I’ve been a huge coffee drinker for decades now but only in recent years have I been a big drinker of fine coffee.
These days I opt for French press coffee or stovetop espresso almost every time. The quality of coffee is just so much higher than traditional drip coffee.
My usual weapons of choice when making coffee are:
Let me just say that if you are only drinking drip coffee at home then you are missing out!
Both French press and stovetop moka are extremely easy to make and they taste so much better… at least as long as you like the feel and taste of unfiltered coffee.
Click here to see some of the best stovetop moka pots for sale today.
For those of you who prefer coffee to have as little sediment in it as possible then I would have to point you towards the Aeropress. Like the Moka Pot, its another viable alternative to true espresso but it is filtered giving you a cleaner cup.
What is Unfiltered Coffee Anyway?
If you are unfamiliar with either French press or moka then you should know the basics. Both French press coffee and espresso from the moka pot brew your coffee in a way that you get full extraction of flavor from the grind.
Both brewing methods are also different forms of unfiltered coffee – coffee that isn’t filtered through paper.
Both of these these methods brew coffee in such a way as to allow the coffee oils to make it all the way to your cup.
With drip coffee (or any other form of filtered coffee) the oils get separated from the coffee due to the paper filter. This limits the flavor profile significantly.
One additional perk – one of these pots can basically brew your coffee forever. There are no moving parts, no filters to keep buying, and no electronics to fail. Buy one and never think about it again until the estate sale. 🙂
Is French Press Coffee as Strong as Moka Espresso?
So obviously unfiltered coffee from stovetop espresso pots and French press coffee makers are better than drip coffee makers but the differences between the two are stark.
A French press makes coffee much like one might steep tea. The resulting coffee is unfiltered and has substantial body but it is still served in sizes just like drip coffee because it’s not nearly as strong or potent as espresso is.
On the other hand stovetop espresso brews coffee kind of like a reverse drip coffee maker within an environment of increased pressure similar to a low pressure espresso machine.
The result of this process is a cup that is much smaller and much more potent. It is much closer to true espresso than it is to coffee and it’s just as versatile as espresso.
Unlike French press coffee you would be able to use it to make espresso based drinks or just drink it all by itself. Of course drinking it all by itself means you are drinking shots of 2-4 ounces at a time.
If you have a good tolerance for caffeine and you like having a larger portion size then you would have to own a large moka pot to make a substantial amount at once. For instance a 6-cup moka pot will only make about 9-ounces of liquid! It’s potent liquid though so be forewarned.
Can Stovetop Espresso Pots Make Regular Coffee?
One of the biggest complaints some people have of the moka pot is that it makes an espresso-like drink and not regular coffee. Some people just don’t like complex espresso drinks for one reason or another. Some are just not able to stomach the strength of drinking moka black.
I contend however that although moka pot coffee can be drunk black (as is) or it can be watered down to make an Americano, which is basically just like having a regular cup of coffee.
If you didn’t realize it an Americano, which is on the menu of every coffee shop I’ve ever been to, is just a shot of espresso topped off with hot water!
Only a true coffee snob can tell the difference between French press coffee and an Americano.
Of course moka can also be mixed much like any other kind of espresso to make specialty drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, and virtually everything else found at a specialty coffee bar, which is why I think it’s one of the best values you can find in the coffee maker space.
In contrast French press coffee is what it is. You don’t really do anything with it unless you take your coffee with a bit of milk. Although you can make strong pressed coffee you are always going to be limited on the size of the press pot. Unless you have a tiny single serve french press you pretty much have to make a few cups at once meaning you go through more grind.
Is Stovetop Espresso Easy to Make?
As I’ve noted already the quality of coffee from a French press is about as good as it could possibly be for coffee drinkers and many experts consider French press coffee to be the best brewing method of them all but for those who care about versatility the stovetop espresso is by far the best option… and it’s so easy to brew too!
I would argue that it’s even easier than a French press!
For starters I have a lengthy guide to brewing coffee in a moka pot. Read that for detailed instructions – but to summarize those instructions I’ll say this.
You use medium-to medium grind coffee which you can usually buy at the store if you don’t want to grind it yourself.
You put water and coffee in the moka pot and set it on the burner – a few minutes later it’s all done. This is unlike a french press where you have to do multiple steps a few minutes apart.
After your coffee is ready in a moka pot you simply rinse the moka pot off under the sink and throw away the coffee puck that forms in the brew basket.
French presses on the other hand are more messy. It’s harder to discard all the grind and the filter screen needs to be carefully washed to avoid clogging.
Here at Stovpreso we are all about the moka pot – it’s our thing so we are certainly biased but I think we’re fair.
Stovetop espresso makers are cheap – they make great alternative espresso to drink alone or in mixed espresso drinks. You can top off with water for a rich cup of unfiltered coffee and they are a breeze to care for.
An Americano is very similar to french press coffee and the potent moka these pots produce can be used to make just about any kind of coffee drink imaginable. My preference is to own a good moka pot and use it frequently… but then again I also own a nice press pot too. Can’t have enough gadgetry I guess.
This is my favorite moka pot right now – it’s got it’s own heating element so it doesn’t need to go on a stove but it does need electricity. I like it though because it give me exactly the same results every single time and it’s got safety features like auto-off so I never accidentally burn my coffee or gasket. Check it out here!