Invented in the 1930s, the Moka pot is the classic home espresso brewer. It was created to recreate the quality of espresso —a strong, concentrated coffee— at home with ease. Surprisingly enough, nowadays, it’s still one of the best ways to make coffee.
Of course, these days, we don’t treat Moka pot coffee as an espresso substitute. No, Moka pot coffee has its own character and it’s incredibly delicious as its own thing.
Today we’ll look at some of the best coffees to make using a Moka pot. Most of them are going to be dark roasts, which is arguably the best possible choice for Moka pots around the world. We’ll also explore a few medium roasts.
- Top three choices
- The 9 Best Coffee for Moka Pot
- SF Bay Coffee French Roast Whole Bean 2LB (32 Ounce) Dark Roast
- Starbucks Dark Roast Ground Coffee — Espresso Roast — 100% Arabica — 1 bag (18 oz.)
- DEATH WISH COFFEE Ground Coffee Dark Roast [16 oz.] The World's Strongest Coffee – Organic, Fair Trade, Strong Coffee Grounds from Arabica, Robusta (1-Pack)
- MAYORGA COFFEE Café Cubano Roast, the World's Smoothest Organic Coffee, Specialty-Grade, Non-GMO, Direct Trade, 100% Whole Arabica Beans, 2lb Bag
- Starbucks Medium Roast Ground Coffee — Pike Place Roast — 100% Arabica — 1 bag (28 oz.)
- AmazonFresh Colombia Ground Coffee, Medium Roast, 32 Ounce
- The Mentalist Ground Coffee, Medium Dark Roast, 12 Oz, Bulletproof Keto-Friendly 100% Arabica Coffee, Certified Clean Coffee, Rainforest Alliance, Sourced from Guatemala, Colombia & El Salvador
- Starbucks French Roast Dark Roast Ground Coffee, 28 Ounce (Pack of 1) bag
- Peet's Coffee, Dark Roast Ground Coffee – Major Dickason's Blend 18 Ounce Bag
- How to choose the best coffee for Moka pot
- Introduction of the Moka Pot
- How to brew coffee using a Moka pot
Top three choices
The 9 Best Coffee for Moka Pot
Starting the list off with a French Roast. Keep in mind, when talking about roasts, there are two main types of dark roasts: French, and Italian. French roasts are regular dark, while Italian dark roasts are very dark. You don’t see this as much in America, where we have a taste for lighter roasts.
This French roast features beans from Central and South America to create a fruity, tropical kind of flavor that feels refreshing. You can feel the acidity of tropical fruit in it and yet it still packs a pleasant bitter punch.
Starbucks carries really good coffee, that’s no surprise to anybody. And they have the best espresso roast which goes great for the Moka pot because it is caramelly, bitter but also sweet.
This is a regular “dark roast” and one of Starbucks’ espresso roasts which they use as a base for many of their drinks.
The taste is intense and bitter while having a caramel-like sweetness to it. It has a bold and robust taste overall.
DEATH WISH COFFEE Ground Coffee Dark Roast [16 oz.] The World’s Strongest Coffee – Organic, Fair Trade, Strong Coffee Grounds from Arabica, Robusta (1-Pack)
The world’s strongest coffee? It’s debatable, but it sure feels like it, doesn’t it? Death wish coffee has a lot of caffeine and is the best coffee for drinking in the morning to wake you right up.
The best thing about it is that it doesn’t feel super strong. It actually tastes really good, and has a chocolatey, nutty thing going on that is just very fun to drink. For a coffee with this much caffeine, it tastes surprisingly light!
MAYORGA COFFEE Café Cubano Roast, the World’s Smoothest Organic Coffee, Specialty-Grade, Non-GMO, Direct Trade, 100% Whole Arabica Beans, 2lb Bag
Organic has a place in every list: here’s an actual Cuban roast, or Cuban-style roast, which is a medium-dark that really brings out all those dark roast flavors while keeping the bitterness reigned in.
Mayorga is known for great Cuban-style flavors: this is syrupy, smooth and has hints of vanilla and tropical fruit.
It’s also 100% arabica. Reading this is important because if you have to assume it, then it’s probably not 100% arabica. Robusta beans, the alternative, are high in caffeine but don’t taste as good. They are used to increase the total volume of their product (as Robusta beans are cheaper) or for caffeine, like in Death Wish Coffee.
Pike Place roast is one of Starbucks’ most popular, best-selling products. Why? Because of how reliable it is.
What I do is I always keep a bag of Pike Place around because it’s extremely adaptable. If I need to make cold brew, but don’t have cold-brew specific beans around? Pike Place. I want to make an alcohol-based drink, then a Frappuccino with the same coffee? Pike Place.
It really is a well-rounded coffee that has a certain toastiness going on that just fits perfectly anywhere you use it. It’s the ultimate one-size-fits-all of coffees.
Americans are the #1 consumer of Colombian coffee. There’s a good reason: it’s absolutely delicious.
The first thing you need to know here is that this is good Colombian coffee: AmazonFresh has a decent line of products, but their Colombian beans in particular are far above their usual quality. This is top-notch coffee.
Balanced, full-bodied, and full of flavor.
The Mentalist Ground Coffee, Medium Dark Roast, 12 Oz, Bulletproof Keto-Friendly 100% Arabica Coffee, Certified Clean Coffee, Rainforest Alliance, Sourced from Guatemala, Colombia & El Salvador
A medium-dark roast for those who love that intense flavor but can’t really stand the sharp bitterness of dark roasts.
Hand-picked, certified clean, and sustainable: this coffee is hand-picked by seasoned farmers who are in turn paid a fair share for their work as per the Rainforest Alliance. The coffee is then tested by an expert team for impurities.
The result is a delicious coffee with a cinnamon and plum aroma with hints of cocoa and hazelnut.
Third and last Starbucks coffee here. Promise.
This time we go for their French roast, which they claim is their darkest roast ever, and which we believe: this coffee is very intense, smoky, and full of strong flavors. It makes for a delectable cup of espresso, and it goes great with sweet desserts and other such foods.
The Major Dickason blend was born as a product to appease even the most demanding of coffee drinkers: the character of Major Dickason was conceived as this knowledgeable, demanding coffee drinker – and it was this blend that would be his favorite coffee.
It is a rich taste that starts out mellow and then has a very strong finish – a dark roast that can be deceptive. The bitterness creeps upon you, and so does the full flavor of it. It’s a great experience.
How to choose the best coffee for Moka pot
Moka pots, often known as stovetop espresso makers, produce a similar style of coffee. As a result, you’ll need a medium or dark roast that’s equivalent. These roasts offer a full flavor that complements this brewing method, resulting in coffee with low acidity and a creamy texture. Light roasts are more acidic, and flavor extraction is sometimes inconsistent, making them unsuitable for Moka coffee.
The main thing to look for is the grind. As with every coffee maker, choosing the right grind size can greatly impact the end result of your brew.
The optimal grind for Moka coffee is medium to medium-fine, which is finer than you’d use for drip coffee but not as fine as you’d need for espresso. When it comes to the grind, Moka pots are a little forgiving, so if you get it a little too coarse or fine, you should still get an excellent cup of coffee out of it.
Grinding your own beans, on the other hand, is the way to go if you want the best cup of Moka. This allows you complete control over the coarseness of the grains, ensuring a perfect brew.
While you can prepare Moka coffee with coffee from any origin, keep in mind that the Moka pot was invented in Italy, so Italian brands are usually a good choice because they’ve had lots of experience with Moka-style brewing over the years.
Whole bean or pre-ground
Whole beans are often thought to be the finest choice for the freshest taste of coffee. However, it is recommended that you purchase whole beans first and then manually grind them at home before beginning to brew. Grinding alone isn’t sufficient. What counts most and is the key to optimal extraction is the correct grind. A medium-fine grind, in our experience, is ideal for Moka pots. To summarize, grinding your beans is the way to go because it allows you to regulate how coarse the beans are, assuring a flawless brew. Because Moka pots are designed to be used with a full water chamber and a congested funnel of grinds, the grind is critical.
Size of the bag
When purchasing whole bean coffee, the size of the bag is less important. You can save money by buying in bulk because the beans will last longer and you can just grind as much as you need each morning.
We recommend looking for smaller packs if you buy pre-ground coffee. This will ensure that you finish the coffee soon after opening it and that your cup tastes as fresh as possible. You don’t want anything stale when you’re looking for the best coffee for Moka pots!
Arabica or Robusta
Arabica coffee beans are the most popular because they are sweeter, fruitier, and more acidic than other varieties. Robusta has a smoky aftertaste that has been compared to burnt rubber. However, it contains more caffeine, which might be a good or bad thing depending on your preferences.
If you want a sweeter, fruitier flavor, make sure to look for 100% Arabica coffee beans on the label.
Pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are not used in the production or processing of organic beans. They’re usually grown at high altitudes in the mountains. So, to avoid any additional chemical intake, Certified organic beans are always a superior alternative.
Introduction of the Moka Pot
In 1933, inventor Luigi De Ponti designed the Moka Pot for Alfonso Bialetti as a stovetop coffee maker. This revolutionary art deco coffee machine was soon popularized throughout Italy.
Its capacity to offer commercial espresso-like coffee to the typical home was praised (you have to remember that espresso was weaker during this time).
By the late 1950s, the Moka Pot had spread throughout Europe, and North America, North Africa, and the Middle East had taken note of the brewer.
What is the Moka pot made of?
The Moka is an octagonal device made with aluminum or stainless steel with bakelite handles. It’s a straightforward brewing process that deserves to be included in the ongoing canon of coffee invention and innovation. There are three primary parts to the Moka pot. At the bottom of the pot is a water chamber that contains the water to be heated. Ground coffee is placed in a coffee basket over that (also called the filter funnel). The brewed coffee is collected in the top chamber (collector) and kept calm until you pour the strong brew.
How does a Moka pot work?
This is how a Moka Pot is used for brewing. The bottom chamber is filled with water, and the metal filter is placed above it, along with coffee grinds.
When the water in the Moka pot boils, the steam increases the pressure in the filter, extracting the coffee and sending it up into the top chamber.
Meanwhile, the valve keeps the pressure from rising too high. The lower chamber relieves the pressure by releasing water vapors into the top chamber, resulting in gurgling sounds.
Close the cover, remove it from the stove, and pour out the powerful brew as soon as the bubbling noise is heard.
Moka pots, in comparison to other espresso machines, are much easier to clean and maintain. There’s no bother, no fuss. Dump the grounds, disassemble the parts, and remove the filter basket once your Moka pot has cooled. Rinse each part well with warm water. Using a soft cloth, wipe off the pieces. Any remaining water can cause metal corrosion, so make sure everything is dry, especially if you’re using an aluminum Moka pot.
How to brew coffee using a Moka pot
If you are looking for the full version of how to brew coffee with a Moka pot and more information about this coffee machine, I invite you to read our article about the best methods to make espresso at home.
Below you can find a summary of what you have to do to brew your cup of coffee:
- Fill the bottom chamber with water;
- Grind the coffee (skip this step if you have ground coffee);
- Fill the coffee basket with ground coffee;
- Assemble the Moka pot (upper chamber, filter screen, etc.);
- Heat things up by placing the brewer on the stove;
- Check the level of coffee in your brew and mix it around;
- Serve and enjoy the greatest coffee you’ve ever had at home!
How can I grind beans if I don’t have a coffee grinder?
A food processor, an immersion blender, or a blender can all be used. Coffee grinders, on the other hand, are meant to get the precise grind, so if you’re serious about your coffee, get one.
Is it a good idea to keep my beans in the fridge?
No! They should be kept sealed and chilly, but not in the refrigerator or freezer. Keep them dry and store them in an airtight, opaque container.
Is pre-ground or whole the best choice?
This is a personal preference, but if you want freshness, whole beans are the way to go. Pre-ground beans are ideal for those who want to save time.
Do I need to use a coffee tamper if I use a Moka pot?
Because the pressure in a Moka pot is significantly lower than in an espresso machine, you should not tamp it. If the grounds are excessively compact, the hot water will move too slowly through, causing over-extraction.
Why does my Moka Pot coffee taste bitter?
A bitter Moka Pot coffee can be caused by a variety of factors, including over-extraction (fix-pre-heat the water) or the use of low-grade or stale coffee beans.
The Moka pot is a beautiful device that can make some of the best coffee. Combine it with some good dark roasts or Cuban-style coffee and you are sure to make top-notch coffee.
Marcelo is a filmmaker and passionate barista on the side. He spends his free time cooking up new and exciting recipes – and drinking too much coffee in the process.