When it comes to brewing coffee at home, there's a world of methods to explore, each with its unique charm and characteristics. We are going over all of these in our Brewing Battles series of articles. Two popular contenders in the coffee-brewing arena are the French press and the Moka pot. In this blog, we will help you decide which one might be better suited to your coffee preferences. These are my first two coffee maker loves. I have years of experience with both and I look forward to helping you decide which one is best for you!

french press coffee illustration for nowhere coffee club by kerry simon

French Press: The Rich and Full-Bodied Brew

The French press is renowned for its simplicity and its ability to create a rich and full-bodied cup of coffee. I know when I first started getting into coffee I drank standard drip. There's nothing wrong with standard drip. It's a vibe. But then sometimes you get a substandard drip (gas station coffee, hotel room coffee, waiting room coffee - and you realize that maybe there's something more bold out there, maybe it's time to upgrade. That's when I recommend someone a French press. It has the characteristics of drip coffee, whih a little more flavor, and a little more thickness on the tounge.

Here's what sets it apart:

Coarse Grind: French press coffee calls for coarsely ground beans, which allows for a slower extraction process, resulting in a bold and textured cup.

Full Immersion: Coffee grounds steep in hot water, immersing them completely. This extended contact time between water and coffee leads to a brew that's full of flavor and depth.

Control Over Variables: With the French press, you have control over crucial brewing variables like water temperature, coffee-to-water ratio, and steeping time, enabling you to tailor your brew to your liking.

In fact, You can take it all the way down to watery for some guests and then make a pot that borders on espresso for its boldness and flavor. 

moka pot espresso drink

Moka Pot: The Espresso-Like Concentration

The Moka pot, often referred to as a stovetop espresso maker, is loved for its ability to produce espresso-like coffee with a concentrated flavor profile. A moka pot can be too much for a lot of people. If you look inside while the Moka pot is doing its thing, you see the initial coffee is almost syrupy in texture. It can be a stouter flavor than many are used to, but when cut with milk I find it makes a great latte or flat white.

Fine Grind: Moka pot coffee requires a finer grind, similar to that used for espresso machines. This fine grind is essential for achieving the espresso-like concentration.

Pressure Brewing: Unlike the French press, the Moka pot uses pressure to force hot water through the coffee grounds. This results in a brew that's closer in strength and body to espresso.

Compact Design: The Moka pot is a compact and portable coffee maker, making it an excellent choice for those who want espresso-style coffee without the need for a dedicated espresso machine.

french press vs moka pot verdict illustration

Which Is Better: French Press or Moka Pot?

Determining which is better between the French press and Moka pot depends on your personal coffee preferences:

Choose French Press If: You prefer a rich and full-bodied coffee with a textured mouthfeel, don't mind a bit of sediment, and enjoy a simple brewing process. If you want a coffee that is full-bodied but not heavy on the gut, the French press is for you! This is a great upgrade if you are bored with your standard drip coffee routine.

It's also good if you want to make coffee for a group of people and you want a more personal and elevated experience. There is nothing like a sunny morning brunch with friends with a communal French press on the table. Nothing else in coffee compares for this specific situation. 

Choose Moka Pot If: You crave espresso-like coffee with a concentrated flavor, appreciate the convenience of stovetop brewing, and want a compact coffee maker. If you're an avid latte/americano drinker and just don't want to invest in an espresso machine, try the Moka pot.

In the French press vs. Moka pot showdown, there's no definitive winner—it's all about your coffee preferences. Both methods offer unique brewing experiences and flavors, ensuring that there's a perfect cup for every coffee enthusiast. So buy what you like!



Sarah M. said:

I think you hit the nail on the head with this comparison. If I want a latte – I go moka pot. If I want a stronger mouthy coffee – I got French press. It’s apples and avocados. Both delicious.

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