Making Faux-Lattes with a Moka Pot

I love lattes, but going to a coffee shop everyday to buy one can get expensive. So, I started researching how to make them at home. I quickly found out that espresso machines are very expensive, and so are burr grinders which provide a consistent grind. Totally out of my budget right now. So, I searched for other options to make coffee at home. I found out about pourovers, the aeropress, the french press, and other methods to brew coffee. Eventually I decided on the moka pot due to the small initial cost and ease of brewing. I bought a 3-cup Bialetti Moka Pot, a Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill, and a milk frother for about $60 total. You'll also need coffee beans, almond milk (or whichever type of milk you prefer), agave (or other/none), and a mug.

Hario Ceramic Mill Skerto & Bialetti Moka Express 3-cup Stovetop Espresso Maker
Hario Skerton & Bialetti Moka Pot

IKEA Mug and Milk Frother
The mug and milk frother

Trader Joe's Almond Milk and Agave Nectar
Almond Milk and Agave

How to make a faux-latte using a moka pot:

Making a faux latte is easy and takes less than 10 minutes! First, I grind the coffee. In this post, I use Modest Coffee's The Enthusiast (which is $15 for 12 oz). They roast to order and ship via 2-day shipping, so it comes super fresh and smells so good. I also love Trader Joe's coffee which is cheaper and still delicious. Since I use a manual hand-grinder to make my coffee, it takes a while. Probably no more than 1-2 minutes though. I have my grinder set between a fine and medium grind (finer than drip, but coarser than what you'd use for espresso).

Trader Joe's Coffee: Kenya AA Medium Roast & Kenya Peaberry Medium Roast
These are the coffee beans that I like to buy from Trader Joe's: Kenya AA and the Kenya Peaberry

Modest Coffee The Enthusiast
Modest Coffee's The Enthusiast in my alien hand

Freshly ground coffee!

The moka pot is made up of three parts: a bottom chamber (that holds the water), a basket (containing the coffee grounds), and the collecting chamber. I fill the bottom chamber with filtered water up to the bottom of the relief valve. Some say to add hot water to the bottom chamber (like Stumptown) and others suggest the opposite. I add cold water and it works well for me.

Water added to just below the relief valve

Coffee grounds in the basket, leveled off and ready to brew!

I place the moka pot over the smallest burner on my gas stove and set the heat to medium-low (a little below medium). It took me a couple tries to figure out the grind and heat setting that gives me a good brew, so play around with it! Those are pretty much the only variables you can play with, in addition to using either hot or cold water at the start.

Bialetti Moka Pot on stove

It typically takes only 5 minutes to brew, so in the meantime, I prepare the milk! I put a little agave nectar at the bottom of a mug and then I add almond milk. I leave around an inch or more of space at the top to make room for the coffee. Then I microwave it for 1 minute. I use a milk frother from IKEA which does the job well. It doesn't take long to froth the milk at all. It takes me less than a minute, but it also depends on how much foam you want. :)

Frothing Almond Milk
Milk Frother in action!

You'll probably be finished frothing the milk before the brewing is complete. At this point, I usually just wait by the moka pot. When it starts sputtering, remove moka pot from the heat. I actually try to catch it before it starts sputtering. :)

Moka pot brewing
Coffee just started coming into the upper chamber

It's about to start "gurgling"

Basically all you have to do now is pour the coffee from the moka pot into the mug of frothed milk. I like to give it a stir at the end.

frothed almond milk in a mug and brewed coffee in moka pot
Mug of frothed milk and brewed coffee in the moka pot

The finished product!

To recap:

  1. Grind your coffee beans between fine to medium. (Finer than what you'd use for drip)
  2. Add water to the bottom chamber of moka pot up to the bottom of relief valve.
  3. Place basket in bottom chamber. Add grinds to basket and level off. Screw on top chamber.
  4. Heat moka pot on stove over medium-low heat. (Takes about 5 minutes for me.)
  5. While moka pot is heating/brewing, add agave and almond milk (or whatever you prefer!) to a mug. Heat in microwave for 1 minute.
  6. Use milk frother to froth milk, 30 seconds to a minute.
  7. After coffee is finished brewing (it'll make a gurgling sound), remove moka pot from stove. Add coffee to mug of frothed milk.
  8. Stir and enjoy!

It may not be a real latte, or even pretty, but it's still definitely delicious! And it's so nice to not even have to leave the house or change out of your pajamas. #hermit ;)

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Let me know how you prefer to brew/drink your coffee. :)

all products were purchased by me. all links are there for convenience. 


  1. What a great post. I've always wondered how to use a moka pot.

    1. Aw, thank you! In the beginning, some of the cups I brewed were pretty bad, so it definitely takes getting used to. :) Thankfully I learned some tips from youtube and, surprisingly, the amazon review page. So I decided to share "my" method. :)