Moka Pot vs Capsules. How do you make your espresso?

A couple of years ago I ventured into selling Italian coffee in the UK. Coffee has always been my best friend, let’s face it, my day would be dark and dull without it. I love my coffee and I only want good coffee.

So I went to visit small coffee artisans in Italy and I picked my favourite one: a small family run business an hour away from my home town. The coffee was fantastic, really good quality, freshly roasted…it smelled and tasted divine! I was really excited about it and I set up my own stall, I had fun decorating it and I loved chatting to people over a hot cup of coffee.

They all loved the coffee but let’s face it competition was fierce and unless I was prepared to market it properly (which I didn’t) it was never going to work. I suppose for me it was just a bit of fun rather than a more serious business.

In the last 15 years coffee shops have really taken off in the UK and you can find so many different types of coffee beans to satisfy the most refined of palates.

My selling experience was short lived but it learned lots from it. Mostly I realized how many people have now moved towards more sophisticated coffee makers with pods (like Nespresso and Nescafe’). Not just in Italy then, these machines are everywhere now. I felt behind with the times. Was it just me still stuck with the traditional (but beloved!) moka pot?

I have always refused to move “upmarket” and buy an espresso maker machine until I was given one as a wedding present. I can now compare the two which are both good and have their pros and cons.

If you don’t know what a moka pot is this is often called stove top espresso maker and works by passing hot pressurized water by steam up through the coffee grounds to make a strong, satisfying cup of coffee. More precisely moka pots don’t make espresso as this must actually be brewed under at least 9 bar.

Italian moka pot

With a moka:

– you have the flexibility to choose any type coffee you like and you can grind your own beans (love this!)

-it is cheap to buy so is the cost of a single cup of coffee

-it makes a clear, good and satisfying cup of coffee

-it is messier: you need to rinse the pot well after using it.

-it takes longer to prepare a coffee

With a coffee machine like Nespresso:

-you must buy their own coffee pods

-the machine and the pods are much more expensive

-it makes a more dense and proper creamy espresso just like you would get at a coffee bar

-you can make your coffee in one single click

-no need to wash up anything

Nespresso coffee machine

I am a traditionalist and I am still stuck to my old humble moka pot whereas hubby prefers the creaminess of the Nespresso. Where do you stand? How do you make your coffee?

Italian espresso made with a Nespresso machine

The espresso cups featured in this post (look at the lambs logo on these cups!) have kindly been supplied by Herdy. They are cute, robust and from now on they will replace my old battered cups which I had for ages.

Espresso cups

Herdy is offering a set of espresso cups to 1 lucky My Little Italian Kitchen reader. Enter the gleam box below for a chance to win them.

Terms and conditions:

  1. You can enter with the Gleam widget below via blog comment, twitter or facebook.
  2. Please comment on this blogpost before proceeding with other entry options (this is mandatory).
  3. One winner will be randomly selected, announced in the Gleam giveaway box and contacted via their provided e-mail address. Please claim your prize within 4 days of being notified.
  4. Giveaway open toΒ UK residents over the age of 18 only.
  5. This giveaway closes on 6th November 2015

Win a set of espresso cups

I received a set of espresso cups from Herdy to review. No payment was received. All opinions are my own.

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211 Responses to Moka Pot vs Capsules. How do you make your espresso?

  1. iain maciver

    a cup of coffee

  2. Vincent Porter

    Coffee is the drink of the gods

  3. Kat Glynn

    Coffee is my favourite πŸ™‚

  4. Marjana

    I always enjoy your various interesting posts. Thank you very much. When I was in Slovenia I used to drink Turkish coffee as all Slovenians at that time (more than 40 years ago). In 1973 when I moved to Japan, coffee was one of many problems for me. I couldn’t drink instant coffee nor Japanese coffee made with filter? I bought a lot of coffee in Slovenia on each visit and my mother was sending coffee for Turkish coffee. But I have never been satisfied and I suppose it was because of different water and atmosphere itself. I was always drinking coffee alone. Very few people were drinking coffee in Japan at that time and nobody had interest in Turkish coffee. When coffee became more popular in Japan I was able to buy Italian espresso in cans in Japan so I started cooking Turkish coffee with Italian coffee ( cooked in Japan, drunk by Slovene; very international coffee!). That was a little better. Then I bought moka pot but I was still dreaming about that delicious coffee in Slovenia. I bought the first espresso machine later and it was not so bad but not a real espresso. I could use my favourite coffee and could control the amount of the coffee. About six years ago I bought Nespresso machine. It is much much better but the best espresso is in bars in Italy! I like Nespresso machine, but I miss the flavour of the coffee. I drink the strongest one but miss something. As you mentioned, it is expensive so it is good for my heart because long ago I drank many cups of coffee but now I drink only one or two.
    Here is one story. It was about 20 years ago when I took a famous conductor Maestro Vladimir Spivakov to a tea room of Sheraton hotel in Osaka. We ordered coffee but when it came, Maestro said: “Oh, no. I am sorry, I didn’t order black tea but coffee.” The waitress said: “I brought you coffee!” The colour of Japanese coffee made with filter is really like tea. Sorry for a long story- a history of my coffee!

    • Alida

      Wow, thank you for sharing your coffee-story! That was interesting. My sister is married to a Slovenian and we visit her from time to time. We love the country! The story of your visit to a tea room with the Maestro made me laugh. I can only imagine the look of that coffee!
      All the best!

  5. aaron broad

    Hot Chocolate is my favourite

  6. Annamaria @ Bakewell Junction

    I can’t join the giveaway because I’m in the US. The cups are adorable.
    I don’t use pods at all. I won’t by a machine. I usually use a moka pot and now my Mom gave me my Grandmother’s macchinette Napolitana, so I’m going to have fun with that one. I also have a drip espresso pot that froths the milk but I haven’t used it in a while.

    • Alida

      Hi Annamaria, I have never tried a Napoletana machinette. So nice to get something that belonged to your grandmother. I have a colander that belonged to my grandmother and I really treasure it. Ciao!

  7. Kim Neville

    Hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream πŸ™‚

  8. Kevin Honey

    Hot chocolate

  9. kirsty webb

    At the moment its a pumpkin spice latte

  10. vicky cockett

    my favourite is a good quality coffee, i normally drink black coffee with one sugar, but if i want a treat, my very favourite has to be coffee with baileys cream!

  11. kellyjo walters

    very strong coffee for the day, fruit tea for the evening

  12. Susan Williams

    With a splash of amaretto. Heaven in a coffee cup

  13. ashleigh allan

    Definately coffee!

  14. laura stewart

    hot chocolate cream and marshmallows x

  15. jayne hall

    de caf tea

  16. laura banks

    a nice cup of coffee for me

  17. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Hi Alida,
    I liked this post and your comparing the two types of coffee making…but I have to agree with you the Moka Pot is my choice. I agree that it is so much better in taste wise, yes there are some drawbacks, as waiting for the coffee, but sometimes patience is worth the wait. It is more traditional than the other machine. My mom still has the old black coffee pot that my grandmother had years ago.. Interesting post and good luck to all who entered into your contest…Have a great weekend friend..Ciao!
    Dottie πŸ™‚

    • Alida

      Thanks Dottie, hope you had a good relaxing weekend.

  18. Sarah Spencer


  19. julie kenny

    espresso x

  20. valerie cooper

    i love a cup of hot chocolate yummy

  21. Elisabetta

    For me it’s the beloved moka. I buy coffee from a local firm established here since the 1800’s (from Liguria) who roast a large selection of coffee beans each week. I make a fragrant and delicious espresso each day. I must say though, that a coffee made in a cafeteria is a must if I’m in town – the crema is heavenly!

    • Alida

      Mmm.. I can smell your espresso right now! Coffee is such a fantastic drug! Love the crema too!

  22. Sean Downer

    Espresso stronger the better makes you feel alive first thing in the morning

  23. Helen Atkins

    Coffee canont get through the day without xx

  24. jessica woods

    Galaxy hot chocolate πŸ™‚

  25. Neil Dobson

    A nice Latte

  26. Julie Booth

    peppermint tea

  27. pete c

    mocha coffee

  28. Rey Chunara

    Nothing beats a cup of tea for me

  29. Sarah Mackay

    Hot chocolate

  30. CalvinC

    Hot milk chocolate for the start of the day πŸ˜€

  31. Bonnie King

    Coffee! I used to hate it (shocking, I know) but now I can’t live without it.
    I have both a machine and one of those aeropress things.
    My pros and cons are very similar to yours but grinding my own coffee just before using it wins for me.

    • Alida

      Absolutely, I find that grinding my own beans makes a big difference.


    an espresso

  33. Chris Andrews

    What is your favourite hot drink? . . . . .cappuccino closely followed by hot chocolate


    A strong cup of tea

  35. Vivien Taylor

    Americano with cream

  36. Lara Latchem

    Gotta be a cuppa tea

  37. Laura Pritchard

    Tomato soup

  38. Paul Scotland

    My favourite hot drink is tea

  39. Karen Laing

    An Americano and an extra shot,I do like my coffee strong x

  40. Natasha Gandy

    A nice cup of tea!!

  41. Nicki Ramsay

    Hot Chocolate with squirty cream

  42. claire woods

    Always coffee for me.

  43. amy fidler

    This time of year Cinnamon coffee

  44. Hannah Lord

    I do love a lovely steaming hot Latte πŸ™‚

  45. Michael Griffin

    strong black coffee

  46. charlotte

    i love horlicks

  47. Lyla Horley

    a nice cup of tea

  48. Karen Hughes

    Love a good cup of coffee

  49. lydia

    I like a latte but my husband uses his stove top moka, he did try the aeropress but didn’t last long before he went back..

  50. La cucina di Molly

    Adoro il caffΓ¨, per me Γ¨ ormai diventata un’abitudine, mi piace alzarmi la mattina e bere la mia tazzina di caffΓ¨. Preferisco anch’io la moka, anche se di macchine per il caffΓ¨ espresso ne ho due! Un abbraccio!

  51. Ruth Harwood

    has to be a nice cup of Coffee πŸ™‚

  52. Liam Bishop

    Coffee, it’s divine!

  53. michelle banks

    decaffinated vanilla tea

  54. Iris W

    It’s a close one between a nice coffee or a green tea for me

  55. Max Power


  56. Corinne Peat

    Love coffee

  57. MichelleD

    A latte is my favourite!

  58. michelle pierce


  59. Susan B

    Gosh! Coffee first, last and every time! Trouble is, I’m now very fussy and find it difficult to get a good cup of coffee anywhere except at home or in specialist coffee shops.

  60. Jon Sellers

    Coincidentally coffee, the stronger the better. Really enjoy Espresso

  61. Catherine Whittall

    Chai latte

  62. Sarah-Jane Laycock

    Hot Chocolate with marshmallows and frothy cream!

  63. Jo Bryan

    A cup of tea, coffee occasionally but my husband is a real coffee fanatic.

  64. charlotte

    A good strong coffee with a dash of milk

  65. sharon dickson

    decaf tea and lots of it from the teapot in a tea cup.

  66. Alison Hedger

    Herdy and perfect coffee – a heavenly match made to make you smile πŸ˜‰

  67. Kim M


  68. Diane Simpkins

    A lovely nespresso espresso – maybe the very smooth rosabaya

  69. Jess Mary

    Pumpkin spice latte ! Yum

  70. Rachel white

    Coffee πŸ˜€

  71. David Clarke

    Nice rich aroma coffee πŸ˜›

  72. Rachel G

    Love the smell of coffee and love Herdy!


    Just good old fashioned tea, too much coffee makes me feel sick

  74. Robyn Tumber

    I love coffee, I can’t function without it!!

  75. Steve Dickinson

    Coffee every time

  76. Alison

    A latte

  77. Hayley Lynch

    black coffee

  78. Abigail Cullen

    Hot chocolate

  79. Sam Goodwin

    Coffee, it’s my energy source!

  80. Jennifer Toal

    I love a coffee in a morning but then I have to say can’t beat a good cup of tea rest of the day

  81. David Slone

    I recently got a Nespresso machine, and I love it!

  82. Lynn Harrison

    Hot Chocolate is best

  83. Pam Smith

    A good cup of coffee made in a proper coffee pot.

  84. Theresaparker

    Espresso always!

  85. Stevie

    I like hot chocolate, I do want to try hazelnut coffee though.

  86. Katie Robertson

    Has to be a Mocha.

  87. Rachel Butterworth

    Honestly, it’s got to be a nice cuppa tea every time.

  88. betony Bennett

    Hot chocolate with whipped cream πŸ™‚

  89. Margaret Clarkson

    Tea is my favourite, although I do enjoy coffee too.

  90. Julie Newell (Daximama)

    Absolutely love the blog about coffee. I’m a coffee lover too. I think the coffee I drink reflects the mood I’m in at the time. I love a frothy cappuccino, but sometimes I love the deep intense flavour of an Expresso. I have a cafetiΓ¨re and a machine and depending on my feelings I will make the one most suited at the time. Lovely Ferdy cups are cute and perfect. Cute lamb too! Thanks Daximama +Dog

  91. Ann Skamarauskas

    a latte πŸ™‚

  92. Mrs Rachel Heap

    I love a nice coffee to start my day

  93. irene gilmour

    got to be a coffee i cant stand tea

  94. Michelle Ferguson

    Hot chocolate

  95. carole n

    has to be coffee

  96. Jackie osborne

    Love love coffee

  97. Lucia Critchley

    tea πŸ™‚

  98. Allan Wilson

    A builders brew

  99. Ray Becker


  100. Cheryl Kean

    I love tea, but my husband has just come back from Italy with a lust for Expresso….

  101. barbara clarke


  102. joanna butler-savage

    love coffee

  103. Cristin

    Nothing better than a good cup of coffee

  104. kimberley ryan

    Coffee, black and unsweetend

  105. Caroline Blaza

    Has to be coffee x

  106. Viv Carey

    caramel latte

  107. lia sturman

    love my coffee

  108. Kate Phillips

    It depends on the weather – in winter hot chocolate, in summer an iced coffee and tea all year round.

  109. Keith Wallbanks

    A tall latte, made with Costa Rican beans

  110. Lizzy Cooper

    My favourite drink is coffee, I always make sure I have no more than 2 cups a day because I’m so obsessed with it! πŸ˜€

  111. donna l jones

    hot chocolate

  112. Jane Watts

    My favourite would be a strong cup of tea.

  113. Katie Walker

    A good strong coffee milky but no sugar

  114. Monica Gilbert

    hot chocolate

  115. Brenda Wilkes

    Tea – but I am the only tea drinker amongst a family of coffee addicts!

  116. Jade Missy Evans

    A nice milky coffee x

  117. Jo hutchinson

    a cup of coffee with cream.

  118. Emma Jones

    At home a cup of green tea but out I go with a flat white.

  119. jemma dwyer

    hot chocolate x

  120. Sam Gregory

    One shot latte with two sugars

  121. Heather Harris

    coffee any type

  122. Eileen Tingle


  123. Kathleen Lynch

    It has to be coffee. I can’t start my day without it.

  124. Sara Coyne

    I love a nice cup of coffee x

  125. Tim Woolfenden

    A nice milky coffee

  126. Emilia nastaly-howard

    Latte machiato

  127. Kim holgate


  128. Keith Crooks

    Espresso coffee

  129. sharon martin

    milky coffee

  130. rebecca gibson

    Caramel latte

  131. Dorothy K

    latte for me!

  132. AnnaH

    A latte

  133. Elzbieta Znyk

    white coffee

  134. Sarah

    just ordered my first moka pot and excited to start brewing.

  135. Cerys John


  136. Mike Gerrie

    Latte for me

  137. claire little

    hot chocolate

  138. Alica

    A very large latte πŸ™‚

  139. Lauren Old

    I like Mochas with extra chocolate

  140. elaine stokes

    I love a hot chocolate

  141. Robby Price


  142. Adrian Lunness

    the rich aroma of an Americano

  143. Gemma Crossley

    Coffee πŸ™‚

  144. a.e.adkins

    Espresso with a dash of sparkling water – don’t knock it until you have tried it!

  145. david bernie


  146. liz ferguson

    tea xx

  147. Dee Sherwood Wallace

    This is a lovely prize, I can’t do without my Espresso in the morning.

  148. Rebecca Howells

    Any type of coffee is the best – the stronger the better! (@PeanutHog)

  149. Michelle Wild


  150. tina edwards

    a cappachino

  151. Lynn Woodcock

    Strong white coffee

  152. vera Bahounkova


  153. christine WESTLAKE

    de caf tea

  154. EJ Dunn

    I love hot chocolate

  155. Emma Price

    Latte with an extra shot of expresso and a shot of vanilla

  156. Mandy Sharp

    Cappucino (I think thats how you spell it!!)

  157. Simon G

    I use the nespresso machine for lovely lattes- quick and reliable but expensive ! Its that George Clooney whos to blame !

  158. Leah Jones

    definately aa cappucino x

  159. Donna Caldwell

    Love a hot chocolate

  160. Kim Styles

    Hot chocolate with marsh mallows and chocolate sprinkles!

  161. Ian Yates


  162. Sheri Darby


  163. Kirsty Woods


  164. Karen Watt

    lovely coffee first thing in the morning

  165. juliette

    a strong cup of coffee with a dash of milk

  166. Chris Fletcher

    I love a cappuccino!

  167. Teresa sheldon

    Depends on time of the day coffee morning and afternoon hot chocolate evenings

  168. Kim Lam

    Coffee made with freshly ground beans

  169. janine atkin

    hot chocolate

  170. Kerry W

    I love Douwe Egbery Caramel coffee!


    Latte for me

  172. Nancy Bradford

    My favourite hot beverage is a flat white coffee with a shot of vanilla.

  173. Caroline Buckley

    Hot chocolate. I would love to win these as I love the Herdy range. I have a collection of thd large mugs which I’ve bought on my trips to the Lake District and a toy sheep from this years visit!

  174. Hayley Colburn

    Late πŸ™‚

  175. Hester McQueen

    Cappuccino from my bean to cup coffee machine. Starts my day off on a good note. Love the aroma of the beans being ground in the kitchen.

  176. Rhonda

    A caramel Latte

  177. Martina Alban

    toffee nut latte with whipped cream on top

  178. Chantelle79

    I love my coffee. I have 3 strong Americanos in a more it sets me up for the day. I couldn’t function without it

  179. Kay Foster

    Black coffee. x

  180. Richard Eldred Hawes


  181. Alastair Gillespie

    Espresso for me

  182. lynn neal


  183. Rennene Hartland

    Black Coffee

  184. kelly morgan


  185. Tracey Harman

    I love a decent cup of Espresso , after a 14 hour nightshift I think I deserve to relax and savour the flavour

  186. Victoria Prince

    Hot chocolate πŸ™‚ though I do like to vary the flavour slightly – on a caramel hot chocolate kick atm!

  187. stacey kavanah

    any type of coffee (except decaf )

  188. Lyndsey Beckford

    My favourite is hot chocolate

  189. Matt Brasier


  190. Amy Jo McLellan

    A nice fruit tea πŸ™‚

  191. jo burns


  192. sue mcdermott


  193. LEE HARDY


  194. Anneka Hulse

    caramel latte

  195. Denielle Nicol

    Milky Coffee


    Earl grey Tea for me

  197. Simon C

    Tea, but i do like the occasional Cappuccino. πŸ™‚

  198. Gemm Cook

    I’m a coffeeaholic. Love coffee. πŸ™‚

  199. Natalie Crossan


  200. Natalie Gillham

    Hot chocolate πŸ™‚

  201. Adam Berger


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