Moka Pot Vs. French Press: Which One Is Best For You?

These two manual coffee makers can brew an excellent cup, depending on your preference. Read our Moka pot vs. French press guide to learn which is best for you.

Moka pot vs. French press
Moka pot vs. French press

I was introduced to the French press before the Moka pot, as the former is more popular where I come from. Naturally, I have formed a bias when it comes to a smooth cup of Joe, not to mention that I can enjoy more servings in one sitting.

That is no dig at the Moka pot; I absolutely adore the robust flavor it can bring to the table, not to mention its classic-looking design. No wonder three in four Italian households have this in their kitchen. Coffee lovers have different tastes, but we can dive deeper to discover which coffee maker is best for you.

What Are A Moka Pot And A French Press?

The Moka pot, which is also known as the “stovetop espresso maker,” has three chambers that separate the water, the coffee grounds, and the brewed blend. Once heated up, the pressure builds and forces the water through the grounds, which then boils up through the top chamber. You can read our ultimate Moka pot coffee brewing guide to learn more!

The French press, on the other hand, has only one jug, which holds the water for the coffee grounds to immerse in, and the plunger, which filters these grounds to give a clean finished blend. You can check out our guide to learn more about the French press coffee maker!

What Moka Pot And French Press Have In Common

Both are manual coffee makers with a simple interior and exterior design, though there are now electric equivalents. Since both have few components, these are easy to disassemble. 

However, both can be challenging to clean. The Moka pot’s small column where the coffee sprouts out, as well as the funnel on the lower chamber, is too small for a sponge or brush to go through. 

Cleaning a moka pot under a stream of water after use
Moka pot has a column that is too small for a sponge

The Moka pot is often made from aluminum which can be damaged by some soap and detergents. Go for stainless steel if you want to invest in one.

On another note, French press components often have sharp edges on the plunger, which can nick you or your sponge, particularly the spiral plate and the mesh filter

Despite this, Moka pots and French presses are affordable, making them ideal coffee makers for new at-home brewers or start-up coffee shop owners. Both can be easy to learn and use, but you might find the Moka pot slightly trickier to master.

Moka Pot Vs. French Press: The Differences

Moka Pot French Press
Relies on steam pressure Relies on steeping/immersion
Medium to medium-fine grounds Coarse grounds
Longer brewing time Shorter brewing time
Brews a strong and robust espresso-like coffee Brews a smoother and richer cup of coffee
Little room for error when brewing Offers flexibility

What’s Better About The Moka Pot?

There is no other manual coffee maker that can emulate an espresso as well as the Moka pot. It offers enough flexibility on any type of grind, whereas the French press can be fully utilized using only coarse grounds.

However, a standard size can accommodate fewer cups than a French press. It is worth noting that there are now 12-cup Moka pots, but this can translate to longer brewing times.

A drawback of a French press is the long prep time. You may have to use fresh coarsely-grinded beans to maximize the flavor. In addition, coffee residue can find its way into your cup.

What’s Better About The French Press?

French press takes a shorter time to brew as it relies on immersing the coffee grounds in water. The flavor isn’t necessarily affected by the size of your French press, either.

The quality of your cup hinges on the type and amount of coffee grounds and how long you steep. This makes it a coffee maker that offers enough flexibility for beginners and gives more servings.

A stovetop is needed to brew Moka pot coffee, which can be inconvenient. It also requires more attention as you can easily under or over-extract it, resulting in a bitter or burnt-tasting coffee. Most brewers agree that once you hear the gurgling sound, you turn off the stove and let tap water run over the bottom chamber to cool it down, but the French press is more straightforward. 

Who Should Get The Moka Pot (And Why)?

The Moka pot is best for those looking for a robust, espresso-like java who love to enjoy coffee in fewer servings. It is much cheaper than an espresso machine but offers the bold and robust flavor of the drink.

Who Should Get The French Press (And Why)?

A woman pouring coffee in two cups at morning
French press can serve multiple cups

The French press is best if you are looking to elevate your regular drip coffee into something richer and full-bodied. It can yield more servings per brew, which is ideal for social gatherings or those who prefer multiple cups in one sitting. For more choices, check out our Aeropress vs. pour-over guide.


  • Renz Lyndon Paguio

    His love for java originated from sidewalk vendors offering cheap 3-in-1 instant coffees poured in styrofoam cups. If he’s not in a studio or in an event venue, you’ll find RL crafting his own cold brew or sharing his experiences to fellow coffeephiles.