There’s never a boring moment among members of the coffee community since there’s always an interesting debate going on. From roast levels and types of coffee beans all the way to filter materials and brewing methods, something is always up for discussion.
Today, we’re hopping back on the wagon to break down the question: Moka pot vs French Press – which coffee tastes better? Keep reading to find out more about the two techniques and decide for yourself!
Short Overview of the Moka Pot
Also known as a stovetop coffee maker, the Moka pot is a device that utilizes basic physics principles to brew a distinctly strong cup of coffee.
The Moka pot is made up of 3 compartments: one holds the water, one holds the coffee grounds, and one collects the finished product after brewing.
So how does a Moka pot work? When you put the Moka pot, no matter whether it’s aluminum or stainless steel, on the stove and crank up the temperature, the water inside the pot heats up and generates steam.
The steam will cause the pressure in the bottom water chamber to increase, forcing the water inside to travel up through a filter basket in which the coffee grounds are loaded.
The more steam produced, the higher the pressure inside the water chamber. Eventually, the water is pushed into the top compartment where it becomes ready for pouring as delicious coffee.
How’s the French Press Different?
The French press, on the other hand, adopts a totally different approach to producing coffee. This handy coffee maker utilizes steep brew to give you a strong, rich cup of coffee.
The French press is a manual method, which means that it’s your job to complete all the steps of brewing, unlike the Moka pot where you simply load the ingredients, place the pot on the stove, and wait for the coffee to happen.
Yes, you may need to do some timing with the Moka pot, but that’s about it. In the French press, you’ll need to measure the ingredients (water and coffee grounds), grind the coffee beans, add the water, time the brew, and press down the plunger.
As you can tell, the French press method gives you great control over the various factors that affect your final brew. Such control can be a blessing and a curse (more on this later).
Another difference between the two coffee makers is that in the French press, the coffee grounds get entirely submerged in the water throughout the whole duration of the brewing process.
In fact, the French press involves one of the longest contact times between coffee grounds and water compared to most manual coffee makers out there.
Do French Press and Moka Pot Make the Same Kind of Coffee?
As mentioned above, the French press and the Moka pot are two very different methods. As a result, you can’t expect both coffee makers to brew the same exact kind of coffee.
In the French press, the coffee grounds (How many times can you reuse the same coffee grounds?) remain immersed in water for the entire length of the brewing process. This means that the extraction of flavors from the coffee grounds starts right from the first second and continues until you take out the coffee.
Intensity-wise, the French press produces coffee that’s quite strong and concentrated. Some may even consider it too intense and will use the produced coffee to make milder coffee beverages such as a latte or a cappuccino.
As for the Moka pot, the produced coffee isn’t as intense or as strong compared to what you get from the French press.
Granted, the brewing time is longer in the Moka pot, which should translate into more strength, but you need to keep in mind that the coffee grounds don’t stay in contact with the water for as much time. Still, the coffee from a Moka pot is rather delicious and many coffee aficionados swear by it. Coffee and espresso brewed in a Moka pot do taste delicious and can be used for many espresso-based drinks like an Americano for example.
Differences in Brewing
When it comes to the brewing process of the Moka pot vs the French press, the differences are pretty significant especially when it comes to the contact time, the brewing time, and the steps of brewing.
In a Moka pot, the water won’t come in contact with the coffee grounds until the water has been heated enough to generate steam. Even then, there has to be enough steam to push the water upwards and into the filter basket.
From here, the water that makes contact with the coffee grounds will travel further up into the receiving compartment to make room for new water in the filter basket.
This means that during the brewing process in a Moka pot, the water in contact with the coffee grounds changes as it moves up the compartments. The result is a strong cup of coffee, but definitely not as intense as the French press.
In a French press, the water remains in contact with the coffee grounds throughout the brewing process. It doesn’t move or change, which produces very strong coffee.
Actually, you’re highly advised to pour all of the finished coffee out of the French press after you press down the plunger. The reason is to help you avoid ending up with bitter coffee.
See, the coffee grounds in a French press will continue interacting with the water inside even after you press down the plunger. This means that the brewing won’t stop, it’ll still happen at a very slow rate.
So, if you leave some coffee behind, it’ll keep brewing until you pour it out of the container. The longer you let it sit in the French press, the more bitter your coffee will taste.
Another difference between the two methods is the brewing time. Generally speaking, the average brewing time of a French press is a bit shorter than that of a Moka pot, although it may differ from one person to another.
In a Moka pot, it’ll take you at least 5 to 10 minutes to brew coffee depending on how fast you bring your water to a boil.
However, in a French press, the brewing itself takes about 3 to 5 minutes depending on how coarse the grind is and how strong you like your coffee.
Steps of Brewing
Of course, the steps of brewing are the main difference between a Moka pot and a French press.
Using a Moka pot, what you need to do is pour some water into the designated compartment, load the coffee grounds in the filter basket, then place the Moka pot on your stove and turn on the heat.
After that, you just have to wait and keep an eye on the coffee to make sure you remove it from the heat at the right time.
But in the French press, the process is a bit more tricky to time and requires you to work those arm muscles.
Here, you’ll need to first warm up the device, then add in the coffee grounds, pour some water, and let it steep for 30 seconds. After that, you add the rest of the water and allow it to finish steeping.
Once the steeping is complete, you’ll have to manually push the plunger down, which can be fairly challenging for some people.
Is a Moka Pot cheaper than a French Press?
Technically speaking, a Moka pot can be relatively cheaper than a French press.
On average, the price of a Moka pot ranges from $25 to $35.While the price of a standard French press is usually less than $50, falling around the $35 to $45 range, some high-end models can cost you up to $200.
Is it Faster to make coffee with a Moka Pot?
No, it’s not. If you consider the brewing time of both methods, you’ll find that the average brewing time of a French press is less than that of a Moka pot.
In a Moka pot, it’ll take you at least 5 to 10 minutes to brew coffee depending on how fast you bring your water to a boil to generate steam.
But in a French press, the brewing itself takes about 3 to 5 minutes depending on how coarse the grind is and how strong you like your coffee.
Which Coffee tastes Better?
Now, that’s a tough question to answer. Not because there’s one that tastes better than the other, but because the decision ultimately depends on which brew hits the right spot on your unique coffee palate. So keep in mind that it’s a matter of personal preference.
That being said, both coffees are rich, aromatic, and pretty concentrated with a slightly heavier than normal body. They’ll have a thin layer of large bubbles on top, but it doesn’t last long and quickly decays back into the coffee.
In general, they’re delicious and balanced, but the Moka pot coffee is just a bit more oily and silty, while the French press coffee is cleaner with a syrupy mouthfeel.
Is it Easier to Use a Moka Pot or a French Press?
A Moka pot is a lot easier to use than a French press, hands down. For starters, the French press requires manual effort to press down the plunger. Such a labor element isn’t part of the Moka pot method.
Even if we overlook the physical effort, having to time the brewing steps in a French press is more tricky and way easier to mess up.
Moka pot vs French press – which coffee tastes better? Well, hopefully, you can make your own decision after reading this article.
Even though the French press coffee tastes a bit cleaner with a more syrupy mouthfeel, many people prefer the Moka pot coffee just because it’s easier to make and the difference in taste isn’t all that noticeable for them.