Stovetop Coffee

You’ve got the moka pot, now you need the coffee. Let’s find the perfect one!


Moka pots are the coffee brewing devices you’ll see in every Italian kitchen. They are a bit of an institution in Italy, where caffè lovers swear by their beloved family moka pot. The older the moka pot the better, they say, as the accumulating oils make for an even tastier final cup.

But you don’t need an Italian nonna or a generations-old moka pot to make totally awesome coffee. Nope! A good quality moka pot and some fresh, hand-roasted coffee will do just nicely. Grinding those lovely beans is key for getting top-tasting coffee. Each brew device requires a slightly different grind and you can adapt grind sizes to suit your taste. Your moka pot is a powerhouse of rich, flavourful coffee, so enjoy it to the max with the perfect grind!


cup of two chimps coffee on a saucer


Tell me more!

Okey-dokey! Moka pots are pressure devices, which means they work by using high pressure to push the hot water through the grounds. Although they’re not as baby-faced as the fifteen-year-old AeroPress, the moka pot is still relatively new in the world of coffee. Unlike the espresso machine, which was first designed in the late 19th century, the moka pot wasn’t invented until 1933. It was produced by Bialetti, an Italian company that originally made shell-moulded aluminium goods.

Then things really took off; by the 50s, the moka pot was causing a scene worldwide. And with good reason. The cool octagonal design makes the moka pot stylish enough to put on your mantlepiece. Just don’t put it on the top shelf because once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be wanting moka pot moments on repeat.


Moka pot and coffee


Not just a pretty face

Moka pots look awesome. Sorry, we’ve got to say it again; we just can’t get enough of their chic art deco vibes. But taste is what you’re here for, so even bucket-loads of class is no use if the coffee doesn’t taste gorgeous.

Good job it does, then! And oh my… it really does. Moka pot coffee has a heavier, more tactile mouthfeel than pour over methods, which are more tea-like in texture. The ample amount of ground coffee you start with creates a strong, concentrated coffee espresso-lovers will adore. But it’s not all fist-punching and powerful; moka pot coffee is at the same time rounded and balanced. There’s some sweetness, too, if you brew over a moderate heat.

Moka pot coffee is also really flexible. It can basically do the splits. You can drink it pure ‘n’ simple as you would an espresso or use it in a mocha, Irish coffee or latte. If a drink contains coffee, you’re moka pot can probably make it!


looking inside the top of a bialetti stove top


What roast type is best for a moka pot?

The roast type you choose is very much a matter of taste. You might prefer coffees with more acidity and so opt for lighter roasts. Alternatively, it might be the richer, caramelised sweetness of a dark roast that tickles your tastebuds.

If you’re new to moka pot brewing, we recommend trying a medium roast (also called light espresso roast) to start with. Lighter roasts have only had one-two minutes of development time and are more suited to methods that don’t bring out so much of the coffee’s acidity, such as a cafetière . Nor are dark roasts best for moka pots: they can taste too bitter in the final cup. Getting the bitterness balance right can take a bit of practice (the high temperature of the stove will start to extract some of the natural bitterness in the coffee grounds), so it helps to start off with a medium, rounded coffee. Mid-way between light and dark is best: choose a medium or medium/dark and you’ll be good to go!


coffee roasting by hand


Let’s see some good coffee

…Of which we have plenty! If you’re looking for a medium/dark roast with lots of chocolaty, biscuity, nougat-y goodness, we recommend More Coal for the Internet. Or, why not try Canoeing in a Cornish Pasty?  Sweet like caramel with the citrus tang of summer tangerines, this medium/dark roast will taste lovely in a moka pot. If it’s decaf you’re after, try Knitting Badger. We roast this Ugandan coffee medium/dark to balance its cranberry tang with its homely undertones of oat and cinnamon.

We can see your mouth is watering but don’t worry, no one is looking.


Knitting Badger and tin


Find that grind

Grinding is one of the most important parts of the journey. The texture of the coffee grounds will determine how fast or slow the coffee extracts, and this has a knock-on effect on flavour. If the grind is too coarse, the coffee under-extracts because the water will run straight through the gaps between the grounds. Over-extraction, meanwhile, is caused by grounds that are too fine and dusty and will create a coffee that tastes bitter and dry in your mouth. Icing sugar-like grounds are perfect for some devices (cue espresso machine), but your moka pot requires something a bit coarser. If it looks like rough sugar then you’re on your way!

We’re more than happy to grind for you – just select ‘moka pot’ or ‘stove top’ in the dropdown menu of our online coffee shop. Easy as pie!


coffee in sample trowel from roaster


How much do I use?

You’ll find specific ratios in our other brew guides, but we can’t give you one here. That’s because each moka pot brand is unique in size. It might sound like we are sending you into the brew blind, but moka pot measuring is actually the simplest there is. Why? Because all you have to do is fill up the basket with coffee and the water chamber with (you guessed it) water. No measuring required! To give you some idea of the ratio, a moka pot coffee is brewed with a generous amount of coffee – twice as much as you would use in a filter!  #caffeine

Because the coffee to water ratio isn’t a variable you can play around with here, we alter other parts of the brew to change the final taste. You could experiment with the brew times (longer brews bring out more of the beans’ natural bitterness), heat (less intense heat creates a slightly subtler flavour) or grind (a coarser grind will give a richer cup that is a touch less bitter) to create a bespoke brew method. Ummmm delish!


Pouring coffee from Moka pot


Fancy having a potter with your moka pot? Choose an authentic Bialetti moka pot and some awesome, freshly roasted coffee in our online shop!


Fresh coffee this way!

Pst – Have an induction cooker? No problemo – check out our Bialetti Induction moka pots.

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