It can be tough to determine the best coffee brewing system for your home and lifestyle, especially since there are so many options out there.
However, if you’ve narrowed your choices down to the Nespresso coffee maker and a Moka pot, read on to learn a bit more about them and which one works best for you…
Nespresso and Moka Pots: A Quick Recap
The Nespresso company got its start back in 1976 when the first machine was developed by Swiss inventor Eric Favre. He was inspired by local cafés and coffee shops while in Rome and designed a revolutionary method of brewing coffee grounds in capsules.
He designed this new method to make it easy and convenient to brew quality espresso at home, without the use of a traditional espresso machine.
The company partnered with Nestlé in 1986 and released the first Nespresso machine. Today, Nespresso is one of the biggest names in the coffee bean industry, with sales of over 14 billion (that’s right, a billion) coffee pods per year.
Moka pots also originated in Italy. Back in 1919, a man named Alfonso Bialetti ran a workshop in Crusinallo, Italy, where he made aluminum goods.
Eventually, that workshop developed into a studio where products were designed and produced using shell molding.
In 1933, Bialetti worked with inventor Luigi del Ponti to produce the first Moka Express, which became an essential appliance in Italian homes from that point forward.
Moka Pot vs Nespresso: What’s the Difference?
If you compare the Moka Pot to the Nespresso machine, you’ll notice they don’t share many similarities. In fact, they seem like they’re made for two different types of coffee drinkers.
On one hand, you have a thoroughly modern and completely automatic coffee machine, and on the other, you have a classic aluminum stovetop coffee pot. While both of these machines work well as single-serve brewing systems, they’re far more different than they are alike.
Not only do the Nespresso machine and Moka pot look completely different, but their brewing methods are also nearly opposite.
Nespresso machines will either use bars of pressure to create authentic espresso, or they’ll use centrifugal force inside the capsule to create an espresso-like coffee. They’re also fully automatic, and only need a couple of buttons pressed to begin brewing.
Moka pots brew coffee by building up hot steam pressure in the bottom chamber, forcing water up through the coffee grounds to produce strong and robust cups of coffee. These are manual coffee makers that need to be monitored during the entire brewing process.
Who Are Nespresso and Moka Pots Suited For?
Moka pots are a traveler’s best friend. To use a Moka pot, all you need is access to water and a stovetop (or even an open flame). This pot is a popular option for campers and adventurers who may not always have access to electricity.
In contrast, Nespresso machines are convenient, but not exactly portable. They’re fantastic options for those who want a daily coffee machine that will sit on their counter.
They’re also perfect for office use since the capsule brewing system will allow everyone to brew their own preferred cup of coffee.
Overall, both machines are excellent options for single coffee lovers who don’t plan on entertaining. Nespresso machines are designed specifically for single-serve brewing. As well, Moka pots come in different sizes, and a smaller one will also function as a single-serve brewer.
Nespresso Machines vs. Moka Pots: A Side-by-Side Comparison
Nespresso is known for providing a quality cup of coffee in a quick and convenient brewing system. A Nespresso machine is the answer for anyone who wants all the indulgent taste of a barista-worthy espresso shot, without the trip to a café or the bother of a traditional espresso machine.
Overall, Nespresso is an excellent option for anyone, regardless of their experience with espresso-based drinks.
What We Like:
- The two Nespresso lines offer a wide variety of coffee drinks, and the Original Line capsules offer even more variety thanks to their compatibility with third-party pods.
- There’s incredible variety in Nespresso’s machine lineup, and the machine’s brewing process will produce cafe-quality espresso with a rich, delicious crema.
- Many of the Nespresso machines include an integrated coffee pod receptacle, which is a convenient touch that makes brewing delicious coffee that much easier.
- Heavy coffee drinkers, or those who share the machine with multiple people, will appreciate the large, easy-to-remove water reservoirs.
What We Don’t Like:
- Not all Nespresso machines come with additional accessories like a milk frothing spigot or steam wand, which is a shame, considering they’re made for espresso drinks.
- VertuoLine machines create pressure using centrifusion, but they don’t create authentic espresso shots using bars of pressure. Instead, they create an “almost” espresso with a thick crema-like foam on top.
- Nespresso machines do one thing really well: espresso. Most models don’t have the option of brewing hot water and they aren’t made to brew other beverages like tea or hot chocolate.
- The espresso coffee made by Nespresso machines, especially by the VertuoLine machines, doesn’t tend to be hot enough.
- The cost of Nespresso capsules adds up over time, and if you have a Nespresso VertuoLine machine, you don’t have the option of using reusable coffee capsules or third-party pods.
The Bottom Line:
Nespresso machines are known to be one of the quickest and most convenient ways to upgrade your coffee game. Coffee aficionados love the easy and mess-free brewing process and the flavorful coffee drinks Nespresso can make.
Unfortunately, the cost of the pods tends to mount up over time, and while they’re not as expensive as a daily café visit, they’re considerably more expensive than an ordinary coffee maker.
Moka Pot Coffee Brewers
The Moka pot is an affordable, durable, and unique stovetop coffee maker that creates a distinct coffee taste that stands out against coffee shop options. Long-time Moka pot users love its simplicity and its space-saving design.
However, the Moka pot can’t match more automatic coffee makers in terms of convenience and brewing methods. There’s a bit of a learning curve every coffee fan must go through in order to get it right, which can be initially frustrating.
What We Like:
- Moka pots produce a strong and robust coffee that’s full of flavor. It also makes a great base for homemade cappuccinos, Americanos, or lattes.
- Once you get over the initial learning curve, the Moka pot is relatively easy to use, even for those who have little experience with coffee.
- Moka pot coffee is somewhere between an espresso and conventional drip coffee, which makes it a versatile option for whatever beverage you want to create.
- The Moka pot brews coffee in a matter of minutes, with only a little bit of prep work.
- The aluminum build is durable and will last you for years.
- The Moka pot doesn’t require any additional accessories such as paper filters.
What We Don’t Like:
- Moka pots only produce about 2 bars of pressure, so the resulting coffee won’t be “authentic” espresso – you also won’t get that trademark crema on top.
- Moka pots are known to produce bitter coffee.
- They require a source of heat such as a stovetop rather than an electrical outlet.
- They can be prone to messy leaks or boiling over if you’re not careful, so you have to monitor the machine at all times.
- They’re not the easiest coffee brewing system to clean.
- To get the best results, Moka pots require a consistent grind size that blade grinders can’t provide, so burr grinders are a must.
The Bottom Line:
Moka pots are an excellent option for anyone looking to create quality Italian-style coffee from anywhere. They’re small, simple, portable, and durable, making them the perfect option for travelers.
However, Moka pots can be fussy, and brewing with one can take a bit of time to master. Since it’s a fully manual system, this isn’t the coffee maker for someone who wants to “set it and forget it.”
By now you likely have a better idea of which coffee brewing system is right for you. Do you prefer being more involved with the brewing process and want a durable and portable device? Then you’ll want to go with the Moka pot.
However, if you prefer to sit back, relax, and let the machine do the work for you, then you’ll want to go with a Nespresso machine.
As well, remember that cost can be a factor. For instance, when you pay for Nespresso machines and pods, you’re paying for convenience. Moka pots are less expensive, but they’re also fussier and take time to learn. So, if you prefer convenience to cost, then we suggest the Nespresso machine.