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How to Use a Moka Pot (With Pictures)

Moka pot pouring espresso

The Moka pot is a classic Italian coffee maker that produces strong, espresso-like coffee. But it can be a little tricky to use! Where do you put the coffee grounds and water, what heat level should you use, and how much do you need to pay attention? This step-by-step guide has all the answers.

We’re here to show you how to use a Moka pot from beginning to end. Keep reading to find our tips and tricks to getting the most out of your stovetop espresso maker.

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How to Use a Moka Pot:


1. Grind your coffee.

Skerton Pro manual burr grinder

You’ll need your coffee very finely ground. Aim for an espresso-level grind. Alternatively, you can use a pre-ground coffee like Café Bustelo.

2. Add water to the bottom.

Moka pot add water

Pour water into the bottom of the Moka pot, up to the overflow line.

3. Pack the coffee into the filter.

Café Cubano Moka pot

Using a spoon, pack the ground coffee into the metal filter. You’ll want it full and level. Place the filter into the bottom compartment, above the water.

4. Screw the Moka pot together and place it on the stove.

stovetop Moka pot

Put each piece together, making sure the Moka pot is screwed together tightly. Then carefully place it on a stove burner. Turn the stove on to high heat.

5. Wait for the water to boil.

Moka pot coffee

Wait a few minutes while the water boils. You’ll be able to hear the steam moving through the pot when it reaches boiling point. We recommend keeping a close eye on your Moka pot, as this can happen quickly.

6. Remove the pot from the heat and serve.

Moka pot espresso

Once the upper pot is full, remove the pot from the burner and turn it off. Now your coffee’s ready to serve!

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Moka Pot Tips:

Our most important Moka pot tip is to stay in the room while you’re brewing. You don’t want to leave it on the stove after it’s finished brewing, and the brewing process can happen surprisingly quickly! But what else do you need to know to produce the perfect cup of stovetop espresso?

What Kind of Coffee?

Lifeboost dark roast with espresso powder

Moka pots produce strong, espresso-like coffee, so think about the flavors you like in espresso. Do you prefer dark, rich flavors or lighter, more complex flavors? We generally use dark roast beans (like Lifeboost) to capture a classic espresso taste.

Which Stoves Will Work?

best stovetop coffee makers moka pots

Before you choose a Moka pot, you’ll want to make sure it’s compatible with your stove. Most Moka pots will work with gas and electric burners. If you have an induction stove, you may need to look for a specially designed Moka pot like the Bialetti Moka Induction.

What Kind of Water?

water for Moka pot brewing

As with all coffee brewing methods, we recommend using filtered (not distilled) water. Filtered water has fewer minerals that can build up inside your brewer and keep it from working correctly.

SEE ALSO: What’s the Best Kind of Water for Coffee? (It Makes a BIG Difference!)

What About Cleaning?

The Moka pot has several components, so you’ll want to be sure that you’re keeping them all clean. Keep in mind that most Moka pots are made of metal — so give it a few minutes to cool down before you start the cleaning process!

Moka pot cleaning

Take the Moka pot apart and wash the pieces individually. The top compartment and filter can be quickly cleaned with soap and water. The water compartment on the bottom just needs a quick rinse. If you see any mineral buildup, you can clean it out with water and vinegar.

SEE ALSO: Our full guide to cleaning your Moka pot!

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There you have it: our complete guide to brewing the perfect Moka pot espresso. Next time you feel like a small, rich cup of homemade coffee, you’ll know exactly what to do! We hope this guide helps you become a stovetop espresso expert.

Looking for more brewing tips?

Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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