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Aug 5, 2008 06:44 AM

Water for Moka espresso?

I have not used filtered water for my stovetop Moka espresso maker. And, after reading a lot of background info, I usually just rinse it out and wash with soap every once in awhile.
The water reservoir at the bottom is now sort of icky and the coffee tastes horrible.

Have I ruined it?
If I buy another and am sure to use filtered water, will it go ok?

-New to coffee

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  1. Ok, I am no expert...but do use a Moka everyday for the morning coffee...same one now for 5 years. I was told (by Italians) that you never EVER wash the Moka with soap....just rinse clean with hot water and a scrub brush. I have used both bottled water & water from the tap in making coffee with it...for sure bottled water makes a better tasting coffee. Another tip I was told: when you use a Moka to make coffee, it is better not to put it on high heat & let it go full throttle, instead let it come gently to a boil.

    You will probably have to buy another...due to the soap usage. (it will make a cute & quirky flower pot). Once you do buy another, initially you have to make a couple of coffees with it that are not meant to be drunk but thrown "season" it. Then, it's ready to go. Also, probably asking the obvious, but you are buying coffee that is specifically for a "moka" and not an espresso machine, right?

    2 Replies
    1. re: msmarabini

      I am buying coffee beans, grinding them myself to the right coarseness (is that a real word?).

      Gently coming to a boil is a good point, too.
      But if my tap water is no good (which I didn't think, but maybe it isn't), won't rinsing it with tap water harm the finish as well??

      1. re: laurendlewis

        well...rinsing with tap water shouldn't harm the finish...tap water is more about the final taste. That said, i have seen some pretty tarnished and well-worn mokas in my life...that still make good coffee. Was just looking at mine. It's an Alessi - a Phillipe Starck design - and the bottom outside is tarnished, but inside still looks pretty good though slightly discoloured from all the coffee. Coffee is still good, I am using Lavazza "qualita oro" gold quality for Mokas.

        Oh, the amount of water is important want it to just be able to seep thru the holes when gently pressing down on the inner thingy where the coffee goes (sorry not too technical myself when it comes to moka vocabulary). Then add in your coffee by the teaspoonful...filling it...but DO NOT press down on it & pack it as you would for an espresso machine. Just gently fill it up full. Then screw the lid on & gently bring to a boil.

        You might also want to experiment with a few things. Give yours a good scrub (NO SOAP) using a toothbrush or something on all the inner parts. Then make some coffee using bottled water. See if that helps.

        Then experiment by making some coffee from a a brand like Illy or Lavazza especially for Mokas...see if that makes a difference. Once I accidentally made coffee with it using the ground for espresso machines & it was noticibly different. So getting the right grind is very important.

    2. Sounds like you have hard water and just need to clean it out. Scrub the crap out of the bottom, possibly using vinegar to get the calcium deposits off. You might also want to take everything apart and wipe out any coffee dust that's built up inside, give everything a good rinse, let it dry, and try again, maybe after a trial run or two.

      I actually like my coffee made from water that has a certain mineral content, rather than filtered water. Filtered water doesn't leave deposits, though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tmso

        Good idea. I will give a thorough scrub and try one more time before investing the big bucks on another. :)

      2. I assume this is an aluminum Moka? I think another factor in keeping the water reservoir ick-free is rinsing and drying the whole thing well in the morning soon after you use it. That way coffee acid, hard water, or whatever don't react with the metal.

        Being lazy, I tend to let it sit, sometimes until the next morning and mine gets pretty gross. Italian friends installed a little drying rack above their sink specifically for coffee pots and theirs are pristine.

        Stainless steel pots stay cleaner, but the coffee never comes out quite right from my stainless pot - I always go back to the aluminum.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Junie D

          So if I've let it go and hurried out the door in the morning, is it too far gone, or should I try scrubbing it out and promising it that I won't leave it all day?

          1. re: laurendlewis

            I'd say scrub it out and start rinsing and drying in the morning and see what happens.