Battle of the Brews: Moka Pot vs French Press
Anyone who loves coffee starts out with drip coffee before wondering what lies beyond. In the world of coffee aficionados, everyone has a strong opinion about which method produces the best brews: the French Press or the Moka pot. Each gadget has its own merits and produces a different kind of brew, but if you’re looking to sip more-than-your-average cup of Joe and don’t know which one to pick, we’re here to help.
Known as the ‘stovetop espresso maker’, a Moka pot is a two-chambered brewing device. The bottom chamber contains water that rises as steam through a bed of coffee grounds and spills into an upper chamber as a strong, sharp brew. The result is somewhere between a drip coffee and espresso and can be highly concentrated in flavour. We recommend our Italian Dark Roast for this method
French Press coffee is brewed by suspending coarsely ground coffee beans in hot water and letting it steep for approximately five minutes to achieve extraction. After brewing, a wire mesh plunger is pressed into the brewing vessel to separate the sedimented grounds from the liquid brew. French Press coffee tends to be full-bodied and rich, and can sometime contain the dregs from coarsely ground coffee beans. Try our French Roast for this method.
Now that you’ve got an inkling of how each of these methods of coffee brewing and extraction work, let’s compare the two.
- Prep Time: This is a big factor when exploring a new brewing method – how much time do you have to spend on preparing the coffee? For the Moka pot, the time consumption lies in heating the water to boiling point. Once this is done, the brew can be extracted quickly if you’ve prepared your coffee grounds ahead of time. On an average, you can have a delicious hot cuppa within 10 minutes. For the French Press, each batch of coffee needs to be ground as freshly as possible and the water needs to be heated to just under boiling point. With steeping and plunging, it’ll take at least 15 minutes from start to finish.
- Grind Flexibility: If you have a great coffee grinder, then you can easily control the quality of your brew for both the French Press and Moka pot. The best part about the Moka pot is that you can use pre-ground coffee to extract your brew. If you’d prefer to grind your own, you can fine-tune the end result. The French Press relies heavily on steeping, so the coffee grinds need to be as coarse as possible. Standard fine grinds will not yield a great brew.
- Ease of Brewing: Both the Moka pot and French Press require some skill to brew the perfect cup and there’s always room for technique improvement. One of the biggest complaints of novice Moka pot users is the under-extraction of the brew due to grind size or tamping. It does require some skill, but the French Press guarantees a delicious brew almost all the time because there are fewer variables to consider through the extraction process.
- Quality: This is debatable and truly dependent on how you take your coffee. Since they both employ different techniques for brewing (Moka pot uses pressure while the French Press uses steeping), the end result is different. Moka pot brews are punchier and similar to “Italian espressos”, while the French Press brew is aromatic, smooth and rich.