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top view of cup of coffee and moka pot on concrete surface with spilled coffee beans and plate of croissants

How to use a moka pot

Read coffee expert Celeste Wong's guide to perfecting moka pot coffee at home, including best equipment to use and insider barista tips

Want to know how to use a moka pot? Looking for the best moka pot? Read our guide from coffee expert Celeste Wong below, then check out how to use an AeroPress, how to make pour over coffee, and how to use a French press. Looking for artisan beans to make your moka pot coffee? Try Celeste’s tried-and-tested list of the best coffee beans


The moka pot was invented by an Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti in 1933, and moka pot coffee remains a popular method among Italians. The pot looks like a small jug and turns boiling water into pressurised steam that percolates up through ground coffee.

This method is often referred to as espresso, but technically it isn’t the same, as moka pot pressure is much less and therefore less concentrated. However, it is the most similar in strength and taste to an espresso, yielding a short, thick and bold coffee.

What do you need to make a moka pot coffee?

How to make a moka pot coffee

  1. Unscrew the moka pot and fill the bottom piece with cold water. Fill it just up to, but not beyond, the pressure valve.
  2. Fill the perforated basket with ground coffee. You don’t need to tamp it or push it down hard. Just make sure the coffee is level.
  3. Place the moka pot on the hob or stove top and slowly heat the water.
  4. You can check that the coffee has started to percolate by opening the lid. But be careful, it can be hot to touch!
  5. Once it is full, and there is no more coffee bubbling through, take it off the heat and serve immediately.

Top tips for moka pot coffee

  • You can use boiled water in the base instead of cold if you like, so the grinds aren’t over heated, but cold water works fine.