Both moka pot and espresso machines are coffee brewing appliances. Both have their advantages and have their fan following. While everyone loves the rich taste of espresso, Moka pot proponents like its cheaper price and simple method of brewing coffee. Espresso provides concentrated coffee, and having your espresso machine is a dream of many of us.
Let’s compare both moka pot and espresso and see how both are similar or different from each other.
What is a Moka Pot?
Moka pot is a coffee maker that makes concentrated coffee with pressure. It produces rich and intense coffee that may not produce as strong as espresso but still makes a better brew than a French press.
The moka pot uses boiling water to force steam through coffee grounds and thus produce a strong brew.
What is Espresso?
Espresso is an expensive machine to make strong and rich coffee. It uses the same pressure to pass steam through the coffee grounds, but it uses pistons or pumps to force the steam, giving the intense flavor. High pressure and a low water ratio to coffee give espresso its distinct rich taste.
Let's look at some of the differences between moka pot vs espresso.
Moka Pot VS Espresso
Both coffee brewing machines use pressured water to pass through the grounded coffee layer. As a result, brewed coffee is intense and rich in flavor.
Despite the same pressure technique, moka pot and espresso have different tastes. That is because of the level of pressure.
Moka pot provides 1-2 bar pressure compared to espresso machines, which produce 6-12 bar pressure.
The main difference between a moka pot and an espresso machine is the cost. An espresso machine is expensive; generally, you will find its price between $100 to $1000 dollars depending on the model.
There are some cheaper models, but they are not good enough to spend money on. So you can find a good espresso machine for between $100-$300.
Moka pot prices are extremely low when compared to an espresso machine. You can find a good quality moka pot within $25-30, some even at a lower price.
Some might consider espresso coffee to be superior in taste to moka pot, but not everyone like the intense coffee. The espresso machine makes a dark and intense brew due to less water ratio and pressure.
Moka pot coffee is not naturally as intense and concentrated as espresso due to the lack of pressure, but that does not mean it is not good. In fact if we compare the results to other brewing methods like French press, or flat white coffee, it makes good, intense flavor.
If you prefer good coffee that is not too intense or dark, then moka pot is fine, but espresso takes the lead for a concentrated bitter flavor.
Moka pot has less parts, and are easier to take apart than an espresso machine. The filter rubber, lid, and everything can be detached and rinsed under running water.
Cleaning of espresso machine is difficult. There are parts that you cannot reach and clean properly. There are, in fact, special solutions to clean the machine for some machines.
Depending on the model, the method to clean can be different. You also need to descale the machine from time to time.
Just like cleaning, maintaining a moka pot for long use is easier. It has three to four parts. All are easy to clean, and with proper care, you can keep using the moka pot for years.
The sealing gasket may get damaged from time to time and may need replacement, but the moka pot itself can last a long time.
An espresso is a sophisticated machine with a complicated design. It is difficult to maintain; you need to descale the machine. Because of their complex design, espresso machines have more chances of breaking down.
There are a lot of coffee-based drinks that use espresso. True that you can use moka pot coffee or even flat coffee but espresso drinks are used in too many drinks as the base.
You can replace moka pot coffee as a base as well, but espresso is a very concentrated form of coffee, and using two shots in any drink gives the intense flavor and only takes up one-third of the space in a glass.
Moka pot coffee is not as concentrated as espresso. You need to use more volume to have the same taste in drinks.
Brewing time depends on variables like whether or quality of roast and grind quality. Still, an espresso machine gives a concentrated shot of coffee within five minutes.
However, if you have to make a strong good quality coffee in a moka pot, it may take up to ten minutes. Now it's up to you whether five extra minutes are worth having an espresso machine.
With an espresso machine, you can make 2-4 shots of coffee at a time depending on your machine. For moka pots, depending on the size, you can make 1-14 cups of coffee with a moka pot.
Moka pots require only stovetop heating. You can take your pot anywhere, like camping or anywhere, as long as you can provide heat from the bottom.
Espresso, on the other hand, requires electricity. And it's a heavy machine, so you cannot carry it around. It can prepare coffee in your kitchen, and that's it. You cannot take your coffee machine camping or on an RV trip.
Moka pots are short and easy to store. It generally weighs less than 2 pounds. Once you have made coffee, clean it and place it in a cabinet.
The espresso machine takes up more space and stays on the kitchen counter. Depending on the design, it can be anywhere from 5-20 pounds. An average espresso machine is also heavier than moka pot. So moka pot is a lot more portable than an espresso machine.
Ease of Use
Both moka pot and espresso machines are easy to use. There is not much complexity involved in both. However, moka pot is a simple appliance and does not have the varieties and functionalities of espresso machines. Using a machine can be a little more complex than a simple moka pot.
Both espresso and moka pot is excellent coffee makers, and saying one is better than the other will not be fair. Espresso gives intense and concentrated coffee, and you can make a lot of drinks with base espresso drinks.
With moka pots, you can have inconsistent results, and extracting the perfect cup of coffee may require some practice. Coffee may not be intense like espresso, but some people admire the simple and less bitter taste of moka pots.