moka pot how to use

Moka Pot Brew Guide (Step-By-Step Instructions)

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The Moka pot is a beloved way to make coffee, especially in Italy where it was first created. Did you know, this is also referred to as a Stovetop Brewer or Bialetti. 

In this Moka pot guide, I'll share everything I know about this classic brew method and its use. Luckily, it's quick and simple, and I'll explain why this method is unique compared to other coffee-making methods found online.

Additionally, I'll provide some of our best Moka pot tips for making delicious coffee recipes that you can try at home.

Moka Pot

Hello! My name is James Bellis founder of Balance Coffee, and for the past decade, I've delved deep into the rich, fragrant world of coffee.

My adventure has led me from the coffee bean to your cup, teaching numerous baristas and trying out various coffee machines along the way.

I've also had the opportunity to work with some of the top companies in the coffee industry, such as Sanremo

Before you and I dive into the juicy part of today's guide, what is a Moka Pot?

What is a Moka Pot?

Also known as a stovetop, the Moka pot is a method of brewing coffee made up of two chambers.

You place the pot on top of your stove, and water in the lower chamber heats up and creates steam.

The pressure from the steam builds and pushes water up through coffee grounds and into the top chamber to produce brewed coffee. 

Quick History Of The Moka Pot

The Moka pot, also known as a stovetop espresso maker, was invented in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti according to Sunday Baker Co.

This iconic coffee maker works by using steam pressure to push hot water through the coffee grounds, resulting in a rich and full-bodied brew.

Sunday Baker Co

The mokapot has stood the test of time and remains a popular choice for coffee enthusiasts around the world.

What Makes the Moka Pot Different from others? 

Learning how to brew with a Moka pot will make the difference between a weak and watery brew, and a rich punchy cup that hits the spot. 

This method is quite different to most other affordable home brew accessories like the Hario V60 or Chemex brewer, because it closely resembles espresso style given it's thick crema and strength of flavour.

Moka Pot

In other words, it's the closest you'll get to brewing up an 'espresso-style' coffee at home if you haven't made the decision to invest in a home espresso machine

But how does this method differ and why does it produce an espresso-like texture? 

One two components to this is the grind type. It's somewhere between an espresso grind and an Aeropress grind which is communicated as a medium-fine grind. 

When water passes through the coffee bed, more texture is created giving you that rich body. The second component is the pressure which is generated by the Moka pot. A powerful force pushes the hot water through the coffee puck generating a more viscous liquid. Perfect if you want that coffee punch. 

Why Do Home Coffee Drinkers Love The Moka Pot?


If you're looking for a cup of coffee that is very similar to an espresso, the Moka pot is a marvel, especially when you compare its price to the price of a good espresso machine.

While a Moka pot won't make the same crema as an espresso machine, you can still get a rich, flavourful brew that works perfectly in a latte or cappuccino. To find out the perfect flavour that matches that of an espresso, you may check out the best ground coffee beans for espresso!

Flavour and Body

Speaking of flavour, this is definitely one of the aspects that people love most about the Moka pot. Much like the cafetiere, the Moka pot makes a cup of coffee that is rich and full-bodied, with intense flavour.

However, they are distinctive because the Moka has a higher level of body due to pressure being applied during the brewing process.

Sleek, Classic Design

Another thing that draws people to the Moka pot is its sleek, retro design. Originally created in Italy in the 1930s, you can definitely see a cool art deco influence in its design.

moka pot size

Ease of use

The Moka is also easy to use. You just need to keep an eye (and an ear) out as it is brewing. It's also quick (you can make a great cup of coffee in less than 5 minutes), and easy to clean.

How to Make Coffee In A Moka Pot?

I put together this video for you so you can learn step by step what is needed to brew epic coffee with your moka pot. 

Best Moka Pot Recipe / Stovetop Recipe:

    • Digital scales – this is to weigh your coffee. It’s not essential but it’ll dramatically improve your quality as you’ll know exactly how much coffee to water you’re using. Once you’ve mastered the recipe you can then replicate it for the best cup of coffee daily.
    • Moka pot
    • Electric or gas stove
    • Freshly ground speciality coffee beans – these will need to be ground medium-fine - coarser than an espresso grind. If you order from our speciality coffee shop and you don’t have a grinder at home, that’s not a problem. We grind fresh coffee beans right before shipping them to you.
  • At Balance Coffee, we take pride in our unique Moka pot brew, crafted from the finest coffee beans sourced worldwide. Our expert brewing techniques result in an unparalleled coffee experience. What sets us apart is our commitment to health, ensuring our coffee is free from mould, mycotoxins, and pesticides. We rigorously test our beans to meet the highest quality and safety standards, providing you with a delicious and healthy cup of coffee.

Check out this awesome moka pot diagram infographic we made to show you the Moka Pot and how to use it.


Next up? Work out how many cups you’d like to make.

Struggling to get the Flavour Right?

How to overcome common coffee-brewing problems

If you're saying to yourself: "My coffee is too weak" - use less water, use more coffee, or use a finer grind If you're finding :

"My coffee is too strong" - use more water, less coffee, or a coarser grind Having problems like:

"My coffee is too bitter" - you've over-extracted the coffee, use a coarser grind This is not a good one.

But if you are experiencing: "My coffee is too sour" - you've under-extracted the coffee, use a finer grind

Balance Coffee Brewing Scale

  • For 1 cup (15g of coffee to 250g water)
  • For 2 cups (30g of coffee to 500g of water)
  • For 3 cups (45g of coffee to 750g of water)
  • For 4 cups (60g of coffee to 1000g or 1L of water)

  • How to use a moka pot - moka pot

What Grind Should I use for Moka Pot? 

Finding the right grind size for Moka pot is key to enjoying the best flavour from the beans you buy. So what is the best coffee grind for Moka Pot. 

The answer is a medium-fine grind. Somewhere between espresso and Aeropress grind. You want it slightly powdery so that it creates the right amount of body and punch, but not too fine where it struggles to brew or creates bitterness. 

Here is a visual guide I just took with my phone helping you to find what grind for Moka pot. 

The Moka Pot Method

  1. Boil your filtered water in a kettle and fill the bottom half of your coffee maker with hot water.
  2. Insert the filter basket into the bottom of the pot.
  3. Fill the basket with coffee and give it a shake to settle the grounds evenly. Make sure not to pack down or tamp the grounds, you want them loose. Unless you like it really strong, in which case packing it down creates more body and strength.
  4. Screw on the spouted top. The bottom half of the device will be hot, so make sure you use a tea towel or oven gloves to protect those fingers!
  5. Put the brewer on the stove and use moderate heat. Make sure that the handle is not subjected to heat, and leave the top lid open so you can see what stage the brewing is at.
  6. After a few minutes, you'll begin to hear the water boil in the base - at this point, lower the heat! You'll hear a puffing sound as the coffee oozes out of the spout on the top half, a bit like honey. Once the stream of coffee is honey-coloured, remove it from the stove with a tea towel (it'll still be hot!) and close the lid.
  7. Expert Tip: Is to immediately run the stove-pot brewer under some cold water from the tap - this helps to cool the coffee and prevent it from burning or over-brewing causing bitterness.
  8. At this point, the coffee will stop bubbling out. Pour it into your favourite mug and enjoy!
  9. Expert Tip: When measuring your coffee, aim for 15g of coffee to 250g water for one cup. This will ensure a rich and full-bodied brew. Additionally, be sure to use freshly ground coffee beans for the best flavour. A common mistake is using pre-ground coffee, which can result in a stale and flat-tasting brew.

moka pot shape

Choosing the Best Coffee for Your Moka Pot

If you want the best out of your trusty stovetop coffee maker you'll need to consider what coffee you're using as this is ultimately a make or break if you're after quality, delicious coffee. Our top take aways are as follows.

Buying First Class Healthy Coffee

Still buying supermarket coffee? It's time to switch it up and upgrade. Try moving to a quality, healthy coffee which is sustainable option that elevates your morning. The main tiers of coffee quality grading are are follows.

Commodity grade

This is the lowest grade of coffee that exists. There are health concerns associated with buying this type of coffee since they use pesticides and other poor farming practises to grow for mass production.

Organic Coffee

Buying organic is the second best option available to you. You'll be purchasing coffee which has been certified as pesticide free from the farm level. This is certainly a good option to take as it's dramatically better than commodity grade coffee.

Speciality Grade Coffee

Choosing speciality coffee is without doubt the best option to take all around. It's more expensive yes, but it means you're buying coffee that's follows organic processes to ensure it's and free from nasties like pesticides, mould and mycotoxins.

Not only that, but you'll benefit from the taste of the coffee itself. All speciality coffees are graded on a score of 80+ points which means you'll be drinking some of the most expensive and rare coffees from across the world.

If you want to deep dive into more detail then consider reading out popular post on how to choose the best coffee for Moka Pot.

Cleaning Your Moka Pot

Want to achieve one of the best tasting coffees are home from your stovetop coffee maker? Cleaning is a a critical aspect to ensuring you're getting the best out of your brews.

Coffee oils build up (particularly if you're using darker roasted coffees), and it taints the flavour of your coffee maker over time. Give it a wipe with a cloth to ensure it removes any surface oils and you'll be getting sweeter, less bitter coffees.

How to overcome common coffee-brewing problems

“My coffee is too weak” – use less water, use more coffee, or use a finer grind “My coffee is too strong” – use more water, less coffee, or a coarser grind “My coffee is too bitter” – you’ve over-extracted the coffee, use a coarser grind “My coffee is too sour” – you’ve under-extracted the coffee, use a finer grind"

More Moka Pot Tips:

If you're using an electric stove or a hot plate, we would advise that you start heating the element whilst the kettle is boiling.

This is because electric takes longer to heat up than gas, and you want to limit the amount of time your coffee is sitting on the stove, not brewing.

If it just sits there as the Moka pot warms up, the coffee can end up tasting burnt. We're not the only ones who are experts in brewing with a Moka pot. Our pals at Above Average Coffee have shared a whopping 17 tips on how to best brew with a Moka pot.

Moka Pot Coffee - moka pot

We love brewing coffee with a Moka pot.

Secondly, we always recommend listening to your Moka pot.

In many ways, this will tell you more about the state of your coffee than just looking at it! For example, if your stove is too hot, the coffee will quickly and loudly push through the spouted top.

But if it's not hot enough, you'll hear slow, sluggish bubbling. And you'll know when the coffee is done when you hear a hissing, bubbling sound.

Finally, when taking the Moka pot off the stove when the coffee is ready, you can also cool it down by wrapping it in a cold, wet towel, or running it under a cold tap.

This will help stop the brewing process, and will lead to a sweeter brew.

And if you’re not sure if the Moka pot sounds like it for you, then check out our other recommended home equipment.

You can also read our ultimate guide to the Hario V60, the Cafetiere, the Chemex, and the Aeropress.


So there you have it, a complete how to use moka pot guide designed for you.

The Moka pot is a timeless and beloved method of brewing coffee, particularly in Italy where it originated.

Its unique brewing process, which uses steam pressure to push hot water through coffee grounds, results in a rich and full-bodied brew that closely resembles espresso.

This makes the Moka pot an excellent and affordable alternative to expensive home espresso machines.

The Moka pot's sleek, retro design, ease of use, and quick brewing time add to its appeal.

With the right coffee beans, grind size, and brewing technique, you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee that rivals those made by professional baristas.

So, embrace the art of Moka pot brewing and elevate your coffee experience to new heights.

You can get a bag of healthy coffee free from mould, mycotoxin, and pesticide here to brew th perfect moka pot coffee.