This article contains everything you need to know about moka pots and espresso machines.
Espresso machines get a bad rap because they’re supposedly big, expensive, and difficult to use. This has caused a spike in the popularity of espresso machine alternatives like Moka pots.
But can Moka pots compete with espresso machines? Also, are espresso machines really big, expensive, and difficult to lose?
Grab a coffee and let’s find out.
Moka pots are marketed and sold as “stovetop espresso machines” but they don’t brew real espresso. They brew boring ol’ coffee. This is because pressure used to brew coffee beans in a Moka pot is nowhere near the pressure in an espresso machine.
Yes, Moka pots use intense pressure compared to other brewing methods, but it’s only 1-2 bars. This is the most pressure someone can generate manually, but modern espresso machines brew using 8-10 bars of pressure. Some machines might even use more.
Moka pots aren’t portable espresso machines. Instead, they’re the closest you’ll get to espresso without owning an espresso machine.
Now we know that Moka pots don’t brew espresso, it brews coffee that emulates espresso, let’s cover 4 reasons why espresso machines are better than Moka pots.
The flavor that comes out of a Moka pot is normally 2-3 times more concentrated than a regular drip coffee. It’s bold, intense, and has a full body. But the process of making Moka coffee makes it easy to burn your coffee which leads to a bitter-tasting cup of joe.
If you make a pot of Moka coffee properly, it can be balanced and sweet. But it often has a deep, bitter, and strong flavor profile.
Espresso on the other hand is 5-10 times more concentrated than a normal drip coffee. It also uses 5 times more pressure than a Moka pot which leads to a more intense and flavorful drinking experience.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a specific flavor like peach or orange, an espresso machine will extract that note more effectively than a Moka pot because of the intense pressure used.
Where did the myth come from that espresso machines are difficult to use? One of the biggest arguments against buying an espresso machine is that you need barista-level skills to operate it.
This isn’t true.
All you need to do is press a few buttons and you’ll magically have a shot of espresso. It’s so easy that a child could use it, and it’s definitely easier to use than a Moka pot.
Crema is that heavenly, reddish-brown froth that sits on top of your shot of espresso. Some beer aficionados also call it the “Guinness Effect” because it looks like the head of a beer once it’s poured into a glass.
But how does this crema form?
When hot water hits coffee grounds at high pressures, the water emulsifies the oils in the coffee which causes a ton of CO2 gas to be released. This creates tiny bubbles on the surface which forms the crema we all love.
And since espresso machines create more pressure than Moka pots, it creates more crema, which is to die for.
Again, where did this myth come from that espresso takes long to make? Espresso literally has the word “espress” in it, which hints that it’s fast.
Yeah, it might take a few minutes to warm up, but in that time you can do something like get ready for work. Once it’s warm, simply press a few buttons and within 30 seconds, your espresso is done.
But Moka pots require more effort and time to make. There are a ton of steps involved and nobody has time for that when running late for work. I’d rather get ready while my machine is warming up.
Moka pots and espresso machines are two popular coffee brewing methods. And if you can afford it, opt for an espresso machine because they produce far superior coffee.