After inventing in 1933, this quick, useful, and portable basic stovetop coffee maker became instant hit. But occasionally have a negative reputation due to over-extraction.
So, here are the tips to avoid the burnt flavor from your moka pot coffee.
Have the right grounds
For the best results, grind some fresh coffee beans with grinder (around 20-22g), and try for medium-fine grind. Remember, you don’t need as fine as for an espresso machine: it could clog up your moka pot’s filter and create too much pressure. Supplement your grounds to the filter and tap them to ensure they’re even, but don’t tamp them.
Careful with the water!
Add either cold or preheated water. Preheated water can speed up the process and avoid a metallic taste—to the bottom chamber. Never, ever, ever fill it above the valve! It’s there to avert an extreme build-up of pressure: if you cover it, it won’t work (it could literally explode).
Reassemble your coffee maker, and place it onto your stovetop on medium-low heat. It can take around 5-10 minutes for your coffee to be brewed.
Remove it promptly
Make sure you’re around to hear your coffee gurgle: to avoid over-extraction and a burnt taste, remove the moka pot from the heat once around half of the coffee has gushed through.
A good rinse and dry after each use—once it’s cooled down!—will do, but it’s important to descale your moka pot occasionally depending on how often you use it. Not only will this help ensure longevity and the best flavors: if the safety valve gets clogged with coffee or water gunk, it won’t work anymore, and your next coffee could end with a bang (not in a good way, though). Fill the chamber with water above the valve, add a tablespoon of vinegar and one of lemon juice, and let it sit for a couple of hours. Then pour out enough water to uncover the valve, and… brew it like you would a coffee.
How to avoid a bitter taste when brewing coffee in a moka pot
If your coffee tastes a bit bitter, don’t worry: it’s an easy fix! You can either try a slightly coarser grind, pre-heat the water, brew it on lower heat, or remove your moka pot from the stovetop a few seconds earlier.
If, on the contrary, your coffee tastes too weak, it means it’s under-extracted: tap the grounds properly or try a slightly finer grind.
Is moka coffee as strong as espresso?
Moka coffee isn’t as strong and concentrated as espresso, because… well, technically, it’s not real espresso! By definition, espresso must be brewed under at least 9 bars of pressure, whereas moka pots can only reach 1 or 2. That’s why it also lacks the characteristic crema on top. However, moka pots are one of the best methods to brew espresso without a machine, as well as some of our favorite coffee brewing methods in general.
Because stovetop espresso makers are so simple to use, it’s easy to pay less attention to the process, and that’s why so many people complain about a burnt taste. Now that you know how to make coffee in a moka pot like a pro, you won’t have to worry about that: just give it your best (espresso) shot!