The Differences Between Moka Pot (Stovetop Espresso) & French Press Coffee

stovetop espressoBoth French press coffee and stove top espresso coffee are usually brewed wonderfully so that the resulting coffee will possess the full extraction of oils and flavor from the beans. Both these methods offer excellent, quality coffee with which you will be able to rise and shine with each new dawn. These two types of coffee are considered better than drip coffee because the drip coffee makers engage paper filters which separate coffee oils from the coffee and limit the flavor profile of your drink significantly.

A French press coffee maker brews coffee as you do for your tea whereas a Stovetop espresso coffee maker brews coffee just as the reverse process of drip coffee making under high pressure. The process will earn you coffee which is potent and much closer to espresso

The stovetop espresso coffee can be consumed as it is or it can be mixed with water to create an americano sort of drink. Like other espresso types it can also be mixed to make a variety of drinks like cappuccinos, lattes, etc.

For those who prefer to have straight coffee, French press coffee is the ideal one. Coffee experts in general consider French press as the best brewing process, but for people who look for versatility, the stovetop espresso can provide the best option.

Here are some of the best rated French press coffee makers sold today. These are great alternatives to the smaller coffee presses because they brew in the mug you drink from.

For larger brewed portion sizes though I always suggest my readers opt for an insulated French press because they brew at a more stable temperature and keep your brewed coffee hotter for when it comes time to pour the coffee into your mug.

Stovetop espresso coffee makers are also called macchinetta or “moka pot”, and French presses are known as coffee press or cafetiere.

Related – I prefer using a large French Press because it gives me better taste due to it’s more consitent temperature. If I need to take something to-go though there are a few excellent French press travel mugs that work well too.

Methods of Preparation

There is huge difference in the method of preparation of these two types of coffee.

A French press requires coarsely ground coffee because finer grounds will escape through the filter and the final product will contain these traces of it. Go for coffee that’s been ground uniformly because very coarse grounds may clog the filter.

Ground coffee is placed in an empty beaker followed by hot water with a temperature between 93-96 degrees Celsius in a proportion of 28 grams of coffee to 450 milliliters of water. Add about 1/3 of the water in the beginning and give it a light stirring. After 30 seconds, add the remaining water by pouring gradually over the grounds. Cover it and brew so that the total time for brewing is 4 minutes. By pressing the plunger the grounds can be separated from the liquid and held at the bottom of the beaker so the coffee can be poured into the serving vessel. Decanting the coffee into a serving vessel is not a good option and if you let the brewed coffee remain in the beaker along with the used coffee grounds the taste of your drink may change and become bitter. The optimum time accepted by experts for brewing is about 4 minutes. It is believed that the coffee will be spoiled after brewing for about 20 minutes.

Espresso coffee pots use pressurized vapor to force water up into a reservoir through finely ground coffee. This method will give you an extremely flavorful espresso which can be consumed by adding milk or hot water. For brewing stovetop espresso coffee, water is poured into the boiler nearly up to the safety valve and a funnel shaped metallic filter is placed. After adding finely ground coffee to the filter, the upper part of the pot with the second metallic filter is tightly screwed to the base. The water is then heated to the boiling point, and steam is created inside the boiler.

The tightly closed unit with a gasket lets pressure build up in the lower part, and the safety valve ensures pressure release in cases where the pressure gets too high.

When the steam attains a high pressure, it will force the boiling water up the funnel, through the ground coffee, and into the pot’s upper section, where the liquid coffee will be collected. When the lower part of the pot becomes almost empty, steam bubbles will mix with the boiling water creating a distinctive gurgling sound.

Stovetop Espresso and French Press Coffee

French press coffee is thick and strong compared to espresso. Properly prepared French press coffee is quite pure though it may sometimes get criticized as chalky. One thing to be careful about is that French press is highly susceptible to over-extraction. Because of this problem, all the contents of the preparation pot are to be transferred to a cup or serving vessel immediately after brewing.

If you compare the moka pot with a French press you can see that a French press is a simple coffeepot with an attached plunger. You can simply add a measured amount of ground coffee into the press, add hot water, and you can steep the coffee. After that, push the coffee grounds to the bottom of the container and serve.

French presses can also be used to make tea or to froth milk so they are more versatile kitchen tools for most people.

Espresso coffee pots require a heat source for the pot. Extreme care is needed to prepare the espresso coffee because otherwise the grounds may burn the pot, but in the case of French press only ground coffee and hot water is required for brewing within a few minutes. Espresso coffee brewed in an espresso pot is really strong but it cannot be treated as ready to drink. On the other hand, the French press will fetch you a drinkable beverage which is milder and more acidic than the espresso.

The coffee prepared in a French press will be similar to traditional American coffee, definitely not strong like European coffee. The stovetop espresso will give you traditional Italian type coffee, which is quite rich and dark. So if you want to have a longer shot coffee with more water and less espresso, go for the French press. However, if you to prefer to have a shorter, stronger shot, your best option is the stovetop espresso.

Cafestol, a potent stimulator of LDL cholesterol levels is found in high quantities in French press coffee. So for people with high cholesterol levels, it is better to avoid this boiled coffee. Stovetop espresso is found to have lesser content of cafestol than French press coffee and is therefore more advisable than French press coffee for those people.

Reference links

Brian Mounts

Head blogger, editor, and owner of "Top Off My Coffee", a website that has been educating readers about coffee brewing techniques and equipment since 2012.

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