The coffee made with a Moka pot is famously strong and espresso-style coffee. In fact, that is the reason they are referred to as stovetop espresso makers. But what will be Moka Pot Coffee’s strength? What are you expecting?
Compared to TDS (Total Dissolved Solids), Moka Pot coffee is typically 50% stronger than drip coffee.
Moka Pot coffee gets its strength mainly from the pressure inside the device. However, utilizing the grind size and darker roasts in modern coffee machines also contributes.
Moka Pot coffee may be famous in many parts of the world, but some drinkers may find it unpleasant because they find it too strong, bitter, or inconsistent.
Read on if you’re curious about the strength of Moka Pot coffee and how to modify it to suit your preferences.
How Strong Is Moka Pot Coffee?
Coffee brewed in a Moka Pot is even more potent than espresso. It’s around 50 percent stronger than your average cup of drip coffee and considerably more powerful than a cup made with a french press or pour-over method.
There are, however, two perspectives on the potency of coffee made in a Moka Pot.
How much caffeine is in the coffee, and how many coffee solids are removed into the water
Please allow me to briefly explain each of these.
Amount Of Coffee Extracted
The strength of the coffee is typically referred to in terms of its amount of extraction. This is related to how much coffee solubles are extracted during brewing.
Moka Pots, being pressure brewers, are superior to drip, pour-over, and siphon coffee makers in terms of coffee extraction.
The resulting brew is rich and flavorful, matching the intensity of espresso in strength.
Caffeine Concentration In Moka Pot Coffee
Caffeine-wise, a single ounce of Moka Pot coffee has roughly 38mg. While this may not seem like much on its own, a big cup of Moka Pot coffee may pack a powerful punch of caffeine.
Remember that some people only worry about the amount of caffeine in their coffee when they comment about how strong it is.
The issue was addressed by an investigation (published in Food Research International) that compared the caffeine content of many popular brewing techniques.
Based on the findings, a single ounce of coffee brewed in a Moka Pot has more caffeine than other techniques and nearly three times as much caffeine as an espresso.
Source: Food Research International
How Is Coffee Strength Measured?
“Total Dissolved Solids” (TDS) is a way to measure how strong coffee is. Simply put, this is a method of determining how much coffee was extracted into the water. It is usually expressed as a percentage.
A tool called a refractometer lets us figure out these percentages. The refractometer evaluates how light bends and refracts back on itself as it passes through a liquid. This information can determine how much of the liquid is made up of solid particles.
For example, the TDS of most Moka Pot coffee is around 2.5%. Your Moka Pot coffee is 97.5% water and 2.5% coffee solids.
Even though this seems like a small amount, it makes for a solid cup of coffee. Pour-over coffee, which isn’t as strong, has an average TDS of about 1.3%.
Why Is Moka Pot Coffee So Strong?
There are 4 main reasons Moka pot coffee is so vital:
- Grind size,
- Roast type and
- Water temperature
Let’s take a closer look at all these to see how they influence Moka Pot’s strength.
Pressure Causes Moka Pots To Extract More Coffee
Moka Pots differ from drip coffee makers and French presses because they use vapor pressure to make coffee.
Most of the time, they can make pressure between 1.5 and 2 bars. Because of this pressure, more coffee solubles are forced out of the beans and into your cup. This is why coffee made in a Moka Pot is so strong.
A Smaller Grind Size Allows For More Extraction
When using a Moka pot, finer grinds are preferable. Also, more coffee is extracted from fine grinds than from medium or coarse grinds because of the greater surface area of the grinds.
Medium grinds are best for use with pour-over and automated drip coffee machines. And medium to coarse grinds is ideal for French presses.
Moka Pots Typically Use Darker Roasts
While you may use any roast in your Moka Pot, dark roast or espresso roast beans are the most usual. And the more tender the coffee bean, the darker the roast.
Because of the brittleness, more coffee may be extracted from darker roasts, which helps to improve Moka Pot strength.
Hotter Water Temperature Extracts More Coffee
The oils, sugars, and caffeine in coffee grinds can be more efficiently extracted at higher water temperatures. Continuous heat transmission in a Moka Pot allows for the extraction of more coffee solubles.
On the other hand, whether using a pour-over or French press, the water must be taken away from the stovetop or microwave before use. This is why the coffee made in them is much weaker than that made in a Moka Pot.
How Does Moka Pot Strength Compare With Other Coffees?
By a wide margin, espresso has the highest concentration of Total Dissolved Solids of any type of coffee. Moka Pot coffee comes in second, while all the other ways produce far weaker coffee.
- Espresso ~ 10% TDS
- Moka Pot ~ 2.5% TDS
- Drip Machine ~ 1.7% TDS
- Cold Brew ~ 1.7% TDS
- French Press ~ 1.5% TDS
- Pour Over ~ 1.3% TDS
Caffeine content-wise, espresso is the strongest, while Moka Pot coffee is tied for second.
- Espresso ~ 130mg per oz
- Moka Pot ~ 40mg per oz
- Aeropress ~ 22mg per oz
- Cold Brew ~ 40mg per oz
- French Press ~ 15mg per oz
- Pour Over ~ 23mg per oz
How Much Moka Pot Coffee Should You Drink?
The FDA recommends that adults consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine daily to avoid adverse health effects.
A typical serving of Moka Pot coffee has about 40 milligrams of caffeine, so you may have 10 ounces before exceeding the FDA’s daily guidelines.
Source: Food and Drug Administration
However, coffee has varying effects on different people. Even only 1 or 2 ounces might trigger a severe response in some people.
Some people can probably take much more than that without experiencing ill effects. Pay attention to your physical capabilities and limitations.
Remember that demitasse cups are traditionally used to serve coffee made in a Moka Pot. That’s the way it is for a reason!
Therefore, we advise you to try drinking only one demitasse cup of coffee from a Moka Pot at a time and observe how you react.
The Moka Pot is a unique and aggressive coffee maker. Despite the significant learning curve and misunderstood fundamentals, it’s worth researching and mastering.
You’ll be able to produce rich, balanced espresso-like coffee with one by your side, which you can enjoy on its own or with extra components.
Of course, the most satisfactory results are usually obtained when utilizing freshly roasted, specialty-grade coffee beans. If you don’t use the best beans you can get, you’re wasting your time before you even start brewing.