Why Your Moka Pot Tastes Burnt: Too Hot, Over-Extraction, More

Moka pots are a relatively easy and affordable method for making tasty coffee at home. However, despite the product’s simple design, coffee enthusiasts often encounter a faint aroma or taste of burnt coffee when preparing their moka pot.

A burnt moka pot coffee is a common but easy-to-solve problem. Here’s what you need to know:

Why does my moka pot taste burnt?

Moka pot coffee may taste burnt if it is left on a heat source after the water has finished brewing. The dry heat will cause burnt bean aromas to rise into the upper chamber. A less common reason is because your moka pot has not been cleaned frequently.

Burnt coffee taste

Moka pot coffee has a shorter brew duration than most coffee making methods. This is because most brew guides recommend starting with boiling water in your moka pot and brewing on a hot heat source.

As a result, many people forget to remove their moka pot from their heat once the brew is complete. This causes the beans to burn and send burnt aromas and flavors into the coffee.

Burnt moka pot smell

It’s also possible that your moka pot imparts burnt aromas or flavors from the uncleaned aluminum surfaces rather than from the beans. This is usually due to old coffee residue that was not properly cleaned rather than the aluminum itself burning.

It is best practice to clean your moka pot after every use. At the very least, consider rinsing the moka pot after each use and perform a thorough deep clean once per week where you disassemble the coffee maker.

How to prevent your moka pot coffee from tasting burnt

Prevent your moka pot coffee from tasting burnt by pouring it immediately after brewing or by lowering the heat source temperature during brewing. This will help achieve an optimal brew duration and prevent dry burning of the beans.

Pour it out of the moka pot immediately after brewing

Burnt flavors and aromas will begin when there is no more water vapor passing through the beans. The heat will instead start to burn the beans.

A simple solution is to make sure you remove the moka pot off of the heat source as soon as the brew is complete and pour it into your cupp or a larger coffee pot. This will prevent your coffee from taking on any burnt flavors or smells that occur after the brew is complete.

If this is what’s causing your moka pot to taste burnt then you may also notice your moka pot sputters or hisses.

Lower your heat source temperature

A high heat source temperature will cause your moka pot to brew your batch of coffee more quickly. This increases the chance of you forgetting to take the pot off the heat source before burning starts to occur.

We recommend starting your heat source at about 75% and then reducing the heat towards the end of your brew. This prolongs the brew time, which produces a more pleasant tasting brew and reduces the chance of burnt flavors.

How to prevent your moka pot aluminum from burning

Aluminum does burn, but not under any reasonable heat source that you will be using to brew coffee. What you might be interpreting as a burnt-smelling moka pot is likely a build up of old coffee beans that haven’t been properly cleaned out of your moka pot.

This is especially true for the coffee funnel, filter plate and rubber gasket. Here’s how to prevent this from happening:

Take it off the heat after brewing

Taking your moka pot off your heat source after brewing will prevent any excess build up of coffee grime. The longer an empty moka pot sits on a heat source the more likely that coffee will burn and stick to surfaces on your coffee maker.

If your moka pot completely runs out of water and continues to brew then your coffee may also taste very bitter.

Pour cold water over the bottom chamber after brewing and pouring

After the brew is complete and you have poured your coffee into your mug, place your moka pot under cold water – especially the bottom chamber.

This will cool down the device and prevent the coffee grounds inside from burning.

Clean your moka pot after each use

Cleaning your moka pot after each use is a great way to ensure each brew is clean and tasty. Is often easiest to clean your coffee maker immediately after brewing as well while everything is still wet and hot.

Letting it sit and dry will make the grime stick to the surfaces, and may even result in unsanitary mold or bacteria build up after it cools down.

Inspect and replace old or damaged pieces

We recommend conducting a thorough cleaning of your moka pot every week or so to make sure every nook and cranny is clean. But also to inspect the pieces for damage to make sure the coffee maker continues to function properly.

It’s especially important to clean the coffee funnel and filter plate, which have to be disassembled to clean properly. It’s also not uncommon for the rubber gasket to eventually wear out and require replacement.

If your rubber gasket is damaged you may also notice that your moka pot leaks out of the side as you’re brewing.

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