At Grounds we have invested in some state of the art, top of the range coffee machines to ensure we are bringing high quality espresso to every cup.
However, these machines can be very large and costly meaning they are often not suitable for everyday household use. Therefore, the stove top ‘Moka Pot’ may be the ideal alternative for coffee lovers who are after the same great taste and brewing experience from the comfort of their own home.
Main Differences Between Moka Pot vs Espresso Machine
The main differences between the Moka pot vs espresso machine are:
- Moka pots brew using only 1 to 2 bars of pressure, whereas espresso machines use 8 to 10 bars of pressure.
- Moka pots are simple brewers with limited functionality. They need only a stove top to operate whereas espresso machines usually need to be wired/plumbed in with far more intricate mechanisms and controls.
- Moka pots are much easier to brew with, whereas espresso machines usually need at least some barista skills in order for someone to create a decent shot.
- Moka pots are inexpensive, landing usually somewhere between £15-£45, whereas espresso machines cost hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds.
- Moka pots take around 5 minutes to brew, whereas espresso machines extract a shot in 10 to 30 seconds.
On the common side, both are designed to make concentrated coffee with rich, complex flavours making them wonderful tools for any coffee enthusiast.
Now that you know the basics, let’s look into the origin of the Moka Pot in a little more detail…
Invented by the Italian engineer, Alfonso Bialetti in 1933 the Moka Pot was named after the city of Mocha, in Yemen, which was renowned for the quality of its coffee. Such instrument was designed to brew coffee by passing boiling water, pressurised by steam through grounded coffee, into the chamber above.
Essentially, the Moka Pot is made up of 3 components; chamber (A), the basket (B) and chamber (C). The bottom chamber (A) contains water. When heated, a gradual increase in pressure occurs due to both the expansion of the enclosed air and the raised vapour pressure of the increasingly heated water. When pressure becomes high enough to force the water up the funnel and through the coffee grinds held in basket (B). After a few minutes, coffee will begin to pour into the upper collection chamber (C).
After the Second World War, the Italian design expanded all over the South Europe, becoming the standard way of making coffee in a domestic setting. Its popularity led to many manufacturers making copies or new designs inspired in the original Italian blueprint, leaving consumers spoilt for choice.
Because of their simple design, it’s easy to assume that operating a Moka pot is a walk in the park. However this is not necessarily true. If the measurements, heat and pressure are not regulated properly it is all to easy to end up with an under-extracted (weak) or over-extracted (bitter) cup of coffee.
It can take some time to confidently and consistently produce the perfect cup using a Moka Pot, but it’s easily doable if you are committed to the brewing process.
On the market today, Moka pots usually retail at around £35. They are simple, robust machines with only a few component parts to them meaning they are not delicate, easy to break, or costly to replace. Your only other expense may be purchasing filters (optional), which are incredibly cheap as well.
Where as Espresso makers are a costly investment in comparison. Capsule espresso makers, and basic automatic/semi-automatic models, will set you back hundreds of dollars, whilst the pro-level and super-automatic models may set you back thousands of dollars upwards.
Depending on the model you opt for, you may have to buy additional extras such as a grinder, frothing wand, and niche cleaning supplies. Replacement and repair costs are also high when it comes to espresso machines due to the intricacy of the parts in question.
Moka pot coffee is estimated to be 2 to 3 times stronger than regular drip coffee, where as espresso machines pull shots that are 5 to 8 times stronger than your average cup.
Whilst that means that both extraction methods create an intense and bold taste sensation, some of the nuanced flavours can be lost slightly in the Moka Pot brewing process in comparison to the espresso machine’s.
Moka pots are perfect for bringing a full body of flavour to the popular latte or cappuccino where as espresso machines really focus on the delicate undertones that are often missed when sampling coffee.
Espresso machines can be very large and heavy, often requiring plumbing or at least access to an adequate power source, depending on the model. Not only this but they also require far more intricate methods of cleaning, all in all making them the enemy of convenience in a domestic lifestyle.
On the other hand, Moka Pots are lightweight, portable and very easy to clean making them easy to store and the ideal travel buddy for individuals who love to explore the great outdoors without missing out on their morning cup of Joe.
In summary, although the quality of the espresso machine is absolutely unchallengeable, it is impossible to ignore it’s downfalls when it comes to domestic integration.
The Moka Pot falls just short of the espresso machine in minor details however it’s positives far outweigh that of it’s rivals in terms of bringing commercial quality coffee into your everyday life. It is easy to use, easy to transport and doesn’t break the bank making the Moka Pot the perfect ‘at home’ alternative to the coffee machine…
You can get your very own Moka Pot by heading to our own online store at https://groundscafe.uk/product/moka-pot/