Updated: August 13, 2023 by Mary Nguyen
If none of the arguments seems to be enough in helping you choose a coffee brewer, I’m here to help you make up your mind about whether a Moka pot or an AeroPress should grace your kitchen counter.
It’s not enough to highlight the differences and call it a day, so in this guide, I went the extra mile to explain what makes these two unique and different, including their history.
Join me as I take you through it!
Table of Contents
Main Differences Between a Moka Pot vs AeroPress
The main differences between a Moka pot and an AeroPress are:
- A Moka pot will take 4-5 minutes to brew, whereas an AeroPress makes coffee in less than two minutes once you have the water heated up.
- A Moka pot requires a bit of skill to use, whereas an AeroPress is simple and much easier to use.
- A Moka pot can come in a size that can make up to 12 cups, whereas an AeroPress has a fixed capacity of 250ml, which is basically just a cup of coffee.
- A Moka pot uses a metal filter which allows oils and small particles into the coffee, whereas an AeroPress uses a paper filter that keeps oils as well as particles from the final brew.
- A Moka pot makes only one kind of coffee, whereas an AeroPress lets you brew different kinds of coffee.
Both brewers will make you a strong, tasty cup of joe, but if you would love a drink that has a heavier body and can serve as a base ingredient for making other coffee beverages, a Moka pot would be a better option. It will also be a perfect choice if you have a large family or are eager to explore the brewing process.
When you want to make coffee extraction faster and without too much hassle, or brew different coffee beverages from the same unit, AeroPress has all your wishes covered.
Here’s an opportunity to learn more about these two coffee makers, including how they came into being.
Moka Pot vs AeroPress: Histories
Moka pots are almost as old as the history of coffee itself, but the name came first. Mocha, a city in Yemen, was a historic coffee capital. “Moka“ may have a different spelling, but there’s no doubt that it was inspired by the city’s coffee heritage.
Despite the Yemeni name, Italians have been credited with the creation of the first Moka pot. Alfonso Bailetti made the first official model in 1933, which he called the Bialetti Moka Express. Although a few improvements have been made to the coffee maker, the name has stuck.
Now, there are many other coffee machine suppliers making Moka pots. Older designs have been refined into different styles. Consumers now have a plethora of options to choose from, some as cheap as $30 while prices go all the way to $100.
The core design, however, is the same across the board. Moka pots generally have three parts: a bottom chamber for holding water, a metal filter where coffee grounds are kept, and an upper chamber for collecting your brew.
The steam that’s generated builds up pressure in the bottom chamber, forcing water to go up and through the middle chamber, where it extracts coffee into the upper chamber. It’s that simple!
While the inner workings are simple, I would recommend that you take some time to learn and master how to use a Moka pot. It may be a simple coffee maker, but there are a number of things you have to get right for it to make you that rich, flavorful, bold cup of coffee.
Some tried and tested options for you to consider as you go about shopping for a Moka pot include:
- Bialetti Moka Express
- LuxHaus 3-Cup Stainless Steel Moka Pot
- Primula Stovetop Moka Pot
- GROSCHE Milano 9-Cup Stovetop Moka Pot
- Bialetti Musa
Most coffee makers have a long history, but not AeroPress. Its founder, Alan Adler, is an American inventor who teaches technology at Stanford University. Before creating the AeroPress, Alan invented the Aerobie flying circle, which broke world records for the farthest thrown object.
Alan Adler’s wife loved coffee but could not stand watery drip coffee, so after making the Aerobie he set out to try and fix the coffee problem. You could say that his wife’s dislike for weak coffee inspired him to create AeroPress.
AeroPress is the younger of these two coffee-making options. It only started to sell in 2005, but its growth has been phenomenal. Curious coffee connoisseurs who tried it as it came out got hooked and began to spread the word. Right now, AeroPress is just as popular as most of the older trusted coffee makers.
Unlike the Moka pot, the AeroPress is more portable, compact, and mostly made of plastic. It’s also much simpler to use and allows users to experiment with different brewing processes.
Speaking of brewing, the AeroPress uses both the pressure and steeping methods to make coffee. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a boiler so you will have to heat the water for brewing separately and also buy paper filters from time to time.
When you go shopping for one, take these options into consideration. You will hardly go wrong with any of them:
- AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker with Tote Bag
- AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
- AeroPress Go Portable Travel Coffee Press
Moka Pot vs AeroPress Brew Times
Coffee makers are generally slower at brewing because of the low pressure, but between these two, there’s still a difference in brewing time. It’s not huge, but it could decide whether you’ll catch or miss a flight.
Moka pots brew coffee for an average of 4-5 minutes from the moment the water heats up, so if the water takes longer to boil you could end up spending 10 minutes or more from preparation to serving.
Good sources of heat you could use for great results are infrared, coil, or gas stoves. All of them release decent medium heat and do not rely on the cookware itself to generate it.
Just like with a Moka pot, you will have to heat the water for brewing with the AeroPress. What’s different in this case is that you have to do it separately. As soon as the water is ready, this coffee maker will brew your coffee in less than 2 minutes. Therefore, the most you will spend from preparation to serving is 5 minutes, assuming you have a suitable source of heat.
Ease of Use
For both coffee makers, there are steps to be followed for a tasty, balanced, sweet brew. Bean preparation is the same for both, but the differences begin to appear when it comes to boiling water.
After grinding coffee beans to a semi-coarse texture (similar to table salt), put them in the metal filter, distribute them evenly, and lock the chamber back into its place. Pour water into the bottom chamber and make sure the rest of the parts are put back in their rightful place.
Turn on your stove and keep the heat low to medium. As soon as you hear a hissing or gurgling sound, remove the pot from the stove.
If you miss that, the coffee may begin to boil and eventually overflow. The pot will also become too hot and difficult to handle. That’s why you have to be so careful when making coffee with a Moka pot.
AeroPress, too, uses a semi-coarse grind. Once you have that ready, heat enough water in a separate container (depending on how many cups you want to make) to a near boiling point or 205°F.
Rinse your paper filter and then assemble your coffee maker. Add coffee into the chamber and then pour half the water into the mug. Stir after half a minute and then fill it up. Wait for two minutes then press down the plunger. Stop when you hear a hissing sound.
Your coffee should be ready to serve. You don’t have to worry about how hard or gentle you plunge; the coffee will still come out great.
Ease of use: AeroPress
Some of us live alone and do not see the need for a higher-capacity coffee maker, but if you have a large family or you invite friends over often for a cup of coffee, you will definitely need something that can make multiple cups at a time.
Moka pots, as I told you earlier, come in many styles and designs. Some are tied to brewing one cup only, while others can make enough coffee for up to 12 people.
The decision of which option to go for is all yours. What’s great is that they are versatile enough to accommodate different capacity needs.
It doesn’t matter what AeroPress you choose, all of them have a fixed capacity of 250 ml (8 oz). That’s only enough to fill up a mug of coffee, and even though it brews faster than a Moka pot, you will use a lot of time to make enough coffee for sizable crowds.
You also have to clean it after every brewing session and change the paper filters, so for huge quantities, it’s a lot of work.
Winner: Moka pot
It would be unfair to judge the taste of coffee from either coffee maker if you haven’t done the preparation correctly. First, be sure to use fresh light roast coffee beans. Use a burr grinder to grind them to the recommended size and consistency for espresso. That’s the secret to getting the much-desired aroma and flavor.
Once that’s done, you can make a measured judgment.
Thanks to the metal filter in Moka pots, oils and other coffee particles always find their way into the coffee, making it bold, flavorful, and a little bit thicker. It may not be full of crema and as full-bodied as real espresso, but you can still use it as a base ingredient for your other coffee recipes, including lattes and cappuccinos.
Coffee from an AeroPress may have that cherished caffeine kick, but because of the paper filter, it won’t be as bold and rich in flavor. It’s stronger than drip coffee, of course, but not strong enough to make most espresso-based drinks.
It compensates for that by giving you the freedom to experiment with different coffee quantities. You can brew as little as 2 ounces or as many ounces of coffee as possible for your machine, depending on how strong you want your brew to be.
Winner: Both the Moka pot and AeroPress. Preferences obviously vary from person to person; go with whichever makes coffee that you like.
AeroPress vs Moka Pot: Who Is the Winner?
It’s been a tight battle from the start; I understand if you are still torn between the two. After all, both fall in the same price category, are easy to clean, and make great coffee.
If we were to limit this rivalry to ease of use and brewing time, AeroPress would get the victory. Unfortunately, it will only serve you well if you are the only person using it and/or you don’t plan to host coffee parties. Moka pots, on the other hand, fit that role perfectly because there are lots of options that have the capacity to make more than one cup at a go.