Moka Pot Size Guide: Choosing the Right Moka Pot by Size

What size Moka pot do you need? Moka cups aren't measured the same way as regular coffee cups! Discover how to determine Moka Pot Size should be based on your needs, habits, and preferences!

Moka Pot Size Guide: Choosing The Right Moka Pot By Size

A Moka pot is an amazing way to bring a taste of Italy to your own kitchen. This kitchen essential for true coffee lovers has been pepping up morning routines in kitchens all over the world ever since it was created in Italy in the 1930s. You may sometimes hear the Moka pot referred to as a stovetop coffee maker.

How does a Moka pot work? This brilliant vessel brews coffee by passing boiling water that has been pressurized by a steam buildup through ground beans. The result is a magical cup of coffee that will make you want to never plug in a coffee maker again!

What Makes A Moka Pot Special?

Isn't a coffee maker just a coffee maker? Anyone who thinks this way has probably never enjoyed a steaming, silky cup that's been brewed by hand using a Moka pot. Coffee brewed in a Moka pot actually doesn't taste like coffee at all.

Moka coffee is much more similar to espresso that is made using an espresso maker. In fact, you may hear some people refer to a Moka pot as a stovetop espresso maker. The coffee that is produced actually has an extraction ratio that is higher than what you get with a modern espresso machine.

It is important to note that Moka coffee is not considered to be a version of espresso. The flavor profiles of Moka coffee and espresso are actually quite different. Of course, the specific flavor that you'll get out of your Moka coffee is going to depend on a few different factors.

Pouring coffee out of a Moka pot
You may hear some people refer to a Moka pot as a stovetop espresso maker.

What you use to create your Moka coffee will have a huge impact on the taste profile that is created. Factors like the bean type, roast level, grind quality and water quality will all impact the flavor and caffeine level that you experience when it's time to take a sip. In addition, you will control much of what the end product looks and tastes like based on the way you control heat levels during the brewing process.

Are you in the market for a Moka pot? You may be wondering if you need to treat this purchase like you would a “traditional” coffee maker. Moka pots actually come in a few different sizes the way coffee makers do.

The size you choose will depend on things like a personal habit, personal preference and budget. Moka pots can actually be purchased in sizes that range from a single serving to 50 cups. However, the common Moka sizes that people purchase are 3 cups, 6 cups, 9 cups and 12 cups.

Moka Pot Size Charts

What does the size of a Moka pot mean? It's important to know that we aren't talking about traditional “cup” measurements when it comes to the Moka pot. The number of “cups” that your Moka pot can produce actually represents the number of 50-milliliter espresso-sized cups that can be produced.

One Moka cup equals about 2 fluid ounces in American measurements. Keep in mind that exact measurements can vary. However, let's take a look at the standard cup chart for a Moka pot:

  • 1 cup will equal 2 fluid ounces.
  • 3 cups will equal 6.5 fluid ounces.
  • 6 cups will equal 10 fluid ounces.
  • 9 cups will equal 18.5 fluid ounces.
  • 12 cups will equal 25 fluid ounces.

How can you know which Moka Pot size will fit your needs? Taking a look at your habits is really the best way to determine which pot size will work for you. Let's break down what each size has to offer!

The Benefits Of Getting the Right Moka Pot Size

Man holding 2 sizes of Moka Pots
You don't want to be stuck with a Moka pot that simply doesn't fit your lifestyle or family size

You don't want to be stuck with a pot that simply doesn't fit your lifestyle. Getting a pot that is too small means that you may have to make multiple batches just to satisfy your coffee-drinking habits. A pot that is too large will cause you to waste time heating up your pot each day.

The 1-Cup Moka Pot

A 1-cup Moka pot like this should be thought of as a single-serving vessel. Live alone? A 1-cup wonder may be all that you need to get your quick java fix in the morning before darting out the door.

Of course, committing to the 1-cup Moka pot means that you don't like to sit and sip multiple cups on lazy mornings spent reading the newspaper. A 1-cup Moka pot offers just 2 fluid ounces of coffee. That equals just over what you'd get from a standard shot glass.


  • Efficient
  • Quick brew
  • Enough for one person looking for a shot of coffee


  • Preparation is needed for a very small output
  • No opportunity to increase your output when you have visitors
  • No opportunity for “seconds” when brewing for yourself without restarting the process

The 3-Cup Moka Pot

Many people find their sweet spot in the 3-cup Moka pot. This is still a really solid option for someone looking for a single-serving option. That's especially true if you enjoy more than one serving of coffee.

Bialetti Moka Express StoveTop Coffee maker, 3-Cup, Aluminum Silver

The 3-cup Moka Pot is also great for a couple looking to share some coffee in the morning. However, a 3-cup pot probably won't be enough for two people who both really like to go back for a second serving! Keep in mind that the 3-cup Moka pot size offers 6.5 fluid ounces of coffee.


  • Still relatively quick to brew.
  • Offers the opportunity for a second serving.
  • Very easy to store.


  • Not enough for two “heavy” coffee drinkers.
  • Not quite enough to share with the company.

The 6-Cup Moka Pot

The 6-cup moka pot offers 10 fluid ounces of coffee. We are now finally getting to an output level that equals what is offered by the “traditional” cup of coffee that so many people begin their days with. A 6-cup moka pot can be a perfect option for a couple or pair of roommates looking for a way to make enough high-quality coffee for two in the morning.


  • Offers more output than a “standard” cup of coffee.
  • Perfect when sharing a cup with a partner
  • Good for seconds


  • The output isn't enough for a “crowd” or party without multiple batches.
  • Hard to store
  • Requires more coffee grounds

The 9-Cup Moka Pot

A 9-cup Moka pot that brews 18.5 fluid ounces will get you much closer to what you'd get with a smaller “traditional” coffee maker. We're looking at more than two servings of what you'd get with the standard 8-ounce cup of coffee. A 9-cup pot can be a great option if you're living with several coffee drinkers.


  • Can serve three to four coffee drinkers relatively well
  • Efficient
  • The sweet spot for most families


  • The pot will be slightly heavier to use than smaller options.
  • Hard to store
  • Requires even more grounds
  • Takes some time to heat

The 12-Cup Moka Pot

Bialetti Express Moka Pot, 12-Cup, Aluminum Silver

A 12-cup Moka pot won't be the right choice for everyone. However, this could be the choice for you if you like to split a pot between a few people in the morning. A 12-cup pot is going to produce up to 25 fluid ounces per brew.

How generous is the 12-cup pot? A 12-cup pot's output works out to be roughly a little more than three 8-ounce cups of “traditional” coffee. Of course, the fact that moka cups are much smaller than traditional cups means you're actually getting about 12 servings when you brew this to capacity.


  • Brews many servings
  • Great for entertaining
  • Ideal for larger groups and entertaining


  • Heavier to hold
  • Requires more storage space
  • Overkill for most people

Choosing Your Perfect Moka Pot Size

You may be tempted to think that going as big as possible is the best option when picking out a Moka pot. Many people assume that they can just fill up their Moka pots as much or as little as they need to when creating a “custom” brew size. This is actually a mistake!

It is technically possible to simply use less water than your pot's capacity when making a smaller batch. However, the recommendation is to fill your Moka pot with coffee grounds to the top of the basket. In addition, water should be filled to the bottom portion of the release valve or indicator line.

Moka Pots in different Sizes
It's important to really choose the Moka pot size that's going to fit your daily brewing needs

The problem with trying to “customize” your serving to be smaller is that you're going to have an over-extraction problem. This means that the taste, texture and caffeine level are going to be “off” when you go to sip your coffee. The other detracting factor that goes along with getting a pot that's too big for your daily needs is that your heating time is going to be a lot longer than it needs to be when you're using a larger-than-necessary pot to make your coffee every day.

Do you really want to waste time in the morning when you could have a peppy, zippy brewing experience using a smaller pot? Sacrificing quality really goes against the entire point of using a Moka pot to get perfectly crafted, high-quality coffee. This is why it's important to really choose the size that's going to fit your daily needs instead of worrying about the times when you'll be entertaining guests.

What's the final verdict on choosing the right Moka pot? You really do need to go for the smallest size possible that will fit your needs to avoid running into over-extraction issues. That could mean simply getting a 3-cup Moka pot to create single-serving coffee each morning.

Another option is to simply purchase two Moka pots. Having both a large and small pot will ensure that you will be able to make an amazing batch of coffee whenever you have guests over without sacrificing the taste of your daily java fix! It's the best of both worlds.

Maintaining Your Moka Pot

Well maintained Moka pot taken apart
Moka pot maintenance is a big part of ensuring a good brew

Maintenance is going to be a big part of ensuring a good brew every time with whatever size pot you end up purchasing! The good news is that maintaining a Moka pot is very simple. In fact, cleaning and maintaining a Moka pot is much easier than cleaning and maintaining a traditional coffee maker that has tons of compartments and components.

There's no need to use soaps or detergents when cleaning your Moka pot daily. In fact, just rinsing your pot with hot water before wiping the interior dry after each use will be enough to keep it clean. Periodic “deep cleans” can be done simply by using a gentle brush and a drop of vinegar to scrub the inside of your Moka pot.

There may come a time when you need to replace the rubber seal or filters on your Moka pot. Doing so is quite easy. It is recommended that you do a few “dry brews” using just hot water to prime your Moka pot after replacing the rubber seal. Some people find that a new seal can impact the taste of the coffee if the pot isn't primed properly before the first “real” brew.

Moke Pot Size Guide: The Final Word

Sweeter mornings are ahead once you make the decision to go with a Moka! In fact, you're going to love your coffee more, enjoy the flavor you didn't know was possible, and possibly cut back on how much java you actually need to drink when you make the switch to Moka!

Of course, one of the most exciting things of all is the way a Moka pot becomes the subject of conversation whenever a guest notices this exquisite little coffee-making contraption sitting on your stovetop! They also make nice a gift for coffee lovers.

Related Article:
Moka Pot Coffee: The Ultimate Brewing Guide
Can You Use A Moka Pot On An Electric Stove?