Although the Moka Pot is easy to use, many complain about how terrible the coffee it makes.
It’s because it takes practice to get the hang of it.
These 17 tips will help you master your Moka Pot, and make delicious Stovetop espresso.
1. Tap the Filter Basket Side.
You can bang that drum!
Hold the basket outside the water chamber, and then tap the sides of the basket to level the grounds.
It allows water to flow through the material evenly, so you don’t have to worry about spreading them around with a spoon.
It also ensures they don’t get pressed down, which can lead to its own problems.
2. Do not tamper with the coffee
You must firmly tamp down your espresso in an espresso maker to get great results.
What about a Moka Pot? This is a great way to get yourself a small device that can explode…
This could prevent water from passing through the grounds. Because the pressure in espresso machines is less than that of an espresso machine (9 bar) the pressure builds up and has nowhere to go.
This leads to either one or both of the following situations.
Either it passes through quickly and the coffee explodes from the top or it escapes slowly through the safety valve on the side. If that valve is blocked by limescale or another defect, the whole thing might explode.
3. Clean under the Rubber Seal
You can remove the rubber seal by using a teaspoon. This is particularly important if your Moka Pot isn’t used often as coffee grounds can get trapped underneath.
They will go stale in a short time, which could impact the taste of your cup. But long-term they can become moldy and the only thing they are good for is the trash.
It’s time to take it out and give it another clean. Although you should clean it every time, I find that I clean underneath mine far less often than I should. I will occasionally clean the entire thing. Never put it in the dishwasher, but I will get to that…
4. Boil water to fill the vessel.
This is the best way to make your Moka Pot coffee more delicious. By putting in cold water, you are allowing the coffee grounds to bake in a hot container. This makes a huge difference in flavor and gives the coffee a richer taste.
It takes only a few minutes to get the water flowing through the ground if you boil water in a kettle.
It gives you a better taste and speeds up the brewing process, so you can go from not to coffee in no more than a minute.
Make sure to use a towel to hold the bottom of the halves when you are gluing them together. I don’t want to see you burn yourself!
5. After it’s done, run cold water over the base
You can prevent coffee beans from being overheated by taking steps to ensure they are stopped from brewing once the process is complete. Don’t allow coffee that has been over-extracted to get into your cup.
It’s not worth checking on the coffee only to find it in the top chamber boiling at a gentle simmer. These tips were not something I had to do before.
You can go as extreme or mildly as you like. If you want a really stupendous cup of coffee, you can immediately turn off the heat and place the bottom in ice water.
I’m content to take the Moka Pot off the stovetop after the first gurgle, and place it on a heat-proof surface mat. This is how you make Above Average Coffee.
6. Do Not Put it in the Dishwasher
Unless you have a Moka Pot specifically designed for an Induction hob then chances are you’ve got an aluminum one.
You can put any aluminum item into the dishwasher and it will come out clean, but it may also be tarnished or corroded.
It shouldn’t taste bad if it is tarnished. Give it a thorough clean and rinse off any detergent.
It’s possible to polish it or remove tarnish, but this is a lot of work and can leave behind polish that will be used in your next cup. If it’s been through the dishwasher, make sure the safety valve is still working and continue using it as if it had only suffered cosmetic damage.
7. Blow Into The Bottom Of The Basket To Empty
This was a game-changer when I got my first Moka Pot when Scott, this site’s co-founder, told me to blow into the bottom of the filter basket cone when it’s time to empty.
Doing this will increase the likelihood that a single coffee puck will end up in your trash can, making emptying it infinitely more simple.
It may not all come out in one piece, so it is necessary to scrape the spoon with the spoon. However, most of the times it works flawlessly.
Let the entire thing cool down before you start. Please do not stand over the garbage can. Watch out though, coffee grounds aren’t great for your garbage disposal.
8. Heat Up On A Medium Heat
Once you have filled the water chamber with boiling hot water, it is tempting to heat it up on the stovetop so that it can make coffee faster.
This is a terrible idea.
This is a surefire way for bitter and burnt cups. The water heats up too quickly and the grounds are not able to extract the water.
A better option is to use medium to high heat, and to let the coffee brew for a little longer. The result will be smoother and less bitter.
A quick and easy way of improving your cup.
9. Do not fill past the Release Valve
This is both a safety point and a making-a-better-coffee point.
The release valve is a small, circular piece of metal that has a hole on the bottom. If the pressure is too high, it has a mechanism that opens and allows steam to escape. It can be blocked by water if it is too full. This will prevent steam from escaping.
You will either have a valve that spills hot water or a chamber with more pressure than it can handle. This causes coffee water to be forced through the coffee grounds, causing coffee to spill everywhere.
It pushes water up before it reaches the right temperature, and you end up a coffee that doesn’t extract well.
10. Do not grind too fine
I will talk about this later, but there is a better reason…
It’s also why you shouldn’t tamper your coffee. If the grind is too fine, it could block the filter and create a small explosive device. All of the steam trying to escape from the safety valve can cause the filter to clog.
Although it seems unlikely, I avoid this scenario. Medium-fine grinds have particle sizes ranging from 1/16″ to 1/32″, (1.6mm to 0.8mm in diameter).
11. Descale If You’ve Got Hard Water
If you are like me, you live somewhere that has software (i.e. If you don’t live in a large city, this is probably not something you think about.
However, if you have hard water it is important to ensure the health of your Moka pot. Scale can build up in the water chamber and cause the safety valve to stop working.
It might not seem like a big deal, but if your safety valve fails and you are then fined or tamped in then you could be facing a pressure bomb. You could be in for a big bang if the pressure builds up and there is no way out.
Although not a likely scenario, it is possible.
Other than that, limescale buildup can leave a strange taste in your coffee, which you should avoid, and it can also affect the way the coffee is brewed. After descale, rinse it well.
12. Always fill the Valve to the bottom
If you want your Moka Pot to function properly, it must be filled to its full capacity. You will get subpar coffee if you fill it half the way. This is because the pressure won’t build up properly.
If the coffee pot is half full, it will not brew correctly.
If you don’t need half a cup, you have two options: either make a full-sized pot and use only half the amount, or buy a smaller Moka pot for 1 person. A 3 cup Moka pot is better than a 1 cup because one cup of Moka pot coffee will never be enough.
I am glad that I bought a 9-cup Moka Pot to make it easy for guests when they visit. I can make four great-sized cappuccinos. Because they are so big, the problem is where to keep them!
13. After the first splutter, remove from heat
This was something I mentioned when I spoke about cooling the bottom chamber after it has finished brewing.
You can usually hear it when it’s nearly done by keeping the lid down. It will gurgle and sputter as the last water leaves the main pipe. You will need to turn off the heat and let the water cool down as soon as you hear it.
You can also brew it without the lid on. This allows you to see the coffee flow and helps you monitor the temperature.
Once the coffee begins to lift from the Moka pot, you will know that it is about to splutter. You can then turn off the heat.
You might have some water in the bottom, but it’s not a problem. You’ve got the best tasting coffee.
14. Use Filtered Water in the Bottom
If you live in a large city, this is another great option. If you don’t like the taste of tap water, don’t drink it straight.
Although it seems simple once you understand it, you don’t stop to think about it until you are reminded.
Even if you only need it for coffee, get some bottled water. If you prefer to use less plastic, you can also use a water filter container.
You’ll notice a difference in the taste of different brands of coffee depending on the minerals present. But if you’re like me, you can’t…
You will notice a difference in the taste of coffee brewed with subpar water and one made with good-tasting water.
15. If it’s Sour Grin Finer
Moka Pot can have a slight espresso-like taste and can sometimes be sour if you drink it black. It is not a pleasant grapefruit sourness, but rather a bitter taste from expertly roasted coffee beans.
The solution is simple: you just need to grind your coffee finer.
This is a simple fix if you are using a grinder. Simply lower the setting and try again. It’s more difficult if you buy pre-ground coffee.
The standard grind of supermarket coffee is about a medium grind. This is great for drip machines but not for other brewing methods. You have two options: either buy a coffee grinder or find a local roaster that will grind your coffee according to your specifications.
16. If it’s bitter, grind coarsely
If your Moka Pot has a bitter taste, I would first boil water, then remove it from heat quickly.
If this doesn’t work, it’s time for you to change the grind. If your coffee is bitter, it means that it has been ground too fine. This can be a problem by itself.
17. Replace the gasket if it’s leaking
If water is coming out of the valve, it is likely that the bottom chamber is full. Use it again next time.
However, if water is leaking from the joint between the chambers, that can be a problem.
They could need to be tightened up more. It could also be necessary to wash the seal out, as coffee grounds might be affecting it.
It is more likely that the rubber seal will fail over time due to heat and cooling.
Amazon has a great place to order a replacement gasket for any Moka pot size.
Three of the most important changes you can make to your boiler are to put boiling water in its bottom chamber, heat it on medium heat and turn off the heat when it bursts.
Those are the best things you can do to see immediate results.
Check out some coffee machines here
These tips were helpful, I hope you enjoyed them. Please let me know if I have missed anything in the comments!