When you think about it, there are about as many different ways to make coffee as there are coffee connoisseurs on earth. It’s a drink that can be personalized and tweaked to perfection, which is why we all have our favorite coffee brewing methods and tools for making it.
If you’re looking for a delicious cup of Joe and want to try something new, a Moka pot might be the way to go. Moka pots are simple stovetop coffee makers that use pressure to create a rich, flavorful coffee similar in strength to espresso.
But before you rush out and buy a Moka pot of your own, it’s important to know that not all Moka pots are created equally for every purpose. Moka pots come in a wide range of sizes, and you must understand which size is right for you so that you can get the best out of your morning coffee routine. Check out our tips below to help you determine the right Moka pot size for you!
What You Should Know About Moka Pots
How does a Moka Pot Work?
The Moka Pot is a classic Italian coffee maker made of aluminum and has three parts: the pot, the filter basket, and the base. It’s a simple construction that, given the necessary care, can brew perfectly crafted, high-quality coffee for decades without replacement.
But how does it work? The pot is filled with cold water and put on the heat. Once it starts boiling, the heat is turned down to a simmer, and coffee grounds are added to the filter. The heated water creates pressure that pushes through the fresh coffee in the filter up into the pot itself.
These humble coffee makers are often called stovetop espresso makers because the resulting coffee servings are strong and served in small portions, much like the shot of espresso you’d get at any coffee shop.
Check out an overview of the Moka Pot here:
Do Moka Pots Make Espresso?
There may be some confusion over whether Moka pots actually make espresso, but the quick answer is no, the bold coffee that a Moka pot produces isn’t technically espresso. The brewing process to make espresso uses a great deal of pressure, and a great espresso machine will deliver around 9 bars of pressure. The Moka pot simply won’t be able to produce that kind of pressure.
So while the coffee that it creates is undoubtedly strong, and you can use it to make espresso drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, and more, what you’re drinking doesn’t actually qualify as espresso. It can be classified more as an espresso-like coffee.
Why does Moka Pot Size Matter?
It may seem like a lot of fuss over nothing, but the size of your Moka pot will not only determine how much coffee you make but how strong it is and how long it takes to brew.
Finding the right size Moka pot is vital to ensure that you make the perfect cup of espresso-style coffee. If your pot is too small, your coffee will be weak, while a too large pot will make your coffee bitter.
Choosing the Right Moka Pot Size for You
What Moka Pot Sizes are Available?
There are six different sizes of Moka Pots available. The different sizes available in the Moka pot lineup are 3-cup, 6-cup, 8-cup, 10-cup, 12-cup, and 18-cup. The size you need depends on how much coffee you want to make at one time.
The standard size for a Moka pot is six cups, but the most common choice among coffee lovers is the 3-cup size. The exact amount of delicious coffee you’ll want to brew daily is up to you and your tolerance for “almost” espresso. Read on to learn more about how cups are measured and whether a large Moka pot is really right for you.
How Many Ounces is a “Cup” of Moka Pot Coffee?
The term “cup” is often used to describe the amount of coffee in a Moka pot, but what does that really mean? The problem is that there is no standard definition for a cup of coffee. Depending on where you are in the world, a cup could mean anywhere from 120 to 240 milliliters.
So what exactly does a “cup” mean in the context of a Moka pot? Unlike the standard 8-ounce cup you may be used to, a Moka pot cup uses the Italian definition of a single serving; 120 milliliters, or about two ounces. That doesn’t sound like much, but remember that Moka pots produce strong Italian-style coffee similar to espresso, and it’s traditionally served in 2-ounce portions.
Think of a 3-cup Moka pot as being able to create the equivalent of 3 shots of espresso, while an extra-large 18-cup Moka pot can produce 36 ounces of the super-strong coffee, enough for brunches, dinner parties, or coffee with friends.
There are plenty of ways to make your 2-ounce cup of coffee stretch, from adding water (a makeshift Americano) to adding it to milk in the form of lattes, macchiatos, or cappuccinos. Keep in mind how many servings of coffee you’ll actually be brewing in a day when determining the right size for your needs.
What to Consider When Choosing Your Moka Pot
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the size of your Moka pot. The first is how much coffee you plan on making at once. If you’re brewing for a small crowd, you’ll want something larger than if you’re making coffee for yourself.
The other thing to consider is how powerful your stovetop is. A small Moka pot on a weak stove may take forever to brew, while a large one on a powerful stove might scorch the coffee.
The second thing to consider is how strong you like your coffee. If you like your coffee strong enough to wake you up with a metaphorical punch in the face every morning, you may want a larger Moka pot so that you can drink the strong coffee straight.
If you prefer your coffee with lots of milk or creamer or simply want it to be the same strength as a regular cup of coffee, you’ll want to go with a smaller size and dilute the coffee with water or milk.
An Overview of the Moka Pot Sizes
The 3-cup Moka pot is the perfect size for people who either live alone, don’t drink much more than a shot of coffee to begin with, or travel frequently. Since it’s lightweight and doesn’t take up a lot of space, it’s a popular size for campers and backpackers. It makes about six ounces of coffee, which can be diluted with water for a standard 8 to 12-ounce mug of coffee, or it can serve 2-3 people Italian-style.
The 6-cup Moka pot is by far the most popular size for most coffee drinkers. It’s enough to deliver one very strong 12-ounce mug of coffee or a couple of servings to last you throughout your morning. It’s also a great option if you’re making coffee for two every morning.
If you’ve got a few regular coffee drinkers in your household, or you frequently like to entertain, or even if you’ve got a caffeine habit that just won’t quit, consider the larger size of the 8-cup Moka pot. It makes about 16 ounces of strong coffee, which can be diluted to serve several people, or guzzled throughout the workday. It’s even a good option if you want to make a pitcher of iced coffee all at once!
When it comes to the 10-cup, 12-cup, and 18-cup Moka pots, you’re unlikely to need that much coffee unless you’ve got a large household of coffee drinkers or you’re making coffee for your whole office every morning. It may be the right option for you if you’re into making batches of iced coffee to keep for a few days at a time.
But, before getting a Moka pot this size, really consider if you’re going to be making 20, 24, or 36 ounces of coffee at a time regularly (remember that the serving of coffee they produce is much stronger!).
Can a Large Moka Pot make Less coffee?
So you might be thinking to yourself, “Wait a minute, it seems silly that there are so many different size options. Can’t I just get a larger Moka pot and make the amount of coffee that I need on any given day?” We like the way you think, but unfortunately, the answer is no.
Because of how a Moka Pot is designed and how it utilizes pressure to create coffee, you can’t simply fill it with less hot water and ground coffee and expect to see the same results (we don’t blame you for wondering, though!).
You’ll have to choose a Moka pot suited to your everyday needs or buy a few different Moka pots in varying sizes. It’s not the most convenient option, but the Moka pot is a specialty coffee maker, so flexibility is key.
As you can tell, there’s a lot more that goes into this deceptively simple yet beautiful coffee maker than meets the eye. If you’ve never delved into the world of Italian-style coffee and Moka pots, we invite you to do so; after a bit of practice, you’ll wonder why you ever had a standard drip coffee maker!
We hope this article has broken down the varying Moka pot sizes and helped you determine which size may be right for you. Remember to keep in mind how strong you want your coffee, how many cups you’ll be drinking regularly, and how many people you’re serving in your household.
If you’re set on the Moka pot being your go-to coffee brewing system in the long run, it may be worth getting a couple of different sizes for a variety of occasions.