Moka pots are one of the types of coffee makers considered classics, along with espresso and manual drip coffee machines. We are talking about a coffee maker that dates back to 1933, thanks to its durability; if it is well-cleaned and maintained, it can last for generations.
Almost a hundred years have passed since its invention, and multiple brands and models have emerged, so deciding which is best for you will not be as simple a task as it may seem. However, in this guide, we will give you all the features that a good Moka pot should have so that you can make the best choice for your needs.
Characteristics of a Moka pot
Apart from their typical shape, Moka pots are distinguished because they are made up of two parts: a lower body, where the water is poured, and an upper body, where the coffee is poured as it is brewed.
Both parts are handled separately, but when it is time to heat the coffee maker, they have to be joined (screwed together) so that the Moka pot becomes a single piece, closed and hermetically sealed.
Use medium-fine ground coffee
Beyond their external composition, Italian coffee makers are also characterised by their coffee. Moka pots require medium-fine ground coffee. But never as fine as that used in espresso machines or as coarse as that used in drip coffee machines.
The ground coffee does not need to be pressed into the filter, but it is essential to level it. If the surface of the ground coffee is not smooth, the rising water will tend to pass through the less flat area, and the consequence is that the coffee will not be fully infused.
Coffee brewed at 2 bar pressure
Another important feature of Italian coffee machines is that they do not produce the traditional crema typical of espresso machines. This crema is generated in espresso machines because the water passes through the ground coffee at a pressure of 9 bar. In contrast, Moka pots only pass through the ground coffee at 2 bars.
Coffee brewed at a higher temperature
On the other hand, by generating less pressure and higher water temperature, more oils can be extracted from the coffee beans than in espresso but less in drip coffee. We could say that the coffee obtained is somewhere in between these two other types of coffee machines.
In other words, coffee prepared with a Moka pot will always have more body than coffee prepared with a drip coffee machine but less than that obtained with an espresso machine.
Our 2 favourite brands of Moka pots
Due to its popularity and low cost, many brands of Moka pots work in this sector. But, of all of them, we can highlight three in particular. For various reasons, we recommend a look at the Moka machines from Bialetti and Alessi.
Undoubtedly, two of the most extensive, varied and prestigious catalogues in the Moka pot industry exist.
Alessi Moka pots
Design and exclusivity are the hallmarks of Alessi’s Moka pots. All the articles of this company (not only the coffee makers) have the signature of an author or designer of international fame.
Apart from that, Alessi Moka pots are always made from the best and most durable materials, making them appliances for life. However, their price is well above the market average, and not everyone is willing to pay.
Bialetti Moka pots
What is the best brand of Moka pots? Well, if it’s for the average quality of its products, perhaps we’d say Alessi. Still, if we look at the breadth and variety of its catalogue, the tradition and prestige in the sector, we’d undoubtedly have to go for Bialetti. Bialetti is a synonym for Italian Moka pot.
Its models are dozens, and there are mochas of all types, sizes, colours and shapes:
- Bialetti Moka Express Italia Collection (Tricolor), 3 cup coffee maker
- Bialetti New Moka Induction Induction Coffee Pot, 6 Cups
Our 2 favourite Moka pots
If you want to know which is the best Moka pot, we could give you a list of 10 or 15 models, ideally and without fear of making a mistake. But that’s not going to be the case. Instead, we will discuss two models that we think are outstanding in this sector (for one reason or another). Any of these could be considered, in their way, the best Moka pot for the home.
Moka pots are straightforward household appliances, which can be found for £8 or £9 without any problem. How do we differentiate between good or bad Moka pot? Basically, by looking at three details:
- The material (better the stainless steel ones).
- The interior (better if they have a non-stick coating).
- The base, if they have an electric one (this is a separate type of coffee maker).
If you’re unsure which Moka pot to buy, you can take these models as a starting point, look at their qualities and their manufacturers, and continue your search based on them. Let’s get to know them!
Bialetti Moka Espresso: The classic
If there’s one symbolic model that serves as a reference and standard for domestic appliance, it’s the Italian Bialetti Moka espresso machine. A very robust, quality Moka, with many sizes to choose from and a classic design that never goes out of fashion. It is the reference coffee maker of the best brand of Italian coffee makers: Bialetti.
Alessi 9090: The design
If you add to a carefully designed coffee maker with an author’s signature some first-class materials (18/10 stainless steel), a magnetic base, and all the guarantees of a brand of enormous prestige behind it, what is the result? Well, perhaps the best Italian coffee maker on the market, although not the most popular, because its price makes it prohibitive for many users.
The Italian coffee maker Alessi 9090 costs 5 or 6 times more than a traditional Moka, but you get an Italian coffee maker for life. Only for the most demanding people.