Moka Pot Coffee: The Best Varieties for Rich, Bold Flavor

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Short answer: Lifeboost’s Dark Roast, in my opinion, is the best coffee for Moka pots available this year. It’s a rich, creamy coffee that’s also healthy and environmentally friendly. Volcanica’s Espresso Dark Roast, which is delicious, reasonably priced, and available in espresso grind, is our pick for pre-ground coffee. I recommend Lavazza’s Gran Filtro Decaffeinato Whole Bean Coffee Blend if you prefer decaffeinated coffee because it is naturally decaffeinated, available in whole beans, and roasted and blended in Italy.

Coffee is a daily life essential now. You wake up and all you need to function is a cup of coffee, be it a latte, cappuccino, espresso, or an americano.

The only thing that matters is the taste and aroma of the coffee that kicks in and makes you get out of your bed to start your day. However, there can be many ways of making coffee, Moka Pot is one of them.

The Moka Pot is a stovetop coffee maker that produces espresso-like results. It uses boiling water to force steam through the coffee grounds, causing the coffee to bubble up into the pot rather than percolating down as it does in brewed coffee.

Keep reading to know more.

What Is Moka Pot?

A moka pot placed on a stove
Moka pot originated in Italy

Moka Pot is a stove-top or electric coffee maker that brews coffee by passing boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee.

Alfonso Bialetti, an Italian engineer, invented the Moka Pot in 1933. Because it is made by the Bialetti company, some people simply refer to it as a “Bialetti.”

The Moka Pot is the most well-known stovetop espresso maker, but it does not produce espresso. It’s a very strong coffee that tastes similar to espresso but isn’t quite the same. It lacks the richness in flavor and lacks the foamy crema on top of a true espresso.

It also produces more coffee than a standard espresso shot. Moka Pot coffee tastes more like an Americano than an espresso.

Why isn’t there any espresso? When the water is forced through the coffee grounds, the Moka Pot only achieves 1 to 3 bars of pressure, whereas an espresso machine achieves 9 bars of pressure. However, because the flavor is so similar, you can use Moka Pot coffee as a substitute for espresso in espresso drinks such as lattes, iced lattes, and others.

Here’s a little insight into how a Moka pot works:

How does a Moka Pot work?

What Type Of Coffee Is Good For A Moka Pot?

For a Moka Pot, whole bean Dark Roast Coffee sits in perfectly. Here are some of my picks for the best coffees you can have in Moka Pot:

  • Life-Boost Dark Roast Coffee
  • Volcanica Espresso Dark Roast Coffee
  • Lavazza Qualita Rossa Ground Coffee Blend
  • Sulawesi Kalossi
  • Lavazza Gran Filtro Decaffeinato Coffee

Life-Boost Dark Roast Coffee

This coffee is Fair Trade Certified, Organic, and pesticide-free. It is grown at a high altitude in Nicaragua’s mountains.

Lifeboost is a rich, smooth dark roast that is as delicious as it is sustainable. The whole beans allow for the best grind for a Moka pot, and we liked how it was a mild and creamy dark roast. There are hints of chocolate and caramel. It also has low acidity and no bitter aftertaste.

Volcanica Espresso Dark Roast Coffee

Volcanica provides a tasty Espresso Dark Roast at a reasonable price. Even better, it comes in espresso grind, saving you the hassle of having to grind the beans yourself.

The coffee has a full body and a light acidity, with caramel and chocolate notes. The scent is strong and slightly spicy. Furthermore, Volcanica roasts on-demand, ensuring that your coffee arrives fresh.

The flavors may be a little milder because it is pre-ground. Though ground coffee is convenient, for the best flavor, buy whole beans and grind them just before brewing. These beans can also be a little oily, which may make them less suitable for use in your Moka pot.

Lavazza Qualita Rossa Ground Coffee Blend

If you prefer a medium roast, the Lavazza Qualita Rossa Ground Coffee Blend is an excellent choice. Another pre-ground coffee option, this one comes in a smaller 8.8-oz. bag to keep it fresh. I liked that it’s non-GMO, even if it’s not completely organic. It’s also blended and roasted in Italy, which is beneficial when purchasing coffee for an Italian Moka pot.

A view of dark roasted coffee and powder
A whole bean dark roasted coffee would go perfect for the Moka Pot

As with the previously mentioned pre-ground coffee option, having the coffee beans already ground means that they will be staler than if you grind them fresh. This blend also has a burnt and bitter flavor, which could be attributed to the medium roast.

Sulawesi Kalossi

Sulawesi Kalossi coffee is a single-origin arabica bean grown only on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, near the town of Kalos. Celebes Kalossi coffee may also be found, as Celebes is the Dutch colonial name for the island. The coffee trees on the island are over 250 years old and produce only a small amount of coffee per year.

These whole beans come in a 5-pound bag. If you like to buy their coffee in bulk, you can get a bag or a smaller 16-oz. If you don’t, size up.

Lavazza Gran Filtro Decaffeinato Coffee – Best Decaf

If you prefer decaffeinated coffee, Lavazza’s Gran Filtro Decaffeinato Whole Bean Coffee Blend is a great option. We like that it’s decaffeinated naturally, so there aren’t any chemicals in your coffee. This is another medium roast with spice notes that is blended and roasted in Italy.

Unfortunately, despite the natural decaffeinating process, it has an off-putting flavor. The coffee is also weak and has a stale taste. This does not have the same dark, robust flavor as the others on our list.

Can I Use Ground Coffee In Moka Pot?

Roasted beans being displayed
Roasted beans are the best beans for Moka Pot

It is preferable not to.

I don’t recommend it for one simple reason: if you use ground coffee for espresso, such as the Super Blend in the Moka pot, you’ll almost certainly end up with an espresso that’s excessively bitter and slightly burnt, turning the pleasure of your daily cup of coffee into a rather unpleasant experience.

What causes this to happen? The main reason is related to the coffee grind: let’s take a closer look at what this is and which type is best based on how the coffee is prepared, so you can always be sure to savor an amazing espresso or americano.

Grinding is the process of crushing roasted beans into powder form, which is necessary for defining the organoleptic characteristics of the blend.

Grinding coffee can result in three different textures, or grinds: fine, medium, and coarse. Each type determines the rate at which the coffee is extracted, as well as the level of resistance that the coffee exhibits when water passes through it.

The extraction process in-home coffee machines used to make espresso coffee is powered by an electric motor that generates high pressure, usually between 7.5 and 9 atmospheres, if not higher. I talk about the extraction process in detail in my other article.

The classic Italian coffee pot, on the other hand, works with a light pressure generated by the water vapor and the expansion of the air in the lower part of the pot.

This is why the ground coffee for espresso cannot be used in the Moka: a coarser grind of the blend is required for the Moka pot. A too-fine blend will cause the water to pass through it more slowly and with difficulty, leaving some dregs at the bottom of the cup.

Is Cafe Bustelo Good For Moka Pot?

espresso machine pouring coffee into cups
Cafe Bustelo is instant coffee but can be made in a Moka pot too

Yes! Their yellow pack is a higher-caffeine Robusta bean that will provide you with the bold flavor that Italians enjoy. It makes an amazing espresso base.

It is a Cuban brand of finely ground dark roast coffee with a rich, chocolaty taste that can be brewed in almost any method.

Cafe Bustelo‘s grind is slightly coarser than a true espresso grind but finer than a standard grind: just what a Moka pot requires.

The true espresso coffee grind is too fine and can seep through the pores, clog the filter, cause improper pressure, produce muddy coffee, and leave rancid deposits.

You can learn everything about Cafe Bustelo in this article that I have written.

Why Does My Moka Pot Coffee Taste Bitter?

Well, the bitter taste can be because of a few things, mainly: over-roasted, stale, or low-grade coffee beans or excessive brewing.

What you can do is look for high-quality roasted coffee beans, grind them in a coarser setting, and brew for a little less time.


Making the perfect Moka coffee is dependent on a few factors, the most important of which is starting with the right coffee grounds. Even if you perfect the brewing technique, low-quality coffee will never taste as good as high-quality coffee designed for Moka pots.

Moka coffee can be made with any medium to medium-fine roast, though dark roasts tend to taste better due to the low pressure produced by Moka pots.

Here are the best coffees for Moka pots:

Life-Boost Dark Roast CoffeeMild and creamy dark roast with hints of chocolate and caramel. It also has low acidity and no bitter aftertaste
Volcanica Espresso Dark Roast CoffeeIt has dense caramel-like sweetness, signature intensity, light acidity, and a complex spicy aroma
Lavazza Qualita Rossa Ground Coffee BlendMedium roasted coffee with a burnt and bitter flavor. It’s a blend of Robusta and Arabica beans
Sulawesi KalossiIt has a creamy texture with chocolate, syrupy taste, and mellow aftertaste. It’s low in acidity
Lavazza Gran Filtro Decaffeinato CoffeeArabica dark roast coffee with chocolatey aroma, hints of caramel, and long-lasting aftertaste
The best coffees for Moka pots and their descriptions

With this, I hope now you’re able to choose the best coffee to pair up with your Moka Pot.

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