Moka Pot vs French Press: Comparing the Two Coffee Brewing Methods

WE dive into the advantages and drawbacks of each method and compare them in detail
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Last updatedLast updated: November 02, 2021
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Coffee drinkers often get heat for having opinions about coffee that are as strong as the coffee they enjoy. But what people do not understand is that coffee means serious business. One of the most heated debates in the coffee world today happens between the Moka pot and French Press enthusiasts. For people who are not too adamant about using automatic drip coffee machines, the dilemma moves onto which manual coffee brewing technique produces a better brew, moka pot or French press? Well, this is not an easy debate to settle, considering how either technique has its superior moments, as well as downsides. Even though it is difficult to reach a verdict with these two, since it is largely a matter of preference and culture, it is unanimously agreed upon that using good quality coffees for French Press and Moka pot is the real game-changer. In this article, we will compare moka pot vs. French press, in an attempt to decide which manual coffee brewing technique is the best among the two.

What Is the French Press Brewing Method?

French press Trusted Source French press - Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org coffee is perhaps the most common and easiest coffee brewing technique. Using a French press is very simple, especially when compared to other manual coffee preparation, like pour-over. All you need to do is let coarsely ground coffee beans sit in steaming water for about 5 minutes. This is called steeping coffee beans, whereby the flavor and goodness of coffee is extracted by the hot water. Once brewed, the next step involves pressing to filter, which is where the technique gets its name from. Using a wire mesh filter and a plunger, coffee grounds and the brewed liquid are separated in the brewing vessel. This technique makes a classic cup of espresso that contains all the extracted strength, scent, and caffeine of the coffee grounds. Despite the popularity of this coffee brewing technique, there is a lot of confusion when it comes to the history and origin of the French press. However, now you can find a French press anywhere in the world, which is what really matters. You can select from a range of the best French presses to add to your coffee station! If you want a French press that is easy to use and maintain and suitable for preparing several cups of coffee at once, you can consider the Bodum Chambord French Press that has a 17-ounce or 4-cup capacity.

Advantages

There are many reasons why despite so many years the French press coffee technique has managed to stick around and retain its popularity. One such reason is the simplicity and ease of this technique. It is a manual technique that requires little to no skill, and certainly no fancy tools either. Unlike other complicated techniques that are difficult to master, like the pour-over coffee brewing technique, a French press is very beginner-friendly! Apart from this, the end result of a French press is also no short of brilliant. If you need a strong caffeine kick to start your day, this method is an excellent way to go. It makes a strong, rich, and bold cup of steaming coffee that is sure to wake you up. Furthermore, you can have a greater degree of control over the size, type, and amount of coffee grounds, as well as the steeping time to customize the intensity, strength and concentration of your coffee. You can find the best coffee beans for French press to achieve a more sophisticated flavor and richness!

Drawbacks

There are some possible drawbacks to using manual techniques, since they are not automated and leave room for imperfection. With a French press, a common issue that surfaces is the presence of grit in your brew. Considering how French press technique uses a mesh screen filter to pour coffee, the larger grounds are separated easily; however, some finer smaller ones manage to pass through the filter. This gives the coffee a gritty texture which might peeve some people. This can be combated through better quality filters; however, over time these filters become inefficient at keeping the grit out.

As easy and hassle-free as it is to use a French press, it is as difficult to clean it. It needs to be dismantled and thoroughly cleaned after every use.

What Is the Moka Pot Brewing Method?

When it comes to coffee brewing techniques, the differences largely lie in the culture where the technique originates from. Moka pot Trusted Source Moka pot - Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org coffee brewing is an age-old technique that hails all the way from early twentieth-century Italy. Italians used to brew their coffee in a Moka pot, which is a two-chambered device. The lower chamber carries water, which when heated turns into steam. This steam rising from the lower chamber penetrates through a neatly laid layer of coffee grounds, finally spilling into the upper chamber. The upper chamber collects the brewed coffee that characterizes an aromatic, strong, and dense coffee. This is a slightly pressured coffee brewing technique as compared to others and serves as a hassle-free way to prepare coffee at home without any fancy equipment or machines. You can find a suitable option from some of the best Moka pots to prepare delicious coffee! If you are looking for a new Moka Pot, Bialetti Moka Express is one of the best reviewed products!

Advantages

Moka press is an excellent tool to make strong, rich, and fuller tasting coffee as it expertly extracts the flavorful goodness of coffee from the grounds and makes an intense cup of authentic coffee. Moka pots are also called stovetop espresso makers because they offer a cheap and user-friendly alternative to high-tech and fancy espresso machines that require considerable familiarization before use. Even though Moka pots do not exactly produce an authentic espresso that you would get from a standard drip coffee, you can certainly get a close second using this technique. It is also a very fast brewing technique, making it suitable for people who have busy schedules and early mornings.

The high accessibility and low-tech nature of Moka pots make them great for both old, new, professional and non-professional coffee makers and drinkers!

Drawbacks

Using a Moka pot for brewing coffee can be challenging because you have a limited degree of control, especially after the coffee has been brewed. For example, accidentally over-steeping the coffee makes it undrinkable and goes to waste. Therefore, you require some skill and practice to master preparing coffee using a Moka pot. Moreover, it takes patience to prepare coffee in a Moka pot and the resultant beverage is highly dependent on the functioning of your stove as well. So, make sure to watch over the Moka pot carefully when steeping grounds in a Moka pot. Since Moka pots work using a pressure mechanism, they produce strong coffee. However, it is not as strong as a modern espresso machine would make, considering the lack of technological advancement in Moka pots.

Side-by-Side Comparison

Now that we know the basics of both Moka pot and French press coffee makers, it is time to decide which one is better for brewing coffee manually. There are certain factors that tell us whether a coffee preparation tool or technique is convenient or not. We will compare both techniques for certain features and traits and the one with the most wins will ultimately be the better option! Let’s get to settling this debate!

Ease of Use

Moka Pot vs French Press: Comparing the Two Coffee Brewing Methods

People, who drink coffee frequently, highly value convenience when it comes to preparing coffee. Therefore, it is very important to consider the ease of brewing with each technique. French press is a very easy and reliable brewing method, whereby following every step meticulously ensures an excellent cup of coffee each time. Moreover, you can always find ways to fix your coffee after brewing. Moka pots, on the other side, are easy to use but require some familiarization and practice. The technique can be slightly challenging to master, especially when it comes to time because under-extraction is a common issue most people face. However, the boiling time depends highly on the functioning of one’s stove so it requires trial and error to master this technique.

It is agreed upon by most coffee enthusiasts that French press is the easier and more convenient method of coffee brewing!

Roast Required

It is important to consider the roast of your coffee beans, especially when using a French press because it relies largely on the oils and flavors of roasted beans to extract the best-tasting flavor. Most French press enthusiasts recommend medium to dark roasted coffee beans. The steeping method that the French press uses combats the harsh bitterness of dark roasts and produces a more balanced and nuanced brew. Moka pots allow you a great deal of freedom when choosing the type of roast depending on your flavor preferences, but for a strong and rich cup of coffee, deeper roasts are recommended.

Grind Size Required

Moka pots are quite versatile when it comes to the type of grind size and coffee beans. Pre-ground coffee can be used for Moka pots, whereby you can add ground coffee in the special brew basket. They support both standard and fine ground beans, giving you room to play with. However, very fine grinds are not recommended for Moka pots because they result in weaker extraction and watery tasting coffee. French press uses steeping to brew coffee; therefore, the coarsely ground beans are the best ones for this method.

French press delivers the best results with freshly ground coffee. However, you can use pre-ground beans as well. Do not rely on a French press to deliver good coffee if you are using fine grinds. Moka pots are more versatile, while French press required investing in a grinder for coarsely ground beans, making Moka pots more user-friendly when it comes to grind size requirements.

Caffeine Content

The two techniques use pressure versus steeping for brewing coffee, which leaves them with different levels of caffeine content in the final result. Moka pots use pressure to extract the flavor, strength, and caffeine from the coffee grounds and into the brew, making for a stronger and more caffeinated drink. On the other hand, the French press produces milder results, with its steeping technique. You can also control and customize the brewing time and quality when using a French press, thereby altering caffeine concentration. Overall, Moka pots make a more concentrated brew, therefore have higher caffeine contents.

Taste and Flavor

Moka Pot vs French Press: Comparing the Two Coffee Brewing Methods

Both French press and Moka pot make very different coffees. Moka pots are known for their joltingly strong and energizing coffee that gives you a strong kick to sober you up! This is because the pressure method that Moka pots use produces a more concentrated brew that has a greater coffee content than French press. The strength and richness of Moka pot coffee make it excellent to pair with milk or cream, balancing the harshness and adding extra texture! The French press, on the other hand, produces a slightly lighter, rich, and full-bodied coffee, with a grittier texture than Moka pots. There is also more room for variation when it comes to French press, so you can customize the taste and flavor of your coffee by altering the steeping time and the amount and type of ground you use!

There is no winner or loser when it comes to the flavors produced by either technique because it is more or less a matter of preference.

Nutrition Facts

If you are using organic coffee beans, we understand your concern for nutrition. Be assured that both these techniques are excellent at extracting good nutrients from coffee beans. However, the pressure mechanism of extraction that Moka pots use are stronger, thereby extracting all the nutrients, flavor, and caffeine from your coffee grounds! While this is true for Moka pots, French presses usually have a weaker extraction, therefore missing some of the natural nutrients of coffee. However, the low caffeine content in French press coffee makes it healthier than Moka pot coffee.

Brewing Time and Volume

Serious coffee drinkers know that the brewing time of coffee is extremely important, especially when you take several cups of coffee during the day. People with busy routines require a quick coffee fix and therefore look for options that are quick and efficient. When it comes to time, Moka pots are quite efficient, with water boiling being the only slightly time-consuming step. That being said, leaving the pot unattended can result in burnt and bitter coffee so you need to be around the entire time it brews. It takes around 10 minutes to make coffee using a Moka pot. On the other hand, French press works best with freshly ground beans, so it naturally takes more time if you want to invest in a superior cup of coffee. Moreover, water boils separately, while steeping and filtering is another stage, requiring extra time.

With everything combined, French press takes up to 15 minutes to prepare a cup of coffee. According to these observations, Moka pots clearly win this round; however, it is a very close call.

Moka pots usually produce less volume or quality of coffee, but what’s extracted is rich and strong. Even large Moka pots have a maximum capacity of brewing six cups of coffee. French press has a greater capacity and produces more quality of coffee, but it’s slightly lighter in taste and richness. Moreover, Moka pots usually have a fixed volume, and changing it can cost you the quality of brew, while French presses are more customizable, making them better in terms of volume.

Price

The best thing about using French presses and Moka pots for brewing coffee is their affordability. The manual nature of these coffee makers makes them cheaper than automatic drippers and pour-overs. You can find both Moka pots and French presses within the $20 to $30 price range. The prices can similarly rise, based on brand and specifications, but more or less you will still find both these coffee makers under a $100 range. There are no noticeable differences in price, so you can choose between a Moka pot and a French press depending on other qualities and factors.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to deciding which is better, Moka pot vs. French press, the weight falls onto preferences. It is difficult to give a strict final verdict in favor of either coffee brewing technique because they both have their unique qualities. You will have to consider the pros, cons, and requirements of both techniques to determine which one suits your routine, taste preference, and lifestyle better. If you want a quick and easy coffee fix, but a stronger and richer taste, Moka pots are the way to go. However, if you prefer more control over the brewing, more nuanced flavors in your coffee and don’t mind spending an extra five minutes on preparation, then French presses are more suitable for you! We hope that this guide was informative and helpful in helping you decide which coffee brewing apparatus is better for your personal tastes and preferences!

References

1.
French press - Wikipedia
2.
Moka pot - Wikipedia
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