What coffees suits moka pots best?

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.

#1: Post by wkmok1 »

When traveling, I would like to use a moka pot and a 1Zpresso JE+ grinder. Are there types of beans that suit moka pot best? I mix the coffee with hot milk. Thanks for your help.

Team HB

#2: Post by mpdeem »


Pretty much any coffee you like.

I grew up using moka pots (we called them espresso pots). I find a lot of advice on moka pot brewing is wrong resulting in medicore watery coffee. Here are some suggestions:

-grind fine - a little coarser than for an espresso machine. Degree of roast makes a difference - the lighter the roast, the finer the grind. Darker roasts you want to watch against over grindinging. I roast my own coffee so I adjust my grinding by a few seconds of grinding depending on degree of roast.
-tamp gentle. I use the back of a spoon. You don't want to tamp too much but you do want some compression
-water to coffee ratio. Measure according to taste. I like more extracted coffee...closer to an espresso machine than pour over or drip. I use a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio roughly. Usually fill the coffee basket with grounds but only fill the water resavoir 1/3 of the way-depending on type of coffee and roast.
-preboil the water before adding to the water reservoir. Have coffee ground and in the basket so you can put the moka pot together while the water is still hot.
-start out with a hight flame with top lid open. When coffee starts to emerge decrease heat slightly. You want a nice steady stream with a little crema forming...but you do not want the brewed coffee to boil during the extraction process. Uusually I decrease the heat until there is a nice steady but slow stream of coffee. You do not want a hard fast extraction or else it the resulting coffee wil risk being bitter. Having said that, the coffee should brew at a nice steady rate. Exact amount of heat will depend on type of coffee (bean density - soft or hard plus moisture), roast, and grind.As the brew finishes you can decrease the heat further. When pot makes 'put put' sound and sputters, stop the heat and pour into a pyrex or other heat proof container. Don't leave brewed coffee in mola pot otherwise it will burn. You can serve coffee from pyrex or other container.
-range type. Moka pots do better on gas ranges in my expierence. Many older electric ranges do not get hot enough to brew in a moka pot.

Treat the moka pot like any other brewer. Play around with grind, water -coffee ratio, extraction speed see what works for you. Stick with one coffee type to first determine brewing preferences...then you can branch out trying different coffees and see which ones really shine for you in the moka pot.


#3: Post by Glacier21 »

My wife uses the big Moka Pot every day using a traditional Italian blend (Illy). It is thick and I always thought of it as just what a Moka Pot should be, with milk and sugar. She's spent a lot of time in Italy and it hits a spot.

I've tried using it with lighter African coffees and POW. When I hit the mark on those coffees in the espresso machine they really blossom, but the Moka Pot is a much easier way to bring the flavor out, and retains that thick character of Moka Pot. I've used it for those lighter beans toward the end of their fresh span. Pair that with some milk and sugar and it's like fruit hot chocolate. Point being - Moka Pot is great for a typical dark Italian mix, but it's also a way to explore weirder flavor profiles.

wkmok1 (original poster)

#4: Post by wkmok1 (original poster) »

Thank you for the detailed responses. In my limited experience, moka pot coffee seems to be more bitter and less fruit when compared with using the same beans on my La Pavoni. I follow approx the same routine, including starting with hot water. The only difference is using lower heat throughout to make the brew "ooze" out the top. I thought that would mean a cooler extraction and thus less bitter. Perhaps that is the wrong thinking, as the contact time would be too long? Will try the high heat and faster brew method.

Thanks for the suggestions.


#5: Post by Miltonedgebert »

Something I do with my moka pot:
Grind espresso fine. (so I don't have to change settings)
WDT and strike off the grounds flush with the basket, but avoid compressing the grounds.
Wet an areopress filter and put it over the upper screen.
Brew normally from here.

It works really well for me.

wkmok1 (original poster)

#6: Post by wkmok1 (original poster) »

Interesting. All the videos I've seen say grind somewhat coarser. I do everything else on your list.


#7: Post by ojt »

If you want less bitter, grind more coarse. Less water might help reduce heat also.

Anyway, to answer the question I prefer light roasts on the classic Bialetti / aluminium pots, darker roast on stainless pots

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#8: Post by slybarman »

if you haven't seen it already James Hoffman did a rather detailed video on using a Moka Pot and spent a lot of time in regards to temperature.



#9: Post by Ivyb82 »

I think an Aeropress would be better suited for traveling.


#10: Post by JamesB517 »

Most coffees could work in a moka pot if you do it right. I always use water just off the boil in the base, make sure to grind a good little bit finer than for espresso, and do not tamp. Just fill it and level it off. As soon as its done, get it under some cold water or immediately pour to a different container so it does not taste burnt. Happy brewing!
Life is like a shot of espresso. You never know what you're gonna get.