I have gone on and on about the advantages of brewing coffee in an automatic drip machine several times in the past, since I am a fan of everything that allows me to save time while letting me enjoy some freshly brewed coffee at the same time.
Though coffee aficionados often mock auto drip machines for its lack of customization capabilities, they are, without a doubt, a good choice for household and offices where people just do not have the time to sit and wait for some coffee in a French press to bloom!
With moka pots your possibilities are limitless. The coffee is very similar to espresso although not exactly the same. Moka pots do not brew under as much pressure as a full blown espresso machine so they don’t produce the crema one would expect out of a shot of espresso.
Moka is however extremely full bodied. It feels rich and thick in the mouth and can be used to make traditional espresso drinks at home that only a select few would notice the difference in. It is not brewed through paper so all oils are retained in the drink which is one of the main differences between it and normal automatic coffee.
What are the Differences Exactly
Stovetop espresso is much more concentrated than drip coffee and it is unfiltered. It can be used to make espresso based drinks and can be sipped on just like an espresso.
Moka is also portioned more like espresso than coffee. A three cup moka pot for instance makes roughly 4.5 ounces of moka while a 4-cup drip coffee maker makes anywhere from 24-32 ounces of coffee.
This is obviously a problem for people who enjoy sipping on coffee all morning. You can’t easily do this with espresso or moka because there just isn’t enough volume of drink in your cup! If you actually made 16 ounces of it to fill a large travel mug you would be severely overly caffeinated.
How to Make Better Drip Coffee
One of the biggest problems with regular drip coffee in comparison to stovetop espresso (moka pot) is that drip coffee is weak in comparison to stovetop espresso and that it doesn’t have the body you might want in a morning cup of coffee.
You may even take the time to buy really great coffee from a nearby roastery and grind it yourself but if you aren’t using enough grind in the machine then the coffee will not taste nearly as good as it can. In fact using better water can greatly enhance the flavor of drip coffee as can using water that is as hot as possible!
To better deal with these details many people have switched to using pour over coffee devices over drip even though you can absolutely make great drip coffee if you want to.
How to Make Better Coffee from a Moka Pot
With moka pots the tune is a bit different. There is a real requirement for the user to keep a close eye to the brew and its process, since the risks are many. Plus, the pot itself needs quite a bit of maintenance.
Unless you are using a stainless steel moka pot it is necessary to take care of the inner surface of the aluminum pot by allowing it to form an oily protective coat which will prevent the coffee from acquiring a metallic aftertaste. It is important to use the pot regularly, since this oily coat can become rancid and it will be only after a thorough scrub and the creation of a new coat when it will be ready to be used again.
Which is Better?
It is always a matter of personal choice, since there are a lot of variables that can affect one’s decision making process. The moka pot is ideal for an experienced brewer, someone who knows what can go wrong and how to avoid it, someone who is aware of their own pot quirks and can control their stove’s temperature.
The automatic machine is a great option for people who enjoy coffee and do not have a lot of time to put into its brewing process. You may be the ideal user of them both though. The auto drip can be used in the morning, when a caffeine kick is needed but there is not a lot of time available. The moka pot can be put to work once you get home: a great way to unwind and relax after a long day.
As long as you enjoy it, there is no wrong way to drink or brew coffee. Just make sure you explore all the options that are available and make the choice based off your wants and needs and you will be set.