For roughly five years now I’ve been drinking stovetop moka made from my Bialetti Moka Express.
It was purchased on a whim way back then when I noticed my local grocery store had one on clearance for less than $10!
I had recently been talking to a friend about his when I saw him making coffee out of it one night and he said it was the best coffee he had ever had. His was a bigger unit and ran him around $50 or so but this one was less than $10 so I nabbed it.
Moka pots tend to sell a lot higher than what I paid for mine but overall they are super affordable and vary only a little bit in price depending on style and size.
The best selling stovetop espresso maker is probably the 6-cup Moka Express but there are a bunch of great models in different sizes too.
These are some of the larger stovetop espresso makers I recommend to close friends and family.
Ever since then I’ve been a raving fan of the stuff. I even started a website back in August of 2014 called Stovpreso to cover my findings on the device. Maybe you’ve heard of the site. 😉
I’m not going to lie. I don’t always make my morning coffee with a stovetop moka pot. I do make it about 3-4 times a week these days though and have gotten quite used to the gurgling sound when the moka pot finishes brewing. Yum!
On the days I don’t make moka I tend to use my super cheap French press but I do on occasion use my regular old drip coffee maker – you know, on those days I’m in a bind for time or just feeling exceptionally lazy.
Back in November of last year a different friend of mine invited me over for a cup of coffee in the morning. He is a coffee snob in the most pleasant of ways possible.
The guy’s great really.
He was telling me about how he roasts his own coffee beans and that he didn’t think the moka pot made the best coffee possible. He didn’t even think a French press made the best coffee.
His weapon of choice was the Aeropress, something I’d heard of at the time but had never actually seen in person or used before.
I was very interested to head over to this friends’ house to see his setup and learn his secrets.
So needless to say my son and I headed over there at the first opportunity we could get and we did a miniature cupping.
First we learned the super simple process of roasting your own beans in a sauté pan then we tried coffee from those freshly roasted beans from a French press, a moka pot, and his Aeropress.
Stovetop Espresso Compared to Aeropress & French Press Coffee
As one would expect the french press made exceptionally great coffee but it is just coffee.
Both the moka pot and the Areopress brew the coffee under low pressure to create a drink that is similar to machine espresso but just not quite there.
I loved the French press version of the stuff. It’s standard coffee meant to be consumed in larger quantities but both the stovetop espresso maker and the Aeropress made very similar espresso like drinks that were hard to tell apart.
From my own sampling I thought the moka pot made coffee that was a bit more potent – more like espresso. I also felt the Aeropress made coffee a bit more like a super thick and robust french press coffee brew.
I actually preferred the Moka Express better at first. What I found after getting to the end of my cup however was that the Aeropress made a far cleaner cup than my moka pot and you could actually drink the last little bit of coffee in the cup.
With the moka pot and the french press there is usually a bit of “mud” in the bottom of the cup preventing you from drinking it all the way gone.
Why you might ask?
Because the Aeropress uses a filter kind of like a Chemex or a drip coffee maker.
The filter ensures no grind or dust makes it into the cup.
Sure it also filters out a lot more of the oils that a press pot or stovetop espresso pot pass on to the cup but it is a cleaner cup.
Unlike drip coffee the Aeropress makes a far more potent and rich coffee. It’s similar to the French press but it lacks many of the aromatic oils that so many coffee snobs love. Plus it’s not quite as potent as a moka pot.
My good old Bialetti moka pot (one of the best stovetop espresso makers made in my opinion) made a cup that was truly the next best thing to true espresso, complete with oils, potency, aromatics, and a hint of crema but with a gritty texture.
What’s the difference between An Aeropress and a moka pot?
They both make great coffee, and both make a product that is close to espresso in richness but the Aeropress makes a cleaner cup at the sacrifice of the oils and texture.
Should you get a stovetop moka pot or an Aeropress?
I say get both, they both are dirt cheap compared to high end coffee makers and espresso machines. I own the moka pot and French press right now. I also own a Chemex pour over coffee maker but the Aeropress is going to be the next thing I buy. It can be had for just a little more than my weekly coffee bill.
That’s not much to pay at all in my book for another cool way of making something similar to espresso without having to buy a big fancy espresso maker.
Can you use Moka in place of espresso in espresso based drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, and the like?
I would say yes you can. At this point I’ve been using my stovetop espresso pots (I have multiples now) for half a decade and I also got a Nespresso machine back in 2017. People use Nespresso for espresso shots and I don’t think it’s any better than stovetop moka.
So long as you don’t expect your moka pot latte to taste exactly like it does down at your local café then you wont be disappointed using moka in your espresso drinks at home… my wife swears she can’t even tell the difference once the drink has been mixed up.
One last thing – If you liked this post then see my blog post comparing the moka pot to the French press.
Again, I love them both, but there are major differences.