Saturday, February 05, 2011

Most Extensive Moka Pot/Stovetop Espresso Maker Guide on the Internet: Part Two

Welcome back to the "Most Extensive Moka Pot/Stovetop Espresso Maker Guide on the Internet."  In this post, I will discuss different tips for how to clean your Moka pot and include a section of links for further information about Moka pots.  If you haven't read Part One, please click here, it will detail what is a Moka pot and tips on brewing with it. 

First and foremost, soap is generally a "no-no."  Soap adds chemicals that can possibly alter the taste of your coffee in the future.  If you must add soap, add the slightest, most imperceptible amount on a paper towel or rag, and thoroughly rinse the pot out after wiping it down.
Run warm water over, but do not wipe w/ rag on the inside.  Remember the coffee oils!
After every use:  Empty the spent grounds from the coffee basket, wash out the base, and run water over the collecting chamber.  Dry everything with a rag, but do not wipe the inside the collecting chamber in order to keep those precious coffee oils. Let the three pieces dry separately.  This will avoid having a dank, odorous smell later.  After an hour, everything should be dried enough to assemble it back together.

After two-three weeks: Time to disassemble and wipe everything down, including the coffee oils that we have tried to so hard to cultivate.  Sometimes they just need to go.  They're probably getting a little stale.  Additionally, the whole pot needs a good once over.  This cleaning includes popping off the O-ring and the metal filter.  Take a blunt, flat knife, slowly working it under the O-ring, while trying to carefully not to damage it.  Use a lifting motion to pop it off.  Remove the metal filter.  It should come off right away as the O-ring was the only piece keeping it in place.
Flat, blunt knife, not a sharp one.  It could damage the O-ring!
The bottom of the collecting chamber w/o the O-ring and filter.
Now that everything is disassembled. Use a paper towel and wipe every inch of the pot.  I advocate using a paper towel than a rag.  A paper towel seems to absorb more coffee oils and "grime."  Additionally, you can see how dirty the Moka pot really was!  The only tricky part is getting the paper towel inside the spout of the Moka pot.  I use a small pencil or thermometer and wrap the paper towel around it, then inserting it into the grimy, small space.  Like so:
Insert Immature Comment
That is from just one week of moderate use. 
Two more cleaning ideas:  One can use the Moka pot as normal but not add coffee.  Thus as the water boils and the steam pushes the water upwards its helps remove some of the rancid coffee oils.  The second idea, and I haven't done this, but instead of using water in the above methods, use vinegar.  I would recommend a highly diluted concoction!  

That's it! If you have any other cleaning tips, email me at duderino102*at*

Select links to articles and videos:

James Hoffman's Moka Pot Guide: Point of note: He states that one should not use cold water.  Instead, he argues that one should begin with hot water and then screw on the top chamber.

Coffee Nate's Moka Pot Guide:  Quite informative, especially his advice of boiling water and to dilute the strength of the straight Moka pot coffee.  It resembles a quasi-Americano(espresso with hot water).  Where Coffee Nate and I differ is that he makes a small mound of coffee after the hopper is full.  You can try this out, but I am generally against doing this as it can slow down the brewing process and can over-extract the coffee making it bitter. 

A Short History of the Moka Pot: Aluminum, Coffee, and Fascism: A fascinating history about the relationship between the Moka pot, Italian history, and modernity.  Check it out, you might learn something!

What not to do video: This moka pot was way over-packed and over-extracted.  Despite the aesthetically pleasing "crema," I bet a dollar that it tasted quite bitter.  Notice the loud hiss?  That is the pressure release valve going crazy!  The user ground the coffee too finely. *tsk tsk*

Bialetti's Replacement Parts Store:  When the filter and O-ring need to be replaced.  Be sure to check that you are buying the right parts for the correct version and size of your Moka pot.

There are plenty of other articles and videos on cleaning, brewing, and general information on Moka pot coffee, but I find that there advice is spotty at best.  While sites like and are somewhat helpful, they can lead you astray on tips for size coffee grind and how to clean the pot.  If you stick with this guide and the links provided you should get most of what you need.  But, if you need more, post on some coffee forums.  There you will get a more thorough explanation of things rather than general, bland info.


  1. there are various options to make best coffee. you can make coffee with coffee machines and coffee grinder with best quality of beans. it will be perfect for you.

  2. wow..., today, coffee is very essential thing, this is very good post for this.

  3. Coffee Vending Machine is the best option to make the coffee in todays age...

  4. thanks for the detailed instruction on the cleaning of a moka pot. I always wanted to see what's behind the filter and the ring.

    I also wonder when the o-ring, filter and other parts have to be replaced? When they're unusable indefinitely (bent, broken, rust)?


  5. My Beloved Bialetti was making great coffee til today...when I checked out what the problem was I discovered that the O gasket was stuck to the metal and I'm having a hard time scraping it off: #1 Is it toast? #2 Did I buy a cheap and crappy O gasket? ...It's about 10 yrs old.

  6. The O gasket should be replaced every year at least with heavy use so 10 yrs?...

  7. Hi it's me, I am also visiting this web site daily, this website is in fact fastidious and the viewers are really sharing fastidious thoughts.
    Here is my homepage ; home equity loan requirements

  8. Every weekend i used to visit this site, for the reason that i wish for enjoyment, for the reason that this this website
    conations in fact nice funny information too.
    Here is my web-site all inclusive vacations packages

  9. For more, Please visite,[] have a broad list of products on their website. They continually check to make sure that their prices are competitive.
    If one finds a lower price product somewhere else, they will try and match the price or under-price it.Coffee & Espresso Machines

  10. The complete blogs are really inconceivable and definitely everyone will share this site

  11. Excellent blog..Much appreciated! I will try the tip on not using cold water...