It’s rare that you find a product that embodies three of your favorite things - coffee, fountain pens, and unique design - but Giuliano Mazzuoli has done it with the Moka, an attractive, pocketable fountain pen inspired by the iconic Bialetti “Moka Pot” stovetop coffee/espresso maker. You may recall my review of the Mazzuoli “Officina” series from last year, in which I looked at both the fountain pen and the ballpoint/clutch pencil combo. While I won’t repeat myself too much here, Giuliano Mazzuoli is a line of Italian-made pens from the eponymous designer. The brand has been around for some time, but recently has become more visible in the United States with both the Officina and Moka series receiving a lot of attention.
While the Moka is a beautiful pen, and I absolutely love the design, the section is too narrow for me and I therefore couldn’t use it for more than the shortest of notes. That said, on a pen of this size, short note-taking is likely it’s intended purpose. If you have smaller hands, or are looking for a pocket fountain pen that doesn’t sport the admittedly banal design of many “pocket pens", the Moka might be a great option for you. The medium nib on my pen was smooth and well-tuned, reminiscent of high-quality German steel nibs from Faber-Castell and Otto Hutt.
As with the Officina series, Mazzuoli’s packaging and presentation are top-notch. The Moka comes with a small rubber “grip sheet” (sort of like a jar opener) to help unscrew the section, which has an extremely tight fit. Also, while the Moka does allow you to post the cap onto threads recessed into the back of the pen - a nice design touch - I didn't really like the look and preferred to use this one unposted. (Note: my photograph of the pen posted came out blurred, which I didn't notice until after I had already returned the pen. Pen Chalet has some shots of the pen with the cap posted on the back.)
The Moka comes in both aluminum and resin models. The pen featured in this review is crafted from brushed aluminum, and is available in black, ivory, and red. The resin version, dubbed the “Moka Chiaroscuro”, is available in red, black, blue, orange, and white. While one of the various mini converters might fit this pen, I've never found a good one. Therefore, I'd consider the Moka to be cartridge-only.
Takeaways and Where to Buy
Since this pen was a loaner, I didn’t test it extensively “in the wild,” but from what I've seen so far I continue to be impressed with the quality of Mazzuoli pens. As I mentioned, given the slim section, whether this pen could serve as a comfortable daily writer depends on hand size. The nib, however, is quite nice, and having this pen on your desk at work would be quite the conversation-starter.
The Mazzuoli Moka has a MSRP of $156, with most retailers listing the pen for somewhere around $125, such as our site sponsor Pen Chalet. This price seems fair to me, given the quality of both the build and the design. Many thanks to Carol and the team at Luxury Brands for loaning me this pen for review!
Disclaimer: Luxury Brands loaned me the pen featured in this review free of charge, for review purposes. This post contains affiliate links.