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How to Use a Stovetop Coffee Maker (The Perfect Stovetop Recipe)

How to Use a Stovetop Coffee Maker (The Perfect Stovetop Recipe)


  1. Stovetops can brew excellent coffee
  2. Start with fresh roasted, specialty coffee like our Shadow Boxer Blend.
  3. Grind right before use, follow a recipe and enjoy.

The stovetop is a hugely popular home brewing device that is known for brewing thick, strong, espresso-like coffee. It is also called a moka pot, stovetop espresso maker or Bialetti (after its inventor Alfonso Bialetti). Many a coffee lover has started their coffee journey with moka coffee.

The steam pressure that builds up in the brewing process extracts loads of flavour and crema and can make a powerful and full bodied coffee that shares similar characteristics to coffee produced by an espresso machine. 

We’ve produced some incredibly great espresso using the stovetop coffee maker, which is why we believe that it is the best place to start if you want to learn how to make home espresso without a machine. Many people have tried to produce espresso using other manual brewing devices, but we believe that Moka pot coffee is the closest you can get to a shot of espresso without actually having an espresso machine. 

Open moka pot, sitting on portable stovetop unit. Other coffee making tools in background.


Are you excited yet? You should be. You’re a few short steps away from producing espresso-like coffee without an actual espresso machine. 

However, before you get started, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the not-so-great things, like the chances of producing a bad cup. Here’s the thing: you are likely to produce a bitter and over-brewed cup if you don’t follow a moka pot recipe, it’s just a fact. Try your best to use scales, a timer and fresh coffee and you are more likely to avoid that. Using fresh coffee and equipment will help you produce a more consistent and better tasting cup of coffee. 

Let’s get to it. Here’s how how to make moka pot coffee in five simple steps: 

Step 1: Grab the filter from the base of the stovetop and place the funnel inside 

If you are just learning how to make Moka Pot coffee and are unfamiliar with this step, watch our video and we’ll walk you through it. This is a relatively simple step in the process that reduces your chances of losing any coffee when you begin to dose or add your ground coffee beans to the stovetop filter. 

Step 2: Grind your coffee 

Before you grind your coffee, you need to decide on how much coffee to use. This largely depends on how many cups you are brewing, but we generally recommend using roughly 7.5g of coffee per 100ml of water for a single serve. Try using double the amount of coffee and water if you plan on making two cups. 


Now let’s grind our coffee. The moka pot grind size should be between a fine to medium (think caster sugar) grind size. Using the correct grind size will ensure you get a decent enough crema, so if crema is important to you, make sure you have a grinder that is capable of producing finely ground coffee. If you don’t have one, take a look at our brew gear to familiarize yourself with grinders that are suitable for the Moka Pot. 

Step 3: Add your coffee to the stovetop filter


Once you’ve ground your coffee, add it to the stovetop filter basket. Fill the basket and make sure it's level and even. You don't need to press or tamp the coffee grounds down. We recommend that you tap the filter holder to level out the ground coffee and remove any air pockets. 

Screwing top and bottom piece of stovetop espresso maker (also known as a Bialetti or moka pot)

Step 4: Pour water into the Moka Pot and start brewing 


What temperature water should you use? Cold water takes longer to heat up which means the ground coffee is heating up for quite some time. This can make your stovetop coffee bitter and unenjoyable. We advise starting with hot water to keep the total brew time short and the coffee delicious.


Pour the hot water into the base of the stovetop. Insert the filter with the ground coffee back into the stovetop and screw on the top piece, making sure it’s tight. Place the Moka Pot on your hotplate and turn it on. Listen carefully and turn the element off when you hear a bubbling or brewing sound. 

Step 5: Final steps 


Once you hear the brewing stop, pickup the stovetop, pour into your vessel and enjoy. Stovetop can be quite strong so add more water if needed.


More of a visual learner? Watch our video if you don’t know how to use a Moka Pot. 


What is the best coffee for the Moka Pot?

The best moka pot coffee is fresh and roasted for espresso. Our blends are freshly roasted on a weekly basis, so we’ve got you covered in that area. If you’re looking for something stronger with chocolate notes, try our Shadow Boxer blend. If you’re after something finer that produces notes like cocoa and berries, try our Street Fighter blend. If you are looking for something to expand your horizons, browse from our range of single-origin espresso coffees which change seasonally and are more fruity and sweet.

Is Stovetop the same as percolator? 

While they can look similar, The stovetop espresso maker is not the same as a coffee percolator. In the percolator, water repeatedly comes down through the bed of coffee grounds and then back up. This can result in dirty, over-brewed coffee. There are other, more modern options that function similarly, but achieve significantly better results than traditional percolators, like the Moccamaster. Like percolators, these produce coffee in higher batches, but more consistently. That being said, we believe that if you follow a recipe and use coffee that is good enough, you can make most things taste great. If you’re interested in learning more about batch brew, you can read about it here


Can you use an aluminum Moka Pot? 

Many stovetops are made from aluminium and there was a health scare around cooking with aluminium a few years ago. Further studies have not found a link so you needn't worry. Stainless steel is another option and we sell the Avanti Inox Espresso Coffee Maker. It makes perfect stovetop coffee while looking great and lasting forever. Check them out here.

Brew better coffee using your Moka Pot. 

Knowing how to use a moka pot properly can help you out a tonne. If you’re still new to brewing coffee and need a little more guidance, consider subscribing to our YouTube channel or following our other guides for more tips on how to brew coffee. Most importantly, ask as many questions as you’d like and enjoy the process!

Opening top of stovetop coffee maker.