moka pots.

Moka Pot Coffee vs Espresso Coffee

It is important to understand the difference between Moka pot brewed coffee and an espresso coffee.

If you have a coffee machine at home that makes espresso, or have had an espresso from a coffee shop then those machines brew the espresso using pressure. That pressure will be at least 9 bars, and many modern machines use 15 bars.

With a Moka pot at best you can generate about 1.5 bars of pressure. Now because of that the coffee will never taste the same. It is however still a very good tasting coffee.

Who Uses a Moka Pot?

You will find these 8 sided Moka pots in just about every home in Italy. They are used regularly as a favourite method to brew coffee. The Bialetti brand is by far the most popular for this type of coffee pot.

Italians like this method of brewing and it remains quite a traditional method for these people. It is also popular in the UK.

Enda McLarnon

Enda McLarnon has a Business Management Honour's Degree and applies his professional insight, to analyse and write helpful product reviews with tips and useful advice. I am also a coffee lover and enjoy tasting all of the coffee types the world has to offer.

Enda McLarnon

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  1. So far, none of my attempts using moka pot produced the same coffee as that using espresso machine. I think, the right heat level you mentioned may be where I am going wrong. Your post inspired me to try it again. Thanks for informative post.

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