The Best Coffee For Moka Pot Brewing + 4 Other Favorites!

Updated on: September 8, 2023
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The Best Coffee For Moka Pot Brewing + 4 Other Favorites!

In this detailed guide, we will share the best coffee for Moka Pot brewing and 4 other favorites, so you can make sure you are making the tastiest coffee using your Moke Pot!

A Moka Pot is a stovetop pot that is particularly popular in Italy. It creates a strong coffee but often gets the reputation of being bitter.

But is that reputation well deserved? We think not.

You see, it could be the coffee you’re using! Plus, there is more to Moka Pots than you think!

In this post, we’ll help you make the most of your Moka Pot by helping you select the best coffee for Moka Pot brewing.

We’ll also take you through what a Moka Pot is, the benefits, how to select the best for brewing in a Moka Pot, and every other question you could ever think of that has to do with a Moka Pot.

But before we do all of that, let's share what you came here for. The best coffee for Moka Pot brewing is the Qualità Oro by LavAzza. Now keep reading to learn why we chose this one in particular!

Let’s get started!

What is the Best Coffee for Moka Pot Brewing?

Best Overall

Qualità Oro

Qualita Oro by Lavazza - Best Coffee for Moka Pot
  • Combination of 6 varieties of Arabica coffee beans
  • Fruity and fragrant
  • Pre-ground is an ideal grind
  • It may be weak for some

Read Review ⇨

Runner Up

Moka Classico Coffee

Moka Classico Coffee by illy - Runner Up to the Best Coffee for Moka Pot
  • Sweet with notes of caramel
  • 100% Arabica coffee beans
  • Makes a consistently good cup of coffee
  • Grind could be finer

Read Review ⇨

Best Value

Café Bustelo

Supreme by Cafe Bustelo - Best Value Coffee for Moka Pot
  • Affordable brand
  • Fresh coffee comes in various forms
  • Slightly burnt taste
  • Makes a strong cup of coffee

Read Review ⇨

Strongest Coffee

Dark Roast Coffee
Death Wish

World's Strongest Dark Roast Coffee - Death Wish
  • Striking packaging
  • Notes of dark choc and black cherry
  • Strong with double the caffeine
  • Expensive

Read Review ⇨

Best Intensity

Bialetti Coffee

Classico by Bialetti Coffee - Best Intensity Coffee for Moke Pot
  • Traditionally slow roasted
  • Full-bodied and creamy with an intense aroma
  • A mix of Robusta and Arabica beans
  • Expensive

Read Review ⇨

1. Qualità Oro by LavAzza

Best Overall

LavAzza coffee is a brand that everyone has heard of whether you're a coffee enthusiast or not, and for good reason!

What most people don't know is that LavAzza supports sustainable development projects to help the local communities where they operate.

While this full-bodied medium roast is the most popular for use in Moka Pots, the Espresso and Rosso blends are also popular in the LavAzza range for Moka Pot brewing. The Espresso has a more chocolatey flavor while the Rosso has a little more of a punch.

This Italian brand uses six varieties of Arabica beans from Central and South America for their LavAzza Qualità Oro.

While this blend of coffee beans gives the coffee a velvety smooth texture with notes of fruit and flowers.

You can choose from whole beans or pre-ground coffee. While coffee beans are better for freshness and therefore taste, the ground version has an ideal grind of being not too fine and not too coarse.

However, if you have a good grinder with many grind settings, then by all means use it!

Some may find the LavAzza Qualità Oro a little weak but this depends on your taste. LavAzza rates it as a 5/10 in terms of intensity. When it is brewed using a Moka Pot, the end result is bolder and creamier.


  • The grind is ideal
  • Can get it in whole beans or ground coffee
  • Affordable and easy to source
  • Vacuum packed for freshness and can last for weeks
  • 100% Arabica beans


  • Medium roast and possibly a bit weak for some

2. Moka Classico Coffee by illy

Runner Up

Illy is another big name in the world of coffee. Like LavAzza, it is an Italian coffee maker, and it is also used in establishments around the world.

Illy uses 100% Arabica beans which prevents their coffee from tasting bitter or acidic. They use some recyclable materials in their packaging and they use agricultural techniques with a low environmental impact.

They use nine types of Arabica beans from the best coffee harvests around the world to create a unique blend of products.

The illy Moka Classico Coffee is the most popular choice when brewing in a Moka Pot. It is sweet with hints of caramel but also notes of orange blossom (my favorite) and jasmine.

Illy is a big brand because they are reliable for producing a consistently good cup of coffee. Using 100% Arabica beans means the taste lingers in your mouth without that bitterness that Robusta beans offer.

It is vacuum packed in a can to keep its freshness, but some have reported that the coffee can spill out because of the pressurized packaging. So be careful when you're opening it!

Another con is that this dark roast ground coffee is only available in pre-ground coffee. There is no whole bean version so you won’t be able to enjoy this coffee at its freshest.


  • Reasonably priced
  • A consistently good cup of coffee
  • Lingers on the tongue without bitterness
  • 100% Arabica beans


  • Doesn’t produce a lot of crema
  • No whole bean version

3. Supreme by Café Bustelo

Best Value

Café Bustelo is an American coffee company, created by Gregorio Bustelo who came to East Harlem from Spain.

While in East Harlem, Gregorio created his own secret blend of coffee that is Latin-inspired and sourced!

The Café Bustelo Supreme Blend can come in whole beans, a pre-ground coffee brick, or pre-ground in a can. The grind size is appropriate for use in a Moka Pot, with a finer ground than other brands. It comes vacuum sealed to ensure its freshness.

The beans used are 100% Arabica beans that are slow-roasted for a full-bodied and rich flavor.

These coffee beans can have a slightly burnt taste and they are on the stronger side but this suits a lot of people's tastebuds, but not everyone's.


  • Good value
  • Good grind
  • Can also get it in brick or pre-ground in a can
  • 100% Arabica beans


  • No mention of sustainability
  • Could be too strong for some people

4. Dark Roast Coffee by Death Wish

Strongest Coffee

First of all, this coffee brand has great packaging! It’s striking with a black background, a white skull, and bones, and highlighted with red.


A fairly new brand, established in 2012, it is another American brand. Its quirky brand makes it stand out, but what about its coffee?

Death Wish sources high-quality beans from around the world that are organic and Fair Trade. They roast their beans in small batches, which helps makes this a low-acidity coffee.

They use both Arabica and Robusta beans instead of using only Arabica beans, and this could be a downfall for some. The price could be another con since it is pricier than other brands that only use 100% Arabica beans.

Their Dark Roast Coffee has notes of dark chocolate and black cherry. It has double the strength of other brands as well as twice the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee, so consume it with caution!

You can get this coffee in pre-ground or whole bean form if you’re willing to put in a bit more work for a fresher taste.

Some have said it’s ‘energizing' and 'a solid kick in the teeth to get the morning started.'


  • Low Acidity
  • Available in pre-ground and whole beans
  • They use small batch roasting
  • They offer a satisfaction guarantee and a full refund


  • Expensive
  • A mix of Arabic and Robusta beans

5. Classico by Bialetti Coffee

Best Intensity

Bialetti Coffee is an Italian coffee maker which has been established for over a hundred years!

They use traditional and artisanal roasting which takes longer than average. This helps to give their coffee an intense flavor while allowing the aromas to bloom.

They claim that they use a unique grinding setting for a full-bodied and creamy flavor for each and every brewing.

Their flavor also comes from Coccalgio in the middle of Franciacorta, a famous wine-producing region in Northern Italy.

Their Classico blend is strong and creamy with sweet hints of dried fruits and flowers. It’s made from 50% Robusta and 50% Arabica beans which makes it mellow and aromatic.

It is a little coarser than the LavAzza grind which may suit some but may not suit others, and the price doesn't match the Arabica-Robusta coffee beans mix.


  • Slow roasted with an intense aroma of flowers and dried fruits
  • Full-bodied and creamy
  • From a coffee maker with over 100 years of experience


  • Expensive
  • A mix of Arabic and Robusta beans
  • Only comes in pre-ground coffee

What is a Moka Pot?

A Moka Pot or a stovetop percolator is a device for brewing coffee. It is made of stainless steel or aluminum and it's a small pot you can place on your stove, either electric or gas.

It was invented by Luigi De Ponti for Alfonso Bialetti in 1933 (although some people say Bialetti invented it himself).

It is shaped in an art deco style and became popular in Italy because it meant you could create coffee at home as you would get in a café.

Moka Pots are Different than Espresso Machines

The rest of the world caught on to this invention and it has been a popular way of brewing coffee, but Moka Pot coffee gets a reputation of being a bitter coffee.

However, if brewed the right way with the right coffee beans, then this isn’t the case!

How does a Moka Pot work?

A Moka Pot is a pressurized coffee brewer that makes strong coffee, which can be twice as strong as regular coffee.

The Moka Pot has a water chamber at the bottom, and above it is the coffee basket. Inside the basket are holes that allow the steam from the chamber below to rise through the grounds.

Above the coffee basket is the filter screen that helps the coffee rise through a tube to the spout.

Coffee brewing in a moka pot - bitter cocoa aroma

It is mostly used to create an espresso-style drink, but you can add milk to it or create other types of specialty coffee.

Moka Pot coffee isn’t technically espresso as it doesn’t use as much pressure as what's required to make espresso. Espresso is brewed under high pressure typically 9 bars or more.

Some people refer to it as a stovetop espresso maker, which is not quite accurate. 

How to use a Moka Pot

It is easy to use a Moka Pot, but it can have a bit of a learning curve to figure out when it has brewed to your liking.

  1.   Grind your coffee beans (if you’re using whole beans)

  2.   Fill the basket with your ground coffee to the top but don’t tamp it down (as this will create too much pressure)

  3.   Fill the water chamber

  4.   Assemble the Moka Pot

  5.   Place your Moka Pot on your stove for 5 to 10 minutes

  6.   Turn up the heat a little when the coffee starts to seep into the upper chamber

  7.   When the majority of the coffee is making its way to the spout, take it off the heat

  8.   Pour your Moka Pot coffee and enjoy!

What grind size is best for a Moka Pot?

The ideal coffee grind is from medium-fine to fine. It should be a little finer than drip coffee and a little coarser than espresso - a grind around the size of sugar granules. If you don’t get the ground right, it could clog the filter which creates extra pressure and can make your coffee bitter.

Espresso Coffee

You can get pre-ground coffee such as illy coffee or Bialetti coffee or you can use whole bean coffee and grind it yourself. If you are going to use whole bean coffee and grind it yourself, it’s best to use a decent grinder such as a burr grinder. If you get an inconsistent grind, then this could affect the flavor of your coffee.

Grinding beans yourself is the best way to get the freshest tasting coffee and the fresher the coffee, the more flavor it will have.

Ground coffee goes stale more quickly than coffee beans. Stale coffee will affect the taste of your coffee, so you should ensure you store your coffee beans properly. 

Why not get yourself a high-quality manual grinder? They are relatively cheap and they last forever. If you like coffee, this is one of the best investments you can make!

What coffee roast is best for a Moka Pot?

It usually depends on your preferences, but most people prefer a medium roast or dark roast for a Moka Pot coffee. The Moka Pot tends to heighten any flavors in the coffee, so the deeper the roast, the more the flavor will come out in your coffee.

A dark roast or espresso roast will give a more intense and stronger cup of coffee. A dark roast is roasted longer to produce a darker coffee bean with low acidity and smoky/charcoal flavors derived from the roasting process.

Why use a Moka Pot?

  1. A Moka Pot is easy to use: While it may take a little time to know how to get your coffee the way you like it, it doesn’t have any buttons or a lengthy instruction manual.

  1. It’s affordable: It is cheap, around $20, which compared to a basic espresso machine is a bargain.

  1. It lasts a long time: It’s a robust little pot that will last you years.

  1. It requires little maintenance: It’s easy to clean and it won’t break down like a coffee machine or require new parts.

  1. It’s portable: Moka Pots are a popular choice for camping, motorhomes, and traveling anywhere with you.

  1. It makes tasty coffee: The most important thing is that a Moka Pot, while it can’t technically make espresso, it makes a good cup of strong coffee with the mouth-watering aroma of freshly brewed coffee. If you prefer a dark roast coffee brew, then a Moka Pot is an ideal way to make your coffee.

How to clean your Moka Pot

Moka pots are easy to clean. You do have to clean it by hand because you can’t put it in the dishwasher as it can cause erosion and rust due to oxidation.

Simply disassemble it and rinse it. You could also use some bicarbonate of soda or vinegar inside it before rinsing (rinse well after the vinegar because I can’t see a vinegar-flavored coffee trend taking off anytime soon).

What Moka Pot is best to buy?

The type of Moka Pot you buy will depend on how you are using it. Follow this guide below to help you when you purchase one:

Moka Pot Size

There are different sizes of Moka Pots from one cup and up to nine cups Moka Pot.

You need to fill the water chamber up. If you are only making yourself a cup in the morning, then a four, six, or nine-cup Moka Pot will be too much. It will waste water and energy, and it will take longer to brew.

Heat Source

Some Moka Pots are not suitable for induction hobs, so make sure that the Moka Pot you buy is suitable for the heat source you will be using to brew it.

Style of the Moka Pot

The styles don’t change much from the classic eight-sided art deco style, however, there are slight variations such as colored pots instead of the typical silver. There are also rounded styles instead of the angular appearance, and one, the Alessi La Conica Moka Pot, even looks like the tin man from the Wizard of Oz.

Stainless Steel or Aluminum Moka Pot

The typical Moka Pot brewers are either made of stainless steel or aluminum. Aluminum is cheaper but stainless steel is more robust and tends to be more expensive. The stainless steel is also non-toxic and tends not to corrode as much.

The original Bialetti Moka Pot is still a popular choice but there are other brands that are just as good.

Avoid Moka Pots with plastic parts, especially if you’re going to use them on a bonfire while camping.

A Few Tips for Brewing Coffee in a Moka Pot

  1. You can preheat your water before placing it in the Moka Pot to reduce the time on the stove.

  2. You can use a cold, damp cloth or a basin or cold water to place your Moka Pot on when it has brewed. Cooling it down quickly helps to extract the flavor and can prevent bitterness.

  3. If your Moka Pot coffee is bitter, don’t brew it for as long, use lower heat, or use a coarser grind.

Dark Coffee

Frequently Asked Questions

What coffee do you use in Moka Pots?

You need to use coffee grounds in Moka Pots. You can buy whole beans and grind them yourself or you can buy pre-ground. Whole coffee beans are better because they are fresher and you can grind them to your desired size.

Using a dark roast is best for a bold flavor as a dark roast is mainly used for brewing espressos, but some prefer using a medium roast. A light roast is rarely ever used with Moka Pots.

Some people prefer using Italian coffee in their Moka Pot because this is where it originates and Italian coffee is also dark which suits the brewing method of a Moka Pot.

What are Moka Pots made of?

Moka Pots are made from stainless steel or aluminum. They are robust and last for years.

Can you brew regular coffee in Moka Pots?

You can use Moka Pots to brew regular coffee. You can also create lattes or other milk-based coffee drinks with Moka Pots. You can use the Moka Pot to make the milk after you’ve brewed your coffee or you can use a separate milk frother.

Stovetop espresso makers

Bottom Line

Moka pots can be a simple and satisfying way of brewing your morning coffee. They’re affordable, robust, and fill your home with a delicious coffee aroma.

They’re a great way of ensuring you have coffee wherever you go for all those coffee drinkers who can't function without it. Just make sure you are using the best coffee for Moka Pot brewing and you are on your way to having a taste of Italy!

Felipe is a tea expert with an engineering background! He loves to drink and learn all about tea and coffee. His love for tea was discovered while living in Japan and his favorites are Sencha & Pu'er!
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