The best grind size for a moka pot
For a Moka pot, a coffee grind size slightly finer than table salt but coarser than flour, somewhere between
360-660 microns(μm) — This is fine enough to generate sufficient pressure in the lower chamber, producing the signature moka pot coffee, with its higher extraction, balance, and flavor. While coarse enough to not clog the moka pot filter.
There is room for some grind adjustment if you want more control over your brewing process and achieving the taste you desire — however, compared to other brewing methods, the grind size range is much more limited.
Find the right setting on your grinder for a moka pot
What pre-ground coffee should I use for a moka pot?
While freshly ground coffee is preferred for achieving the best possible flavour, pre-ground coffee can still yield a nice cup of coffee in a Moka pot
Just ensure that the grind size matches the recommendations for moka pot brewing, typically a fine grind, and store the pre-ground coffee in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
Some of the best pre-ground coffee for moka pots come vacuum packed. This packaging method helps preserve the coffee’s freshness and flavour for much longer.
Can I use an espresso grind size for a moka pot?
No — In most cases, an espresso grind size is too fine for a moka pot, and can lead to over-extraction and clogging of the filter. The resulting coffee will taste very bitter and over-whelming.
How about a coarse grind for a moka pot?
It’s recommended that you use a grind that is slightly coarser than espresso, but you can use a much more coarse grind — like grounds used for pour over — and get some interesting results. It creates a more watery and weaker coffee, but with less bitterness and a cleaner flavour profile.
Try a coarser setting on your grinder than you normally would for a moka pot. Although it won’t result in the more traditional stovetop drink, you may like the lighter consistency and body.
What should I do if my Moka pot coffee tastes bitter or sour?
If it tastes too bitter:
- Increase grind size — Bitterness often results from over-extraction. If your coffee is bitter, try using a coarser grind. This reduces the surface area of the coffee, which lowers the contact of water with bitter compounds that otherwise would be extracted.
- Reduce temperature — Ensure that you’re not using excessively high heat on your hob or stove, as hot water increases the rate of extraction — Lowering the heat will lengthen the brew time.
If it tastes too sour:
- Reduce grind size — Sourness often indicates under-extraction. Try using a finer grind to increase the coffee’s contact time with hot water and improve extraction.
- Increase brewing temperature — Ensure that the heat is strong enough that the temperature of the water is high. If the flame is too small or the the heat too low, it may result in under-extraction. Increasin the heat will shorten the brew time.
Achieving the perfect brew with a Moka pot may require some experimentation. Start with small adjustments to grind size, brewing temperature and brewing time until you find the right balance.
Should I use different grind sizes for different sizes of moka pot?
You should, but it’s not vital.
Smaller Moka pots (
1-3 cups) typically benefit from a finer grind, while larger ones (
over 6 cups) may require a coarser grind.
- Small moka pots have less water traveling through the coffee grounds, so a slightly finer grind helps achieve the right balance between brew time and extraction, preventing under-extraction.
- Large moka pots have more water passing through the grounds, and a coarser grind helps avoid over-extraction, where the coffee can become bitter.
Tweaking the grind size to match the size of you moka pot isn’t vital. You can use the same grind size for all model sizes — Just make sure to reduce the coffee to water ratio for larger moka pots.
Are there any specific grind size recommendations for dark and light roasted coffee for a Moka pot?
While there are big differences between dark and light roasts, these differences are better emphasised by other brewing methods, like pour-over or French press, where grind size and other variables have a more noticeable impact on the final cup.
But there is typically no need for one type of roast to be coarser than the other for a moka pot. Large adjustments in grind size to compensate for roast level can lead to undesirable tastes.
If you’re trying new roast levels, we recommend whatever setting you usually use, and adjust after tasting if it needs improvement.