A Beginner’s Guide to Moka Pots: How to Choose the Right Moka Pot Size

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Written By Chad Kelley

The overly caffeinated chef dad taking you down the rabbit hole of caffeinated knowledge

Moka Pot Coffee

Are you tired of using a French press or drip coffee maker that yields a mediocre cup of coffee? Have you ever heard of a moka pot, but were overwhelmed by the plethora of sizes available? 

Fear not, my fellow coffee enthusiasts, because I am here to take you on a fun and educational journey down the rabbit hole that is the world of the moka pot. 

As a self-proclaimed coffee snob, I’ve tried all sorts of brewing methods, but nothing comes close to the rich and velvety texture of moka pot coffee. However, the biggest challenge for me was choosing the right size of moka pot for my daily caffeine fix. 

In this article, I’ll share with you everything I’ve learned about moka pot sizes, and why there is no one-size-fits-all solution. 

So buckle up, grab your favorite mug, and let’s dive into the caffeinated knowledge you didn’t know you needed!

How Does A Moka Pot Work?

So, you’re curious about moka pots? Well, let me tell you, they’re not your grandma’s percolator. These little guys brew coffee with steam pressure and ground coffee, kinda like an espresso machine, but without the fancy bells and whistles. It’s like the wild west of coffee brewing, where cowboys and cowgirls take their caffeine seriously.

To use a moka pot, you start by filling the bottom chamber with cold water up to the valve, like you’re filling up a gas tank. Next, add ground coffee to the middle funnel, pack it in like you’re building a sandcastle, but not too tight or else it won’t brew right. 

Then, screw on the top chamber, like you’re closing a treasure chest, and place it on the stove burner at medium heat. 

Now, here comes the exciting part. As the water boils and the steam builds up, the coffee will start percolating up to the top chamber, like a geyser erupting in Yellowstone National Park.

Moka Pot Coffee

 It’s like magic, but with more caffeine and less hocus-pocus. The brewing time varies depending on the size of the moka pot and how fast you want to ride the coffee high, but usually, it takes about 5-10 minutes.

Once it’s done brewing, you can pour the moka pot coffee into your favorite mug and savor the rich and bold flavor, like you’re drinking liquid gold. It’s not as fancy as a latte or cappuccino, but it’s perfect for those days when you need fresh coffee for a kick in the pants.

Now, here’s a little secret. Moka pots can be a bit high maintenance, like a diva pop star, but with proper care and cleaning, they can last for years. So, make sure to rinse the moka pot with warm water after each use, and don’t use soap or abrasive cleaners, or else you’ll end up with a scratched-up and grumpy moka pot. 

Trust me, you don’t want a grumpy moka pot in your life.

Do Moka Pots Make Espresso?

The million-dollar question is: can moka pots make real espresso? The short answer is no, not in the traditional sense. Espresso is made by forcing hot water through finely ground and compacted coffee beans under high pressure, which produces a concentrated shot with a crema on top. 

Moka pots, on the other hand, use steam pressure to extract the coffee oils and flavors from the ground coffee, which produces a strong, but not as concentrated, coffee.

However, there is one exception to the rule: the Bialetti Brikka. This stovetop espresso maker has a unique pressure valve that creates a small amount of crema on top of the brewed coffee, which makes it closer to espresso than regular moka pots. 

Brikka, the only coffee maker with a high pressure valve system that will brew delicious espresso

So, if you’re looking for a moka pot that can give you a taste of espresso style coffee, without breaking the bank, the Brikka might be worth checking out.

Related Article: Brew Better Coffee with Brikka: The Revolutionary Stovetop Espresso Maker

But here’s the thing, even though moka pots may not produce true espresso, that doesn’t mean they’re any less enjoyable or delicious. In fact, moka pots have their own distinct flavor profile that many coffee enthusiasts love. It’s like comparing apples to oranges, both are fruit, but they have different textures, tastes, and uses. 

But don’t let the lack of crema or pressure discourage you from trying out a moka pot. You might be pleasantly surprised by what it has to offer.

In summary, moka pots don’t make true espresso, but that doesn’t mean they’re inferior or unworthy of your attention. They have their own unique brewing method that produces a strong and flavorful cup of coffee, which can be a great alternative to expensive espresso machines. 

And if you’re looking for a moka pot that can give you a taste of crema, the Bialetti Brikka might be worth a shot. Any serious coffee drinkers will also appreciate this as a gift.

What Size Of Moka Pot Do I Need?

Now that we’ve established that moka pots come in different sizes, the next question is: what size is right for you?

The answer, of course, depends on your personal preferences and how much coffee one needs. If you’re a solo coffee drinker who only needs one cup in the morning, then a 1-cup moka pot might be perfect for you. However, if you’re a caffeine addict who needs a jumbo-sized mug or a double espresso to get through the day, then a 9-cup moka pot might be more your style.

But, here’s a pro tip: the 6-cup moka pot is the most popular size for a reason. It’s big enough to make one American-sized cup of coffee, and it’s versatile enough to make smaller servings if needed. Plus, it’s not too bulky, so it’s easy to store and handle.

Another thing to consider is the size of your coffee cups. European coffee cups are roughly half the size or smaller than US coffee cups, which range from 12 to 16 fluid ounces. So, if you’re used to drinking coffee from a big American-style mug, you might want to opt for a larger moka pot to accommodate your caffeine needs.

What is 1 cup of coffee in a moka pot?

To sum it up,, the size of your moka pot depends on your personal preferences and needs. The 6-cup moka pot is the most popular size for a reason, but don’t be afraid to go smaller or larger depending on your coffee drinking habits. And don’t forget to consider the size of your coffee cups when making your decision on what size moka pot to invest in.

Moka Pot Sizes And Comparisons

Let’s take a closer look at the different moka pot sizes and compare them to help you make a more informed decision:

1-cup moka pot: This size is perfect for solo coffee drinkers who only need one cup in the morning. It’s compact and easy to store, but keep in mind that it won’t be enough if you have guests over or need an extra boost of caffeine. This smaller moka pot makes it ideal to use an espresso cup rather than a larger coffee mug.

3-cup moka pot: This size is great for couples or small households. It can make up to 4.5 fluid ounces of coffee, which is equivalent to about two small European-style cups or one American-style cup.

6-cup moka pot: This is the most popular size for a reason. It can make up to 9 fluid ounces of coffee, which is equivalent to one large American-style cup or two small European-style cups. It’s versatile enough to make smaller servings if needed and is easy to handle and store. The 6 cup moka pot will bring a strong coffee which is what makes it easier to split into two cups.

9-cup moka pot: This size is suitable for larger households or when you have guests over. It can make up to 14 fluid ounces of coffee, which is equivalent to two large American-style cups or four small European-style cups.

12-cup moka pot: This is the largest size and is suitable for coffee addicts or when you have a big group of guests over. It can make up to 22 fluid ounces of coffee, which is equivalent to three large American-style cups or six small European-style cups.

Moka Pot Sizes

It’s important to note that these sizes are just guidelines, and the actual amount of coffee you get will depend on various factors such as the size of your coffee cups, the the grind size of your coffee beans, and the amount of water you use. So, be sure to experiment and adjust to find the right balance for your taste preferences.

Each moka pot and cup size has its own advantages and disadvantages. Consider your personal needs and coffee drinking habits before making a decision.

And remember, the 6-cup moka pot is the most popular size for a reason, but don’t be afraid to try out different sizes to find your perfect fit.

Can You Make Smaller Amounts Using A Large Moka Pot?

Hey, we get it. Sometimes you have a larger moka pot on hand, but only need to make a small amount of coffee. The good news is that you can still use the larger pot and make adjustments to get the right strength and flavor.

To make smaller amounts, simply adjust the amount of water and coffee grounds you use. For example, if you have a 9-cup moka pot but only need to make 3 cups of coffee, use about half of the recommended water and less coffee grounds for a full pot.

But beware! Using a larger moka pot than necessary may result in weaker and less flavorful coffee, as the water might not reach the ideal temperature and pressure to extract the full flavor from the coffee grounds. So, it’s best to use a moka pot size closest to the amount of coffee you need.

The key is to experiment and find the right balance for making coffee for your taste buds. Try adjusting the water and coffee amounts until you find the perfect strength and flavor for you. With a little practice, you’ll become a coffee lover and moka pot master in no time!

Now Go Get Your Moka Pot!

All in all, choosing the right size for your moka pot is essential for a perfect cup of coffee. Whether you prefer a small, strong espresso or a larger, milder cup of joe, there’s a moka pot size that’s just right for you.

We hope this article has been a fun and educational journey down the rabbit hole that is the world of coffee. Remember, the key to making great coffee is to experiment and find what works best for you.

So go forth, brew some delicious coffee, and enjoy the caffeinated knowledge you didn’t know you needed!

Thank you for reading, and happy brewing!


What are the common sizes for Moka Coffee Pots?

Moka Coffee Pots come in different sizes ranging from 1-cup to 12-cup capacities. The most common sizes are 3-cup, 6-cup, and 9-cup.

What factors should I consider when choosing a Moka Coffee Pot size?

The size of your Moka Coffee Pot should depend on your brewing needs. If you are a single coffee drinker, a 1-cup or 3-cup Moka Coffee Pot would be ideal. If you are making coffee for two or three people, a 6-cup Moka Coffee Pot would suffice. For larger households or office settings, a 9-cup or 12-cup Moka Coffee Pot would be more suitable.

Can I use a larger Moka Coffee Pot to make a smaller amount of coffee?

Yes, you can use a larger Moka Coffee Pot to make a smaller amount of coffee. Simply fill the water tank with the appropriate amount of water for the number of cups you want to brew and adjust the amount of coffee accordingly.

Can I use a smaller Moka Coffee Pot to make a larger amount of coffee?

No, you cannot use a smaller Moka Coffee Pot to make a larger amount of coffee. The water tank and coffee basket are designed to accommodate a specific amount of coffee and water, and using a smaller Moka Coffee Pot to brew more coffee than it’s designed for can result in over-extraction and bitter coffee.

Can I use a Moka Coffee Pot on an induction cooktop?

Yes, some Moka Coffee Pots are compatible with induction cooktops. Look for Moka Coffee Pots that are specifically designed for induction cooking or have a magnetic stainless steel base.