Moka pot vs espresso machine, which is the best option for espresso? If you ask an Italian grandmother, she will tell you with much energy that Moka pot is the best option. If you ask a professional barista, he will tell you the only way to make a real espresso is by using an expensive espresso machine.
Now, who are you going to listen to? It can be tricky to tell who to listen to and especially if you have no prior experience with either of the coffee maker. But worry not because you are not alone. This post has wrapped up some information that will help you make the right decision. But before diving deeper, let’s go through a few things.
Espresso is made by the percolation of pressurized water through a tightly packed bed of finely ground coffee. The forced pressured used is what results in reduced brew time and ultra-rich and concentrated coffee.
Note, to make a perfect cup of espresso; you must learn proper technique, have the right equipment and take your time to get everything right.
The presence of crema in coffee for many years has been seen as a mark of great brew. Crema is a thin layer of foam that appears at the top of a cup of espresso. With a good espresso machine and quality beans, you are almost assured your coffee will have the best crema.
Moka Pot vs Espresso Machine
Now let’s dive deeper and have a look at each brewing method.
The Moka Pot
The Moka Pot, also known as a stovetop espresso maker, is one of the common coffee makers in many households. Its ease of use and the potential to produce a rich brew are some of the reasons why you will find many families and coffee lovers using it.
The Moka pot consists of three chambers. The bottom chamber, which is reserved for water, the middle chamber, which holds coffee grounds and the top chamber, which collect the brew.
How It Works
Once prepared and assembled, the pot is placed over a heating element bringing the water in the bottom chamber to a boil. The resulting steam then increases pressure in the chamber, forcing the water up and through the filter basket.
While the hot water travels to the upper chamber, it extracts the coffee grounds. This process is marked by a gurgling sound indicating that the top compartment is now filled with concentrated and delicious coffee. Make sure you don’t miss it because these few seconds can either make or break your brew.
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- Very easy to clean
- Makes a very rich and thick coffee
- Aluminum body helps to retain heat
- Difficult to control quality from brew to brew
- Requires a costly grinder to produce a fine texture
- Does not create authentic espresso with crema and vibrant flavors
The Espresso Machine
An espresso machine is more complex compared to a Moka pot. An espresso machine uses a motor, electronics and heating elements to brew. A Moka Pot only uses the stovetop to heat water.
How It Works
An espresso machine has three main components. The water boiler, which is used to boil water and build pressure. The grouphead valve, which controls water flow and pressure and portafilter, which is used to hold coffee grounds in a compressed puck.
- Extracts a super concentrated coffee with crema and complex flavors
- Water boilers also build pressure for the steam wand used for steamed milk drinks
- Can make multiple drinks quickly
- Compared to buying a Moka pot, you will pay more to own an espresso machine.
- Requires special training for consistency
- Requires the purchasing of extra equipment including scales, tamps, and grinders
- Machine can take 20-45 minutes to warm up depending on water boiler volume
Verdict: Which Is the Winner?
An espresso machine will not disappoint when it comes to quality, consistency and control. The grouphead valve makes it possible for a consistent and steady stream of pressure flows over and through the grounds. The end result is a full flavour brew.
On the other hand, Moka Pot has no pressure consistency, and this often results in a bitter or watery taste coffee.
Now without a doubt, an espresso machine is the clear winner, although you must be prepared to pay more to own one. Not to mention you also need to budget for extra equipment.
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How Long Should a Moka Pot Take?
Basically, a Moka pot takes between 5.10 minutes, although this can vary depending on the initial temperature of the water and how much heat you apply.
Should You Tamp a Moka Pot?
No. It is not recommended to tamp a Moka pot. The Moka pot simply doesn’t work with enough pressure to push water through the grounds if tamped. Although the water will eventually make its way through, it’ll be moving too slow and over extracting the coffee as a result.
How Much Coffee Does a Moka Pot Make?
Moka pots are available in different sizes. This means you can pick one suitable for you and your family. Basically, a Moka pot has the potential to make up to 12 cups of coffee.
Are Cheap Espresso Machines Good?
When getting started, a cheap espresso machine is a good option. But later you may want to consider upgrading to a better espresso machine. A professional barista will tell you the beauty of having an expensive espresso machine in the house.
How Do You Pull A Perfect Shot of Espresso?
It is possible to pull a perfect shot of espresso if you have the right equipment and following the right procedures. Remember you also need freshly finely ground coffee to pull a perfect shot.