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How to Make Moka Pot Coffee

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Written by: John Beans

Last Updated on April 27, 2021

Want to know how to make Moka pot coffee? You've come to the right place.

In this article, you will learn what a Moka pot is, how it works, and how to make coffee with it.

Let's get started.

What Is a Moka Pot Coffee Maker?

The Moka pot is one of the most common types of coffee makers in the world.

How it works is pretty simple: there are two reservoirs—one upper and one lower—and between them is a filter basket that holds ground coffee. Once the Moka pot is assembled and water and ground coffee are added, it's placed on a stove or over a fire. The water in the lower reservoir heats up, and pressure forces it through the filter basket and into the upper reservoir. As the water passes through the filter basket, it extracts substances from the ground coffee. Then it emerges into the upper reservoir as brewed coffee.

Moka pot

Europeans started brewing coffee this way in the 19th century. However, the Moka pot as we know it wasn't patented by Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti until 1933. He called his invention the Moka Express.

Between 1933 and 1939, his company produced about 10,000 Moka pots. After the war, Alfonso's business was continued by his son Renato Bialetti.

Inexpensive, convenient, and incredibly easy to use, the stovetop Moka pot allows you to brew a great drink right in your kitchen and quickly gained popularity among Italians, and then all over the world.

The company says it has sold over 300 million Bialetti Moka pots since 1950. In Italy, the Moka Express was ranked 5th in the Best Design of the 20th Century rating and, along with the famous Vespa motor scooter and the sophisticated Olivetti typewriter, became a kind of a visiting card of Italy.

Tens of millions of people around the world start their day with the funny little man depicted on the Moka pot. His upward-pointing finger means “one more coffee, please." This cartoon depicts none other than Signor Renato Bialetti himself.

How to Make Stovetop Moka Pot Coffee

A Moka pot will allow you to brew rich coffee with a dense body in just a few minutes. Contrary to popular belief, a Moka pot doesn't make espresso.

The design of the stovetop Moka pot is quite simple. It consists of only three components: a lower reservoir that holds fresh water, a filter basket that holds ground coffee, and an upper reservoir that collects the finished coffee.

Each Moka pot is designed to brew a certain number of cups of coffee at once, so you must add the correct amount of water to achieved the best extraction.

Here are step-by-step Moka pot brewing instructions:

  1. Fill the bottom reservoir with hot water up to the level of the safety valve (never higher). If you use cool water, the time it will take to brew coffee will increase by a couple of minutes.
  2. Grind the coffee beans. Use a medium grind that's slightly larger than an espresso grind but smaller than a French press grind. Don't be afraid to experiment—choose the grind size that gives you the tastiest coffee.
  3. Fill the filter basket to the brim with coffee grounds and place it on the lower reservoir.
  4. Attach the top reservoir of the Moka pot to the bottom.
  5. Place the Moka pot on the stove or other heat source and close the lid.
  6. A couple of minutes will pass as brewed coffee accumulates in the upper reservoir. Open the lid slightly and make sure to remove the coffee maker from the heat right when the coffee streams begin to lighten and become thin and the Moka pot starts to whistle—this sound indicates that steam, not water, is passing through the filter basket. Be careful not to burn yourself when removing the hot coffee maker from the heat source.
  7. Your coffee is ready to be poured into cups. Enjoy!

The Team That Worked On This Blog Post


Editor & Coffee Consultant

Patty Cramer

I'm the coffee consultant at MyFriendsCoffee. I've been in the coffee business for over 21 years and still have a passion for coffee. My most important skill is that I know how to organize work processes.

John Beans Editor & Founder

Resident Editor-in-Chief

John Beans

I’m the resident Editor-in-Chief of MyFriendsCoffee. For more than 5 years I tried a large variety of coffees from different brands and master 7 ways to brew coffee and am not going to stop there. I switched my first coffee maker with a professional espresso machine and now my kitchen is filled with various coffee equipment.

Tessa Dixon – Beginner Barista & Content Creator


Tessa Dixon

I was born in Seattle, and this city has a strong connection to coffee culture, so it's no wonder I decided to become a barista! I’ve learned many ways of making coffee and now I know how to make any coffee delicious.

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