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Moka pot vs aeropress: A high pressure head to head

Do you want to make espresso-like coffee without buying a proper espresso machine and breaking the bank? The moka pot and the Aeropress are two inexpensive coffee makers that can brew coffee almost to an espresso consistency.

So in a debate of moka pot vs aeropress, who wins? Which method is better, and which makes superior coffee?

Watch the video version here:

How are moka pots and Aeropress similar?

Essentially, both the aeropress and the moka pot are quite similar: they both make use of pressure to brew coffee, much like an espresso machine does. The only difference is that the pressure is far less in these two methods than in a typical espresso machine.

Cost

Bellemain Stovetop Espresso Maker Moka Pot (Silver, 6 Cup)

The Aeropress and moka pot both fall under a similar price range, setting you back around $30 to $35. The moka pot(also known as stovetop espresso makers) actually come in many different sizes, but a standard one cup model will be right around the $30 range if not less.

So if budget is your primary motivator, you’ll see that both of these coffee makers are quite similar. One thing that you should bear in mind though is that the Aeropress requires paper filters(some companies make metal filters too) so that’s an added cost to factor in.

You’ll have enough filters when you start out, but you’ll need to keep ordering more as you eventually run out. With a metal filter, of course, this won’t be an issue.

As you can see, cost-wise, both of these coffee maker types are similar.

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How are they different?

Brew time

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A stovetop espresso maker will take anywhere between 4-5 minutes to brew. Really, you’re limited by the speed at which you can get water to boil on your stove.

These coffee makers can also be used in camping, and it may take a little longer to brew on a camping stove since the flame is usually a bit weaker.

Once you’ve got the water heated up, Aeropress can brew coffee in less than 90 seconds. The whole idea behind the design ofthe Aeropress was to be able to brew an espresso-like shot very fast.

As far as brew time goes, the Aeropress beats the moka pot by miles.

Ease of use

There’s a bit of a debate here where some people will say that stovetop espresso makers are set-and-forget, whereas Aeropress is much more hands-on, but I’ll beg to differ here.

I actually feel that the Aeropress is much easier to use and it’s a lot more forgiving.

Sure, you just load the coffee grounds into the chamber of the moka pot and set it on the stove, but you’ve got to keep careful watch. As the coffee brews, you’ll hear a gurgling and sputtering sound which indicates that all of the coffee has brewed.

If you miss this and let it continue to heat up, the coffee may start to boil and even overflow. Also, the coffee maker becomes very hot right off the stove, and in my experience, even the plastic handle gets quite hot. I’ve burned myself a couple of times!

With the Aeropress, you simply put coffee grounds into the chamber, pour water, and press down on the plunger. Granted it takes a bit of strength to plunge, but the coffee will be very forgiving even if you plunge too slow or too fast.

In the ease of use category, the Aeropress takes the cake.

Taste

Here’s where things get interesting. Which tastes better: moka coffee or Aeropress coffee? The answer is….

It depends on your personal preferences!

Both the Aeropress and stovetop coffee make a very intense cup. The pressure brew is able to extract a lot of flavor in both cases(which is why espresso, which is extracted with a much higher amount pressure has such a bold taste).

The Aeropress has the added advantage of a paper filter, which does a fantastic job of filtering out almost all kinds of sediment. The resulting cup is very clean, which is quite refreshing considering that other bold coffees like french press are quite murky.

Stovetop coffee will also have the boldness and intensity, but since there is no paper filter, the coffee may be a little muddy or gritty. This is not an altogether bad thing, but it just comes down to personal preferences.

The Aeropress has one final advantage in the taste category: there’s a lot of room to play around with Aeropress coffee, from brewing a whole 6 ounces in one go to brewing just a shot and diluting later.

Because of this, you can actually make a lot of adjustments to the taste as preferred, and for that reason, the Aeropress is the winner in the taste category.

Versatility

The stovetop espresso maker makes one type of coffee, and it does a very consistent job of doing so.

The Aeropress makes a lot of different coffees, on the other hand.

Even though the standard recipe is what’s most commonly used, there are tons of methods you can use to brew with Aeropress and over the years, baristas have come up with a lot of different recipes.

The two most common methods are the standard Aeropress brew and the inverted brew, but you can also make americanos, cold brew, and you name it.

There are many different attachments and customizations available for the Aeropress which you can utilize to make lots of different coffees.

Just for the sheer number of possibilities you have, the Aeropress is the winner in the versatility category.

Maintenance

I love how easy it is to clean the Aeropress. You just remove the plastic filter, eject the puck of coffee by plunging, and rinse off the rubber.

That’s literally it! For everyday clean up, just rinsing off the rubber will do the trick. The rubber plunger pushes any sediment and water out anyway, making the main brewing chamber squeaky clean after each brew.

For longer term maintenance, just take everything apart and wash with soap and water.

The moka pot is not that much harder to maintain. Since you’re only brewing coffee, you can get away with just rinsing everything clean and occasionally deep cleaning with soap and water.

However you need to be careful when rinsing a stovetop espresso maker because it stays very hot for a long time. The Aeropress can be cleaned right away.

Both coffee makers are at par here, so we’ll call the maintenance category a clean tie.

Aeropress recipe

There are a lot of different recipes out there, but the most straightforward one to follow is the one suggested by the inventor Alan Adler.

Start with one scoop(the one included with the coffee maker) of ground coffee. The coffee should have a grind size almost to an espresso consistency.

If you don’t have the scoop on hand, it’s about two tablespoons, and to be really precise, use a scale and measure out 15 grams.

Place the paper filter in the black filter holder and put a few drops of water to rinse it out. Screw the filter holder on to the bottom chamber and place the coffee grounds in. Make sure the grounds are level – you can do this by giving the chamber a gentle shake.

Place the chamber on a sturdy coffee cup. Pour 85 degrees C hot water on the grounds and try to wet them evenly. Pour until you reach the 1 symbol on the chamber. This is enough for one shot of espresso(which you can drink straight or dilute).

Use the stirrer and give the slurry a quick stir for about 10 seconds.

Place the plunger in and start plunging down at a steady pace. Go all the way down until you hit the puck of coffee grounds. At this point you should hear a hissing sound.

The resulting cup of coffee can be enjoyed as is, or you can dilute it with some water to make an Americano.

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Stovetop coffee recipe

To make stovetop or percolator coffee, measure out the same 15 grams of coffee and place it in the coffee chamber. Fill the bottom chamber with water, place the filter on the bottom chamber, and screw the bottom chamber on to the top chamber.

Place the maker on a stove and let the water come to a boil. As it boils, the water will rise through the coffee grounds and into the top chamber, where it will percolate out.

You’ll know the brew is finished once you hear a sputtering and hissing sound, so watch out for it!

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Last update on 2020-08-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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About Shabbir

Shabbir is the Chief Caffeine Officer at Coffee In My Veins. When he's not weighing out coffee beans for his next brew, you can find him writing about his passion: coffee.

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