Start brewing your moka pot coffee on about two-thirds of your stove’s total heat, or roughly 250°C (482°F). Reduce the heat to about 25% once coffee begins flowing into the top moka pot chamber. This will prevent the coffee from extracting too quickly and causing it to taste burnt.
Here are some additional tips for managing your heat source while brewing moka pot coffee.
How to manage your stove’s heat during a moka pot brew
Start your brew with hot water in the bottom chamber
It’s easier to maintain a consistent moka pot brew when your starting water temperature is the same each time. This is why we recommend adding pre-boiled water to the bottom moka pot chamber before starting your brew.
Once your water is boiled, fill the bottom chamber up to just below the pressure valve. Add your coffee, screw the moka pot together and place it on your heat source.
Note: You will need to use a dish towel or oven mitt to hold the boiling hot bottom chamber while screwing it together.
Turn your gas or electric stove to about 66%, or two-thirds, heat and begin brewing
We have discovered that starting our electric stove at about 66% of its total heat is where the sweet spot is. We wait for about 15-20 seconds to allow the cooktop to heat up briefly before placing the moka pot on the center of the heating pad.
This ends up being about 250 degrees Celsius on our electric stove. Each stove is going to be a little different so you may need to experiment with slightly different heat settings. Especially if you have a gas stove.
However, most stoves will produce a tasty brew in this range.
Turn your heat down to about 25% once the coffee starts flowing
Coffee will begin flowing into the top chamber after about 1-2 minutes. At this point we recommend immediately turning down the heat level to about 25%.
This prevents the moka pot from brewing too quickly and causing the beans to dry burn, which will add burnt aromas and flavors to your coffee.
Move your moka pot halfways off the heat if you’re using an electric stove
If you’re brewing moka pot coffee on an electric stove, we have found that it works best to move the pot off the center of the heating pad and to the edge when you turn the heat down to 25%.
This is not necessary if you’re using a gas stove, just reduce the heat and keep the moka pot in the center.
Why shouldn’t you use a high heat setting?
A high heat setting will cause your moka pot to boil off too quickly, which will not allow your coffee to extract correctly.
This will cause your moka pot to taste sour or bitter depending on the level of extraction.
Keeping a moka pot on the burner after all of the water has been removed from the bottom chamber will cause the dry heat to burn the coffee beans in the grounds funnel. This will likely cause your coffee to smell or taste burnt.
How do you know if the heat setting is correct?
You can measure your heat setting using a digital laser thermometer. However, this is not practical or necessary.
It’s easier to gauge your temperature setting based on where you set your knob. If you find your coffee tastes a little bitter or burnt then you likely left it on the burner for too long or the heat was too high.
So next time you brew your moka pot, experiment with a lower initial heat setting or by reducing your heat more after coffee starts flowing into the upper moka pot chamber.
Moka pots are a traditional coffee making method that weren’t designed for a high degree of precision. Part of the fun in making moka pot coffee is experimentation and learning how to make a tasty cup using your own process.