How to make Espresso style Coffee on your next Camping or Hiking trip

If you're looking for an easy, non-fuss way to make good coffee when out camping or hiking, you've just found it!

Let's face it, there are many things we can compromise when out in the great outdoors, but coffee shouldn't have to be one of them. If you have an espresso machine at home and ever wished you could take it with you on your hiking or camping trip, this one's for you. Forget pour-overs, drips or French press - the Moka Pot is the closest you're going to get to a real espresso. 

What is a Moka pot?

The Moka Pot, or stovetop espresso maker,  is a small coffee maker that uses steam pressure to force water through coffee grounds. The coffee is extracted at a pressure of 1 - 2 bar which, although it does not reach the standard pressure requirement for a true espresso at 8 - 10 bar,  still produces superior coffee compared to other manual methods.  The taste of the coffee is intense and bold and typically 2 - 3 times more concentrated than regular drip coffee. Be warned that it can be easy to brew bitter tasting coffee with the Moka pot if you're inexperienced, so it will take some patience to perfect your method.

Moka Pot stovetop espresso maker for camping

Why is the Moka Pot a great outdoor option?

  • The Moka pot is compact and durable making it the perfect travel companion for your outdoor adventure. It's best suited for a one day hike or camping trip.
  • It's perfect to use on a camp stove, so no electricity is required.
  • With only one pot you can make coffee for more than one person, just choose your pot size accordingly.
  • It produces a very near espresso like coffee taste - the ultimate luxury in the wild. If you are a coffee snob and instant coffee just doesn't cut it for you, this is a great option.

Best Features:

  • It produces a very near espresso like coffee taste superior to other manual methods.
  • It costs a fraction of the price of a decent espresso machine.
  • Once you perfected your method, it's easy to use.

Look out for:

  • It is not the best option if you're looking for a lightweight coffee solution for multi-day hiking.
  • It is very easy to make bitter or unpleasant tasting coffee with a Moka pot if you don't know what you're doing. Be sure to follow a recommended guideline and practice until you get it perfect for your taste. Once you have mastered your Moka pot, you'll enjoy good coffee every time!
  • You can't blame the Moka if you're not using good quality coffee in the first place. Make sure you are using the right size coffee grind. It is recommended to use a medium grind which should be a little coarser than that used for an espresso machine.
  • Choose the proper size pot for your needs.

How to make espresso with a Moka Pot

Which size Moka Pot should I use?

The Moka pot comes in various sizes ranging from 1 to 18 cups, with one cup being equal to about one espresso shot  (40 - 50 ml or 1.35 - 1.7 oz). Remember that the Moka produces very strong, concentrated coffee so if you're going to be drinking it like an espresso, you will only need about 50 - 90 ml (1.7 - 3 oz) per person depending on how strong you like it.

Let's say you would like to make a cup (250 ml or 8.45 oz) of Cappuccino which will be 1 part espresso, 1 part milk and 1 part froth. You would then need about 80 ml (2.7 oz) espresso which means at least a 2 cup Moka pot for one person and a 4 cup for 2 people.

Number of people 1 person 2 people 3 people 4 people 5+ people
Moka Pot size 1/2/3 cup 3/4/6 cup 6/9 cup 9/12 cup 12/18 cup


How to make great coffee with your Moka Pot:

  • Screw open the pot and remove the coffee basket from the lower chamber.
  • Fill the lower chamber with hot water to just below the pressure release valve. If you're using cold water, it will take longer to boil.
  • Fill the coffee basket with coffee grounds until it's slightly mounted. Lightly tamp the coffee. Ensure the rim and threads are clean.
  • Screw the top back on tightly to prevent leaks. Be careful as the lower chamber will be hot.
  • Turn on high heat and be careful not to scorch the pot handle.
  • Open the lid, watch and listen. The coffee will start to fill the upper chamber to about halfway or two-thirds full. The spout will start to make spitting noises when it's done. This process should take about 5 minutes.
  • Take the pot off the stove and immediately wrap the lower chamber in a wet cloth or run cold water over it so that the extraction process is halted.
  • Your coffee is now ready to serve. One serving is about 50 - 90 ml (1.7 - 3 oz) depending on whether you like single or double espresso. If it's a bit strong, add some hot water or milk to taste.

Bialetti Moka Pot Express Stovetop Espresso Maker



There are many Moka pot models to choose from and most should be good enough to do the job. If your budget allows, Bialetti is a trusted brand of Moka pot manufacturer. It is made in Italy, the origin of the Moka pot.

Bialetti Moka Pot Espresso Maker


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