If you like the taste of rich, bold coffee in the morning but do not want to buy an expensive espresso machine, We have got some good news for you!
There are two simple and affordable ways to make coffee that tastes almost like espresso. They are called a moka pot and an Aeropress, and they both use a little bit of pressure to make the coffee taste stronger and more intense.
Now, you might be wondering which one to choose. That depends on what’s important to you. Both methods have some things in common but also some differences.
So let’s start by talking about Aeropress vs. moka pot, where they came from, and how they work, along with their features, benefits, and potential drawbacks.
Aeropress vs. Moka pot at a Glance
|Brewing method||Immersion and pressure||Stovetop espresso|
|Grind size||Medium fine||Medium-coarse to medium fine|
|Brewing time||1-2 minutes||8-10 minutes|
|Coffee quality||Smooth, clean cup with less bitterness||Rich, intense, and bold coffee with slight bitterness|
|Caffeine content||50-100 mg||90-120 mg|
|Capacity||1 cup at a time||1-3 cups at a time|
|Ease of use||Easy to clean||Moderate to clean|
|Portability||Portable and light weight||Not very portable, need a heat source for brewing|
Note: The comparison is based on general features, and there may be variations depending on specific models and brewing techniques.
What is an Aeropress?
The Aeropress coffee maker is a relatively new coffee brewing device introduced in 2005. Despite its young age, it has quickly become a favorite among coffee enthusiasts who love experimenting with their brews.
This brewer is made of lightweight plastic and is designed to be compact and user-friendly.
The Aeropress coffee maker uses a combination of steeping and pressure to make small cups of concentrated coffee. You will need to heat the water separately and purchase paper filters to use it.
But once you have these items, you can brew coffee with Aeropress in a breeze. Moreover, it’s incredibly easy to clean you only need to rinse it.
This innovative coffee brewing device was designed by engineer Alan Adler and hit the market in 2005. But, it wasn’t an instant hit as people were hesitant about its unconventional design.
However, over time, Aeropress’s simplicity, portability, and affordability benefits started to gain attention. But, where it won people over was in the taste.
The clean and smooth flavor it produces enhances the best qualities of the coffee beans, making it hard to resist. And now, it’s one of the most popular brewing methods for coffee lovers worldwide.
How does it work?
The Aeropress brewing method is a game-changer, as it uses the steeping and plunger’s downward pressure method to deliver a rich, bright, clean coffee profile.
This unique combination of flavors creates a taste experience like no other, making it a favorite among coffee lovers who appreciate a good balance of flavors.
Using an Aeropress to brew your coffee is easy and breezy! There are multiple ways to do it, but here’s a method that is the most straightforward:
- First, heat your water to 205F.
- Then, push the plunger out of the chamber and put the Aeropress paper filter in the filter cap.
- Twist the lid onto the chamber and place the gadget on a mug.
- Next, add one scoop of coffee grounds into the chamber and shake it to even them out.
- Now, pour water into the chamber up to the Level 1 indicator and give it a quick stir for about 10 seconds.
- Finally, insert the plunger and gently press down.
- If you feel some resistance, pause for a few seconds before continuing until you’ve pushed the plunger down.
- And there you have it – a delicious cup of rich coffee with the Aeropress!
- Compact and lightweight for portability.
- Short brew time.
- Makes espresso-style great coffee with a rich, flavorful taste.
- Affordable price.
- Functional but not visually appealing.
- Needs a separate water heating method.
- Requires specific paper filters.
- Makes only 4 cups at a time.
What is Moka Pot?
The Moka pot coffee maker is a stylish and classic Italian coffee maker that’s been around since 1933. Made of stainless steel and used on stovetops, these brewers produce a small but strong cup of coffee that is full-bodied and flavorful.
Using a Moka pot is easy and smart. These percolators use steam to pass through finely-ground coffee, producing a concentrated cup of coffee.
Related Read: How Long to percolate coffee for?
Once upon a time in Italy, a clever metalworker named Alfonso Bialetti designed a simple yet ingenious contraption called the Moka pot, or stovetop espresso maker, in 1933.
It was a three-chambered steel pot that could be used on any household stovetop to produce a rich and flavorful cup of coffee.
Bialetti’s Moka pot design was so effective and efficient that it had stood the test of time, becoming a timeless classic like the French press. In fact, the Bialetti Moka Express, which is still one of the most popular moka pots worldwide, has remained virtually unchanged for almost a century!
With its timeless and iconic design, the Moka pot symbolizes Italian innovation and craftsmanship, delivering a unique and authentic coffee experience that has captured the hearts of coffee lovers worldwide.
How does it work?
Using steam pressure, the moka pot pushes hot water through the filter and into the top chamber of the pot, creating a robust and flavorful coffee concentrate.
Brewing coffee with a moka pot is easy:
- Fill the bottom brewing chamber with water up to the safety valve. This valve ensures that the pressure inside the moka pot doesn’t get too high and causes accidents.
- Put ground coffee into the filter. You can use a fine to medium grind for the best results.
- Then, place the filter on top of the bottom chamber.
- Screw the top chamber on to assemble the whole thing. The top compartment is where the brewed coffee will collect.
- Turn the stove to medium heat and place the moka pot on it. It’s important to use medium heat, not high, as this can cause the coffee to burn and ruin the flavor. Keep the lid open while it’s on the stove.
- When you hear a gurgling sound, that’s your cue to remove it from the stove and serve!
- Available in 3, 6, 9, and 12-ounce cup sizes.
- Classic and stylish design adds aesthetic value to your stove.
- Produces robust and flavorful coffee quality with a traditional percolation method.
- Affordable price point.
- Takes time to master the brewing process.
- Requires a stove or fire for operation.
- Cleaning can be difficult.
- Brew time is longer, at around 10 minutes.
Aeropress vs. Moka Pot- Key differences
Here are some primary differences between Aeropress vs. moka pot coffee makers.
Ease Of Use
The Aeropress is easier to use than the Moka pot. Simply add coffee grounds paper filters, and hot water to create your coffee.
With a Moka pot coffee maker, you need to manually control how long it stays on the stove or any other heat source, making the brewing method more complicated. While this gives you more control over the process, it requires more effort.
The Moka pot and Aeropress are great options for coffee lovers, but they differ in brewing time.
You can expect the brewing process to take around 10 minutes with a Moka pot. While it only takes a minute to set up the pot with water and ground coffee, you’ll need to wait for the water to boil and then for the coffee to brew.
It’s important to note that the brewing time can vary based on your stovetop and the specific Moka pot you’re using.
On the other hand, Aeropress is known for its quick brewing time. Once you’ve boiled water and added it to the Aeropress, you can expect the brewing process to take only about 1-2 minutes.
The exact time will depend on the brewing method you choose, but overall, Aeropress is a faster option.
Let’s get real, cleaning coffee equipment is not the most fun task, but it is however necessary.
Be careful if you are using a Moka Pot coffee maker because it gets hot! You must wait until it cools down before tossing the grounds and rinsing it with cold water.
On the other hand, Aeropress is the king of quick and easy clean-up. With its tight clump of brewed grounds, you only need to push it out and rinse the base with hot water. No fuss, no mess.
An Aeropress coffee maker brews one cup at a time, which takes approximately 1-2 minutes. However, it is pretty reasonable to brew several cups in a row due to the ease and speed of the brewing process.
On the other hand, Moka pots come in a range of sizes from 1-cup all the way up to a 12-cup option. The brew time for a Moka pot is approximately 10 minutes, regardless of the size.
With their affordable price point, consider a smaller size for everyday use (e.g., 1-3 cups) and a larger one (e.g., 6-12 cups) tucked away for when you entertain.
For a delectable cup of coffee, it is crucial to use the appropriate coffee size when adding it to boiling water.
A fine grind is recommended whether you are using a Moka Pot or an Aeropress. This grind type should resemble table salt’s texture, which is fine and thin. This consistency works best for these particular brewing devices.
The Moka Pot and Aeropress coffee brewers can produce a flavorful, full-bodied java resembling espresso. Still, they cannot fully replicate the pressure of an actual espresso machine.
While both brewing methods offer a tasty cup of coffee, the Moka Pot produces a significantly more potent brew, which is why it is commonly referred to as a stovetop espresso maker.
The taste of Moka coffee is distinct from that of Aeropress coffee, primarily due to its different types of filters. The Moka Pot uses a metal filter that allows some small particles and oils to enter the coffee, resulting in a rich, dark taste with some texture.
On the other hand, Aeropress uses paper filters that do not let particles through, producing a clean and bright cup of coffee. However, there are also metal filters available for Aeropress.
The caffeine content is an important consideration when deciding between two brewing methods.
An Aeropress coffee generally contains between 50-100mg of caffeine, varying depending on the type of finely ground coffee beans used.
Moka pot coffee, alternatively, is typically more concentrated with 90-120mg of caffeine, but the actual amount can vary based on the type of grounds used.
So, the Moka pot is the better option if you prefer a more robust coffee.
Making an Espresso
Espresso shots are beloved by coffee drinkers, and although neither of these brewers can make a genuine espresso, the Moka Pot coffee maker is more adept at producing espresso-style coffee.
It uses a pressure of approximately 1.5 bars, lower than an espresso machine, so the outcome is not identical to a genuine espresso.
In comparison, the Aeropress generates between 0.35 to 0.75 bars of pressure, providing a maximum of 50 pounds of pressure to create your coffee drink.
Value for money
The original Aeropress coffee brewing device comes in a single model that retails for $40-$45. A similarly-sized Bialetti Moka Express also costs around $40-$45, with larger models carrying a slightly higher price tag.
However, many other brands offer stovetop espresso makers at lower prices that are just as high-quality, minus the Bialetti branding and accompanying prestige.
Both the Moka pot and Aeropress are built to last, with the metal Moka pot being arguably more rugged. However, the rubber seal on a Moka pot often wears out first, so they tend to have similar lifespans.
For coffee lovers on the go, the AeroPress coffee maker is an ideal choice due to its portability. Its slim and robust design makes it effortless to pack in a carry-on or backpack without adding significant weight.
With some manual grinders compact enough to fit into the AeroPress chamber, it’s the ultimate travel brewing setup.
On the other hand, Moka pots are reasonably durable and can be taken camping or on a road trip, but they can be cumbersome and add weight, depending on their size.
Smaller models may be more manageable but may still be inconvenient to transport.
Both of these two coffee makers are highly durable. The Aerpress is constructed mainly of plastic, making it sturdy and resistant to breakage.
Meanwhile, Moka pots are made from metal, enabling them to be used on open flames or stove burners. They are exceptionally robust and have a long lifespan.
In fact, both devices are likely to outlast pricier espresso machines, and with proper care and maintenance, they can serve you for a lifetime.
Moka Pot only needs water and fresh grounds, while Aeropress requires additional equipment like filters, a paddle, and a scoop.
A gooseneck kettle is recommended for Aeropress to control water flow and prevent burning your fingers. However, a kettle and burr grinder is all you need for Moka Pot.
The Bottom Line- What to choose?
Get ready to perfect your latte art with these espresso-making alternatives. While neither the Moka Pot nor the Aeropress can make an authentic espresso, its longstanding tradition has proven its worth for centuries.
Its bittersweet, strong flavor fools even the most experienced espresso connoisseurs.
Meanwhile, Aeropress provides a scientific approach to brewing, delivering a subtly sweet taste with its manually pressured design.
Is Aeropress as strong as espresso?
Aeropress is not as strong as espresso but can produce a concentrated coffee similar to espresso.
What roast of coffee is best for Aeropress?
Any roast of coffee can be used for Aeropress, but medium to light roasts are a popular choice.
Is Aeropress worth the hype?
Aeropress is worth the hype for its convenience, versatility, and brew quality, though the final cup is not similar to an authentic espresso.
Do I need espresso beans for Aeropress?
Espresso beans are not necessary for Aeropress, but high-quality coffee beans are recommended for the best taste.
Can you use regular ground coffee in an AeroPress?
Regular ground coffee can be used in an Aeropress, but a finer grind is ideal for a more potent brew.
Is Moka Pot coffee healthy?
Moka pot coffee is generally considered healthy in moderation and contains less caffeine than drip coffee.
Do Moka pots leach aluminum?
Moka pots made with untreated aluminum may leach small amounts of aluminum into the coffee, but this can be avoided by using pots with non-reactive coatings or stainless steel.