Having been invented in 1930 by Alfonso Bialetti in Italy, the moka pot is the perfect option when you want to enjoy a delicious espresso without the expense of a pricey espresso maker.
Whilst it does taste different to its more modern sibling, it does produce a delicious tang that can only come from the familiarity of using a moka pot.
Whilst they can be used on the stove, there is a newer electric version also available.
That being said, both of them work exactly the same by pressurizing boiling water to work its way through the coffee grounds.
Whilst using low pressure in comparison to an espresso machine, it does produce a delicious flavor.
Originally made from aluminum, they are now available in stainless steel also, which is the more common option to use.
You can also find them in sizes that produce either two espresso shot cups to twelve.
Even though a moka pot is a great thing to have in your kitchen, over time it is susceptible to a buildup of dirt from old coffee.
Whilst this does not look nice, it also does not taste nice, so how do you clean a moka pot? Let us find out.
Why Clean Your Moka Pot
Like with any product that creates coffee, it is always going to produce a better tasting drink if it is kept clean.
This is because over time, the inside of the moka pot will have a buildup of coffee grounds and oils that will eventually affect the taste.
If left alone, the coffee grounds go bitter and the oils will turn rancid, creating quite the horrible taste to your morning cup of coffee.
To avoid this, all you have to do is make sure that the inside of the moka cup stays clean.
Fortunately, it does not take too long to clean a moka pot. Also, you may even find most, if not all, of the ingredients needed to clean the moka pot are inside your kitchen cupboards.
What To Do With A Moka Pot After Every Use
Every time you use your moka pot, you should get into the habit of cleaning it. This is actually a smaller job than a deep clean which we shall look at later in this article.
When the moka pot has cooled down, dissemble the entire thing and remove the filter basket.
Either put the used grounds in the garbage or add it to your compost. Now rinse the filter well and dry it thoroughly.
Rinse all the other items of the moka pot with warm water and dry it well. If you find that there are a few stubborn coffee stains, you can use a paper towel or microfiber cloth to remove the debris gently.
If you have an aluminum moka pot, then it is essential that you make sure that the whole thing is completely dry before you put it back together.
How Not To Clean A Moka Pot
Even though it can be tempting, never put your moka pot in a dishwasher, as it is just too harsh, especially if you own an aluminum version.
It has a coating that stops the brewed coffee from tasting metallic, and if harsh ingredients or abrasive brushes are used to clean it, then it will scrape off.
Sticking to a basic cleaning routine will help to clean a moka pot, but if you find that you have not used a moka pot for a while and it has a buildup of old coffee grounds, or just that you have never cleaned it before, you will want to try something stronger.
Cleaning A Moka Pot Thoroughly
When it comes to cleaning a moka pot, most of the processes are similar to one another, with the exception that the ingredients may be different.
Whilst rinsing it with hot water is a good habit to form after each use, you may need to clean it more thoroughly every month, or give it a good clean because it has not been rinsed in a while.
To begin with, check if the filter has no blockages. If it does, you can use a pin to remove anything.
If you find that the seal is no longer soft or is breaking, then unfortunately it is time to buy a new one.
In a bowl, add in 3 parts hot water and one part distilled vinegar.
Submerge the entire disassembled moka pot into the mixture and leave for around half an hour.
Once the time is up, rinse everything in water and then dry it. Fill it up with plain water and put the moka pot on the stove as if you are about to make a coffee.
Let it run through the cycle and then remove it once the water has reached the top chamber.
Rinse it, wait for it to cool and then dry it completely.
How To Descale A Moka Pot
If you live in an area of hard water, then you might find that you get a buildup of limescale inside the moka pot.
Do not worry though, as it is easy to get rid of! All you need is one tablespoon of lemon juice and one tablespoon of distilled vinegar.
Step 1: Adding The Water and Acids
Fill all of the lower chamber with water, and keep going until it hits the filter basket area. Once you are happy with the water amount, add in the distilled vinegar and lemon juice and stir.
Step 2: Patience
Now that you have the liquid in, let it sit for around two to four hours to do its work. It will break down the limescale.
Step 3: Acidic Water Brew
Pour some of the water out, but make sure there is enough left for the next step.
Turn up the heat on the stove and use the moka pot as you would if you were making a coffee.
Once the acidic water rises up into the upper chamber of the moka pot, then it is time to switch it off.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
Remove all of the water by pouring it out of the spout, and leave it to cool down. Once it is ready, give the whole thing a rinse and dry it thoroughly.
Cleaning a moka pot is essential if you want to enjoy a tangy espresso without it being extra bitter or bitty – think limescale!
Whilst you may have seen that your moka pot has become a dark color inside, the buildup of coffee grounds and oils can be removed with a bit of elbow grease and patience.
So the next time you make some coffee, at least you will know it is inside a clean moka pot.