Moka Pot VS. Espresso Machine – Which One Is Better?

Every coffee lover knows how hard it is to answer if anyone asks them what their favorite coffee is because coffee simply is a language of love to them.

However, heading out to your favorite coffee shop to pick up your favorite kind may not always be easy nor pocket-friendly.

Having a coffee maker at home can make things a bit easier.

Chances are you are looking to purchase a coffee maker, and you have stumbled across our article, wondering which one is better. Let’s dive into finding out everything about Mokapot vs. espresso machine, all the differences, similarities, comparisons- and which one you should buy.

Moka Pot

The Moka Pot has become an essential kitchen utensil found in many homes across the world; it is a coffee machine that can help brew coffee very easily and quickly.

Moka Pot

It brews coffee that is intensely flavored, thick, and rich in aroma. It is most commonly known as ‘the stovetop espresso maker’ and used as an alternative to espresso machines.

The Espresso Machine

Contrary to the Moka pot, which is a simple stovetop mechanism, the espresso machine is an automatic or semi-automatic electronic brewer. Espresso machine makes true espresso for the espresso lovers- dense, enriched, concentrated coffee that is bold (but not bitter) in flavor and aroma.

Espresso Machine

The Espresso Myth

All over the world (and all over the internet), the Moka pot is introduced as a budget-friendly substitute to espresso maker- and we don’t mind if that is how you came to know of this simple coffee maker.

The similarities in coffee brewed from the Moka pot and the espresso machine stop only at the fact that these mechanisms both heat water and build pressure inside the brewer to produce concentrated coffee.

A true espresso made from an actual espresso machine undergoes 8-10 bars of pressure, giving it the signature decadent aroma and richness and the beautiful layer of thick foam known as crema. On the other hand, coffee brewed from Moka pot on a stovetop undergoes a pressure of only 1-2 bars.

Although it does produce a rich and bold flavor of coffee, the signature foam/crema is missing. Technically it may be as close to making espresso you can go without an actual espresso machine, but the total outcome is nothing like that of a real espresso.

Moka Pot VS. Espresso Machine 

Let’s put both Moka pot and espresso machine head to head;

Build and Mechanism

You may have seen Moka pots of many shapes and varieties, but any Moka pot has three main components:

(i) a cylinder/boiler to contain and heat up water,

(ii) a filter for the ground coffee, and

(iii) a top collector chamber to collect the coffee once its brewed, with a removable filter.

Put fresh water inside the boiler (bottom compartment), and ground coffee in the filter funnel (middle compartment), and place the pot on the stovetop.

As the water inside the cylinder section comes to a boil, steam produces the pressure, which makes the water go up through the ground coffee filter. The topmost chamber stores this smooth, rich coffee brew.

Unlike the Moka pot, most espresso machines are automatic or semi-automatic electricity-powered devices. The sophisticated mechanism can navigate the level of pressure, water flow, extraction time, etc., to brew the perfect cup of coffee every time.

The Espresso machine also has three parts/components. It also uses the boiler that is built in to create pressure. The similarities between the two brews stop right at this point.

And the espresso maker has valve-like group heads to control the pressure and regulate the hot water, also pushes the water through the tightly packed coffee grounds. Next, coffee is pushed through the small fitted pipe/way to fill up the cup.

Coffee Strength/Flavor

The Moka pot produces coffee that is a couple of times more enriched and concentrated than the regular brewed drip coffee. It is a deep, dark, bold coffee- the boldness which can very easily turn the coffee bitter.

Some practice and experience can solve this problem quite easily. However, it is easy to end up brewing a burnt, metallic taste. The stovetop mola pot doesn’t produce the nice thick layer of foam known as crema as well.

Meanwhile, the espresso machine produces espresso shots, which are 5-8 times denser and more concentrated than regular brewed drip coffee.

These shots are also very intense and flavorful, with a beautiful and perfect layer of foam/crema. The probability of brewing bitter but not bold coffee is also present here and can be avoided by being careful.

Versatility Of Caffeine Drinks

Brews from Moka pot and espresso are both pretty strong and concentrated. So, you can combine other ingredients (milk, creamer, sugar, etc.) and create more variations of coffee beverages.

Comparatively, espresso is more densely concentrated. The caffeine and flavor are more tightly packed. So, they are a little more versatile and can be paired to make other drinks more easily.

Machine Durability 

Moka pots are simple mechanism-based brewers, made up of only a few uncomplicated parts. They are free of wires, electrical technicality, or delicate, easily breakable parts. Moka pots are on the more budget-friendly side, thus can be easier to replace if broken.

Espresso machines are complicated automatic and semi-automatic brewers that are mostly electrical power dependent. Made up of many different delicate and detailed components, they can be more prone to damage and destruction.

If taken good care of, they might last you a very long time without a doubt. But if things go south, you have to call an expert to fix it, and even fixing it can be extremely costly.

Ease of Use

It takes a little time to learn how to use a Moka pot; in fact, it is easier to learn to brew with a Moka pot than with an espresso machine as a beginner.

As espresso is a highly concentrated caffeine beverage, so the slightest mistake can make or break your cup of coffee. You have to look for a lot of little details to ensure you have a consistent and good quality of brew every time.

Related article: Gaggia Classic vs Rancilio Silvia – Which One Is Better?


The decision of which coffee maker/brewer is better or which one you should buy depends on you and you solely. How you like your coffee or which you prefer over others are your personal opinion, and you surely should invest accordingly.

But it is important to remember that you can’t have good coffee no matter what brewer you use if you use stale, bland, or low-grade coffee beans to make coffee grinds. Make sure you invest in quality coffee beans for a quality outcome.

We have laid out facts and information piece by piece, and we hope they help you settle the old Moka pot VS espresso machine war and help you determine/decide which one is better for you from a personal viewpoint.

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