Moka Pot Brewing Guide

The moka pot is one of those brewing methods that seems to have been around forever - like the French press.

In fact, the moka pot was invented in 1933, and it was first marketed as a way of making espresso at home. It’s really the first homemade espresso machine, and it enabled people to make stronger, more flavorful coffee at home in a time where all you could really drink was black coffee at home.

Moka pot coffee

In time, moka pot coffee has become its own thing, appreciated for its unique qualities and not compared to espresso. In this article, we’ll teach you how to make a great cup of coffee with the moka pot and give you a few tips to get it right the first time.

The Brew

Concentrated, strong, and very aromatic. Moka pot coffee is a cousin of espresso, and in many ways it feels like it, but has got a certain mouthfeel that is unique to it.

Moka pot coffee doesn’t make the acidic qualities of coffee pop as much; rather, sweet and bitter flavours come to the forefront.

How to make it

What you’ll need:

  • 10-16 grams, depending on desired strength
  • Under 1 minute if done properly
  • Dosing and brew time:
  • Hot water (94C°)
  • Medium fine-ground coffee
  • A moka pot


  1. Bring water to a boil and let sit while we prepare, so that it’ll be around 94C° by the time we need it.
  2. Unscrew the upper and bottom chamber and take the filter, or middle chamber, out.
  3. Fill the bottom chamber with water up to ¾ of its capacity. Usually, there is a valve - fill it just below it.
  4. Place the filter on top of the bottom chamber and pour an adequate dose. If using a small moka pot, you’ll just need 15 grams - enough for 2 cups. Tamp very lightly.
  5. Screw the moka pot together and place on top of the stove on high heat.
  6. Leave the top lid of the moka pot open. After a few seconds - maybe a minute, you’ll see the coffee start to pour from the tube. This process takes very little time.
  7. Once the chamber fills about halfway, and just as it starts gurgling violently, turn the heat off and serve immediately.

Quick tips

#1 Use hot water

Unless you’re using Biletti’s Brikka, you should be filling the bottom chamber with hot water. This speeds up the brewing time and in doing so reduces the chances of over extraction and burning the coffee grounds.

Moka pots are made of aluminum/stainless steel, and it gets very hot very fast inside. If the water has to heat up from scratch, that’s a long time the grounds are sitting there, heating up: they get burnt.

#2 Make café cubano

Cubans (and other Latin countries as well) are big lovers of the moka pot. They have perfected the art of it. To make café cubano, pour a tablespoon or two of raw cane sugar into your cup, then pour a little bit of freshly made moka pot coffee.

Stir to make a paste, then carefully pour the rest of the coffee. The sweet paste stays on top of the coffee, making a sort of crema, and gives the coffee an amazing taste. A must try for moka pot lovers.

#3 Use the right grind size

Did you know that the moka pot has its own grind size? It’s not espresso - that’s way too fine and will result in over extraction.

Many Italian brands, like Illy, sell “moka pot grind size”. It’s between espresso and drip coffee grind size.

Using this size will yield the best possible results. When in doubt, or if you can’t find it, use medium grind size instead - not espresso.

And there you have it! Now you’re ready to make the best moka pot coffee of your life!