moka pot coffee brewing

A moka pot is a humble, simple stovetop brewer that holds the key to creating what is perhaps the best cup of gourmet coffee you have ever tasted.

While drip coffee makers have quietly taken over American homes, offices and waiting rooms over the past 50 years, much of Europe and Latin America remains loyal to the moka pot, which was designed around 20 years prior. These mostly metal contraptions brew small batches of coffee under high pressure, creating a consistency and bold flavor profile like espresso

Learn more about moka pots, including their history, their design, and why they make such darn good coffee.

The Small Metal Pot That Fuels Italy

Moka pots were originally designed by Italian inventor Alfonso Bialetti in 1933. Bialetti’s original iconic, angular design and his brand name still graces most moka pots seen today. Indeed, the design is such a pure and recognizable example of modern industrial art that it is displayed on shelves at the Museum of Modern Art, the National Design Museum, the London Science Museum and more.

Bialetti coffee pots were a huge advancement over percolator systems, which created bitter, grainy brews because the coffee was continually cycled through the grounds. Instead, moka pots have an ingenious design that uses a pressure valve and gravity to deliver the perfect brewing time and temperature.

Moka pots work by pouring water in the base, filling a porous basket with grounds and then placing the entire device directly on top of a stovetop burner. As this animation from Wikimedia shows, the pressure created from boiling the water sends hot, pressurized water through the grounds tray before pouring out the nozzle like a fountain. Since the volume of water never reaches past the nozzle, you never must worry about your water mixing with grounds and becoming bitter.

Best of all, cleanup is quick, and your coffee is ready in just a few minutes!

Why Moka Coffee Tastes So Delicious

In essence, moka pots create the perfect conditions for a flavorful cup of coffee without you having to adjust a thing. The grounds receive the needed heat and a bit of extra pressure, which pulls out flavorful oils that are not normally found in drip coffee. The flavors and aroma are bold and complex, allowing you to taste subtle hints of cocoa, berries or spice that you would normally miss out on.

Plus, the act of brewing a moka pot is simply charming! Its polite little gurgle lets you know you have a fresh pot ready just for you.

For comparison, many drip coffee makers fail to heat water to the proper temperature, leading to a weak brew. Getting the ratio of water to grounds is also trickier, often leading to pots that are bitter from over-extraction, which occurs when too much of the flavor compounds in coffee grounds get pulled into the hot water. Also, drip makers get harder and harder to clean over time, making the quality of coffee go down.

The only drawback to a moka pot is that it only makes a small batch — 25 ounces at most. While this keeps the coffee fresh, it also means you should brew multiple batches for company, so hang on to that drip maker when you need to perk up a crowd!

Brew Only the Best Gourmet Coffee in Your Moka

When you buy a moka, you are much more tempted to sip, savor and experiment with your typical coffee cup as you explore the unique experience each one offers. Give your moka the chance to open your eyes to incredible coffees by purchasing whole bean gourmet coffees and estate coffees from Martinez.

With a vast variety of beans, blends and roasting options, you have a lifetime of discovering new coffees ahead of you when you buy from Martinez Fine Coffees. Order your next batch today!