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Last Updated on December 5, 2023
The moka pot can produce a rich, full-bodied coffee that’s somewhere between a traditional drip coffee and an espresso.
This stovetop coffee maker rose to prominence in Italy during the 1930s as an affordable and convenient way to brew coffee at home. Moka pots have grown popular around the world since then, and the variety of beans available for brewing in them has multiplied.
Moka pot brewing uses a unique blend of pressure and heat to extract flavors and aromas from the coffee, which makes your choice of coffee beans crucial. The best coffee beans for a moka pot would strike a balance between strength, acidity and boldness to highlight the beauty of this brewing style.
When shopping, you should pay particular attention to roast level, bean origin, and freshness. Some people have a preference for lighter roasts. Others appreciate the heavy body and low acidity of darker roasts.
I’ve tried a lot of beans in my moka pot, and I’ve discovered some top-notch coffees that truly bring out the artistry of moka pot brewing. Let’s explore these exceptional coffee choices.
Best Coffee for Moka Pot
I’ve gathered a selection of six coffees specifically tailored for your everyday moka pot use. If you’re looking something special that’s a bit pricier, you’ll also find three specialty coffee options further down the page.
Here are the six go-to options, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
|Illy Classico Ground Moka
|Bialetti Caffe Perfetto Moka
|Lavazza Espresso Italiano
|Lavazza Crema e Gusto
|Bristot Moka Oro
|Lavazza Qualita Rossa
Now let’s dive into these coffees that are perfect for making a rich, flavorful brew with the world’s cutest coffee-making device.
I love Illy Classico Ground Moka Coffee for its rich aroma and smooth taste—perfect for stovetop moka pot preparations.
- Richly aromatic
- Well-defined body
- Smooth, balanced, and never bitter
- 100-per-cent sustainably grown Arabica beans
- On the pricey side
- Might not be strong enough for some tastes
Starting a day with a cup of Illy Classico Ground Moka Coffee will enhance your morning routine. It fills your kitchen with an inviting aroma, and gives you a rich, full-bodied cup.
These 100-per-cent Arabica beans produce a coffee with smooth and balanced flavor, minus the bitterness you find in some other brands. The fact that the beans are sustainably grown and well-selected from various regions around the world gives me an extra layer of satisfaction.
While I personally enjoyed the medium roast, if you really like strong coffee then you might not find this one robust enough for your liking.
If you’re looking to enhance your morning ritual with a flavorsome and smooth coffee that’s environmentally responsible, Illy Classico Ground Moka Coffee is a great choice.
Bialetti Perfetto Moka Ground Coffee is a great choice if you like a classic, medium roast coffee that’s born to be brewed in a moka pot.
- Artisanal roasting process enhances flavor
- Unique grind designed for moka pots
- Made with 100 per cent Colombia Excelso beans
- Might be too finely ground for some moka pots
- Some may find the taste too subtle
- Flavor not as intense as dark-roast options
Having just brewed a fresh cup of Bialetti Perfetto Moka, I can definitely say I’m impressed with the quality and taste. The traditional, artisanal roasting process they use is slower than most, which allows all the aromas and flavors in the coffee to fully bloom.
Bialetti’s unique grind has been specifically designed for moka pots, which I found to result in a full-bodied but creamy and intense cup with each brewing. I was delighted to find notes of flowers and dried fruits on my palate, exalted by a slow medium roasting.
That being said, some people might find the coffee too fine for their moka pots, or might want a bolder flavor. As a fan of medium roast, I enjoyed the smooth and nutty taste of this coffee.
With Bialetti’s reputation for delivering high-quality coffee for over 80 years, this product is certainly a great choice for moka pot enthusiasts seeking a classic, tasty brew.
Lavazza Espresso Italiano Whole Bean Coffee has a rich taste and is particularly versatile if you want to be able to use it for other brewing methods as well.
- Rich flavor
- Works well with moka pots and other coffee brewing methods
- Premium quality 100% per cent Arabica beans
- Medium roast might not satisfy dark roast lovers
Lavazza Espresso Italiano Whole Bean Coffee has quickly become one of my top choices for a medium roast. The blend of Central and South American Arabica beans provides a delightful cup of coffee with highly aromatic notes.
As someone who loves using a moka pot, I’m always on the lookout for coffees that work well with this brewing method. This Lavazza blend not only excelled in the moka pot, but was also excellent when brewed using a drip coffee maker and French press. It’s always great to have a versatile coffee on hand.
If you prefer a darker roast, this coffee might be a bit lacking in intensity for you.
Lavazza Espresso Italiano Whole Bean Coffee is a great option for those who enjoy a rich, medium-roast coffee. Its versatility across brewing methods, including moka pots, is a fantastic bonus.
Lavazza Crema E Gusto Ground Coffee is a fantastic choice for moka pot users because of its bold flavors and rich crema.
- Smooth and creamy texture
- Strong, intense flavor
- Suitable for various coffee beverages
- Not a pure Arabica blend
- May be too strong for some tastes
- Limited shelf life after opening
I can’t stop raving about Lavazza Crema E Gusto’s rich and smooth texture! The dark roast offers an intense flavor that works perfectly with my moka pot.
This is another coffee that I love for its versatility. It’s not just for moka pot users—you can grind it fine for your espresso machine or sprinkle it into your drip coffee maker’s filter, and it will provide consistent flavor across brewing methods.
This blend contains Robusta beans, which is sometimes a deal-breaker for those seeking a pure Arabica coffee experience. And as a more potent coffee, it may not suit if you have a preference for milder or lighter options.
I also found that once it’s opened, this coffee loses its magic quite quickly. If you typically go through your beans at a brisk pace, you should be fine. If not, make sure you store it well.
Overall, I highly recommend the Lavazza Crema E Gusto Ground Coffee for moka pot enthusiasts who enjoy a strong, flavorful, and versatile coffee. Keep an eye on its freshness to get the best possible taste.
A delightful Italian ground espresso perfect for moka pots, French press, and pour over, with a balanced blend of flavors and intensity.
- Delightful blend of 70 per cent Arabica and 30 per cent Robusta
- Complex flavors: spices, caramel, and sandalwood
- Suitable for moka, French press, and pour-over
- May not be strong enough for espresso drinkers
- Small packages, so you’ll go through it quickly
- Not the authentic Italian crema some users might expect
Bristot Moka Oro Ground Coffee offers a medium roast, with an intensity of 9/10, which I found perfectly suitable for my morning cup of coffee made in my moka pot. The composition of this Italian ground espresso, with 70 per cent Arabica and 30 per cent Robusta, provides a unique flavor profile consisting of spices, caramel, and sandalwood. This coffee is perfect for creating bold yet well-balanced drinks that imitate espresso.
When I brewed the Bristot Moka Oro coffee in my French press, I was impressed with how easily it adapted to different brewing methods. It also worked well as a pour-over coffee. You can switch up the brewing technique depending on your mood, and whether you want a strong and bold cup or something a little lighter.
I did notice that while the intensity level of 9/10 was perfect for my preference, it might not be strong enough if you like to aim for an espresso-like coffee from your moka pot. And as much as I loved this coffee’s flavor, I blew through the 8.8-ounce bag quickly!
The Bristot Moka Oro Ground Coffee is versatile, with a unique and tasty flavor profile. It may not satisfy every espresso lover’s craving, but it’s worth a shot if you like an innovative blend of traditional Italian ground espresso.
Lavazza Qualita Rossa Ground Coffee brewed in a moka pot produces coffee with rich flavor and a full body, with a lasting aftertaste.
- Medium roast with full flavor
- Persistent aftertaste
- Non-GMO and blended in Italy
- May be too finely ground for some brewing methods
- Short expiration date on some bags
- Can be a bit pricey for the quantity
The moment I opened up my bag of Lavazza Qualita Rossa Ground Coffee, I knew I was in for a treat. The aroma filled my kitchen. I couldn’t wait to brew it in my moka pot.
My first sip revealed that this medium-roast blend has the perfect balance of smoothness and flavor.
The coffee came a little too finely ground for my liking. This results in a more tightly packed coffee basket inside your moka pot, even if you don’t actually pack it down. The steam takes longer to work its way through the coffee, and because the coffee grounds are so small, you get a bit of over-extraction. Just a hint of bitterness.
Some people like that, but if bitter coffee notes scare you off then you should stick with a coarser grind.
Nonetheless, the Lavazza Qualita Rossa Ground Coffee Blend is a pretty good choice for the moka pot. The rich flavor profile, quality and taste are worth it.
Specialty Coffees for Moka Pot
As a coffee enthusiast, I’m always looking for new, exciting flavors to try. The coffees listed above are from mainstream brands and should suit most mainstream tastes, but what if you’re a little more adventurous?
I’ve discovered a few unique specialty coffees that work incredibly well with a moka pot. These are three of my personal favorites from lesser-known artisan roasters that you might want to try if you’re branching out.
Barrie House Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is grown in the highlands of Ethiopia and is handpicked by farmers to ensure only the ripest cherries are harvested. When brewed in a moka pot, the rich, fruity notes of blueberry and lemon are wonderfully amplified, resulting in a truly vibrant cup of coffee. I adore how the natural sweetness and acidity create a well-balanced flavor profile.
The beans for this Fresh Roasted Coffee Co. offering come from the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala, which is known for its high-altitude plantations. I find that a moka pot brew really showcases the subtle hints of chocolate and almond notes of this coffee. It’s a medium- roast with a hint of floral aroma and a smooth, velvety mouthfeel that I can’t get enough of.
This single-origin Mt. Comfort Peruvian coffee offers a delicious taste of the unique Chanchamayo Province terroir. When I prepare this coffee in my moka pot, I pick up a delightful combination of citrus notes, complemented by a touch of nutty Skor bar sweetness. It’s a well-rounded coffee with bright acidity and a full body that’s quite irresistible.
Each of these specialty coffees has its own unique flavor profile and stands out due to the dedication and skill of the roasters.
Buying Guide for Moka Pot Coffee
Understanding Coffee Origins
When you choose coffee for your moka pot, consider the coffee’s origin. Beans from different regions produce distinct flavors and characteristics. For example, African coffees often have fruity and floral notes, while Latin American coffees are known for their bright acidity and nutty flavors. By understanding the unique traits of each region, you can make an informed decision about which beans will suit your taste preferences.
Single-Origin Coffee vs. Blends
Also consider whether you want a single-origin coffee or a blend. Single-origin coffees come from one specific region and tend to have more distinctive flavors. Blends consist of beans from multiple regions, creating a well-rounded, balanced flavor profile. I choose single-origin beans if I want to savor a particular region’s characteristics, while I go for blends when I prefer a more balanced taste.
The roast level significantly impacts the flavor of your coffee. Light roasts have a subtle, bright acidity and showcase the bean’s natural flavors, while dark roast coffee produces bold and robust flavors with caramel-like notes. Medium roasts offer a balance between the two. You can choose the roast level that best suits your mood and preferences.
Freshness is crucial for all coffee. If you can, check the roast date on the packaging and aim for beans roasted within the last month. Freshly roasted beans provide a vibrant and flavorful cup of coffee, while stale beans can produce a dull and lifeless taste.
Pre-Ground Coffee vs. Whole Bean Coffee
I prefer buying whole bean coffee and grinding at home right before brewing, because it stays fresher longer. Pre-ground coffee loses flavor more rapidly due to increased surface area. Whole beans retain their oils and flavors until they’re ground. If you have a good coffee grinder at home, you’re better off going for whole beans.
I opt for a medium-fine grind size for my moka pot. This allows the water to flow through the grounds evenly, extracting optimal flavors without over-extracting and creating a bitter taste. For the best extraction, the grind size should resemble table salt.
Ultimately, we all have our own taste preferences when it comes to coffee. As you try more coffees, pay attention to the acidity level, body, and the flavor notes you’re picking up. This will make it easier to define what you’re looking for the next time you shop.
Where to Buy
You can find high-quality coffee beans both online and in stores. Specialty coffee shops and roasters offer a wide variety of beans to choose from, as well as helpful knowledge about the beans’ origins, processing methods, and flavors. Online retailers can also provide a vast selection of beans. Many offer convenient subscription services, ensuring you’ll always have fresh coffee on hand.
The Perfect Moka Pot Brewing Method
Through a lot of trial and error, I’ve landed on a moka pot brewing method that has given me consistently delicious coffee. Let me share it with you in five steps, and if you want to explore it more deeply we have another article with our entire eight-step moka pot brewing process.
Step 1: Start with fresh, cold water. Use filtered or bottled water for the best results. Fill the bottom chamber up to the valve or the recommended line.
Step 2: Using freshly ground coffee beans really elevates the flavor. Opt for medium-fine grounds. Fill the filter basket without pressing or tamping, and ensure no grounds spill over to the edges.
Step 3: Assembling the moka pot is crucial. Screw the top portion securely onto the bottom chamber.
Step 4: Place the whole assembled moka pot on the stove over low to medium heat. A lower heat ensures a slow, even extraction when the hot water turns to steam and rises up through the coffee grounds. This produces a rich and balanced brew.
Step 5: As the coffee begins to flow into the top chamber, watch it closely. The moment it starts bubbling and spurting, remove the moka pot from the stove. To stop extraction quickly, you can wrap a cold damp towel around the bottom chamber, although this is probably necessary only if you’re finding the coffee burnt and bitter tasting.
That’s it! Pour and enjoy the perfect cup of moka pot coffee.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the ideal coffee grind size for moka pots?
The ideal grind size for moka pots is somewhere between fine and medium. It’s often compared to the consistency of table salt. Too fine, like espresso grind, and the water struggles to pass through, leading to over-extraction and a bitter taste. Too coarse, on the other hand, can lead to under-extraction and a weak brew. It’s all about finding the right balance.
What type of roast is most suitable for moka pot brewing?
Moka pots produce strong, rich coffee and tend to favor medium to dark roasts, as these bring out more flavors from the beans. However, you should feel free to experiment with different roast levels until you find the one that suits your taste buds best. Some people prefer using a medium roast to keep the coffee’s acidity and subtle flavors, while others enjoy the bolder, richer taste of darker roasts.
Can you use Starbucks coffee for moka pots?
Yes, you can use Starbucks coffee varieties in your Moka pot. I recommend opting for Starbucks beans that are marked as medium or dark roast, as these generally complement the moka pot brewing process. Keep in mind that Starbucks coffee beans tend to be oily, which may require regular cleaning of your moka pot to prevent residue buildup and maintain good-tasting coffee.