9 Best Coffee Beans for Moka Pot 2023
Moka pots sometimes have a reputation for producing bitter coffee, but this can sometimes be down to using the wrong ingredients or techniques. Picking the best coffee beans for your Moka pot will make a huge difference to your brew, and ensure you enjoy the best that this simple but effective device has to offer.
To pick the best coffee beans for your Moka pot, you’ll want to play to the strength of the brewing method. Moka pots make strong coffee quickly thanks to the build up of pressure and hot water, so picking coffee beans that compliment this method is key to getting the best out of your stovetop brewer.
So, let’s take a closer look at the 9 best coffee beans for Moka pot in 2023!
What is a Moka Pot?
A moka pot is a small coffee brewing device that sits on a stovetop and uses the heat to push pressurized, boiling water through ground coffee. This results in a strong, espresso-like coffee. Multiple chambers are used to separate the hot water at the bottom, the coffee basket in the middle, and the coffee collection chamber at the top.
According to the Moka pot Wikipedia page, the device was first invented in 1933 by Italian designer Alfonso Bialetti, of Bialetti Industries. It then became a staple in Italian kitchens and soon spread throughout Europe.
European migrants (who had been displaced due to the second world war), brought their Moka pots to parts of South America and Australia, further spreading the usage of the device.
Water is added to the bottom chamber of the Moka pot, with fine to medium ground coffee placed in the filter basket which sits on top. Then, the coffee collection chamber is screwed on tightly and the whole thing is placed over a hot stovetop.
The stove heats the bottom of the Moka pot (made from aluminum) which then further boils the hot water above. This generates steam which, as the water boils over, rapidly evaporates through the coffee grounds and pushes hot coffee up through the central spout of the coffee collection chamber.
You’ll know your coffee is done when you can hear the gurgling and hissing of the coffee being driven up through the middle of the Moka pot.
If you want to find out more about Moka pots and how to brew coffee in them properly step by step, check out this article.
What to Consider When Choosing Coffee for Your Moka Pot
Naturally, understanding how to use your Moka pot correctly plays a major role in brewing delicious tasting coffee. However, picking the right coffee beans for the job is easily as important!
Your Moka pot technique could be the best in the world, but if you aren’t using the right coffee beans, you’ve got no chance of making a great cup of joe!
The roast of coffee used in your Moka pot will play a major role in the development of flavor, taste and bitterness.
Let’s not forget, Moka pots produce pretty strong tasting coffee, so using an extremely dark roasted, bitter tasting coffee bean could make the whole drinking experience a bit overwhelming.
That being said, light roasted coffee beans tend to be more acidic and retain a lot more of their natural, underlying flavor notes. Therefore, using light roasts with a Moka pot that brews coffee through pressurized steam, may result in the delicate flavors being overpowered and lost.
As a result, medium roasted coffee works best for Moka pot brewing. It tends to strike the balance between that classic earthy, nutty coffee taste, whilst not being too intense or bitter.
Using freshly roasted coffee beans is one of the biggest upgrades you can make to your daily brew. If you’ve never tried coffee beans that have been roasted within the last month and only ever bought them from the supermarket, you’re missing out!
If you go to a local specialty coffee shop, coffee roastery or even order direct from coffee subscription services online, you’ll be able to get much fresher coffee beans than you’ll find in the supermarket.
Using fresher coffee will make a big difference to the amount of punch you’ll get from your Moka pot. The device does a great job of making strong, intense coffee, so make the most of this by using as fresh beans as you can!
If you are an avid Moka pot brewer, you’ll want coffee beans that are low in acid, but also have a nutty and almost bittersweet flavor to them. This is because the Moka pot works well with full bodied beans, and those that combine subtle sweetness with intense smokiness.
With this in mind, here are a few origins to consider when picking the best coffee beans for your Moka pot:
- Nicaragua: Sweet and Creamy
- Peru: Subtle Sweetness
- Columbia: Intense, Nutty, Chocolate Flavors.
- Brazil: Low Acidity and Chocolate Flavors
- Jamaica: Full Bodied with Balanced Flavors
- Sumatra: Full Bodied, Syrup and Chocolate Flavors.
For more information about coffee origins from around the world, check out this article by Maxine Builder and Lauren Kolm on Extra Crispy from February 2018 “A Beginner’s Guide to Coffee Flavor Profiles of the World”.
As mentioned above, opting for coffee evans that combine full bodied tasting characteristics with sweet and smoky flavor combinations tends to deliver the best results with Moka pots.
The key is to go for coffee beans that combine bitterness and sweetness in the same batch of beans. If the words, nutty, chocolaty, syrup, caramel, smooth, rich or clean are used, this is a good sign.
However, you should avoid characteristics like floral, citrus, acidic or wine unless you want a very sour and bitter tasting cup of coffee.
The grind size used in your Moka pot plays a major role in ensuring you achieve the correct level of extraction. Because a Moka pot uses highly pressurized, boiling water to force steam through ground coffee, you’ll want to use a relatively fine grind.
How fine you may ask?
Well, something between an espresso and pour over grind (medium to fine).
I would also definitely recommend grinding your own coffee beans when using a Moka pot as opposed to buying pre-ground beans if you can. Dialing in the correct grind size for a Moka pot is not an easy task, and getting it wrong can lead to either weak, under extracted coffee, or potentially a build up of pressure that risks your Moka pot exploding!
If you are going to use pre-ground coffee beans, then make sure they are specifically designed for Moka pot brewing as the size requirements are quite specific.
If you have more questions about the perfect grind size for Moka pot, check out my article on the subject here.
The 9 Best Coffee Beans for Moka Pot 2023
So, let’s dive into the 9 best coffee bean choices for Moka pot brewing in 2023. This is not an exhaustive list and you should try out plenty of different coffee beans before settling on your favorite.
However, I hope this list serves as a good starting point to get help with your search.
I have tried to include beans from a range of different origins, whilst adhering to the flavor and roast principles listed above. However, feel free to explore outside of these parameters and see what works best for you.
1. Bulletproof Coffee The Mentalist
Origin: Guatemala, Colombia & El Salvador
Flavors: Cherry, Almond & Caramel
The Mentalist by Bulletproof Coffee is a medium to dark roast coffee bean with vibrant but smooth flavors. This fairtrade coffee is great for Moka pot use as it offers rich and nutty flavors that are brought out by the intensity of the brewing method. Bulletproof coffee source their produce sustainably and ensure only the best beans make it into customer’s hands. There is a subtle sweetness to these beans that works brilliantly with the nuttiness and smokiness that a Moka pot accentuates.
2. Lifeboost Medium Roast
Flavors: Chocolate, Fig & Nuts
Lifeboost coffee is a premium low acid coffee that doesn’t skimp on flavor. This GMO free coffee is great for people with sensitive stomachs and also those that love using their Moka pot in the morning!
The subtle but distinctive nutty and chocolatey flavors work brilliantly with a Moka pot, whilst the organic, natural coffee is of the highest quality.
3. San Francisco Bay Breakfast Blend
Origin: Central America
Flavors: Nutty, Chocolate & Caramel
San Francisco Bay’s Breakfast Blend is a smooth, well balanced bean that suits the intensity of the Moka pot down to the ground. The smooth nuttiness of the medium roasted bean offers a great start to the day and a robots flavor, but not overpowering bitterness.
4. illy Classico Whole Bean
Origin: Mixed Origin Blend
Flavors: Jasmin, Orange Blossom & Caramel
Illy Classico coffee is a great benchmark for other medium roasted beans to be compared to. Illy has a rich history in the coffee world and is one of Italy’s finest exports. The medium roasted classico blend is a great companion of the Moka pot, as it offers a great body and a delicate balance of flavors. There are only hints of floral notes and the predominant flavors are caramel and nuts.
Check out my full review of Illy Classico coffee here.
5. Lavazza Top Class Filtro
Flavors: Milk Chocolate & Hazelnut
Another great choice for Moka pot brewers is the Lavazza Top Class Filtro. This bold but well balanced bean packs a punch whilst delivering a delicate nutty flavor. The Top Class Filtro offers a clean taste and pairs brilliantly with the intensity of the Moka pot.
6. Copper Moon Southern Pecan Blend
Origin: Central & South America
Flavors: Pecan & Caramel
This nutty but sweet flavored coffee from Copper Moon delivers a smooth mouth feel and works great with a Moka pot. The Southern Pecan Blend is a great match for the bold brewing style of a Moka pot, as it offers a well rounded flavor profile that doesn’t lose its bite once brewed.
7. Caffè Tropea Arabica Coffee Beans & Robusta
Origin: Mixed Blend
Flavors: Smoky, Nuts & Chocolate
Caffe Tropea’s unique blend of Robusta and Arabica coffee bean varieties deliver a bold, smoky flavor that works well with Moka pots. The natural nuttiness and smooth chocolate flavors in the Arabica beans coupled with the dark smoky notes from the more caffeinated Robusta beans make for a delicious combination.
8. Cafedirect Organic Roaster’s Choice
Origin: Mexico & Peru
Flavors: Chocolate, Nougat & Ganache
Cafedirect’s organic roaster’s choice coffee beans are a limited release of sweet tasting produce that will work well with a Moka pot’s intense brewing procedure. You can expect a delicious, full bodied cup of coffee when using these beans, as well as a sweet blend of chocolate, nougat and ganache.
9. Hills Bros Donut Shop
Origin: Mixed Blend
Roast: Medium to Dark Roast
Flavors: Smoky & Nutty
Hills Bros Donut Shop coffee has the job of standing up to sweet treats, so needs to be robust in flavor and full bodied. Fortunately, the bros have done a great job of this and the smoky and nutty flavors of their Donut Shop blend is a great accompaniment to any sweet breakfast treat. Moka pot brewing is a great way to extract natural smokiness from medium and dark roasted coffee, so Hills bros is the perfect match!
Overall, choosing the best coffee beans for your moka pot is no easy task. The intensity of the brewing method along with the speed makes picking the right bean for the job quite difficult.
A coffee bean with enough body and bitterness to stand up to the intensity of the highly pressurized steam, but that also has a smooth flavor profile that shines through is ideal.
I hope the list above has served as a good starting point for your Moka pot brewing journey, and you go ahead and try out some of the best coffee beans for Moka pot listed above!
Should You Buy Pre-Ground Coffee For Moka Pot?
Whilst it is possible to buy pre-ground coffee for your Moka pot, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. Grinding your own coffee beans not only ensures the freshest, best tasting results, but also helps you dial in the perfect grind size for Moka pot too.
Is Moka Pot Coffee Stronger Than Regular Coffee?
Yes, because a Moka pot uses highly pressurized steam to force water through relatively finely ground coffee, the result is a stronger cup than a regular drip brew.
Does Moka Pot Coffee Taste Bitter?
Some people prefer the taste of Moka pot coffee due to its bold, intense flavor. However, if you are a lover of more delicate flavors that are less strong, then opt for something like a pour over.
How Much Coffee to Put in a Moka Pot?
Simply fill up the coffee filter chamber of your Moka pot to the brim with medium to fine ground coffee and you will have the perfect ratio of coffee to water.
How Do You Know When a Moka Pot is Done Brewing?
When your Moka pot starts to gurgle and you can see that it is filling up with delicious, bold, freshly brewed coffee, it’s time to take it off the heat and serve. Don’t be afraid to brew with your Moka pot lid open so you can see how things are progressing.