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How to Make Moka Pot Coffee: 5 Steps for Great Stovetop Coffee

Moka pot coffee is a great alternative to owning an espresso maker. Moka pots are so common in Italy that they are sometimes referred to as Italian coffee makers. Here’s how to make Moka pot coffee.

I use my moka pot every morning. This is how I make my first coffee of the day. We also have an espresso maker (which I love) but the moka pot is just so easy. Here’s how I make my morning coffee with my stovetop moka pot.

how to make moka pot coffee

This guide is part of our How to Make Coffee series.

How to Make Moka Pot Coffee

  • Time to first sip: Approximately 5 minutes
  • Type of Coffee: Similar to espresso
  • Coffee grind: Fine, but not as fine as an espresso grind
  • Gear required: Stovetop espresso maker (moka pot), heat source (stove or burner)
  • Difficulty: Easy. Requires undivided attention to remove from heat, and avoid over-extraction

Here are a couple of tips for making great moka pot coffee.

  • Don’t fill the water chamber above the pressure valve.
  • Remove the Moka pot from the heat as soon as it’s finished brewing. You’ll know it’s done when you hear that last blast of steam.

If you can’t afford an espresso machine but want the creamy texture and caffeine kick of a pressurized espresso shot, you should try a Moka pot.

Also called a stovetop espresso maker, the Moka pot may not give you the exact results of an espresso machine, but it comes close. Besides that, the Moka pot is portable, affordable, and requires little effort and skill.

Moka pots are also referred to as Italian coffee makers. Here’s how to order coffee in Italian.

How Moka Pots Work: 3 Chambers

The Moka pot consists of a three-chambered device that you use on the stovetop.

  1. Bottom chamber holds fresh water.
  2. Middle chamber holds coffee grounds
  3. Top chamber holds brewed coffee

Here’s how the three chambers work:

  • Water from the bottom chamber boils, causing steam to pressurize through the coffee grounds in the middle chamber.
  • The coffee then flows up through an inner tube into the top chamber.
how to make coffee with a moka pot

Moka Pot Coffee Recipe

  1. Fill lower chamber with water.
  2. Insert the filter basket and fill it with finely ground coffee
  3. Replace the top chamber and screw it on tightly
  4. Set the Moka pot on the stove
  5. Remove the Moka pot from the stove once completed

1. Fill lower chamber with water.

Remove the top chamber and filter basket, then fill the lower part with hot water.

Fill to just below the valve.

Alternative Method: To avoid overheating the ground coffee (affecting flavor), add boiled water to the lower chamber. This shortens the time that the Moka pot is on the stove, and protects the delicate ground coffee.

2. Add ground coffee to filter basket

Insert the filter basket and fill it with finely ground coffee (but not as fine as for espresso).

For grind consistency, you’ll want it about as fine as table salt. I prefer mine to be slightly coarser, bu this is a personal preference.

Note: Make sure there are no coffee grounds on the rim of the filter basket.

3. Assemble the Moka pot

Replace the top chamber and screw on tightly.

4. Put Moka pot on moderate heat

Set the Moka pot on the stove and heat until the water boils and fills the top chamber with brewed coffee.

5. Remove from heat

You’ll know it’s ready when you hear the steaming and bubbling sounds. You can also lift the lit and look inside the top chamber. The coffee will not completely fill the top chamber – that last blast of steam tells you it’s finished.

As soon as it’s ready, remove the Moka pot from the stove.

Pour cold water over the side to stop brewing, or just pour it in your mug right away.

If you want to make a latte or some other fancy, espresso-type drink, steam some milk and froth it with a frothing wand or jug. Then, pour it over your coffee and enjoy.

how to use a moka pot

How to Make Coffee with a Moka Pot (Video)

Here’s a visual guide to making moka pot coffee on your stovetop.

Once you start making moka pot coffee, you’ll need some new words to express those flavors. Here’s the full guide to words to describe coffee.

Your Turn

Have you made moka pot coffee before? How do you prefer to make your coffee? I would love to hear your tips and experiences below.

Robert Thomas

Thursday 12th of October 2023

I boil the water that I use to fill the bottom chamber, plus a little bit more that I set aside.

The boiled water results in a higher process temperature and better extraction.

You may need to use a towel to hold the bottom chamber to reassemble it, because the boiling water may make it too hot to grip it.

I've never had a problem filling the bottom chamber to the top of the valve. Other machines may be different. Then I set the pot on a burner set at medium heat.

I remove the pot from the element when the whoosh of the brewing reaches a crescendo (ie. maximum sound).

The little bit of boiled water that I set aside, I use to top up the cup to taste. The strength of the brewed coffee is strong enough to allow that.

I do that because the moka pot doesn't yield enough to quite fill my cup.


Sunday 17th of September 2023

I just love my moka pot...I make a latte almost every afternoon and it's a happy place for me 💘