Forget your fancy coffee machines, landfill clogging plastic coffee pods and daily trips to your local barista: the best moka pot is all you need for a stand-out quality morning coffee. Invented in the 1930s by Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti, the moka pot (named after the Yemeni city of Mocha), is a simply designed stove-top coffee maker that continues to endure, producing strong, great-tasting coffee without the faff of filters or any machinery.
Nowadays there are a plethora of different styles to choose from, which can make finding the right moka pot for your needs and budget a little tricky. While they all look fairly similar and mostly work in the same way, they aren’t all the same and there are a few things you should take into consideration, such as size, price and design.
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Best moka pots: At a glance
How to choose the best moka pot for you
How does a moka pot work?
Moka pots all share the same design system; usually a jug shaped pot that screws apart into two pieces. The bottom section should be filled with water up to the line indicated, while the funnel is filled with ground coffee, then screwed back together tightly and heated on the stove top. The boiling water pushes extracted coffee into the top chamber, giving you fresh, ground-free coffee ready to pour.
While all moka pots do essentially the same thing, there are tricks to getting the most out of them. For a really high quality coffee; we asked Stuart Wilson, founder of independent speciality coffee brand Lost Sheep Coffee, for his top tips.
He says: “Moka pots are good at making strong coffee, even with lighter roasts. Coffee should be ground medium fine and filled to the top of the funnel but never tamped, like you would for espresso – just use your finger.
Using boiling water will aid better extraction and stop you getting sour coffee; you should also take the pot off the heat once it starts to spit as letting it heat too long at this stage can make for a bitter taste. Pour straight away and enjoy, or water it down for a longer Americano-style coffee.”
What key things should you look for in a moka pot?
Look for a moka pot made with quality materials, like stainless steel or aluminium for a purchase that will last. Consider the size too, as you’ll need to fill the pot in order to produce your coffee, buying a moka pot too large for your requirements will prove wasteful when it comes to coffee – and energy. Moka pots are available in one-cup (60ml) to 12-cup sizes, but for one or two coffee drinkers a three-cup pot is usually about right. You’ll also have to check that the moka pot you have in mind is suitable for use on your particular stove – not all pots are compatible with induction hobs.
How much should you spend?
Most moka pots are inexpensive. A three-cup pot tends to cost around £25; larger pots are of course more expensive, so too are those specifically designed for use on induction hobs. Designer coffee pots can command higher prices too. It all comes down to what you’re willing to pay.
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The best moka pots you can buy in 2022
1. Lavazza Moka Carmencita Classic: The best designed moka pot
Price: £30 | Buy now from Lavazza
This sleek moka pot from coffee experts Lavazza is a great addition to any kitchen. It veers slightly from the traditional design, with its slim conical shape and clean lines, for a contemporary take on the classic styling. This Italian-designed pot has a smart satin finish from aluminium, with a pop of coloured detailing – we love the cherry red – or stick to understated black for an all-round winner.
Either way, all the necessary bits and pieces stay cool enough to handle the pot easily and it’s worth noting that the handle on this moka pot is cleverly positioned at 90 degrees for a slightly easier grip than traditionally designed pots. With a three cup capacity and a nice clean pour, this pot does everything you need it to and looks great too.
Keys details – Size: 3-cup; Material: Aluminium; Induction-safe: Yes
Buy now from Lavazza
2. Bialetti Moka Express Espresso Pot: The best original moka pot
Price: £34 | Buy now from Amazon
This is the original moka pot as designed in Italy in 1933. Made from long lasting aluminium with a durable stainless steel pressure valve and the iconic octagonal design, it’s testament to the “if it aint broke don’t fix it” school of thought.
We’ve had our Bialetti for ten years and it’s still going strong, producing hot, aromatic coffee in around four minutes. There’s a flip lid with a little knob to help you lift it when hot and the cool to the touch black handle allows for safe and easy pouring. Be sure to handwash and this will last and last. It’s not suitable for induction though, sadly.
Keys details – Size: 3 cup; Material: Aluminium; Induction-safe: No
£34.27 Buy now
3. ProCook Stovetop Espresso Maker 9 Cup: The best large moka pot
Price: £18 | Buy now from ProCook