The Ultimate Guide to Moka Pot Sizes: Which One Is Right For You?

I bought myself a 3-cup Moka Pot not that long ago. With the excitement of waiting for the fresh brew to gurgle into the upper chamber, I finally poured it into my mug. I was surprised to discover I didn’t even have a full cup of coffee. How did I wind up with this problem?

Looking into it a little further, a Moka Pot is a stovetop espresso maker, so it doesn’t play by the rules of regular coffee makers. In some ways, it’s more like an espresso machine. There is an underlying logic to Moka Pot sizes, and knowing it can help you choose the right size.

What size do Moka Pots come in?

Moka Pots come in a wide range of sizes, from a tiny 1-cup to a colossal 18-cup coffee maker. You can easily find the number of cups in the product descriptions online or on the packaging.

If you bought an old Moka Pot from a secondhand market and are wondering, “How do I know what size my Moka Pot is?” brew coffee with it and use a measuring cup to see how much coffee comes out. Then, compare your result with this guide to determine your Moka Pot size.

Here is a table with the Bialetti Moka Pot sizes and the corresponding coffee volume in ounces and milliliters:

Moka Pot size



1 cup

2 oz

60 ml

2 cup

3 oz

90 ml

3 cup

4.4 oz

130 ml

4 cup

5.7 oz

170 ml

6 cup

9.1 oz

270 ml

9 cup

14.2 oz

420 ml

10 cup

15.5 oz

460 ml

12 cup

20.3 oz

600 ml

18 cup

27 oz

810 ml

When choosing the best Moka Pot, remember that it produces the equivalent of concentrated coffee similar to espresso, not a standard watered-down brew. So Moka Pot cups imply demitasse cups (or half-size cups) that contain two to three ounces of coffee.

It is worth mentioning that the exact volume of coffee that, for example, 3-cup Bialetti and 3-cup Grosche Milano Moka Pot can produce will vary slightly, so if you need precision, your best reference will be the user manual or a graded measuring cup.

different moka pot sizes

Moka Pot cups to mugs

When prepared with a Moka Pot, coffee is more concentrated — more like a shot of espresso than a regular brew. So most people wouldn’t drink a whole mug due to the high caffeine content.

Moka Pot coffee contains around 168 milligrams of caffeine per 100 milliliters, with only espresso having higher caffeine content. Depending on the extraction, drip coffee has 37 to 79 milligrams of caffeine per 100 milliliters.
You can always dilute Moka coffee with hot water to make an Americano, and that could get you a 12-ounce mug of coffee even if you have the smallest 1-cup Moka Pot. This will be a more comfortable experience than drinking 12 ounces of concentrated coffee.

If you are still serious, against most recommendations, about filling a standard 12-ounce coffee mug with pure Moka Pot coffee, you’ll need one of the larger Moka Pot sizes. 9-cup Moka Pot will brew over one mug of coffee, and a 12-cup coffee maker will give you almost two mugs.

moka pot and mug

What size Moka Pot to get?

The best Moka pot size for you will depend on how much coffee you like to drink and how many people you usually brew it for. Larger Moka Pots of the same brand will typically cost more than the smaller sizes, so your budget may also be among the factors you consider.

1-cup Moka Pot

A 1-cup Moka Pot is for someone who wants only the equivalent of an espresso shot. It makes about 2 ounces (60 ml) of coffee. This amount of coffee is not a lot to drink, but it can be perfect if you want to experiment with making lattes at home.

You can also pour hot water into a single serving of brewed Moka coffee to make an Americano. If you want your Americano to be bigger than 12 ounces, you will probably want a larger Moka Pot to prevent the coffee from tasting too watery.

The smaller your Moka Pot, the faster it will brew coffee, as there’s less water to boil. If you like a quick caffeine fix in the morning when in a hurry, a 1-cup Moka Pot may be your best size. This is the tiniest and most portable Moka Pot size, so it’s great for travel as long as you can access a stove or campfire.

Bialetti Moka Express 1-Cup

Bialetti Moka Express 1-Cup

Moka Express is the original stovetop espresso maker that provides the experience of the real Italian way of preparing coffee. Suitable for gas, electric, and induction stoves (with the Bialetti induction adapter plate). Makes 2 ounces of mocha coffee – enough for an espresso cup.

2-cup Moka Pot

A 2-cup Moka Pot makes roughly 3 ounces (90 ml) of coffee. This may depend on the manufacturer, but for Bialetti, a 2-cup Moka Pot produces a bit less than twice that of a 1-cup Moka Pot.

Its output is equivalent to almost a double shot of espresso, which is great for making concentrated shots of coffee for two people or making yourself an espresso-based drink that requires a double shot.

This size of stovetop espresso maker definitely won’t fill a standard coffee mug by itself. As with a one-cup coffee pot, you can use your 2-cup Moka Pot to make yourself an Americano by adding hot water or sparkling water and ice for a refreshing sparkling Americano. If you want a 16-ounce Americano, this Moka Pot size is for you as you are not risking getting your coffee overly diluted.
Aside from classic-shaped two-cup Moka Pots produced by various brands, Bialetti has quirky Mini Express series looking like coffee fountains. This model would be handy if you always share your coffee with someone after your meal, as it produces two shots divided into cute espresso cups that come as a set.

Bialetti Mini Express Lichtenstein 2-Cup Moka Set

Bialetti Mini Express Lichtenstein 2-Cup Moka Set

Mini Express is the ultimate combination of creativity and innovation. The coffee will brew directly into the included cups, resting on a special aluminum plate that warms up during the preparation. With this exclusive interpretation, Bialetti celebrates the genius of Lichtenstein: clear shapes and bright colors dress the coffee pot in the unique style of the great New York artist.

3-cup Moka Pot

The 3-cup Bialetti Moka Express makes about 4.4 ounces (130 ml) of coffee, but other brands can yield up to 5 ounces (148 ml). This definitely won’t get a standard 12-ounce mug of coffee full.

With Moka Pot coffee being so strong, you probably wouldn’t want to drink more than 3 cups alone. You can, of course, go on to make your drink an Americano by adding hot water.

Splitting the output of a 3-cup Moka Pot into two servings would work well if you have somebody to share it with or make a latte or a cortado for yourself and a companion. You’d have over 2 ounces of espresso equivalent each, ensuring an excellent foundation for your espresso-based drinks.

Grosche Milano 3-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker

Grosche Milano 3-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker

With the colors and styles to boot, the Grosche Milano coffee pot is the home espresso coffee maker everyone should have. Features a larger soft touch handle with a burn guard. Works on all gas and electric stove tops and propane camping stoves.

4-cup Moka Pot

The 4-cup Bialetti Moka Pot will produce 5.7 oz (170 ml) of coffee, but you can find some other brands with a yield of 7 oz (200 ml). This size is ideal for a household with 1 to 2 coffee drinkers. It makes just enough coffee for two cappuccinos or flat whites.

Even if you drink your coffee straight, you will hardly have any leftover coffee between two people when brewed with this size Moka Pot. Therefore, it is an excellent choice for those who want to enjoy fresh coffee without waste.

The 4-cup Moka Pot is also perfect for those who prefer a larger cup of coffee to keep their energy level up.

Its compact size makes it ideal for small kitchens, as it can easily be stored in a kitchen cabinet.

Bialetti Venus 4-Cup Stainless Steel Espresso Maker

Bialetti Venus 4-Cup Stainless Steel Espresso Maker

Bringing the traditional stovetop espresso maker right into the 21st century, the Bialetti 4-Cup Venus coffee maker is the perfect marriage of traditional taste and up-to-date design. Made from high-quality stainless steel, it works on gas, electric, ceramic, and induction stovetops.

6-cup Moka Pot

A 6-cup Moka Pot makes about 9.1 ounces (270 ml) of coffee. This is the ideal Moka Pot size to share for two or three people. While the portions won’t be huge, they will be about right for that style of concentrated coffee.

With this Moka Pot size, you could create espresso-based drinks for yourself and your family or friends. If you make cappuccinos or lattes, it can stretch to four to six cups. You can also add hot water to make Americanos.

If you decide to brew a 6-cup Moka Pot for yourself, it will come close to filling a 12-ounce coffee mug. Just be mindful of caffeine consumption, as Moka Pot coffee can be more than four times stronger than your usual drip coffee.

Bialetti Moka Express Italia 6-Cup

Bialetti Moka Express Italia 6-Cup

Moka Express Italia is a refreshed version of the iconic Bialetti coffee maker featuring the colors of the Italian flag. It provides the experience of the authentic Italian way of preparing coffee. Suitable for gas, electric, and induction stoves (with the Bialetti induction adapter plate).

9-cup Moka Pot

A 9-cup Moka Pot should be enough for four people, especially if your family drinks coffee with milk.

A Bialetti Moka Pot of this size produces about 14.2 ounces (420 ml) of espresso-style coffee, and other brand coffee pots can yield over 15 ounces (450 ml). For two avid coffee drinkers, that’s more than 7 ounces of strong coffee each.

A 9-cup Moka Pot will go further among your friends than you may think, even though it doesn’t sound like a lot of coffee. If you want more coffee during your gathering, rinse your Moka Pot’s filter, add fresh grounds, and brew a new batch.

Grosche Milano 9-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker

Grosche Milano 9-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker

The Milano Stone series has a premium stone finish 20x more durable than ordinary enamel. This hand-applied speckled finish will maintain longer than other paints. Works on all gas and electric stove tops and propane camping stoves.

10-cup Moka Pot

The 10-cup size Bialetti will brew 15.5 oz (460 ml) of coffee, and just like with other Moka Pot sizes, different brands might have slight variations in the brewed coffee volume.

A coffee maker of this size is an excellent option for coffee lovers who want to make multiple cups of rich, flavorful coffee. The 10-cup Moka brewer is perfect for households with multiple coffee drinkers or those who like entertaining guests and serving coffee. After all, what can be better than a cup of espresso after a good dinner party?

The 10-cup size Moka Pot is an excellent investment for coffee enthusiasts who want to elevate their at-home coffee game. With its large size, this Moka Pot is ideal for brewing a batch of coffee, saving you time and effort.

Cuisinox Roma 10-Cup Stainless Steel Espresso Maker

Cuisinox Roma 10-Cup Stainless Steel Espresso Maker

Cuisinox has created a premium-grade stovetop espresso coffeemaker with a distinguished style and hand-crafted to the highest possible standards in the industry. Featuring a heavy gauge 18/10 stainless steel construction and induction base, it is suitable for all cooking surfaces.

12-cup Moka Pot

A 12-cup Moka Pot is another good option if you regularly serve coffee to friends or family. It makes about 20.3 ounces (600 ml) of coffee. If you split that into 4 to 5 ounces per person, you could serve a decent-sized cup of straight coffee to 4 to 5 people or prepare up to 12 cups of coffee with milk.

The 12-cup size Moka Pot is a great option for those who prefer a traditional stovetop brewing method and who appreciate the simplicity and affordability of the Moka Pot. It’s also an excellent option for those who want to reduce their environmental footprint, as it doesn’t require disposable pods like Nespresso machines. Imagine a pile of pods you would throw away after brewing 12 servings of Nespresso coffee!

If you are looking for an easy and reliable way to brew delicious coffee for a large group of people, the 12-cup size Moka Pot may be the perfect option.

Bialetti Moka Express 12-Cup

Bialetti Moka Express 12-Cup

Moka Express provides the experience of the authentic Italian way of preparing coffee. At home or outdoors, while camping or enjoying beach time, Moka Express is the ideal solution for those who love to bring the taste of home everywhere. Suitable for gas, electric, and induction stoves (with the Bialetti induction adapter plate). 

18-cup Moka Pot

The 18-cup or 27-ounce (810 ml) Bialetti Moka Pot is the largest stovetop espresso maker on the market. It is ideal for dinner parties and other gatherings with lots of guests.

One of the advantages of the 18-cup size Moka Pot is its ability to brew large quantities of strong coffee quickly. Even if you have a single-serve coffee maker or an espresso machine, this might be your preferred brewing method to serve all the guests simultaneously.

The largest-size Moka Pot is also a great investment for anyone who wants a reliable and efficient coffee brewing method. It is easy to clean and maintain, making it a convenient option for busy households.

Bialetti Moka Express 18-Cup

Bialetti Moka Express 18-Cup

The Italian brand Bialetti can rightly be called the king of Moka Pots, and the solid 18-Cup size suits the title. High-quality and well-thought-out designs characterize all Bialetti Moka Pots down to the last detail. Suitable for gas, electric, or ceramic stovetops.

If the largest size of the Moka Pot still feels too small for you, you might consider a percolator. It is a simple stovetop coffee maker with vintage appeal, although it makes regular brew rather than strong espresso-style coffee.

Things to consider when buying a Moka Pot

As you wonder, “What size Moka Pot should I get?” defining your coffee brewing and drinking preferences is essential. While stovetop coffee makers are relatively inexpensive and you can always get a few different sizes to play with, doing your homework will save you from disappointment, especially if you are buying your first Moka Pot.

Assess your coffee-drinking habits

Be realistic about how much coffee you are accustomed to drinking and how many people will share it with you. Choosing the right Moka Pot size for your needs will save you from disappointment when you end up with a couple of sips of coffee instead of your usual mug.

You may wonder if buying a larger Moka Pot and loading it only partially to brew a smaller amount of coffee would work. Unfortunately, this isn’t recommended. Measuring the correct amounts of ground coffee and water with a Moka Pot is not as easy as with a drip coffee maker. For the best experience, you’ll want to fill the Moka Pot to the recommended line.

While one or two-cup size Moka Pot may be too small for you, even if you usually enjoy coffee alone, getting a large coffee maker can take you to another extreme: too much leftover strong coffee. If you end up in this situation, don’t rush to pour it down the drain. You can use strong coffee for desserts like Tiramisu or freeze it in an ice cube tray. Frozen coffee cubes are great for making iced lattes, espresso tonic, or boozy coffee cocktails.

large moka pot size with cups

Determine where you will be using your Moka Pot

A great benefit of a Moka Pot is its convenience. If you usually brew coffee for family or friend gatherings and parties, you’ll get a large quantity more quickly with a big Moka Pot than by pulling multiple espresso shots one at a time.

Another Moka Pot advantage is that it works without electricity, as long as you have a heat source. Therefore, Moka Pots are great for camping trips because you can use a campfire or camping gas burner to make your brew.

Although smaller camping equipment is often easier to carry, you may find one of the larger Moka Pot sizes easier to maneuver over a fire than a smaller pot. Even a 2-cup size can be hard to handle over a blazing fire. If unsure, go for a happy medium, like a 4 or 6-cup Moka Pot.

brewing moka pot coffee on campfire

Understand what it takes to maintain a Moka Pot

The best ground coffee for a Moka Pot is a medium-fine to fine grind size. Packaged ground coffee will typically be a close enough grind size to make the Moka Pot work.
Even though a Moka Pot does not require as much involvement in brewing coffee as Chemex or any other pour-over method, you must keep an eye on it while it bubbles on the stove. Unlike automated coffee makers, Moka Pot should not be left unattended. Leaving Moka Pot on a stove after the brewing cycle finishes can burn the coffee and your coffee pot.

It’s pretty easy to clean a Moka Pot. After using it, all you need to do is rinse it under running water, regardless of the size of your Moka Pot. However, be aware that most Moka Pot models are not dishwasher safe and can get damaged beyond repair if you accidentally forget about it.

Stovetop espresso makers have the advantage of being low in waste as they don’t need paper filters. All you do is throw out the used coffee grounds, which can even be composted if you are up for it!

preparing moka pot coffee at home

Know what you can and can’t do with a Moka Pot

Using the Moka Pot coffee as a base, you can make cappuccinos, lattes, or flat whites at home. Use a battery-operated handheld or electric milk frother to achieve the airy texture of the milk before adding it to your cup with brewed coffee.

If you thought of pouring milk into your Moka Pot to get a frothy cappuccino, you should now ditch this idea. Moka Pots are not designed to brew anything else but coffee. The milk solids will clog the metal filter and cause leaking or, worse, make your Moka Pot explode.

However, you can experiment with tailoring your home-brewed coffee to your tastes. Flavored syrups and other, more creative coffee add-ins, such as cardamom, salt, or chili pepper can take your coffee to the next level!

Even though a stovetop espresso maker is not quite a perfect replacement for an espresso machine, it produces strong coffee for a fraction of the cost. So when you understand how much coffee each size produces, you can easily choose the best Moka Pot to cater to your needs.

Don’t feel like you are tied to selecting only one type of coffee maker for every possible situation. You can always get multiple Moka Pots in a couple of different sizes, like a smaller one for solo use and a bigger one for serving guests.

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