French press coffee brewer and a Moka Pot coffee brewer

French Press vs. Moka Pot - A Tale of Two Brews

By Coffeenated Stories | 11 min read

Updated On: FEB 06 2024

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The journey from bean to cup is as varied as it is fascinating in the world of coffee, offering a spectrum of flavors, textures, and aromas that cater to the diverse palates of coffee enthusiasts worldwide. The French Press and Moka Pot stand out among the plethora of brewing methods, each championing a unique approach to coffee extraction and embodying a distinct coffee culture.

French Press
French Press
Moka Pot
Moka Pot
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The French Press, celebrated for its simplicity and the rich, full-bodied coffee it produces, invites aficionados to savor the nuanced flavors and oils often trapped by paper filters. On the other hand, the Moka Pot, an icon of Italian tradition, offers a stovetop alternative that brews under pressure, delivering a bold, concentrated espresso-like coffee that is both intense and aromatic.

Choosing between these two methods is not merely a matter of preference but an exploration into the heart of coffee brewing itself. This comparison delves into the intricate dance between method and medium, where the gentle steeping of the French Press meets the dynamic pressure of the Moka Pot.

Pouring French Press Coffee
Pouring French Press Coffee
Pouring Moka Pot Coffee
Pouring Moka Pot Coffee
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It's a narrative that weaves through the threads of practicality, taste, and tradition, guiding both the novice and the seasoned coffee drinker through the nuances that define the character of the brew in your cup.

As we embark on this comparative journey, we aim to illuminate the distinct characteristics that make each method unique while offering insights into how they can fit into your daily coffee ritual.

Whether you're drawn to the robust intensity of a Moka Pot brew or the subtle complexities unlocked by a French Press, understanding the merits and limitations of each will enhance your appreciation and experience of coffee.

Overview of French Press and Moka Pot

In the world of coffee brewing, both the French Press and the Moka Pot stand out for their unique methods of extracting flavor and caffeine from coffee grounds, offering distinct taste profiles and brewing experiences. Understanding the characteristics and origins of each device is essential for appreciating the differences in the coffee they produce.

The French Press, also known as a press pot or plunger pot, is celebrated for its simplicity and the rich, full-bodied coffee it produces. Invented by two Frenchmen, Henri-Otto Mayer and Jacques-Victor Delforge, in the mid-19th century, the French press brewer was later improved and refined by multiple Italian and French designers in the mid and late 1920s.

Read Also: The History of the French Press: From its Origins to Modern Day

The French press coffee brewing method involves steeping coarse coffee grounds in hot water for several minutes before manually pushing down a plunger to separate the grounds from the liquid. This process allows oils and fine particles to remain in the brew, contributing to its characteristic body and flavor.

French Press
French Press
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The French press coffee brewer consists of two parts:

  • A Carafe is the brewing chamber where the ground coffee is immersed in hot water and brewed.
  • A Plunger consists of a multilayer filter, a lid, and a rod for moving the filter up and down.
A Carafe of a French Press
A Carafe of a French Press
A Plunger with a Filter and a Lid
A Plunger with a Filter and a Lid
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On the other hand, the Moka Pot is a stovetop coffee maker that brews coffee by passing boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee. Patented in Italy by Luigi De Ponti, who sold its patent to Alfonso Bialetti in 1933, the Moka Pot is sometimes referred to as a stovetop espresso maker due to the strong, concentrated coffee it produces.

Moka Pot on a Stovetop
Moka Pot on a Stovetop
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The Moka Pot coffee brewer operates under lower pressure than a traditional espresso machine, and it is divided into three chambers:

  • Water in the bottom chamber.
  • Ground coffee in the filter of the middle section.
  • The brewed coffee ends up in the top chamber.
The Three Parts of a Moka Pot (Disassembled Moka Pot)
The Three Parts of a Moka Pot (Disassembled Moka Pot)
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Both the French press and Moka Pot brewing methods are deeply rooted in coffee culture and have their loyal followings.

The French Press is often praised for its straightforward brewing process and the ability to control strength and flavor. It is a favorite among coffee enthusiasts who enjoy the ritual of making coffee as much as the drink itself.

Meanwhile, the Moka Pot is cherished for its ability to produce a robust and richly flavored coffee, often seen as a daily ritual in Italian households and beyond.

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French Press and Moka Pot Brewers

Coffee Lover's Delight
Mueller French Press

Mueller French Press

Mueller French Press is an exceptional choice that will exceed your expectations.

  • Triple-layered filter structure: This innovative design ensures that no sediment enters your cup while allowing the delicious coffee oils to pass through.
  • Matching travel canister: This convenient addition allows you to carry enough coffee beans or grounds for two whole batches, ensuring that you can enjoy your favorite brew even on the go.
  • Double-layered stainless steel: This coffee maker not only does it retain heat exceptionally well, keeping your coffee hot for a remarkable 60 minutes longer than thinner steel and glass models, but it is also drop-proof and rust-proof.
  • Versatile: It serves as a handy appliance for brewing tea, creating pleasant MCT oil coffee, indulging in hot chocolate, experimenting with cold brew, frothing milk to perfection, and even making infused beverages with almond milk, cashew milk, or fruit infusions.
  • Excellent gift choice: Whether it's a housewarming, wedding, birthday, or any celebration, this coffee maker will impress coffee and tea lovers alike.
The Original
Bialetti Moka Express 6 Cup

Bialetti Moka Express 6 Cup

The Bialetti Moka Express coffee maker is an authentic Italian gem combining quality craftsmanship and traditional design. Made in Italy, this coffee maker is built to last, and its superior quality is evident in every aspect.

  • Made in Italy: The Bialetti Moka Express Espresso Maker is proudly made in Italy, ensuring superior quality and authenticity.
  • Patented Safety Valve: The built-in safety valve guarantees a safe brewing process and facilitates easy cleaning.
  • Versatile Compatibility: This coffee maker is suitable for gas, electric, and induction stovetops, making it a versatile choice for any kitchen.
  • Various Sizes Available: The Moka Express comes in different sizes, allowing you to brew the perfect amount of coffee to suit your needs, whether a single espresso cup or a larger serving.
  • Easy to Clean: Simply rinse the Moka Express with clean water afterward. Avoid using detergents, as they can affect the taste of your coffee. Note that the product is not dishwasher safe.
  • Durable Construction: Crafted from polished aluminum, the Moka Express is built to last and withstand regular use in your kitchen.
  • One-Year Warranty: Bialetti stands behind the quality of its product, offering a one-year warranty for added peace of mind.

Brewing Process Comparison

In exploring the nuances between the French Press and the Moka Pot, it becomes evident that their brewing processes are distinct, reflected in the coffee's flavor, texture, and overall experience.

The French Press, known for its simplicity and elegance, uses an immersion brewing method. Coarse to medium-coarse ground coffee is steeped in hot water for about 4 minutes, allowing the flavors and oils to fully infuse before a plunger with a metal or nylon mesh filter separates the grounds from the liquid.

Steeping Coffee Grounds in a French Press (Immersion Brewing)
Steeping Coffee Grounds in a French Press (Immersion Brewing)
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Immersion brewing is a coffee brewing approach where coffee grounds are completely submerged in water for the duration of the brewing process. Besides the French press, other coffee brewed by immersion are Cold Brew, Clever Dripper, Turkish coffee, AeroPress, and others.

The French press brewing method is revered for its ability to produce a rich, full-bodied coffee, capturing the coffee's essential oils and fine particles that contribute to its character and taste.

Read Also: A Coffee Brewing Guide: The French Press

Conversely, the Moka Pot, an iconic symbol of Italian brewing tradition, operates on a different principle. It utilizes a percolative brewing process, which uses steam pressure similar to an espresso machine but less intense.

Brewing Moka Pot Coffee
Brewing Moka Pot Coffee
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Brewing coffee by a percolation method is characterized by the movement of water—either poured over or forced through the coffee grounds under gravity or pressure. Besides Moka Pot, other popular percolative brewing methods include drip coffee, espresso, and pour-over.

Illustration of Brewing Coffee with a Moka Pot (Percolation Brewing)
Illustration of Brewing Coffee with a Moka Pot (Percolation Brewing)
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The water heated in the lower chamber of the pot turns to steam, creating pressure that forces the water upwards through a filter basket containing the coffee grounds and finally into the upper chamber, where the brewed coffee collects.

This process, often referred to as stovetop espresso, yields a robust and concentrated coffee with a texture and intensity closer to espresso than a traditionally brewed cup of coffee.

Read Also: A Coffee Brewing Guide: The Moka Pot

The comparison of the brewing process between the French Press and the Moka Pot reveals a fascinating divergence in coffee brewing philosophy.

The French Press promotes coffee's purity and unadulterated flavors, offering a sensory experience deeply rooted in the beans' essence. It requires patience and a more personal touch, as the brewer must decide the exact moment to plunge, directly influencing the strength and flavor of the brew.

On the other hand, the Moka Pot celebrates the alchemy of pressure and heat, creating a brew that is both a nod to traditional Italian espresso and a testament to the inventiveness of early 20th-century coffee innovation.

Moka Pot Coffee
Moka Pot Coffee
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It is less forgiving than the French Press, requiring attention to the grind size, the amount of water, adjusting the heat source and brewing time to avoid over-extraction, yet rewarding the brewer with a rich, aromatic cup of coffee that is both vigorous and lively.

Though starkly different, both methods offer unique pathways to coffee enjoyment, highlighting the diverse world of coffee brewing. The choice between a French Press and a Moka Pot does not lie in which is superior, but rather in what the coffee enthusiast seeks to experience in their cup.

Taste and Texture Comparison

When exploring French Press and Moka Pot brewing methods, the taste and texture of the coffee produced stand as pivotal elements that significantly influence a coffee enthusiast's preference. Both methods are celebrated for their distinctive profiles, yet they diverge in the sensory experiences they offer.

The French Press method is renowned for its ability to produce coffee that is rich, robust, and full-bodied. That is mainly due to the brewing process, which allows oils and fine particles from the coffee grounds to remain in the final cup, contributing to a cloudier, more micro-gritty textured coffee.

French Press Coffee
French Press Coffee
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The absence of paper filters means that the essential oils, which carry a significant portion of the coffee's flavor, are not absorbed but instead find their way into the brew, enhancing its flavor complexity. Consequently, coffee made with a French Press is often described as smooth and deep, with a wide range of flavor notes that can be detected amidst its dense mouthfeel.

In contrast, the Moka Pot, a stovetop espresso maker, is designed to extract coffee under pressure, similar to traditional espresso machines. This method results in concentrated coffee with a somewhat lighter texture than French Press but more intense in flavor.

Moka Pot Coffee
Moka Pot Coffee
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The Moka Pot brew is characterized by its bold, rich taste and often possesses a slight harshness, which is appreciated by those who favor a strong cup of coffee. The pressure-driven extraction process facilitates a brew adorned with a thin layer of crema on top and less oily than the French Press, leading to a coffee with a cleaner mouthfeel yet a body that is sufficiently substantial to satisfy those who enjoy the intensity of espresso.

Moka Pot Coffee with Crema
Moka Pot Coffee with Crema
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The distinction in taste and texture between the two methods can also be attributed to the grind size and brewing time. The French Press requires a coarser grind and a longer brewing time, allowing for a complete extraction of flavors, while the Moka Pot uses a finer grind and a shorter brewing time, which produces a more concentrated shot of coffee. This results in the Moka Pot delivering a punchier, more robust flavor, whereas the French Press offers a gentler, more nuanced tasting experience, where the subtle notes of the coffee bean can be more readily appreciated.

Cost and Accessibility

In assessing the cost and accessibility of the French Press and the Moka Pot, it's essential to consider the initial investment required to purchase these devices, their long-term value, and the availability of the necessary accessories or consumables.

Cost Comparison

The French Press and Moka Pot both represent relatively affordable options for brewing high-quality coffee at home compared to high-end espresso machines or other coffee makers. However, there are variations in price within each category based on brand, material, and capacity.

  • French Press: Prices can vary widely, with basic models made from plastic (Affiliate Link to Amazon) or glass being relatively inexpensive. In contrast, more durable versions made from stainless steel or with unique design features may command higher prices. Despite these variations, a French Press generally offers good value, considering its durability and the quality of coffee it can produce.
Elegance and Authenticity

BAYKA French Press

The BAYKA French Press effortlessly combines sleek, stylish design with the ability to deliver a pure and authentic coffee taste. Elevate your coffee brewing routine and savor every sip of your coffee.

BAYKA French Press
  • Durability and quality: Crafted from high-quality borosilicate glass, this brewer is resistant to thermal shock and can withstand high temperatures.
  • 4-level filtration: This system includes a metal mesh filter, spring disk, metal cross plate, and a final mesh screen. Together, these components work harmoniously to deliver a sediment-free brew.
  • Easy cleaning: The glass carafe can be easily disassembled, allowing for thorough cleaning. Both the plunger and filter are dishwasher safe.
  • Moka Pot: Similarly, the cost of a Moka Pot can range from very affordable for a small, basic aluminum model to more expensive for larger sizes or those made from stainless steel. The price may also reflect the brand's prestige, with some Italian brands being particularly sought after for their quality and design.
Stainless Steel

Bialetti Musa

The Bialetti Musa delivers an authentic Italian espresso experience, allowing you to savor a perfectly brewed cup of coffee with rich flavors and aromas.

Bialetti Musa
  • Italian design combined with functionality
  • Slim jug-like structure made of stainless steel
  • Black plastic handle for convenient pouring
  • Stainless steel construction minimizes impact on coffee taste compared to aluminum
  • Suitable for gas, electric, and induction burners
  • The handle should be positioned away from the heat source
  • Hand wash only, not dishwasher safe
  • Brews up to 6 espressos at a time
  • The capacity of (300ml) 9.2oz


Both brewing methods are widely accessible and available for purchase in various retail outlets, from kitchenware stores to online platforms. The choice between a French Press and a Moka Pot might also be influenced by the type of coffee grind each method requires, as this affects the overall ease of use and accessibility:

  • French Press: Requires a coarse to medium-coarse grind, which is readily available in most stores or can be achieved with a home grinder without needing a very fine setting. This accessibility makes the French Press and a pairing of a coffee grinder an attractive option for those who value convenience.
Elevate Your Coffee Experience

NOVANIL French Coffee Kit

The NOVANIL French Coffee Kit is a unique offering for coffee enthusiasts who appreciate premium quality, eco-friendliness, and excellent customer support. This comprehensive kit includes a Coffee Grinder and a French Press designed to deliver an exceptional coffee brewing experience.

NOVANIL French Coffee Kit
  • The French Press in the NOVANIL French Coffee Kit is designed for convenience and performance. With a capacity of 12 oz (350 ml) and made from high-quality heat-resistant glass, it ensures a perfect brew every time. The three-layer filtration system guarantees a fine coffee free of sludge, while the lightweight stainless-steel body provides sturdy support for the glass carafe. The handle design adds convenience, making it easy to hold and clean after use.
  • The Coffee Grinder included in the kit is a standout feature. It is constructed with a high-quality wooden body, a metal screw for adjusting the degree of grind, and a large powder box capable of collecting 0.7 oz (20 g) of freshly ground coffee. This grinder ensures consistency and enhances the flavor and aroma of your coffee.
  • The kit's components are crafted with a commitment to premium quality and eco-friendliness. The NOVANIL French Coffee Kit boasts solid and elegant packing. Beyond its functional benefits, the NOVANIL French Coffee Kit is also an excellent gift idea for coffee lovers.
  • Should you encounter any issues with your order, the buyer-seller messaging platform allows for direct communication. The dedicated support team ensures that all your questions and concerns are promptly addressed within 24 hours. NOVANIL French Coffee Kit comes with an extended warranty period of 1 year.
  • Moka Pot: Requires a finer grind than the French Press, akin to an espresso grind, but not as fine as what you'd need for a proper espresso machine. While this grind is also commonly available, achieving the perfect consistency might require a more precise grinder, potentially adding to the cost for those who wish to grind their beans at home.
Precision and Consistency

Fellow Opus

The OPUS Conical Burr Grinder is a versatile and high-performing electric grinder that caters to coffee lovers who appreciate the full spectrum of brewing methods. With its ability to grind for espresso and cover the precise grind sizes needed for pour-over to cold brew, this grinder provides exceptional control over your grind.

Fellow Opus
  • Consistency in grind size is vital to unlocking the authentic flavors of coffee, and the OPUS Conical Burr Grinder delivers just that. Equipped with a 6-blade 40 mm conical burr set and a powerful motor boasting 6Nm of torque, it ensures outstanding consistency and flavor across all brewing styles.
  • The load bin lid provides a helpful grind guide, ensuring you never feel lost during the grinding process. Making precise adjustments using the inner ring is effortless, allowing you to fine-tune your grind size according to your preferences. The unique no-tool calibration feature also helps you easily maintain your preferred settings.
  • The drop-down design from the load bin drastically reduces grind retention, minimizing waste and ensuring that each grind is fresh. The anti-static technology and spouted catch keep your countertop spotless, preventing coffee grounds from scattering during grinding.

Long-term Value

Both devices are known for their durability, especially if they are well-maintained. However, a glass French press has parts that may require replacement, such as its glass carafe or handle, which can be prone to breaking. On the other hand, a Moka Pot can last for many years without needing any parts to be replaced, provided it is cleaned regularly and used correctly.

Both the French Press and the Moka Pot offer cost-effective ways to enjoy high-quality coffee at home. The choice between them may depend on individual budget, preference for the type of coffee produced, and considerations regarding the long-term value and ease of obtaining the appropriate coffee grounds.


In conclusion, the debate between the French Press and the Moka Pot is not about determining a clear winner but understanding how each brewing method aligns with personal preferences, lifestyle, and taste.

As the coffee culture continues to evolve, embracing various brewing methods enriches our understanding and appreciation of coffee. Whether you gravitate towards the French Press's gentle immersion or the Moka Pot's concentrated extraction, both methods stand as testaments to coffee enjoyment's diverse and inclusive nature.

Encouraging experimentation and exploration, they remind us that the art of coffee brewing is a personal adventure, one that is continually shaped by individual tastes, experiences, and the simple joy found in a cup of well-crafted coffee.

Read Next:

Comparing French Press Coffee and Espresso: What's the Difference?
French Press vs. Pour-over: Comparing Richness to Clarity