This Hack Changed the Way I Make Moka Pot Coffee

Here’s how to make the perfect moka pot coffee without sediment.

Published Apr. 14, 2023.

Featuring an iconic silhouette that’s synonymous with coffee, the Moka pot is a storied coffee maker that has been around for most of a century. It’s known for producing an espresso-like, full-bodied, and fragrant cup of coffee on the stovetop within minutes. 

Its ingenious brewing method is straightforward, as pressurized water quickly pushes through the fine grinds to extract coffee liquid.

Personally, I love the rich and roasty flavors of moka pot coffee, but I have one quibble: The oily bits of sediment that remain in the brewed coffee can impart a bitter taste and astringent mouthfeel. 

Nobody likes that final sip of coffee to be muddy with sediment. How does this happen, and what can be done about it?

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Because a moka pot typically calls for a fine-ish grind size similar to that of espresso, small grounds can bypass the metal filter and end up in the upper chamber. To tackle this, make the grind size just a bit coarser.

It may take some trial and error, but you'll eventually find the optimal size for your brew. Using a coarser-than-espresso grind will also prevent overextraction, which results in an overly bitter taste. 

But even when adjusting the grind of the coffee, you still often end up with sediment at the bottom of your morning cuppa.

Luckily, we have a solution.

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After some research, I found an easy fix: filters—a coffee accessory made popular by pour-over coffee makers, which are manual drip-coffee devices famous for brewing clean-tasting coffee.

However, most pour-over coffee filters are too large for the 3-inch wide moka pot. To address the shape constraints, you’d have to cut and trim the filter paper to match the diameter of the funnel, where coffee grounds sit.

This is doable but laborious. 

The better alternative? AeroPress filters. Not only do they work perfectly with our winning 3-cup Bialetti Moka Pot but they also work with the 6-cup model. 


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How to Make Sediment-Free Moka Pot Coffee

Place one paper filter underneath the top chamber (right above the coffee grounds) and screw the parts together. Then brew as usual for a sediment-free cup of coffee. It's as easy as that!

A pro tip is to wet the paper filter first to ensure it’ll stick to the metal filter for easy assembly.

Some people also suggest using two filters, one inside the funnel before you load the grounds and one under the top chamber. After comparing the results of both methods, we found that this wasn't necessary. One piece of filter underneath the top chamber is enough to prevent gritty grains from fouling the coffee.

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