Last Updated on July 21, 2023 by Barry Gray
I have a confession to make. If you asked me to choose between brewing coffee in a Moka pot or with a pour over, I’d be greedy and tell you to brew one of each.
I’d say that for two reasons.
I love coffee, and I love the different brewing methods and how they help release various flavors and aromas from the coffee. Also, who in their right mind would turn down an extra coffee being brewed?
But I know not everyone would want one of each. Well, not at the same time.
So, which option should you choose between a Moka pot or a pour over? Don’t stress, as I will help you with your decision.
A Moka pot produces coffee not too dissimilar to an espresso. A pour over works similarly to a filter coffee, and both options need the correct techniques to deliver a robust and flavorful coffee.
But just offering this simple explanation isn’t enough to make your decision that bit easier. Instead, I need to delve more into both brewing methods to help you reach your own conclusion.
What is a Moka Pot
I love my Moka pot. I adore the coffee it can produce, but only when you manage to master choosing the right coffee for your own particular preferences.
I find selecting the coffee to be the most challenging part of using a Moka pot.
But there’s one thing I struggle to understand when it comes to a Moka pot: the way people seem to battle to get it to produce decent coffee.
Now, maybe it’s because I’ve used my Moka pot so much that it’s almost second nature to me. That’s certainly possible.
Yet, I’ve read so many comments where people feel their Moka pot produces an Americano that’s just weak and lacking in pretty much everything.
If you follow a few simple steps, using a Moka pot should not prove difficult.
- Add water to the base and fill up to the fill line
- Add coffee grounds to the basket, but don’t tamp down
- Screw it together, and place it on the stovetop
- Use a medium to low heat and give it a couple of minutes to warm up
- When you hear that gurgling sound, switch it off, and pour
That is pretty much how you use a Moka pot, so there should be nothing complex about it.
How a Moka Pot Works
The Moka pot works in a straightforward manner. The water boils and rushes through the ground coffee sitting in the top chamber of the pot.
In a sense, there is some pressure involved in the coffee production, but it’s nowhere near as much pressure as you get with an espresso machine. That is why a Moka pot does not produce an espresso, even though it does conjure up a strong coffee.
When done correctly, a Moka pot will produce a coffee that is rich, surprisingly smooth, and flavorful. But don’t expect it to make a lot of coffee at the one time, as it simply won’t do that.
What is a Pour Over?
A pour over is an entirely different coffee-brewing method from the Moka pot. Still, at the same time, it does also produce a different type of coffee experience.
A pour over will entail you placing coffee grounds in the brewer, and water is then poured over the coffee with the water percolating through the grounds and producing that delicious liquid.
I’ve always found something quite therapeutic about a pour over with the way the coffee trickles down into the carafe below. Of course, my mind is willing it to hurry up as I want to taste the coffee!
But there’s not just one type of pour over out there.
Different Filters for Different Pour Overs
A pour over requires the use of a filter to prevent the grounds from dropping down into the carafe below. This is where a difference can occur, as some pour overs will use a paper filter while others have their own built-in mesh filter.
I find that either will work well, and it often comes down to personal preference as to which one you should use. At the end of the day, both can produce some stunning coffee, and that’s the most important thing of all.
What Does Coffee from a Pour Over Taste Like?
One reason I love a pour over is the control it gives me over where the water goes with the coffee grounds. Also, I always enjoy the type of coffee a good pour over is able to produce.
Typically, you are looking at a full-bodied coffee packed full of flavor and surprisingly intense. I know the first time I had a pour over, I was taken aback by the strength of the coffee it would produce.
Yet the filter you use will change the coffee you produce.
A paper filter will tend to lead to a clearer coffee. A mesh filter is different as it will produce a thicker and fuller coffee.
Is a Moka Pot or a Pour Over Easier to Use?
Both a Moka pot and a Pour Over have the potential to produce decent coffee, but which is easier to use?
I think out of the two, it’s the pour over that’s the easiest. After all, you simply need to add ground coffee to the filter and then pour water over it.
Yet, there is some finesse attached to using a pour over and distributing the water over the coffee. Also, there’s the need for some patience and ensuring you have the correct grind to let the water pass through at the correct rate.
With the Moka pot, I see the key to it being the ability to listen for those tell-tale sounds that the coffee is ready. If you miss that gurgling sound, you run the risk of over brewing your coffee, and that will lead to an increased bitterness that’s not always pleasant.
You have no such problem with a Pour Over as long as you don’t use a fine grind where the granules are tightly packed together.
Which Option is Most Expensive?
I will briefly remove the coffee cost from the equation here, as that will confuse things even more.
The cost of purchasing either a Moka pot or a Pour Over will vary a great deal. I’ve come across a Moka pot that costs next to nothing, but how long it will last is something that’s up for debate.
There are a huge number of impressive looking Pour Over coffee makers out there. Some look extraordinary, but don’t be fooled by their looks.
I would say the cost of purchasing either option is pretty much the same. Sure, there’s the chance of landing an inexpensive coffee maker, but I would always opt for one that’s better made and more likely to last some time.
So, if you were hoping the cost would help with your decision, I’m sorry to disappoint.
Which Coffee Should You Use with a Moka Pot or a Pour Over?
Using the correct coffee makes a massive difference to your coffee experience with either of these brewing methods. But there’s a difference between the two options.
The Best Coffee for a Moka Pot
I always ensure the coffee is a medium-fine grind when I use my Moka pot. A coarse grind won’t work, but also avoid using a grind that’s more for an espresso machine.
If it’s too fine, the water will not get through the coffee resulting in a poor result. Alternatively, a coarse grind allows the water to pass too quickly with you also then being disappointed.
From a roasting perspective, stick with either a medium or dark roast to get a coffee that will blow your mind.
The Best Coffee for a Pour Over
A Pour Over is different. Here, it would be best if you used a medium-coarse grind to get the best result. If you have used a French press before, the grind will be roughly the same as it is for the Pour Over.
This grind is perfect for allowing the water to pour through at the correct rate resulting in that perfect full-flavored coffee.
From the perspective of the roast, it should be a medium roast to get the best results. Don’t go for dark roasts, as it will be too intense and will hamper your ability to experience the different notes and flavors contained within the coffee.
Which Option is Most Consistent?
I have a cousin who is Mr. Consistent with his coffee. He knows exactly what he likes, from the bean to the brewing method, and he has no interest in experiencing anything else.
For him, his coffee needs to be identical each and every time, and if you are looking for something with a touch of consistency, the Moka pot is the winner.
With a Moka pot, you have the same amount of coffee with the same water level every single time. It doesn’t change.
You put the Moka pot on the stovetop at the same temperature, and when everything is kept the same, it’s obvious you should get an identical result.
A Pour Over is different.
You can change the amount of coffee granules you put in the filter. You can change how much water you pour through to get the coffee. You can even play around with the grind a bit to get various results.
Now, I personally love having that ability to change things around a bit, but it does mean you are never 100% sure what your coffee will be like.
If that’s something that doesn’t appeal, a Moka pot would be the winner.
My Recap on a Moka Pot and a Pour Over
Both a Moka pot and a Pour Over are excellent at producing coffee, but if you are still unsure about which option to use, here’s my recap on the key points.
- A Moka pot uses pressure to make coffee, while a Pour Over uses gravity
- A Moka pot uses a medium-fine grind
- A Pour Over uses a medium-coarse grind
- A Moka pot works with a medium or dark roast
- A Pour Over is best with a medium roast
- You have more control over a Pour Over and can change things around
- Both cost roughly the same to purchase good models
Overall, I feel neither is better than the other. Both work so well.
Trying to choose between a Moka pot and a Pour Over is almost impossible. Both produce excellent coffee, cost about the same, and will deliver a fantastic coffee-drinking experience.
I think it all comes down to personal preference, or you could be like me and enjoy both while switching between brewing methods depending on the coffee I want at the time.