Moka Pot vs French Press: The Non-Automated Battle

By Evelina •  Updated: 04/17/22 •  9 min read

Coffee lovers all over the world are debating whether to use a Moka Pot or a French press.

Everybody in the community of coffee nerds has a clear opinion about which one makes the perfect drink. And views aren’t exactly useful when deciding between two items in the world of coffee.

That being said, there are 2 brewing techniques in specific that are called classics, and these are the Moka pot and the French press.

Moka Pot vs French Press

moka pot and french press coffee makers

These 2 have specific coffee-making types. While the Moka pot produces a solid brew, the French press or cafetiere produces a richer, fuller-bodied flavor. There are several distinctions between the two.

Do you have trouble with what to choose? We got you!

We’ll compare the Moka pot to the French press in terms of ease of use, comfort, and overall results below so you can decide which tool is better for having your caffeine fix each day!

We’re here to guide you to weigh the pros and cons of the two options and determine which is the better, more realistic solution for you and your cup of coffee.

The Moka Pot

moka pot coffee

What is a Moka Pot?

A Moka pot is an Italian stovetop coffee maker that produces a strong, espresso-like coffee. It consists of three parts: a bottom chamber that holds hot water, a middle chamber that holds the coffee grounds, and a top chamber that collects the brewed coffee.

The water is heated to boiling in the bottom chamber, and the resulting steam pressure pushes it up through the coffee grounds and into the top chamber. The result is a rich, full-bodied cup of coffee with a thick layer of crema on top. Moka pot history has its roots in Italy, dating back to the 1930s. It was invented by Alfonso Bialetti, who is credited with popularizing the stovetop espresso maker.

Read Also: Moka Pot Brewing Guide

What Moka Pot is Made from?

The Moka pot is a stove-top machine made of aluminum or steel (although electric models have begun to show up) that uses steam to boil its grounds.

How does the Moka Pot work?

Brewing coffee with a Moka pot is pretty simple once you get the hang of it. Fill the lower chamber with cold water and insert the filter basket.

Then add your ground coffee to the basket, making sure not to pack it too tightly. Screw on the top chamber and put the Moka pot on your stove, making sure that the valve is closed.

Heat up your water until it’s just before boiling point and then watch as it starts percolating up into the top chamber! Once all of the water has made its way up, remove from heat and serve.

Tip: You should always clean your Moka Pot after using it, to keep it as new as possible!

What Moka Pot Coffee Tastes Like?

Want espresso but can’t be at a cafe? The Moka Pot has got you covered. When I noticed it this way, I was satisfied since the Moka pot’s extraction is the nearest you can come to a high pressure (i.e., Espresso) extraction without an espresso device.



The Thin Grounds of The Moka Pot Coffee

The coffee for a Moka pot must be finely ground so that the stream flowing through it will do so at high speed, forcing the extraction of coffee taste and aroma.

The grind size required by each process is one of the most significant differences between the two methods.

The Perfect Moka Pot Crema!

stovetop espresso maker

Moka pots brew coffee under heat, identical to the mechanism used to make espresso. Moka pots, on the other hand, extract at a far lower pressure than espresso devices, but they aren’t necessarily a substitute.

It does, though, have a much more intense brew than drip or French press. It is also possible to achieve a bit of delicious crema in a Moka pot brew.

Brew Time

When researching a new brewing process, prep time is always a critical factor.

How much time do you want to waste making coffee? Is this for a fast breakfast in the morning or a relaxing weekend treat? Are you a patient person?

Once the water starts boiling, the extraction process is almost done. You can’t leave the pot unsupervised, though, because it’s very likely that you’ll eventually wind up with sour coffee. You’ll have 4-6 minutes from beginning to end if you ready your container of grounds ahead of time.

Easy Brewing

Moka pots do need little skill at first, and even the pros admit there is still space for technique development. The one main complaint about Moka pots is the probability of under-extraction, which occurs more often than you’d want.


When it comes to ground beans, the Moka pot is far more practical.

Though I still recommend buying whole bean coffee and grinding it yourself, this isn’t as necessary with Moka brewing.

Since it does not encourage the more gentle and soft tones of the coffee to come out as well as a French press, the distinction between pre-ground and home-ground coffee is not nearly as noticeable.

Read Also: Bialetti Brikka vs Moka Express

The French Press

french press works

Because of the design of the brewing process, French press coffee can be defined as full-bodied or thick. This means that French presses are a must-have in every professional coffee shop and real coffee enthusiasts enjoy the richer flavor of a French press to regular simple drip.

How does the French Press work?

This brew is created by a very specific steeping method. Coarsely ground coffee is filled with almost-boiling water and steeped for a brief, but precise, period of time.

To hold the wet grounds out of the final processing, the wet grounds are tightly boiled into the bottom of the cafetiere with a wonderful plunger just before serving.

Related Article: French Press Brew Guide

What is French Press Made of?

The classic French press is built up of a thin cylindrical jug, normally made of glass or transparent plastic, with a metal or plastic lid and plunger that fits comfortably inside the cylinder and a delicate stainless-steel pipe or nylon mesh filter.



How does French Press coffee taste?

french press delicious coffee

The French press does not absorb taste and instead adds tiny pieces of coffee grounds into the coffee, which circulates flavor. The French press has a far more complicated taste profile.

The water brings out a lot of the tastes in the beans because the grounds are steeped for a few minutes. It produces a smoother, full-bodied flavor that only some kinds of coffees can reach.

The thick grounds of The French Press

Since French press brewing requires steeping the grounds, something too fine will over-extract and result in a very bad tasting drink.

Thick grounds, on the other hand, allow for a much more full-bodied and delicate taste, making them ideal for the French press.

Brew time

french press brewing time

Nothing can be prepared ahead of time with a French press. Each quantity of coffee should be roasted as soon as possible. Differently, the water should be warmed to just below boiling, and the soaking and sinking process would take about 5 minutes.

It is helpful to construct a reasonable pattern, but the whole phrase would also take 7-9 minutes.

The French Press takes some skills, but I believe the brewing process is more effective. As long as you follow the steps outlined here, you can have a good, tasty brew.

There is still space for adjusting and enhancing the methodology with Moka pots, but there are fewer factors to consider.


Nevertheless, when it comes to the French press, I will advise you to grind it at home. Yeah, you can purchase coarsely ground beans to use with your French press, but purchasing the whole bean would benefit you even more.

Frequently Asked Questions

moka pot vs french press

Why does my French Press coffee taste watery?

When making French press coffee, one of the major elements is the grind of the coffee beans. You would get a messy and thick cup of coffee if you ground the coffee beans too finely. You would get a watery soup and a runny cup of coffee if you do not grind the coffee beans thoroughly.

Is it safe to use stainless steel French Press?

It’s long-lasting, absorbs heat well, and can also be carried. Stainless steel French presses are also easier to wash and, in many cases, dishwasher-safe.

Is Moka Pot or French Press more similar to Espresso?

The Moka pot produces a much stronger cup of coffee and concentrated (similar to an ‘Italian espresso’). The French Press produces a creamy, lighter, and watery aromatic combination.

Is there more caffeine in a French Press?

Espresso offers more caffeine per unit volume than most of the other coffee drinks due to its intensity. French press coffee, on the other hand, provides a great 108 mg per 8-ounce cup. This means that a mug of French press coffee contains more caffeine than a tiny shot of espresso.

Last Thoughts

So, which brewing method is the best to produce coffee? The answer to that question depends on your own preferences. If you like a stronger cup of coffee, go with the Moka Pot. If you prefer a milder brew and don’t mind taking a little longer to make your coffee, the French Press is probably right for you.

No matter which one you choose, we hope this comparison has helped you better understand how they work and given you some ideas about what to look for when buying your next coffee maker.

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Evelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.