Moka Pot Vs Coffee Capsule

Moka Pot vs Coffee Pods (Nespresso & Keurig) – Are They Similar to Espresso?

Of all the brewing methods, the Moka pot and coffee pods are the two brewers that make me feel least involved in the art of making coffee. Most of the brewing process, I just stare at the pot or the machine, waiting for my cup of coffee to get done.

This isn’t necessarily bad, especially when I have more important things to think about in the morning.

But this made me wonder, which of the two is better?

In this article, I will be answering this question by doing an in-depth comparison of Moka pots and coffee pod machines like Nespresso and Keurig. After reading through, you should be able to make an informed decision on which brewer suits your taste and lifestyle best.

Comparing Moka Pot & Coffee Pods

The Moka pot is a stovetop coffee maker comprised of three parts:

  • the bottom water chamber,
  • middle coffee basket, and
  • top collection chamber.

It works by heating it until steam pressure builds up and pushes the brewing water through the finely ground coffee in the middle basket. As a result, this yields strong coffee similar to espresso.

On the other hand, coffee pod systems such as Nespresso and Keurig K-Cups offer swift and straightforward results. Coffee pods come pre-packaged in various flavors and strengths for convenience. Once inserted into the machine, the pod gets punctured, extracting coffee by pushing hot water through it. This results in clean cups of coffee without any grinds or messes while providing consistent drinks every time. Nespresso is an actual espresso (sort of), while only some Keurig machines offer “espresso” brews.

Here are the factors to consider when picking between the two brewing methods, followed by a detailed comparison of each feature:

FeaturesMoka PotCoffee Pods
Taste & FlavorRich, full-bodied, espresso-like coffeeStrong, balanced intensity, various flavor options
StrengthTypically strongRange from mild to extra-strong
Ease of UseFairly easy, requires grinding and water temperature checkAutomated, simple insertion and button press
Brewing SpeedUp to 10 minutesAround 1 minute
VersatilityAdjustable variables, wide range of sizesLimited control, predetermined drinks
Durability & PortabilityCompact and lightweight, durable materialsLarger size, less portable, designed for countertops
SustainabilityLess electricity usage, minimal wasteCreates waste, often not recycled
CostAffordable, reusable partsExpensive upfront cost, recurring spending

Taste, Flavor, & Strength

The Moka pot and coffee pods are quite distinct in terms of flavor.

The Moka pot produces a rich, concentrated, and full-bodied aromatic coffee that tastes somewhat similar to espresso.

Coffee pods can also make strong coffee, but they are generally less intense than the Moka pot. Coffee capsules come in various intensities ranging from mild to extra-strong, giving you more options.

Nespresso Capsules

As for my preference, I lean towards the Moka pot’s unique taste profile. Its rich flavor really appeals to my palate and provides an excellent alternative to traditional espresso.

If you like less the strength with varying flavors though, coffee pods might be for you.

Ease of Use

Which brewer is easier to use? Pod machines.

Using coffee capsules is an entirely automated process that requires minimal effort from the user. Simply insert one into your machine, press a button, and let the device do its job. It’s that simple.

A Moka pot is pretty easy to use and can even brew coffee outdoors with a fire nearby. Just keep in mind that you want a medium-fine grind size, while the water temperature needs to be around 212°F (100°C). No filter is needed as it uses a built-in metal filter basket.

But even though Moka pots are not complicated, coffee pod machines takes the win on this one. It skips the measuring, grinding, and water temperature checks, so you don’t have to worry about anything. But for me, it takes the beauty and excitement out of brewing coffee.

Brewing Speed

Now onto brewing speed. A full brew with a Moka pot can take up to 10 minutes from grinding your beans, brewing your coffee, and cleaning up afterward. Quite a lengthy process compared to coffee pod machines.

With a coffee pod machine, you’re done in just a minute, from preparation to cleanup. Thanks to its convenience factor, it has revolutionized home coffee-making for busy people. There is no cleanup after brewing, just an occasional rinse of the drip tray and wiping down of the machine. And remember to schedule some occasional descaling, as residue builds up within the system.

A Moka pot takes longer to clean since you’ll need to rinse each chamber carefully with water to remove all leftover grinds and oils that may accumulate in crevices such as filter baskets or filters. It’s important not to neglect these areas because old grounds can affect future brews negatively.

Overall, if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to brew your coffee, coffee pods are your obvious choice. It fixes you a cup of coffee in a jiffy, all you need is to push a button.


When brewing coffee, versatility is an important factor as it gives you the flexibility to make a variety of drinks. With a Moka Pot, you have some degree of control over your brew. You can adjust a few variables such as the coffee-to-water ratio and grind size to suit your preferences.

On the other hand, pod machines like Keurig and Nespresso offer little to no control during brewing. With these machines, you only choose your pods and have some control over cup size – nothing else. Pods produce predetermined drinks – usually around 25 ml for espresso shots or up to 110 ml for larger coffees.

As for the Moka pot, it has a wide range of sizes to give you a high degree of flexibility depending on your needs:

  • 0.5-cup (40 ml)
  • 1-cup (60 ml)
  • 2-cup (90 ml)
  • 3-cup (130 ml)
  • 4-cup (190 ml)
  • 6-cup (340 ml)
  • 9-cup (540 ml)
  • 12-cup (670 ml)
  • 18-cup (810 ml)
Moka Pot Sizes

To sum it all up, if you want more control over your resulting cup of coffee, the Moka pot is a better pick. The convenience that coffee pods bring really compromises how customizable your drink can be.

Durability and Portability

There are definitely some key differences between the Moka Pot and coffee pods that you should consider regarding durability and portability.

First off, let’s talk materials – Moka pots are typically made of aluminum or stainless steel, which means they’re generally quite durable. There is not much that can go wrong with a Moka pot, and they are known to last decades.

While they come in many sizes, the most common models are pretty compact and lightweight, making them highly portable as well.

Coffee pod machines themselves can be pretty sturdy too, but they will not last nearly as long as a Moka pot. They are often on the larger side of things, plus, they require electricity to work, so they’re really designed to stay on your kitchen’s countertop and are not recommended for traveling.

It’s clear that Moka pots win this round. I can attest to that as I have brought mine with me on numerous occasions while I was traveling.

Moka Pot


Sustainability in coffee is crucial, as the industry contributes to environmental degradation. When choosing between a Moka pot and coffee pods, it’s essential to consider their impact on the environment.

Moka Pots are great for sustainability and are actually one of the most eco friendly types of coffee brewers. They can be used on gas or electric stovetops, and produce minimal waste since they only use water and coffee grounds. Additionally, Moka pots made of metal last a long time reducing replacement cycles. Classic aluminum Bialetti Moka pots can serve you for decades without needing replacements.

On the other hand, coffee pod machines are much harder to produce, they are made out of all sorts of elements (including plastic), so their production leaves a larger carbon footprint. Not to mention the fact that they will last a few years at max, somehow always breaking down after the warranty ends…

In addition, coffee capsules create massive waste, since they often end up in landfills insterad of being recycled. While capsule refill systems provide a greener solution, they take away the convenience this method is known for, since you have to clean and refill the pods yourself. I’ve tried it, and it sucks big time.

Used Nespresso Capsules Waste

By choosing the more sustainable option, which is the Moka pot, you’ll enjoy delicious coffee while preserving our planet’s resources.


Regarding the affordability of your brewing method, the Moka pot and coffee pods have a wide price gap.

You can easily find a Moka pot within the range of $15 to $70, which is quite affordable in comparison to coffee pods. Other the occasional gasket change, there is nothing to replace in the brewer.

On the other hand, investing in a pod machine will cost you significantly more upfront, with prices ranging from roughly $150 to $600. In addition to that, individual pods can be quite expensive as well (Nespresso capsules start at $0.80 cents). Pod machines may produce tasty cups of coffee, but given its unit-by-unit purchase model with recurring spending, they’re not very cost-effective.

So if affordability is a main concern, then the Moka pot is definitely the better brewing option.

Moka Pot and Coffee Pods – Weighing the Pros & Cons

Now that we’ve gotten a closer look at the features of each brewing method, here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons of Moka pot and coffee pods so you can finally decide which one is for you:

Brewing MethodProsCons
Moka Pot– Small and portable
– Easy to use
– Produces robust coffee similar to espresso
– Cleaning is a bit tougher
– Limited control once the brewing has started
– Can easily have a bitter taste
Coffee Pods– Automation allows for quick and convenient brewing
– Different kinds of pre-packaged capsules for consistent results
– Requires electricity
– Pricy plus the pods become recurring expenses
– Limited control over the brewing process

You can also check out how Moka pot compares to other brewing methods including:

Meanwhile, here are the results for coffee pod machines versus other brewers:


To wrap things up, there’s no one-fits-all answer as to which brewing method is superior.

The Moka pot is great for those who want an affordable and portable brewer that yields a robust, espresso-like coffee. Meanwhile, coffee pod machines are the epitome of convenient, albeit expensive and wasteful brewing. Just pop in your capsule and press a button for a consistent cup of coffee.

Personally, I enjoy using the Moka pot more as I like the entire process of brewing coffee, and I simply can’t bear the thought of producing so much waste with coffee capsules.

What about you, which brewing method suits you better? Let me know in the comments below.

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